The word “solo” means “alone.” The definition itself can be good reason for a lawyer to avoid it — it implies all of those things that humans as social animals try to avoid. From the primitive need for security in larger numbers to the modern need for a ridiculously high number of Facebook friends, we are designed to seek out others.
Done right, going solo should be more communal than working in a big law firm. Modern technology gives us the benefit of email, listservs, instant chat and video chat. Networking lunches are more important for solos, who rely on others for business referrals. Bar association CLE classes and meetings provide a lifeline to similarly-situated lawyers. Family and friends boost us up and make the solo dream a reality.
And the best reason for going solo? Autonomy. The chance to create something, to apply life’s lessons to your firm, to set your own priorities. That’s why I’m striking it out “on my own.” As any solo will tell you, the work ranges from the mundane (filing articles of organization and opening an IOLTA account) to the exciting (starting a website and that first meeting with a potential client).
Coming on the heels of Michael Siri’s post Friday detailing the disappointing lack of donated food to the Maryland Food Bank this holiday season, my first official priority is to help turn that around. For every “Like” my new Facebook business page gets between now and Dec. 31, I will donate $1 to the Maryland Food Bank. I’d be pleased if other lawyers or local law firms make the same offer — let us know in the comments section below.