Solo Practitioners: How'd you start?

I'm primarily interested in the tales of those who left law school
and immediately hung a shingle.

I've been out and on my own for one year. Family law has kept
my doors open. Of course, it's also sucking the very life from
me. I'm switching to criminal posthaste.

Share, please. I need tips.


A tiny ad in the classified section of the newspaper.

70 pages of attorneys in the yellow pages...11 advertising
in the classifieds here. I don't know why anyone would
go to the classified section of the newspaper looking for
an attorney, but people do.

Finally, after a year, I'm starting to get some repeat/
referral business...but I went to school to be a criminal
defense attorney, and it's time I make the switch.

how did you know wtf you were doing straight out of law school

^that would be my question^

I thought you normally want to get in with a firm if possible so you can get some templates for contracts, estates, wills, etc.?

I didn't.

I clerked at a firm where I got a lot of practical experience,
took a semester in the legal clinic, and reasoned that
if some of the clowns I'd met practicing could pull it off,
I'd be able to as well.

Pathetically, all I knew how to do was family law so that's
what I've been doing. Family really couldn't be simpler...
complaint, answer, argue, decree, done.


You can find most documents you might need filed at the Courthouse. When I needed
new docs, I went, searched, copied, and modified.

I am just starting in transactional work. The learning curve seems to be pretty high. You have to understand a lot about the underlying business transactions... which I know nothing about.

Hedge/warrant what?!