confront and deal with those downsides, the potential
for self-fulfillment is high.
R. Nicholas Burton
ONE THING NOT STRESSED ENOUGH IN THIS ARTICLE?
The need for capital. As one attorney says, “I am living
off my savings.” I cannot stress
enough how important it is to have
money to begin with; if you’re trying
this on a shoestring, your stress will
be off the charts. Nothing is more
stressful than a $150 phone bill and
$1,000 rent when you only have
$800 in the account.
Plan better, you say? Sure, you can
criticize. But clients don’t pay timely, and sometimes not at all. You may
find it’s not so easy to cut and run,
and avoid losses too. And at first
your estimates of what you’ll need
in way of a retainer will be awful—
often too low, rarely too high.
Then there’s the recommendation
of other work, such as being a contract attorney or temp. Problem is,
if you’re not out there marketing
yourself, there will be no income
once the assignment ends. This is a
common solo problem: You’re busy,
so you have no time to market; but
then when you’re not busy, you have
Sure there are solos who make
big dollars (see the ABA Journal
from April 2007 for “The Secrets
of Million-Dollar Solos”). But many
of them either came from a firm
where they’d developed clients they
took with, or had the good fortune
to get some high-profile work that
helped bring in more (often through
connections nurtured over the years).
Oh, and myself and many solos I
know have seen a serious drop-off
in business over the last year, as
small businesses and individuals
avoid “expensive” lawyers. So
there’s that to deal with as well.
sidiary’s assets may be used to cover the debts of
another entity within the company. Kelly’s quote
on page 57 should read: “Income from one property
can be used to fund the operations of another prop-
erty because the secured creditors were adequately
The ABA Journal regrets the error.
“THE PAIN SPREADS,” JANUARY, PAGE
52, misquotes St. Louis lawyer
Cheryl A. Kelly in her comment
on whether one corporate sub-