Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Solo Law Firms Can Thrive in 2012 (and Law Firm Blogs Can Help)

Over at Solo Practice University, Susan Cartier Liebel penned an interesting (and inspiring) post yesterday on 2012 being the "Year of the Legal Entrepreneur."  One one hand, lawyers have always maintained a strong entrepreneurial streak, with some estimating that at many as 50% of all lawyers get by without a boss.

Nationwide, the trend toward self-employment is sky rocketing.  The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that as many as 40% of ALL American in EVERY sector will be self employment a mere seven years from now.  If that same bump is applied to lawyers, the legally self-employed could rise to as much as 60 or 70% of the entire attorney universe.  Those are some shocking numbers when you think about it.

Actually, our legal content writers aren't too shocked by these statistics.  Most of our clients are solo practitioners or leading small firms.  Each and every day we see many not only providing top notch legal services, but thinking outside of the box when it comes to ways to solidify their business and grow it.  Our clients are thriving, and we expect other young attorneys to follow their lead down the road.

Anyway, back to the idea of the Year of the Entrepreneur.  Liebel shared  information on "Success Intelligence," which is essential a rough principle developed by some psychologist to try to pinpoint  qualities that make some entrepreneurs thrive and others fizzle.  She summarizes some of those attributes which she finds exhibited in many solo practitioners (as do we):

They are disinterested in over analyzing and more committed to getting started.  While they may do an informal calculus regarding possibilities, it is just that, informal.  It is not meant to be a deterrent.  It is simply an assessment of potential hurdles they must clear. 

Coming solely from the perspective of legal blog writing, the above description perfectly matches what we've seen from solos, small, and mid-size attorneys that are doing well.  Obviously we believe that law firm blogs are absolutely essential these days.  But, we are not so ridiculous as to believe that the blog work is the end all, be all of law firm marketing and management.  Yet, it is the firms who most need to dive into the blogging world who are quickest to come up with excuses as to why it isn't the right time.  The same pessimism and over-analysis likely throttles their other marketing and business management effects as well --placing the firm in tough straits.

At the end  of the day, solo and small law firm lawyers must hone their entrepreneurial instincts.  The volatile business world of today demands it.  This is scary but somewhat exciting.  The solo and small firms that cultivate this side of their mentality (a creativity so often suppressed in the legal world) have the opportunity to make this year their best yet.

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