Welcome to the second installment of Under the Shingle, an occasional round-up of news and musings from the world of small firms and solo practitioners. In other words, you get a break from me — mostly.
I’ve added a bit of play-by-play to explain and connect these links, which cover such topics as the intersection of solo firms and SCOTUS, solos going big, and the big bad ABA trying to put their laws on your solo body.
Solo to SCOTUS:
A 33-year-old solo on why he left his Biglaw office in favor of working out of a spare bedroom and having his mother as his paralegal: “I wanted to create my own reality.” Well, now his reality includes SCOTUS experience after being granted cert at the last second. Before any of you aspiring solos out there get too excited, know this: his reality also includes borrowing cash from his little brother and eating a lot of PB&Js.
More links, after the jump.
Solo to SCOTUS, Part II:
Speaking of SCOTUS, I missed the news during the confirmation proceedings about this current justice having had a solo practice. There are two lessons here: (1) don’t underestimate the importance of your solo practice when applying for a federal job, and (2) don’t name your practice “_______ & Associates” if you don’t in fact have any associates. Also, the story is worth another look if for no other reason than to compare your résumé to that of a Supreme Court Justice. She’s got me on content, but mine is way more awesome-looking.
From Barn to Biglaw:
What firm scooped up this veteran criminal defense solo from his barnyard office? More importantly to the unemployed, here’s his reason for turning to Biglaw: “There comes a time where you don’t really want to do all the research that needs to be done and you have younger people interested in doing it.” Are you young, interested, and in need of money? Submit your info here via their (somewhat lame) online application.
The ABA wants to close the Internet to lawyers:
Okay, it’s not that bad, but if you follow any small firm blogs, you’ve probably seen some complaints about the ABA’s call for comments on a paper about regulating lawyers’ use of Internet-based (read: free) client development tools. Larry Bodine kickstarted an anti-ABA rally with his Red Alert post, where he advocates a more laissez-faire approach to regulation. Brian Tannebaum responded, which started a virtual shoving match. Tom Kane recounts the shoving here and, more importantly, tells you why small firm lawyers should care:
The point is that I don’t trust the ABA to make new rules that will only in all probability muck up the advantage that solos, and small and medium-sized firms have on the Internet. By that I mean, the digital world provides some help in leveling the playing field for those lawyers who are just as good, but do not have the marketing budgets available to the BigLaw community.
Personally, I thought the best advice came from Adrian Dayton: DON’T PANIC.
Small firm lawyer loses more than the election:
What’s worse than spending your own money on an election and losing by a landslide? Spending your own money on an election, losing by a landslide, and being canned from your job at a small law firm for your troubles. The Macomb Daily in Michigan has the story.
BigGov to Solo?
I’ll give you one guess as to which former chairman of a powerful House committee is going solo after discovering that using funds from his political action committee for a team of personal lawyers is frowned upon.