Solo Lawyer By Design: A Plan for Success in Any Practice

Solo Lawyer By Design: A Plan for Success in Any Practice

by Gary P. Bauer

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Author Gary P. Bauer been committed to helping students and graduates succeed in the business of law. Solo Lawyer by Design: A Design for Financial Success in Any Practice is the culmination of his efforts and a ready reference to tap into his extensive experience. It will become a resource that enables the reader to better understand the opportunities and obstacles that may be encountered as a lawyer explores becoming established as a solo practitioner. This book is not designed to sell the idea of solo practice. In fact, it may offer valuable information that makes one decide that solo practice is not the right choice. Throughout the book, the author incorporates true stories to help demonstrate certain concepts.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781634258012
Publisher: American Bar Association
Publication date: 03/01/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Professor Gary P. Bauer, of Lansing, MI., has been a member of the full-time faculty at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School since 1998. He has worked as a criminal defense attorney and as litigation director for the school's Sixty Plus, Inc., Elderlaw Clinic, and is now a professor teaching estate planning to third-year law students and a directed study class he created called Solo by Design. He was appointed to the chairmanship of the General Practice Solo Concentration in 1999 and to the executive committee of the Institute for Continuing Legal Education in 2015. In January 2015,Professor Bauer began his blog,, to provide law students, recent solo practitioners, and seasoned professionals who wish to go solo with information and resources to be successful in the legal business.

Table of Contents

Part I Finding Your Passion in the Practice of Law

Chapter 1 Why This Book? Some Preliminary Matters 3

Chapter 2 Why Should You Listen to Me? 9

Chapter 3 Why You Shouldn't Listen to Me 13

Chapter 4 Your Chances of Going Solo Are Greater Than You Might Think 15

Chapter 5 The Dilemmas Law Students Face When Deciding to Practice Solo 19

Chapter 6 So What Are You Afraid of? Your Greatest Fear May Be Success 23

Chapter 7 Two Who Made the Plunge (Sarah/Alex) 27

Chapter 8 Understanding Your Strengths and Weaknesses 31

Chapter 9 What Really Matters: The Six Characteristics of Successful Solos 35

Chapter 10 Time Management 53

Chapter 11 Grades Matter, but Your Success in Practice Will Not Be Measured by Your GPA 61

Chapter 12 Blinding the Judge with Your Brilliance: It Is All About Being Prepared 65

Chapter 13 Lawyer? Attorney? What Is the Difference? 67

Chapter 14 What Area of Law Should I Practice? 69

Chapter 15 On Second Thought, Not Such a Good Idea… 73

Chapter 16 Rural Practice: Maybe You Should Look Outside the Crowded Legal Suppliers Market 77

Chapter 17 Card-Table Lawyer: Keeping Your Overhead Low 81

Chapter 18 Should I Work from My Home? 91

Chapter 19 You May Be Able to Earn More Than You Think as a Solo 97

Chapter 20 How to Get More Out of Law School 103

Chapter 21 How Do I Find/Make My First Job? 107

Part II Get on Track to Start Your Own Practice

Chapter 22 Exploring Your Possible Options, Putting Everything in Context and Understanding the Rudiments of the Legal Profession 113

Chapter 23 A Recommended Timeline to Put You on the Path to Success 115

Chapter 24 Understanding Your Best Options. Start Early: Build Your Practice While Still in Law School 117

Chapter 25 Get Out There During Your First Year in Law School 123

Chapter 26 Continue Your Investigation and Interviews with Local Attorneys 127

Chapter 27 Write, Write, Write 129

Chapter 28 Prepare to Pass the Bar Exam 131

Part III Marketing: Your Biggest Challenge, Your Greatest Opportunity

Chapter 29 Sell the Sizzle, Hot the Steak: Part I 135

Chapter 30 Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak: Part II 141

Chapter 31 Is a Niche Practice in Your Future? 145

Chapter 32 Carnegie Skills 153

Chapter 33 Uber into Law: Access Docs from Anywhere 155

Chapter 34 Wholesale Versus Retail: Keep Your Eye on the Ball and Expand Your Reach and Influence 157

Chapter 35 Would You Buy a Car Without Wheels? Understand What You Are Selling: It Isn't Paper 161

Chapter 36 Cost-Effective Mediocrity: Make Sure You Invest Your Money Wisely in Marketing Your Firm 163

Chapter 37 Do-It-Yourself Lawyering and How It Might Go Awry 165

Chapter 38 Dog in a Basket: One More Way to Think About How to Sell Your Service and Close the Sale 167

Chapter 39 Your Tiger Team: One Way to Expand Your Sphere of Influence with Greater Efficiency 171

Part IV Miscellaneous Good-to-Know Stuff

Chapter 40 Why Aren't You Going Paperless? 177

Chapter 41 Not Enough Time for Your Ferrari? Maybe Outsourcing Help Is More Efficient 179

Chapter 42 Why Your Next Hire Might Come from Starbucks 181

Chapter 43 Can't Take Notes? One Tip on Efficient Note-Taking 183

Chapter 44 Google Scholar and Other Free Research Sources: Do You Still Need a Large Library for Legal Research? 187

Chapter 45 Disaster Preparedness: Your Duty and Obligation 191

Chapter 46 How Should I Organize My Business? 195

Chapter 47 Malpractice Insurance 199

Chapter 48 Student Debt Management 201

Part V Client Control Issues

Chapter 49 Litigation: Is That the Answer for Your Clients? 207

Chapter 50 Barriers to Communication: Learn to Listen Effectively 213

Chapter 51 Client Honesty: Don't Let the Client's Problem Become Your Problem 217

Chapter 52 Cow in the House? Malpractice? Fess Up 221

Chapter 53 The World Is Pass/Fail 223

Chapter 54 Is Your Client a Twenty Footer? A Hard Lesson to Learn: When to Turn Away Business 225

Chapter 55 In and Out: Avoid Bias When Assessing Clients' Communication 227

Chapter 56 Some Final Words: The Dirty Dozen Tips for Solos 231

Index 239

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