Solo Perspectives at SFI

I’d like to introduce a new website geared toward solo practitioners. Small Firm Innovation is still in soft-launch mode, and you’ll notice a few gaps as you navigate through the website; but early indications are that this website will capture some interesting solo perspectives. And as you’ll see below, a little CanCon to boot.

But first the disclaimers. Fellow Slaw-contributor Jack Newton and his community sherpa Gwynne Monahan at Clio are the guiding forces behind the website. In our Stem roles, colleague Jordan Furlong and myself will also be contributing, as will a host of other recognizable names.

Now let me explain how we hope this website will differentiate itself. Getting guys like me to reorient their writing style or message to firms of sub-5 lawyers may be mildly interesting, but any smart solo can downscale those thoughts from other online sources. Fair enough. The finer element of this site, however, will be the solo perspectives.

Here are a couple of early examples, from two Canadian solos:

Rob Hyndman: The First Thing to Know About Going Solo

“At the time, I shared that anxiety – I was a newbie. But I quickly learned, as I think most solos do, that fear is an irrational response to the solo opportunity. Why? Because no one ever talks about one of the best parts of being solo – you are responsible for your own destiny, and as a result you can make the right choices for yourself and your clients.

The most liberating and validating part of becoming a solo in my experience has been the opportunity to make the choices that I believe to be right. I’m no longer bound by firm policy, or the preferences of a firm committee, or a partner responsible for the client. My practice does live and breathe on my choices, but I became a solo because I had confidence in them, and thought that by making them I could improve outcomes for my clients (and myself).”

Russell Alexander: Moving from file carts to paper(less)

“I took the plunge, got a tablet and networked it to our office servers. With an internet stick I was freed from relying on wifi hot spots and could work completely remotely. This was a fundamental transition for my firm.

We now have empty file carts sitting around our office and our clients prefer to work with us electronically as they can now receive almost instantaneous feedback and service.

I now have the choice, if I am not in court or meeting with clients, to work remotely and have made it a firm policy to close early on Fridays to help promote a work life balance for our lawyers and staff.”

The number of solo lawyers blogging will expand over time, but if you have an interest in getting involved in the early stages of this website, I would encourage you to get in touch with Gwynne, Jack or myself. There’s no way to know what this will evolve into. But if the snippets above are any indication, it could be really good!

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