According to the American Bar Association’s 2015 National Lawyer Population Survey, 75% of lawyers who participated in the survey work inside a private practice, with 49% of these same law professionals serving on their own as solo attorneys.
These numbers not only indicate a high number of attorneys who rely on their own skills and resources to stay afloat in a highly competitive environment, but they also show a high level of entrepreneurial spirit among those presently serving in the legal arena.
To demonstrate this premise even further, we’d like to present some key parallels that exist between solo attorneys and entrepreneurs.
1. You Use Technology to Support Your Business Objectives
Like entrepreneurs, solo attorneys who become the most successful learn how to take advantage of technological advances that support their efforts. For lawyers working alone, this often comes down to utilizing case automation software to maintain a high level of organization, in addition to outsourcing client billing and bookkeeping tasks so you can focus on growing instead of burning hours on the backend of your law practice.
2. You Enjoy Your Work, but You Also Take It Seriously
Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t an easy road, and neither is being an attorney. It not only requires years of preparation before entering law school, then several educational hurdles thereafter, but it’s also knowing you’ll have a career filled with long days and sleepless nights. If you didn’t anticipate loving the work, you never would have signed on for the adventure, and you certainly wouldn’t have taken on the serious-minded task of advocating for those who need your legal help.
3. You have Natural Leadership Abilities
Entrepreneurs necessarily have to be leaders in order to be successful, even if they’re reluctant to do so at the beginning. Similarly, lawyers are required to display unique leadership talents in their own right. These abilities, which are common among a considerable majority of practicing attorneys, include:
- Drawing out potentially damaging information from a hesitant client
- Swaying both judges and juries with well-researched and persuasive arguments
- Identifying ways to enhance your presence in your community and area of practice
4. Your Ethics and Integrity Are Unparalleled
Just as entrepreneurial ventures are made sustainable through living a code of universal ethics, solo attorneys are not only bound to equivalent agreements by their bar association, they also collectively use integrity and ethics as a sign of their devotion to the profession itself. Sure, bad apples do exist among the bunch, but they’re never allowed to ferment long enough to spoil an industry that, on the whole, operates honorably and admirably.
5. You’re Willing to Take Chances
The mindset of entrepreneur is such that they never consider their business to be unviable, and the same can be said about lawyers, who often take on cases they might envision as an almost insurmountable uphill battle – but one they intend to win. It’s this willingness to fail that certainly inspired the adage, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”, and continues to challenge both attorneys and entrepreneurs to newer, greater heights in their respective careers.