Posted by Jay Kamlet on Mar 10, 2016
The many benefits of working as an independent lawyer
Talented law school graduates often succumb to the siren song of salary and prestige at big law firms. A large number of young lawyers then either quickly burn out due to the demands of billable hours, or they become so entrenched in that life that they see no alternatives.
If you are practicing in a large or mid-size firm, you will likely have a good grasp on the advantages offered in that environment, but you may not have easy access to understanding the benefits of practicing as a solo or independent lawyer.
Those benefits include:
- You are the master of your own destiny. You decide which areas of law you will practice, what type of client you will serve, and which cases you will accept. Working at a big law firm might not afford you the opportunity to work with smaller, family-owned clients, because the long-term revenue prospects with those clients is not significant. Yet you might enjoy interactions with those smaller clients who are directly connected with their own businesses. If you are practicing law independently, you can focus on and build your practice around them.
- More time to work on law. Lawyers who work in bigger firms are often required to devote at least a portion of their time to managing administrative tasks. As a business owner running an independent law practice, you will still have to handle administrative issues as an independent lawyer, but they will be less complex. In addition, technology and other resources are increasingly available to help you manage the business side of your law practice. The net is that, as an independent lawyer, you can spend more of your time actually practicing law.
- More opportunity to balance work-life issues. Associate attorneys in large firms are typically required to bill 200 or more hours per month on client matters, which leaves them with precious little time to devote to their personal lives. You may sacrifice some income when you first begin to practice as an independent lawyer, but the intangible rewards you experience will make up for the financial difference. As your business grows, your income will grow, but you also have the freedom and flexibility to manage that growth to maintain the work-life balance you seek.
- Sense of accomplishment. Finally, perhaps the greatest single benefit that you will realize from practicing independently is the sense of pride and accomplishment you feel when you see your own name on the office door. Many individuals are drawn to practicing law out of a preference for handling their own destinies over working anonymously within a corporate environment, and an independent law practice gives you the means to do just that.
Please contact us for more ideas on the advantages of practicing as an independent lawyer, and for information on how we can help you to establish an independent law practice in Denver.