Recommitting to Technology
Interview with John Levine

Don't Call Me a Solo

As those of you who are regular readers know, I spent my first two years blogging about being an independent practitioner.  There was some early debate about the stigma associated with being a “solo” practitioner.  I always preferred independent practitioner.  We are now a firm of three attorneys.  My brother Mark has 18 years experience and Brian is right out of law school.  We are all three partners in the firm. 

There are a lot of benefits to being an independent practitioner.  Our goal, as a three-attorney operation is to maintain the culture and feel of an independent practitioner operation.  Because our business model has been successful, we really had no choice but to grow.  We added virtual law clerks, paralegals and lawyers.  But still demand outstripped our ability to quickly and efficiently achieve client goals.  We now have the capacity to handle more cases, bigger cases and more complex cases.  We can now manage more virtual workers and scale staff up and down on a larger scale.  But in order to thrive, we must support each other while retaining independent judgment. 

If anyone out there works at a medium or large firm and yet retained the benefits of independence practice, let me know.  I’d be interested in your thoughts.


Chuck Newton

Of course I do not represent either a medium or large firm, but I doubt independence is a manner of description. At my firm we are really each independent because although we work on our cases together we each do so from our own homes. There is no central office. No one gets a salary. I would not call it a partnership as much as something closer to a group of solo practices that decide to work a case together. We coordinate and we collaborate, and we get together for lunch, etc. We divide out the earnings in the case at the outset and live by it.

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