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Are Solo Practitioners A More Difficult Lot Than Big Law Partners?

Paul Schorn over at the Texas Lawyer and as republished at, has provided his instructions for the care and feeding of solos.  This is a fairly comical article, no doubt written a bit tongue in cheek, however, it does raise the issue as to whether or not solo practitioners are solo for a reason.  Are solos really tougher personality types than most other attorneys?

Only a fool or a saint would marry a lawyer. We tend to be argumentative, rule-oriented, competitive and stressed out, hardly the makings of an easy mate. The maxim is twice as true when applied to solo practitioners. We are a colorful lot; however, the solitary nature of our work can make us even more closed-off than other lawyers, while our lack of professional support can make us even more needy. If we were easy to work with, we'd probably have law partners.

The most interesting part of the article are the recommendations by Mr. Schorn.  Schorn provides recommendations concerning the care and feeding of the solo practitioner by that solos significant other, broken down by categories of financial support, social support, mental health support and miscellaneous other. 

Are solos really solo for the reason that their tougher to get along with?  Let me know your thoughts…


Carolyn Elefant

I do not agree. Non-solos may be better at playing games and jumping through hoops, and in my view, are actually harder for people who are genuine and forthright to get along with.

I would rather go to an event filled with solos - even ones in a practice area that I've never heard of -- than spend 10 minutes with a group of biglaw energy lawyers. Solos exchange information so freely and are usually excited about their practice and learning about yours. By contrast, the conversations that I have had at energy events are like pulling teeth.

Paul Jacobson

I think my wife would agree with that quote. I do tend to be stressed and cranky although I believe that being a solo incentivises me to be more open to people around me. Closing off only closes off my potential workflow and the opportunity to cultivate more relationships.

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