Since I was admitted over a year ago, I’ve had several different answers to the question of, “why don’t you just go out on your own?” But here are the reasons I have since working for a solo practitioner.
1.) The business end. There are a lot of rules to learn about business corporations, taxes, insurance, bank accounts, IOLTA, etc. It is a lot to keep organized, in addition to being a lawyer.
2.) Crazy clients. If I have a crazy client, I have a boss who can have my back, explain to the client that not giving them my attorney work product is NOT malpractice, or that they should not call the mayor’s office to complain about me because we can’t help them. Crazy clients are also potentially unsafe – they know where your office is, and there might be a good chance you are there alone.
3.) I’m a people person. I like other people. I like working in an office. Solo practice gets very lonely, I think. I need to be in an office of at least 3-5 people to be happy.
4.) You can’t take a sick day. Like being a stay at home mom, when you are a solo practitioner, you can’t get sick. Even if you have a secretary, there is a good chance you still have a client meeting, etc. If you have court and you are sick, you are doubly screwed.
5.) You have way too much freedom. If you are a solo practitioner, you can take on any case you want. I know for me, that would start with elder law and end with me in rent court or something. I like being able to say to clients, “we don’t practice that kind of law.” If it’s your own business, it’s much harder to say no. Especially if you are a giant softy and you just want to help people!