Starting a solo law practice can be invigorating, frightening, and exciting at first. But after the adrenaline and excitement of starting a solo practice fades, how do lawyers stay motivated? Unlike working in a large firm, an attorney’s personal life and solo practice become interconnected, causing unique and often unexpected challenges. Many lawyers experience inner turmoil that requires a different resolution than a well thought-out business plan or financial planning.
On this episode of New Solo, Adriana Linares interviews consultant Susan Cartier Liebel about how to stay motivated throughout the process of starting a solo law practice. Liebel encourages lawyers to make concrete life goals and envision where they might be 5, 10, and 15 years in the future, both professionally and personally. She recommends integrating personal interests and lifestyle with professional practice, resulting in a support system and a trusting client base. According to Liebel, there are three emotional inhibitors when opening a solo practice: the fear of a malpractice suit, the fear of being alone, and the lack of mentors. By focusing on the endgame, a lawyer can create an internal support system that supplements external support.
Susan Cartier Liebel is a coaching consultant for solos and small firms who start their own law practice right out of law school. She has been an adjunct professor for Quinnipiac University School of Law, teaching law students how to start and grow their own law practices. She has since taken on consulting full-time. Her entity, Solo Practice University, now teaches hundreds of attorneys how to become solo practitioners. She is additionally a frequent speaker to law schools, bar associations, and professional organizations around the country.
Special thanks to our sponsor, Solo Practice University, a community dedicated to helping lawyers build their very own solo law practice. Check it out at solopracticeuniversity.com.