Solo Practitioners: Click & Mortar vs. Brick & Mortar

According to the American Bar Association, solo practitioners make up 49% of all Private Practice firms in the United States (as of 2005). When an attorney decides to go Solo, there are two primary ways they tend to set up their practice. On one side of the coin, there is the traditional route: renting or purchasing office space in order to house your own practice. On the other side, some solo practitioners choose to run their entire practice from home. Running a practice from a home office cuts various overhead costs that would be present in a traditional office setting.

Though there are significant cost savings, there are also various problems that can stem from having a home office.

Finding New Clients

If you don’t have a solid client base before you start your Solo firm, it may be difficult to find them in a virtual office setting. Though it is true that marketing tools such as email marketing, social media, and online advertising are more powerful than ever, it definitely helps your practice’s credibility when there is a physical office listed as the address. Many virtual Law Firms have received bad publicity due to false advertising practices. You can read more about that in this article:

Blog of Legal Times: False Advertising

Client Meetings

If you choose to list your practice’s address as your home, you may encounter inconvenient or unannounced visits from clients. Client meetings require planning and access to readily available external meeting places. Many home office firms list a PO Box address for privacy purposes and pay a small fee to local companies in order to use their conference rooms.

Operating Expenses

Every solo practitioner has added duties and expenses that would not be present if they worked for a larger firm. However, there are a few that are unique to a practice run from home. It is likely that you, as the attorney, will be the only employee in the practice. In this instance, you must do all the billing, expenses, and reimbursements for your practice. The key to a successful solo practice is to make time for all of these additional duties while still maintaining a good relationship with your clients. There are a number of programs that can help combat these problems. For case management, a list of top-rated programs (compiled by the ABA) for solo practitioners and small firms can be found here:

ABA-Recommended Case Management Programs

Whether you choose Brick and Mortar or Click and Mortar, starting a solo practice is a difficult task. We hope these tips help you on your way to starting your own, or improving upon your existing practice. If you are a small Firm or solo practitioner seeking Professional Liability Coverage, we are here for you! Please visit our website or call (877) 569-4111 for a Quick, Free Quote. Our policy rates are extremely competitive and geared towards the needs of small Firms and solo practitioners. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, and, as always, follow this WordPress Blog for the latest news, tips, and guides for small firms and solo practitioners!

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