Known colloquially as "hanging a shingle," solo practitioners work for themselves and can build their practices however they see fit. Some have a general practice, while others do just a single area of law, a collection of related practice areas, or find a niche based on client type.
Sports & Entertainment Law: Making a Solo Firm Work Against the Odds
Jeremy Evans, a 2011 graduate of Thomas Jefferson School of Law, managed to outlast hundreds who started law school hoping to do sports and entertainment law. He talks about the struggle to start his own firm, and why he thinks he was among the last standing.
A Lawyer for Tourists Who Got Out of Hand in Paradise
Alan Fowler, a 2006 graduate of Mercer University School of Law, primarily represents tourists who got in trouble while on vacation. He talks about finding clients, their urgency in resolving their legal trouble, and how he learns about what they really want. Alan reminds us that solo practitioners are small business owners who happen to provide legal services.
Estate Planning and Probate: Counseling on Legal Services and Otherwise
Kathryn Cockrill, graduate of Touro Law School, recently went out on her own to build a business in estate planning and probate. Kathryn explains the ins and outs of probate, for both the living and the deceased. She also mentions how she avoids bill collection pitfalls, why she will hire help once her firm is on more stable financial footing, and why her practice keeps her interested.
Appellate Lawyer: Telling A Court They Got It Wrong
Virginia Whitner Hoptman, alum of the University of Virginia School of Law, changed course several times throughout her career before settling back where she started with a highly-specialized appellate process. She discusses elitism in the world of appeals, how difficult it is to become a full-time appellate lawyer, and fundamental differences between appellate and trial lawyers.
Criminal Defense: The Business Side of Being a Lawyer
Solo practitioners are small business owners who happen to provide legal services. Matt Swain started his own criminal defense practice after graduating from University of Oklahoma College of Law. In this episode, Matt describes the importance of knowing your business inside and out, and techniques that make him more likely to notice opportunities to help his clients move forward with their lives.
Leaving The Law: What Drove One Lawyer to a High School Classroom
3.5 years after Jaye Lindsay graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Law, he longed for a better standard of living and work-life balance. After going solo and finding it impossible to manage debt, he decided to become a teacher and practice law on the side. This episode looks into the economics of small law firms and the evaluation of life priorities.
Video Game Law: Starting a Solo Practice with Niche Clients
Ryan Morrison, a 2013 graduate of New York Law School operates a firm centered on helping video game developers. Ryan’s work greatly varies depending on what his clients need, but often involved intellectual property and contracts. In this episode, Ryan tells us about the struggles of his job, and how he built a rare practice from a pro bono matter.
Representing Medical Malpractice Plaintiffs
Medical malpractice lawyers specialize in the tangle of medical responsibilities, norms, and facts. In this episode, Washington University School of Law alumnus Greg Aycock tells us how he transitioned from representing defendants to representing plaintiffs. He left his insurance defense practice on a leap of faith, and discusses the struggles of being your own boss and getting a firm off the ground.
Obtaining Writs of Mandamus to Assist Aggrieved Government Employees Through Administrative Appeals
The famous Marbury v. Madison case involved a writ of mandamus—an order to a government agency or official to behave in accordance with the law. In this episode, Michael Morguess discusses seeking writs of mandamus for clients fired by government agencies. Michael faces immense pressure with jobs and livelihoods on the line, but the intellectual challenge and thrill of victory buoy his non-traditional litigation practice.
Residential Home Transactions
University of Texas School of Law alum Barbara Stewart started her career as in-house counsel for a large communications company before venturing into real estate. Today, she spends her time drafting real estate transaction documents to help clients purchase and sell residential homes. If her sky-high malpractice insurance is any measure, its among the riskier practice areas around.
Settlement Negotiation for Vehicle Collision Plaintiffs While Confronting Sexism
Tricia Dennis is a graduate of the University of Tennessee School of Law and has been a personal injury attorney in Chattanooga for almost 30 years. Tricia talks about the struggles she’s faced operating a solo practice specializing in vehicle collisions. She walks us through a plaintiff lawyer’s perspective on client intake, negotiations, settlement, and the process of helping clients navigate an insurance maze.