Solo From the Start

Beginning your legal career as a solo attorney

Periodically I get requests for Saturday and after-hour appointments. I used to feel guilty that I wasn’t more accommodating and early in my practice I did meet with clients after 6pm, usually in their homes. This meant that my own home life was disrupted since each time I did that, I had to make arrangements for my daughter, who needed to get to bed soon after I would be home.

I thought about what I was doing to my family time and realized that it just wasn’t worth the money being earned. I also began to feel like I was discounting how important my own time was by catering to clients’ schedules. Not that clients’ time isn’t valuable, because it is. However, people make time in their day for all sorts of things and the two hours I ask a client to be in my office over the course of most estate plans is a minor commitment for something so important.

I absolutely treasure my ability to make my schedule. Over my four years, I have made many calendar adjustments and each school year I shift my in-office hours to match my family’s needs. Should a client absolutely require a Saturday or evening appointment, I refer them to another colleague for whom that is the preferred schedule.

My happiness in my work is dependent on my own needs being met. By recognizing and honoring those needs, I am better able to serve my clients by setting realistic expectations for my availability.