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Growing Your Solo Practice

Attorneys Appearing in Court

Having success as a solo practitioner is an absolute thrill; it’s a validation of all the hard work you’ve put into your practice, an affirmation of your skills and talents. This success is a powerful motivator to continue, but it can be difficult to know how to grow your practice without sacrificing what made it special to begin with. There’s no clear cut answer for this, but there are a few things to keep in mind when expanding your firm.

Develop a Niche

Developing a niche is one of the biggest keys to success in law; if you’re having success with your solo practice, it’s likely you already have a good idea what your niche is. There’s an incredible article by the ABA about the benefits and pitfalls of a niche practice. The benefits are varied, but two of the most important are that you’ll enjoy what you do (so long as you develop a niche you care about) and that, when your niche is well chosen, you won’t have a lot of competition in the area. Niches can be based on location, demographic, speciality; feel out the market, think about what you enjoy, and create a niche.

Hire Staff

At some point, you’re going to need to hire more staff. This staff might take the form of support staff, or it may be other attorneys that you bring on. The risks with bringing on other attorneys is clear; if they work in a niche relevant to your own, you may see an uptick in potential conflicts. This means you’ll have to thoroughly vet for such conflicts and change your evaluation based on these; you’ll also need to create a database with all attorneys and clients in order to stop potential future conflicts. You may not have grown enough that you need more attorneys on staff; if that’s the case, you can hire an experienced appearance attorney on a case by case basis for when you need someone to fill in.

Hiring support staff, conversely, won’t bring you conflict. They will, however, bring you additional administrative challenges; it’s your duty to make sure they understand their legal and ethical duties. As their employer, you’ll need to ensure training programs are in place, as well as the appropriate resources so they can do their jobs. The advantages of support staff are clear; some of the drudgework that’s been taking up your time can be passed to them, freeing you up to focus on client acquisition and retention.


This is especially useful once you’ve established your niche and hired enough staff for an influx of clients. Market your success in this niche, and market to the niche; if you’ve chosen it well, you should see a greater than average number of clients coming to your firm. It bears mentioning that one of the disadvantages of niches is that sometimes your niche market will be a bit cold; try to set up marketing so that when things heat up, you’re the one that clients will call.