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Solo Practice

Introduction

Starting your own law practice is intimidating, but there are freely available resources that help make it possible.  A great place to start is by joining your state and/or local bar association.  Almost all state bar associations provide its members with free or highly-discounted access to an online legal research service, usually either Casemaker or Fastcase.  Use this map to see what your association provides you with.  

Also be sure to check out the Law Library's research guide on Free and Low-Cost Legal Research.  In addition, make use of government websites, including those of state legislatures and federal and state courts.  Many materials can be found for free using these sources.

Bar Associations & Other Organizations

ABA Solo and Small Firm Resource Center: The American Bar Association maintains this resource center specifically for individuals who are solo practitioners or working in a small firm.  It has many helpful resources:

  • Networking Opportunities: A schedule of conferences and meetings for both the ABA Solo and Small Practice Group as well as state bar association events.
  • Forms Library: A collection of forms that might be helpful to solo practitioners.  The library contains a selection of state forms as well.
  • SoloSez: An ABA maintained discussion list for solo practitioners and small firm lawyers.
  • State and Local Bar Association Resources: A state by state list of solo practitioner and small firm resources.

Solo Practice University: This is an online educational program founded by a solo practitioner who wanted to make it easier for others to start their own practice.  Subscribers can enroll on a monthly, semi-annual, or annual basis.  Subscribing will provide you with access to online courses on a variety of topics, CLE credits, and an online networking community.  Enrolling is costly, but the website also maintains a blog that can be helpful if you do not want to spend the money to join.

Solo Practitioner & Small Firm Blogs

My Shingle: This long-running blog is a fantastic resource for solo practitioners and those who think they may want to start their own practice.  You can look at the Start a Law Firm Guide that will walk you through all the steps of the process--planning, fees, marketing, and ethics to name a few.  The site also maintains a forms library, including some state resources.  You can also browse through archived blog posts by topic.

Lawyerist--Starting a Law Firm: Similar to My Shingle's Start a Law Firm Guide, this blog provides you with steps you need to take to start your own firm, and then links you to blog posts on those topics.

Above the Law--Solo Practitioners: These are posts from Above the Law's general blog that will be of interest to solo practitioners.

Books in the Law Library