Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Top tools for new lawyers and for Solo Practitioners "no win no fee blog"

New lawyers graduate every year from Law School. Associates leave Big Law practices daily. All are pursuing the American Dream of owning their own business; of being their own boss. As the boss, it is important that you consider the tools you intend to employ in your legal practice.
court and law
Practical tools exist to support those who chose the path of the Solo Practitioner. One very important tool is a Legal Forms Library. Instead of borrowing from friends who are in the same boat as you, consider a online service that provides unlimited access to all their forms. They offer unlimited downloads at a price that fits the Solo Attorney's budget.
Having been in the legal industry for over five years now, I find the discussions I have with new law school graduates to be the same time and time again. When I ask why are you signing up, they reply, "I'm tired of borrowing from friends" or "I spend more time on the phone looking for a form than I do actually doing legal work on the form." Time is valuable, for everyone involved; you, your friends, and most importantly, the client.
What is even more interesting is when solo practitioners, who have practiced law for years or decades, continue to sign up for the service. They are amazed when they find the library, they are impressed when they see the quality. Some may use the legal forms service daily while others may only download a form every other month. Either way, the fee structure of these types of arrangements is both affordable and practical for the solo attorney, as it does away with timed usage, extra charges. They actually charge a flat fee.
When considering a library for your practice consider these common situations:
  • A client walks through your door and needs a power of attorney, a simple will, or a bill of sale. STAT!
  • Opposing council sends you a humdinger of a motion that you have never had practice with and you need to respond within twenty-four hours.
  • It is the end of the day, or worse, it is the end of the day on Friday. You need to file a motion before the courthouse closes.
  • It is the weekend. You don't want to go to the office. You want to do the work from your home.
An online legal forms library solves all of these problems. You have online access so you can access the library from any place at any time. The library is always open - any time of day. The quality is high, this particular library provides state-specific forms and multi-jurisdictional forms for use in legal practice.
In particular with new attorney graduates, having a resource such as this, is affordable given the realities of going solo. While traditional publishers are going to charge through the nose, let your logic be your guide. The first goal is "how do I get my practice off the ground and not go further in debt than I already am?"
Consider tools such as the type of library discussed here. And while you are at it, consider other non-traditional suppliers/publishers in this age of the internet. The days of the legal industry being dominated by traditional publishers is waning, companies such as FormsPass are instrumental in making the legal profession more effective and efficient, with the solo attorney in mind.  


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