TX Solo Update - March

In unison with everyone here, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing these updates! I think we're on a similar timeline, so your updates are of particular interest to me. I also passed the bar last year and decided to go solo early on in this year. My numbers are also very similar to yours. So far, the vast majority of my work has been contract work, and I only have one case of my own, though I feel optimistic that things will heat up soon.

I'm in no position to give advice, but I had an experience relevant to your post that I thought I'd share. Back in early February, I also reached out to a bunch of attorneys, had a lot of positive interactions, got a solid amount of contract work, and even ended up with a significant case referral. I wanted to make sure that I did a good job on my contract work, and I wanted to be very thorough on the case that was referred to me, so I basically stopped networking and focused on those tasks. I also had it in the back of my mind that I maybe had networked "enough" and that the connections I had forged would be sufficient to get me started.

But eventually I finished all of the contract work, and for reasons unrelated to me, the case that was referred to me ended up not happening. (This was also when I learned a lesson about when to have clients sign a fee agreement--I wasted a bunch of time investigating and prepping to file that case. Ah, the things you don't think about in law school.) People were happy with my contract work, and I've gotten more since, but they didn't immediately have any more for me. So basically, after a couple of weeks, it felt like I was at square 1 again: I had no work and no social momentum. I started reaching out to people again, but of course, most people wanted to schedule things to be a week or two out, so I basically ended up with a 3 week dry spell.

The takeaway for me was that I need to keep networking even when what I have seems good and promising. The pipeline is just as important as the docket.

Related to this, I only just started actively networking with non-attorneys. I joined a group, applied to volunteer somewhere, and will probably be join a meetup or two. Though nothing has officially come of it, it feels apparent that I'm building the sort of social base that leads to work, and I've enjoyed myself. I'm really kicking myself for not starting earlier, especially because it takes time. My sense is that you probably need to interact with people several times before they're likely to run to you with a matter. Assuming you join a weekly group, that's three weeks, and probably one additional for application processing, depending on the group. So I think it's better to get started on such things before you need them, not after.

All of that may be inapplicable to your situation, but I wanted to try to share something in return for what I get out of your posts.

I wish you the best of luck, and I look forward to your future posts. You seem like a cool guy, so I'm sure you'll do great. Feel free to PM me if you ever want to commiserate :).

/r/LawFirm Thread