How do you define success as a solo/small law firm attorney? Other than the baseline of keeping the firm going, I’m struggling with my view of this. I’d love to hear others mindset/thoughts.

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Being able to spend time with my family while still keeping food on the table and able to live comfortably (which is subjective)

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This!!

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Being able to hire a paralegal as a high market rate to assist you to bring in more cases, obtain more work, free up your billable time, and have theirs to bill for also, and overall becoming a person who has a very strong working relationship with their paralegal.

I’ve worked at 3 solo firms. Two were just horrible attorneys that would come to me for advice on simple matters. ONE was my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE and one of my best friends to this day.

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I would say some metrics would help you measure success. Of course, not everyone will measure success the same way. Some of the ways I would measure is business won vs proposed, billable hours, number of staff and offices.

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I’ve been a solo for over 20 years now- I still remember the rancorous monthly meetings, the distracting politics, and the absolutely crazy stuff that went on in ALL of the firms that I worked in as an associate. The peace of mind and ability to work on the cases I want have been the reward. There have been some lean years and there have been fat years in terms of revenue, and there are times when I think I probably could have made more money at a firm (maybe- maybe not!). I enjoy the ability to take time off when I want to-

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I agree with the peace of mind. You know you made it when you are no longer working day and night to make ends meet. But I still have a long way to go.

Yea, I would also say that is breaks down to metrics. The fact that you work for a small firm is cool in itself but analyzing where/why you won business will only help you improve clientele and your relationships amongst each other!

Start by looking at the ratio of your average hours worked per week or month to your average weekly or monthly income. You want a high ratio .. in other words lower hours and higher income, and the greater that ratio gets indicates you're doing things right, like charging higher rates, collecting more on invoices, putting together a better client portfolio (of those that have money and pay their bills on time), and carving off more personal time for yourself.

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