It is a pleasure to join the diverse and talented group of writers here at Lawyerist, and I am excited to share some of my thoughts and experiences on starting a solo practice. I started my own estate planning practice in St. Paul, Minnesota last year and have been able to balance it (mostly) successfully with a family, military service and a developing golf game.
A life-long native of the St. Paul area, I attended college at the University of St. Thomas and went to law school at the University of Minnesota. Throughout college and law school, I served in the Air National Guard and deployed to all sorts of less-than-awesome locations throughout the Middle East. I didn’t realize at the time that getting my tuition paid for by the military would involve so much sand and so many anthrax shots, but I would definitely do it again if given the chance.
Throughout all the excitement of law school and overseas deployments, I also somehow managed to start a family without screwing anything up too badly. My wife and I have two beautiful daughters that demand more attention than any nightmare client ever could, though with probably the same amount of screaming.
Along with being a relatively new solo practitioner, I am also a newly-minted JAG attorney in the Wisconsin Air National Guard. I recently returned from four months of Officer Training School and military legal training and now have the rather strange pleasure of trying to juggle my shiny new military responsibilities along with growing my own practice.
I plan on sharing some of the growing pains that I experienced in marketing and developing a new practice, and hope to spare readers some of the mistakes that can often be made by fellow lawyers and lawyers-to-be. I also hope to discuss some of the strategies that I have used in growing my practice through networking, volunteering and blogging.