About this Guide
This guide is intended to provide resources for attorneys who are:
- starting their own practice
- working in an "office share" environment
- working in a small law office, niche practice or boutique firm
The Web Resources link to materials that are freely available on the web. The book resources are found here in the University of Akron Law Library.
This is not meant to be a comprehensive resource. I carefully picked a sampling of resources available on each topic. There is more information out there but it can easily overwhelm a new attorney. Use this library guide as a starting point to gather information on creating your own solo or small practice.
The library guide has tabs to help you focus on certain aspects of your practice. I will update and add resources to keep the guide up-to-date.
Each state bar association has a solo practice committee that promotes small and solo firm practice. Many of these state bars provide resources for running a law office. The Ohio State Bar has a publication called OfficeKeeper. It includes checklists, forms, procedures and references for opening and maintaining a law office. If you practice in another state, visit your state’s bar association for something similar.
Definitions and links to information about office sharing, niche and boutique firms follow.
Office Sharing- " If you are a solo lawyer just starting out, sharing office space will allow you to pool resources, save money and ease the isolation of practicing alone." Source.
- Mark Robertson, Essentials of Office Sharing and executive Suites, Law Practice Today May 2009.
- Kathryn A. Thomspon, Keeping Your Office Sharing Arrangements with Other lawyers Squeaky Clean Under the Ethic Rules, Center for Professional Responsibiity May 2007.
- James Ellis Adden, Techno Ethics: Sharing Real (and Virtual) Offices, 29 GP Solo Sept./Oct. 2012.
Niche Practice- “A niche practice is a legal practice focused on a distinct segment of the business market. You may not think of yourself as a specialist or intend to develop a niche practice, but your clients and referrals may pull you in a particular direction that can give you and/or your firm more recognition and make your business more profitable.” Source.
"There are several ways to carve a niche out of the broader market. Some niche practices focus on practice areas, such as bankruptcy or personal injury law. Others focus on demographics, such as age, gender, occupation, income level, ethnic background, or marital status. Still others combine both practice area and demographic considerations—say, immigration law for athletes or estate planning for high-net-worth individuals. But in each case, the practice is focused on a distinct market segment." Source
- N. Andrew Rotenstreich, Got an Itch to Create a Niche?, Young Lawyer May 2007.
- Rudy Rivera, Developing a Nice Practice, GPSolo Magazine Jan./Feb. 2007.
- Ezekiel Callanan, Going Solo? Go Niche! Why Selecting a Niche Practice Over a General Practice is a Favorable Option for New (or Any Solo) Attorney, Law Practice Today Aug. 2012.
- Niche Practices, GP Solo March/April 2013.
Boutique Law Firms- "Boutique firms are dedicated to practicing one or two practice areas in which they are proficient." The size of the firm varies from one to many lawyers. Source.