Go Solo, Life is (More) Balanced There

  • January 03, 2019
  • Omar Ha-Redeye

According to the Law Society of Ontario’s 2017 Annual Report, almost three-quarters (73.3%) of all law firms in Ontario are sole practitioners, comprising the employment of nearly a third (31.5%) of all lawyers in the province. Despite these statistics, I don’t recall sole practice being emphasized much in law school.

Instead, like most law schools, I heard a lot about the large law firms, who are a miniscule percentage (0.3%) of all of the practice structures in Ontario. In part, it’s because these large firms still provide a large component of legal employment (19.7%), including the highly coveted articling positions. But once you are called to the bar, chances are you’re not likely to spend the rest of your career in a large law firm.

There are many reasons for this, including how law firms are structured, and the high levels of attrition that occurs before making partner. Far less recognized is that the nature of practice within a larger context provides far less flexibility, and makes its own demands on a lawyer’s time and mental health.