Going Solo - Starting Your Private Practice

  • November 24, 2021
  • Ola Oshodi, ACIS

There are so many challenging decisions you will find yourself contending with after being called to the bar and through the lifecycle of your legal career. It is tough enough going through the bar licensing journey, yet after being called to bar, you are faced with the reality of how to navigate your career path, which will differ from your initial plan while at law school most of the time. Some career options for lawyers include joining a law firm, going in-house with a corporation, starting your own private practice, or even branching off the traditional practice of law. Whatever career path you choose, there are limitless opportunities, and your law training will always come in handy. 

Your decision to start your own private practice may be based on various reasons, including business or personal factors such as a change in family situation, the inability to be gainfully employed, the need to take charge of the direction of your practice, your personal conviction that it is about time to branch out on your own; or it might simply be motivated by a need to do things differently from the traditional practice of law. Whatever reason you choose to go solo, bear in mind that you are not alone and that there is a whole army of legal soloists waiting for you to reach out to them.

I am often asked by potential legal soloists about the basic essentials of starting a private practice. While this is not a light decision, it should be noted that you do not need to break the bank to take off. A laptop, a good speed internet connection and a phone are the basic tools required to start your private practice. While I have been told in some quarters to have decent savings before going solo, the issue with that assertion is that not everyone can have savings before going solo for reasons that are beyond the scope of this article. While it is nice to have some savings, it does not determine the success or failure of your solo practice.