Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

The Only Two Things A Solo Needs To Worry About

The only two things a solo needs to worry aboutThere are only two things a new lawyer needs to worry about, said my very first legal mentor – a county judge named Gus - back in Charleston SC more than 30 years ago.

Number one is your phone won’t ring. Number two is your phone won’t stop ringing.

Like every bit of advice from Judge Gus, that nugget was pure gold.

Every solo practitioner stresses about making enough money to survive. And once the business starts coming, the real craziness begins.

That’s when you have to start pondering such questions as:

  • Should I accept this case or turn it down?
  • Do I have the foggiest notion of what this client wants?
  • Is it really a big deal that the client arrived in a straitjacket?
  • What in the world should I charge for this service?
  • How complicated can maritime law be?
  • So what if the client has hired and fired half a dozen other lawyers before me?
  • If I take this case, should I triple my malpractice limits?
  • Why didn’t I listen to my Uncle Earl and go to dental school instead?

I started thinking about all when I read a blog post from Law Business Mentors titled “The 3 Biggest Problems in Your Law Practice – And How To Solve Them.”

Problem Number One was a variation on the wisdom of Judge Gus, to-wit: “You are getting calls, but not converting inquiries into appointments.” In other words, prospective clients are calling but nothing else is happening.

The other two problems were:

  • “You are setting appointments, but your prospects cancel before they even make it into an initial meeting with you.”
  • They make it, only for you to hear – “we need to think about it” or some other version of thanks, but no thanks.

Naturally I wanted solutions to this trio of dilemmas. But to get answers you had to click on a link that took you to some sort of “training call.”

I passed on the training call. I didn’t really need it. I already had the answers – given to me back in the 1980s by kindly Judge Gus.

Treat clients the way you like to be treated, he used to say.

Pure gold, like I said.

Jay Reeves a/k/a The Risk Man is an attorney licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina. Formerly he was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. There really was a Judge Gus, and anyone who met him was lucky indeed. Contact, phone 919-619-2441.

Source: Law Business Mentors

About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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