Ever since I started working with attorneys on marketing their firms, I have developed what was called in the old neighborhood a "beef" with law schools. My complaint is simply this: law schools train young people to become associates in big law firms. Sometimes, they train them to be researchers. They even train them to be academics. What they don't do is train them to own a small business called a "law firm." In fact, they seem to teach no business skills at all.
Anyone who has ever worked in corporate America as part of a big organization (I worked for five years at The New York Times Company) and has also owned his or her own business can tell you that there is a world of difference in the skills required. To own and operate your own law firm — and to succeed financially at it — requires knowledge and skills that have nothing to do with your ability as an attorney. In fact, it is quite possible to be a brilliant attorney and starve in the entrepreneurial world of solo practice. That is why I am pleased to have been invited to be on the faculty of Solo Practice University. (Well, that and the huge salary.)
Solo Practice University is the brain child of Susan Cartier Liebel, an attorney, consultant, and coach. She apparently has the same beef with law schools, and has chosen to do something about it, creating the programs law schools should have, but don't. If you are a new attorney who wants to have a solo practice, if you already own your own small firm, if you are currently employed but thinking of going out on your own, I urge you to register and sign up for classes. I know some of the other (so-far-announced) faculty members, and I can assure you that this is a terrific opportunity for you to get the expert advice that can make the difference between flailing about for years or thriving in your practice.