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Texas Bar CLE
Law Practice Management Home    
Solo and Small Firm Practice
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According to recent State Bar of Texas statistics, 61 percent of Texas private practitioners work in firms with five or fewer attorneys. It’s important to know the resources available to you as a solo or small firm attorney. This is especially so since law school generally does not provide training in law practice management. Under this category, you’ll find resources from the State Bar of Texas and the American Bar Association, as well as links to helpful websites, blogs and reading material.

Please remember to research TexasBarCLE Law Practice Management CLE options, which also cover many of these topics. Also, remember to check with your local bar associations, specialty bar associations and the American Bar Association for additional resources. (For example, the American Bar Association now has a Solo and Small Firm Resource Center. Click here.)
The Texas Young Lawyers Association (Online Resource)  

The Texas Young Lawyers Association is a department of the State Bar of Texas. All licensed Texas lawyers 36 years old or younger or in their first five years of practice, regardless of age, are automatically members of TYLA. There are no additional dues to pay to be a member. TYLA offers many resources. A few worthwhile resources for solo and small firm practitioners are:

“Office in a Flash” (Online Resource)  

Office in a Flash was created by the Texas Young Lawyers Association in order to provide you with information on various topics relevant to establishing a law practice. The project includes information about business plans, firm structure, office logistics, technology, and how to obtain and manage your revenue. A free hour of CLE is available through this project.

State Bar of Texas’ Law Practice Management Support  (Online Resource)  

The State Bar of Texas offers a variety of Law Practice Management CLE options and resources.

Contingency Planning  (Online Resource)  

Contingency plans should be in place for foreseeable contingencies (such as illness or personal emergency) and should address all major operational issues necessary to meet and protect the interests of clients and office staff in your absence.

Solo and Small Firm Resource Center (Online Resource)  

“We have tried to collect in one place a useful “toolkit” for those of you considering entering into a new solo or small firm. On these pages, we hope you will find answers to (or at least new ways of thinking about) some of the questions you are bound to face as you consider the steps that will lead you to your own front door…Our purpose is to share with you some of our experience and some resources that (should or will) help you become prepared for what is likely to be one of the most important steps you will ever take.” (Excerpted from the ABA website)

Solo Practice University (Online Resource)  

Per its founder, Solo Practice University is “a single online destination where lawyers and law students learn the basics of running a solo practice, take classes and get expert feedback from professionals in specialized fields.”

Associate’s Mind  (Online Resource)  

Associate’s Mind provides commentary and news on professional development, law, social media, and technology – through the eyes of a new and developing lawyer.

MyShingle.com (Online Resource)  

According to the founder, “ MyShingle.com was the very first blog for and about solo and small law firms, and part of the first generation of 100 lawyer blogs to come online. To date, MyShingle.com remains the most comprehensive online resource for solo and small firm lawyers with thousands of blog posts and an impressive stock of free e-books, checklists and forms on starting and running a law firm.”

Small Firm Innovation  (Online Resource)  

Per the website, “Small Firm Innovation delivers first-person insights and advice to solo and small-firm lawyers from leading experts and experienced colleagues on the business realities of running a law practice.

Small Firm Innovation  (Online Resource)  

Per the website, “Small Firm Innovation delivers first-person insights and advice to solo and small-firm lawyers from leading experts and experienced colleagues on the business realities of running a law practice. Created in the wake of the financial crisis, when many law school graduates pursued the solo or small firm route and seasoned lawyers hung out their own shingles, the site exclusively emphasizes practical solutions for real-world challenges. Its heavy reliance on first-person accounts of small firm success creates an atmosphere for the dynamic exchange of ready-to-implement ideas. Small Firm Innovation is a resource by, for and about solo and small-firm lawyers.”

The Inspired Solo (Online Resource)  
Solos Supporting Solos (Live Event)  

This is a Houston-based group of solos, which meets on the third Thursday of each month for one hour. The meeting begins at 7:30 a.m. in the cafeteria at the Wortham Tower, 2727 Allen Parkway. For more information, contact James Brill at 713.626.7272.

State Bar of Texas website  (Online Resource)  

Always remember to check out the resources on the State Bar of Texas’ website, under “For Lawyers.”

Flying Solo: A Survival Guide for Solos and Small Firm Lawyers  (Book)  
by K. William Gibson
How to Start and Build a Law Practice  (Book)  
by Jay G. Foonberg
Solo by Choice: How to Be the Lawyer You Always Wanted to Be  (Book)  
by Carolyn Elefant
Teach Me to Solo: The Nuts and Bolts of Law Practice  (Book)  
by Hal Davis
The Ultimate Guide to Solo and Small Firm Success  (Book)  
by Renee Caggiano Berman, Lewis K. Parker and Emma L. Gormley
Newsletter of the State Bar of Texas Law Practice Management Program  (Newsletter)  

This newsletter cover a variety of topics related to solo and small practice.

The Lawyerist  (Legal Research)  

The Lawyerist is a law practice blog that provides advice on law firm marketing, practice management, technology, career development, law school success, legal ethics, and how to start a law practice.

General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division (Online Resource)  

SoloSez is a listserv of the American Bar Association’s General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division. According to the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division Website, SoloSez “is a forum for lawyers who are practicing alone or in a small firm setting, particularly those in firms of five or fewer lawyers.”

The State Bar of Texas’ General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section (Online Resource)  

For more than 40 years, this section has devoted its energies primarily to the interests of solos and small firm lawyers. Among other activities, it publishes a Digest and co-sponsers an annual institute for general practitioners.

Hangin’ Out Your Shingle (Online Resource)  

Things to Consider Before Starting Your Own Practice: This program is designed to assist lawyers who are contemplating starting their own law practice.

Texas Young Lawyers Association’s “Tools for Winning New Clients”  (Online Resource)  
Texas Young Lawyers Association’s “Survival Guide” (Online Resource)  

This “Survival Guide” is a product of the Texas Young Lawyers Association’s Membership Committee and is modeled after a similar guide produced by the Houston Young Lawyers Association. It is designed to provide fundamental information that new lawyers might not otherwise have at their fingertips.