How cool is this? Another solo posts his numbers!

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on May 2, 2014 in Randomness | Subscribe

Way back in October last year, I threw caution to the wind and posted this entry detailing my first-year revenues and expenses for the law firm, with a follow-up entry answering some of the questions I got.

Now I would never claim to be a trend-setter or anything ( ;) ), but I stumbled across a post from a solo practitioner down in Florida who posted his own revenue/expense figures1 — and he gives law:/dev/null a shout as the motivation for it! B-)

Here’s a snippet from the initial entry, “No Navigator, No Parachute, No Problem: An In-Depth Look at Flying Solo” authored under the nom de plume Florida Esq:

As part of my preparation, I started combing the Internet for any and all information I could find about starting a firm. I was looking for hard data: what are the costs involved in starting a firm, how much do new solos bring in, what works and what doesn’t when you’re starting out, and so on. Unfortunately, there was almost nothing like that. Instead, nearly everything I found fell into one of two very unhelpful categories: One was the “LAW SCHOOL IS A SCAM! BURN YOUR J.D.! YOU’LL NEVER MAKE IT!” crowd which has taken over many popular law blogs and message boards. The other was very basic, generalized stuff like “Network, do good work and if you make it through your first year, you’ll probably be okay.” Neither was much help.

One exception to this came from Greg Doucette, a North Carolina attorney whose blog I stumbled across one day. Greg did something I hadn’t seen any other attorney, new or established do: he put up a one year “postmortem” of his new firm with hard numbers, showing exactly what he made and spent, along with examples of what he did wrong (and right!) that first year and the changes he planned to make going forward. This information was just what I was looking for, and was much more helpful than pretty much anything I had found before.

Then a few days later he posted a follow-up detailing his first quarter revenue as a solo, with “No Navigator, No Parachute, No Problem: First Quarter of Flying Solo.”

Here’s a snippet from that one:

In summary, my first quarter led to approx. $22,575 of income and $8,114 of expenses, netting me approx. $14,461. I’ve taken $6,000 of that as paychecks, leaving my firm with nearly $8,500 in the bank. I know that might not seem like much to a lot of you, but after all the doom and gloom I read before starting out, I’m actually ahead of where I thought I would be at the moment. I’m still networking my tail off to increase my exposure and I know I need to be withholding more money to pay my taxes, but I think things have gone okay so far.

I’ll ignore his comment that $22.5K in a quarter “might not seem like much” or the fact he’s averaging over $1K-per-client — I’d (almost) kill for that kind of success :beatup: — and instead just say it’s freaking AWESOME that someone else is willing to open up their books to folks thinking about going into solo practice! :D

If “flying solo” is something you’re considering, definitely take some time and go read both of those entries.2 And keep an eye out for what he writes down the road :)

  1. A metaphorical stumble if not an actual one: many thanks to my friend Keith Lee over at Associate’s Mind for tweeting me the original link! []
  2. Aside from providing useful “hard data,” the guy also knows how to write — which makes reading entries on hard data infinitely more enjoyable ;) []

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1 Comment

Florida Esq.
May 5, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Florida Esq. here. Thanks for the shout-out. It’s always great to get support from other young solos.


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