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#WhyIAmASolo – I Decide When I Get A Raise.


It seems appropriate to discuss salary and compensation on Labor Day. Work and labor are not only the way our society thrives; but, are, in my opinion, the way that we make our lives meaningful and complete. Not all labor feeds the soul; but, work we are passionate about, and enjoy most of the time, makes our lives richer and more joyful. Solo law practice isn’t really designed to make a lot of money, except for the rare few. But, the freedom and control it provides are worth far more than money. Solo practice also has afforded me a way to continue working as long as I want, and when I want. While I have the ability to give myself a raise, the money isn’t always there to do so. But, I have an aversion to being subject to the whims and desires of others, and each of us must decide how much freedom we are willing to give up for a more structured life. I wear no crown; and, at the top of BigLaw, the phrase “uneasy lies the head that wears a crown” comes to mind. Yes, the higher ups in BigLaw get to make the decisions, and there is a certain freedom in that; but, they are also at the mercy of the actions of many others, and deal with many problems that solo lawyers avoid. Young lawyers, pick your poison. I fell into solo practice by accident, when no big law firm recruited me. But, I knew immediately, fifty years ago, that I loved enjoying the small accomplishments. If you have to ask someone else for a raise, you are beholden to them. I prefer the risk and reward of doing it all by myself. Happy Labor Day. Enjoy your labors. They are a big part of your life. Live it.




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