1. Tell me a little about your law firm/practice.
I wear two hats. First, I am commercial lawyer who works primarily with other lawyers and law firms by taking on their overflow legal work. My expertise is in commercial contracts, specifically for online businesses. Second, I coach lawyers one on one and in group settings to help them build the legal practice of their dreams. I help with their marketing, sales, systems and mindset (but not necessarily in that order).
2. Why did you start your own firm? How did you make this decision?
I worked in Big Law for many years before deciding to go solo. I took some time off before starting my firm and during that time I ran an online business that was completely unrelated to the law. While running this business, I met a lot of inspiring entrepreneurs who were making a living doing what lit them up. I was hooked and that is precisely when the entrepreneur in me was born. I decided to run a virtual law firm, doing work I love for clients that inspire me.
3. What are some of the benefits of running your own firm?
Ohhh, where do I start? Flexibility and autonomy are likely the two biggest benefits that I have experienced. If I want to take a day off, I can. I do not have to report to anyone (other than my clients). Also, being able to pick and choose my clients and the work that I take on is very satisfying. I truly enjoy working with my clients because they are people that I enjoy spending time with.
4. What are some of the challenges of running your own firm? How have you tried to overcome them?
When I was in Big Law, there was always someone down the hall that I could go to with a question about a file. As a solo, I don’t have that same support. I have overcome that by building up my network of lawyers. I have a tribe of other lawyers who are so supportive and encouraging of one another. They are truly the best!
5. What advice would you give to a lawyer thinking about starting their own firm?
I think I could write a book on this topic. Who knows, maybe I will one day.
First and foremost, determine what you want your life to look like in 5 or 10 years. Where will you live? What will you do in your spare time? How many hours do you want to work? How much vacation time do you want to take? Don’t be afraid to dream and dream BIG! It is amazing what we can achieve when we put our minds to it. Once you have that vision in your mind, set up your practice so that you can achieve that life. Do you want to travel and work virtually? Great! This means you need to have a solid cloud based infrastructure and a practice that leans itself to virtual work (or at least a fantastic team on the ground who can meet with clients and/or attend court). Do you want to be known as the best divorce lawyer in Canada? Fantastic! Get to know journalists who will turn to you for your opinion on high profile cases. Write articles and speak at events. Get to know divorce law inside and out. One of my favourite quotes is “Decide what kind of life you really want…and then, say no to everything that isn’t that”.
Going out on your own is intimidating. But it is exciting at the same time. Find a tribe that you can trust and turn to for help. Because you are going to need it. Surround yourself with people who light you up and inspire you.
Thank you, Amy, for taking the time to participate in this series and for sharing with us the insights you have learned starting your own firm.
ICYMI our previous posts featured Emilia Coto, Karen Kwan Anderson, Shamim Ara, Mitchell Rose, Lisa Feldstein, and Ellen Low.
Stay tuned for more profiles coming soon....