By Larry Redmond and Priscilla Orta, NLG Solo Caucus
At October’s NLG Convention in Oakland, the Solo Caucus met for the first time in–well, who knows how long! But one thing was clear: the energy was high, and the commitment to continue the Caucus was absolute. During the ensuing conversation, it became clear that the opportunity to network with fellow solo practitioners was much appreciated and sorely needed. Dave Mitchell, Matthew Olsman, Molly Armour, Rudy and Sabyl, along with Peter Erlinder, Art Heitzer and the authors rounded out the attendees.
One of the points that came up was the ease with which one can go into solo practice these days. Access to the ubiquitous Internet for pleadings, briefs and even advice from special interest listservs, along with an online research tool (which many state and municipal bar associations offer as part of their membership), is all that is needed. Gone are the days when the only way to get a mentor was to “associate yourself with someone.” Gone are the days when close proximity to a law library or shelling out beaucoup bucks each month to maintain your own was essential. Gone are the days when you needed a commercial office in order to appear “respectable.”
From the comfort of your home-office or a corner in the dining room, you can tackle the toughest problems on the planet—for the benefit of the planet if you so choose—while still wearing your PJs. And there is clearly something to be said for being able to nip down the hall to the kitchen any time you feel like it.
You can be the master of your own destiny. You can choose the areas you want to work in, and cherry pick the cases you want to work on. All you have to do is hit the lottery, marry a rich spouse or subscribe to the notion that food and housing are expendable luxuries.
Okay, maybe it won’t be easy. But that is what the Solo Caucus is there to help you with. Many of us are facing the same issues, and some of us have possible solutions. Some of us have been doing this for a while. And for those of you who have in fact been solo for a while, join us! The newbies need your help. Remember why you went on your own in the first place, and help others figure out how to navigate the same path.
So if you have that daredevil spirit or an innate distrust of authority or simply have a little nagging in your heart to go it on your own by the seat of your pants or skirt, we’re here for you—the National Lawyers Guild Solo Caucus.
For more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, Lredmond3@juno.com, or email@example.com. ■