Why Down Time is Nearly Non-Existent for Solo Attorneys

by Melanie Fischer on October 4, 2016

timeSimply put, there are only 24 hours in a day. To some solo attorneys, this is hardly enough time to get everything done.

With only a limited amount of time each day to work, eat, and sleep, how do solo attorneys find time to relax or spend time with their family?

Owning, managing, and running a solo law practice can be much more than a full-time job. As most solo attorneys who have been in practice for more than a short period of time understand, hours must be allotted to the following each day or week:

 Responding to E-mail and Voice Mail. Most solo attorneys must handle a constant stream of e-mail and voice mail messages. Reading, listening to, and responding to messages in a timely fashion is important. Many attorneys set aside a specific time each day to respond to messages. When too many messages are left unchecked, a backlog can result. Responding to e-mail and voice mail messages is something that must be accomplished on a daily basis.

Talking with Prospective Clients. Your law practice cannot function or survive without paying clients. Therefore, it’s important to set time aside each day to correspond with people who are likely to be in need of your legal services.

Networking. Communicating regularly with professional peers can help your business in several ways. Not only does networking keep you in the loop with the local legal community, but also it is an opportunity to market yourself. Networking often leads to referral clients – which is essential to the success of any solo law practice.

Marketing and Social Media. How will the public and prospective clients know about your law firm and the services you offer without an active marketing and social media campaign? Marketing is something that cannot and should not be ignored. Interacting with the public via social media is one quick and easy marketing tactic that should be completed on a daily (or regular) basis.

Managing Your Business. Unless you hire a person or a service to handle the operational duties associated with running a law practice, you must take care of these tasks on your own. Managing a law firm is something that requires daily attention.

 Besides all of the above-mentioned points, you still have to leave time for getting actual work done. Your clients are not going to be happy if you push them aside in order to make time for networking or attending a continuing legal education class.

While down time might be a rarity for solo attorneys, it’s still entirely possible to find time to relax, spend time with your family, and even take a vacation. When you are able to manage your time effectively, you should be able to make time for personal breaks.

As a young or new solo attorney, it can be difficult to determine where to focus the bulk of your time and energy. You might consistently find yourself wanting to spend several hours each day on your business operations or your marketing efforts.

Unfortunately, with only 24 hours available each day, you might not have enough time as you would like to spend on any one task. With very little down time, your work hours must be spent especially wisely. This can be easier with a pre-determined daily calendar that helps keep you on track.


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