Becoming a sole practitioner is exciting and can be an excellent opportunity. Solicitors are used to long working hours, dealing with office politics and high levels of stress – but it doesn’t have to be that way. While this way of working may not be the right fit for everyone, becoming a sole practitioner can offer you a career that is fulfilling and enables you to have a great work-life balance.
Here, we focus on some of the key questions about becoming a sole practitioner:
- What is it like to be a sole practitioner?
- Why become a sole practitioner?
- How do I know if becoming a consultant solicitor is right for me?
- How do I speak to my family about the career move?
To find out more about becoming a sole practitioner with IMD Solicitors, get in touch with us today.
What is it like to be a sole practitioner?
Working as a sole practitioner allows you to take on the work you are most interested in, build a varied client base, and offers unlimited earning potential. However, it is important to consider whether setting your own working hours is right for you, as it does come with its own challenges. Being partly responsible for marketing and business development in addition to building your reputation to attract the best clients can take time, but we can support you each step of the way.
Why become a sole practitioner?
More and more, people value independence in their working lives. Becoming a sole practitioner is the ultimate move towards a more independent career. You can leave behind the stress associated with being an employee and instead organise your work to suit you. Perhaps you will design working patterns to maximise productivity and improve efficiency or enjoy spending less time in firm-wide meetings.
As a sole practitioner, you will be developing new skills quickly. You will need to be truly dedicated to client service as your income will be directly tied to keeping existing clients happy and attracting new business. You will also develop your ability to manage your own working schedule in a way that you would never need to when working as an employee of a firm.
Rewarded for hard work and expertise
For many, the key attraction to becoming a sole practitioner is financial. You can set your own billing rates, which reflect your level of expertise and the time you spend with clients. The more clients you take on and the more work you do, the higher your take-home pay. Often, becoming a sole practitioner is the antidote to feeling overworked and underpaid.
Improved work-life balance
There is no denying that life at a law firm can make maintaining a good work-life balance difficult. When you become a sole practitioner, you can work out how much you would like to earn and then work the hours you need to meet your own target. With the flexibility of setting your own working hours, you can enjoy more time with family and friends, more time for personal hobbies or projects, and an all-round better quality of life.
How do I know if becoming a consultant solicitor is right for me?
Only you can decide whether this change of structure to your career path is right for you, but the questions below can help you make your decision.
Is there room for me to grow in my firm?
Many lawyers make the move to self-employment simply because there is not much room for career progression at their firm. Perhaps the firm is top-heavy with many partners and senior associates, or maybe salary increases have stalled. You may simply be bored with the type of work the firm is bringing in. Moving to become a sole practitioner might be a good option to progress your career.
Do I feel fulfilled working for a firm?
There is more to a career as a lawyer than making money, and working as a consultant solicitor gives you more opportunities to find fulfilment in your career. You can choose the work you take on and the clients you work with, but you also decide how you work. Perhaps work fulfilment for you means working hard so you can spend more time with your family; an opportunity that comes hand in hand with working as a consultant solicitor.
Would I like to have more control over my working life?
As a sole practitioner, you can have more control over your working life; however, this does not suit everyone. Choosing your working hours, patterns and how much you bill can be too much responsibility for many people. You will need to consider whether you want the added element of decision making in your career, and whether you are the type of person who is suited to this level of responsibility.
Do I have the motivation and drive to become self-employed?
Being self-employed is challenging. You will need to play a part in marketing your services and motivating yourself to do your best work without pressure from a superior. Being a consultant solicitor requires hard work and drive, but the rewards are directly tied to your efforts, unlike in a traditional firm.
How do I speak to my family about the career move?
While the benefits of working as a consultant solicitor are evident, we understand that many people will need to discuss an important career move with their partner. Explaining that you will no longer be receiving a salary can be challenging, especially if they do not understand how being a consultant solicitor works.
You should set out clearly the practicalities of becoming a consultant solicitor with IMD Solicitors, and how this will be better for your career and work-life balance. Financial prospects and improved quality of life should make your partner as excited and confident about the move as you are.
It is important that you also explain the potential difficulties when making a career move, as you may need the support of your partner and family if you encounter teething problems at the beginning. They may have concerns about whether you will be able to attract enough business to support yourself and your family, and you should be prepared to address their concerns. You may find the information on our website about becoming a sole practitioner helpful in this regard.
Join IMD Solicitors as a Consultant Solicitor
Becoming a sole practitioner can be exciting, and we can help you shape your career in the way you want. If you are ready to do the best work for your clients, while ensuring you have the right work-life balance, get in touch with us today. To learn more about working with us as a consultant solicitor, please call us on 0330 107 0107 or email us at email@example.com, and we will get back to you right away. We look forward to hearing from you.