I was going over my various blogs and I thought I would visit my first one – this one.  It has been a couple years since I started this blog to serve as my outlet while I moved from a law firm job, to taking the bar exam in another state, and, essentially starting my legal career over again.

I haven’t posted on here in months.  I may not post here again in months.  I may post next week.  I may never post again.  Who knows.

However, I wanted to say to all those lawyers who find there way to this blog  – which was started by an amateur business man who just really, really wanted his own law practice – you can do it.  Seriously.  If you want to, go start a law firm.

It isn’t always easy, it isn’t always fun.  But, if you want it bad enough, you can do it.

The first few months are probably going to be tough. The middle months can be amazing.   When you really start cooking it is a great feeling.  Then you realize you got to keep feeding the beast.

I’ve made more money than I ever did at a law firm.  I have freedom.  I save what I want for retirement.  I call all of the shots.  I am a Minnesota estate planning and probate attorney.  Nobody tells me what to do.  I pick my clients.  I work my ass off if I want to and take vacation if I want to.   I love it.  I am happy.

Getting new clients is always tough, but they are there.  Be bold.  Take a chance.  If you can stomach the risk, do it.  Do it right and don’t look back.

I will leave you with this:


Starting Law Firm | I’m still here

by JMF on December 4, 2012

I am about eight months into starting a law firm.  I don’t know if I have “made it” yet but I can tell you that the absolute terror and nervousness is gone.  I almost feel like this is my real “career” now.  I have a long ways to go, but I got a lot of it down – not everything, but a lot of it.

I am not sure what people want to hear or not.  I am also not sure I what direction I want to take this blog (if I want to take it any direction at all).  As anybody who read this may know, I haven’t posted here since June.  Will I post again next week?  Next month? Tomorrow or in three months?  I don’t know.  I can tell you that blogging takes up too much time and when I am trying to make money by selling my time, blogging tends to just get in the way.  That being said, it does work.

So how does it work?  Basically, blogging gets a search engine’s attention.  Let us not get lost in the woods.  This blog is found by search engines.  Their value  cannot be denied.  I think SEO and all that stuff is scummy and can be borderline unethical at times.  Yet, it can’t be any worse than billboards or those ads you see on television.  But, I continually questions what is the value of blogging – or anything for that matter.

If you want to start a law practice, I would probably recommend blogging if you like writing and you are an introvert.  It is long and tedious.  Have a plan and stick to it.  I haven’t stuck to it.  I have, however, gotten some good (and bad) clients from the internet.  It works.  What else works? Networking, social clubs, friends, connections, print advertising, etc.  What is the best?  I have no idea.  I will let you know when I figure it out.

Anyway, the point of this post is that I am still here.  I am still running my own law practice and I am successful.  I have branched out a little and now consider myself a Minnesota business lawyer.  I have not “made it” yet, but I think I will.  My definitions of success have changed a bit.  I have learned a lot.  I am enjoying the ride.



Rural Lawyer v. Big City Lawyer

June 20, 2012

I’m struggling a bit with my practice area focus.  No, not my legal practice area, my firm location area. I live in a small town just off the fringes of the Twin Cities.  I’m closer to St. Paul than to Minneapolis but it is all relative.  I have gotten several clients out of most of […]

Read the full article →

Solo in Minneapolis has a New Look!

May 23, 2012

For any of my readers who care – I am redisgning this blog.  Why?  Because business is a little slow and I didn’t like how it looked. Warning:  designing and redesigning the way a blog looks has very little bearing on starting a law firm. Don’t fall into the trap of making things look pretty […]

Read the full article →

Starting a Law Firm | Business Plans | Solo in Minneapolis featured in Minnesota Lawyer

May 14, 2012

In an effort to post more on starting a law firm, I wanted to let my readers know that I was recently featured in a nice article on Minnesota Lawyer’s solo and small firm website:  Solo Contendre. Reporter Dan Heilman contacted me several weeks a go to do an interview.  He was looking for my thoughts on […]

Read the full article →

Iowa lawyer suspended 30 days for $2,500 minimum fee.

April 13, 2012

As reported by the ABA Journal and Lawyerist, an Iowa lawyer was suspended for 30 days for keeping a $2,500 minimum fee on a criminal law matter. According to the article, the lawyer only completed 3.7 hours of work  – including 1 hour spent doing an accounting.  The case against the client was ultimately dismissed […]

Read the full article →

Starting a Law Firm | Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Roadmap

April 13, 2012

I wanted any readers out there who are either (1) contemplating or (2) starting a law firm that Minnesota Lawyers Mutual (MLM) now has a blog and roadmap for lawyers who are looking to go out on their own. This helpful tidbit of information was reported by Andrea Hable at the Minnesota State Bar Association […]

Read the full article →

Starting a Law Firm No-Nos | Minnesota Law Firm scammed to tune of $400,000

April 11, 2012

As reported by the ABA Journal, the Minnesota law firm of Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz (MGM) has sued Wells Fargo Bank for cashing a fraudulent check in the amount of nearly $400,000 from MGM’s IOLTA account.  Click here for a copy of the complaint.  Bad news. According to reports in the Minnesota Star Tribune, MGM was the […]

Read the full article →

Starting a Law Firm | Online fax resources for lawyers

April 6, 2012

While doing the due diligence and trying to set up faxing services for my law firm, I discovered a nifty little comparison website for online faxing for lawyers.  Great! I wanted to share my find with readers of this legal blog. The fax comparison website is aptly titled www.faxcompare.com.  Cool! The comparison site does a […]

Read the full article →

Starting a Law Firm? | The Future of Law Practice and a Takeaway from the ABA Techshow

April 5, 2012

Great post by lawyer David Bilinsky on his blog Thoughtful Legal Management about the use of technology and the future of the law practice. As a practicing family law attorney, I understand much of what Mr. Bilinsky is trying to say.  I do wonder, however, whether many lawyers are simply resistant to change because they are too […]

Read the full article →