The Bar examination is the exam all practicing lawyers must take before they are eligible to practice law in a particular county or state. However completing the bar exam on its own is not enough to guarantee employment, and in the current economic climate it’s more difficult than usual to secure a job. One of the best ways around the current job shortage however, as many people are finding, is to go it alone and set up your own business. In law this might mean starting your own solo practice, and there are many benefits to doing so; so much so that even if you are currently a practicing attorney or otherwise employed, you may still be tempted by the idea of flying solo.
For a little bit of money up front, starting a solo practice can give you the satisfaction of working closer to the case, choosing your working environment and taking more profit as a result. It can also give you the flexibility to hone in on a niche area, gain business experience and choose your cases.
Fortunately if you have the determination to go for it then it’s actual not that hard or expensive even to set up your practice. First of all you will need to register with the government that you are going self employed and that will involve setting up tax. You will most likely want to register yourself as a sole trader, but should the need arise you can develop later into a limited company. The equipment you’ll need is fairly basic and setting up your home office won’t need to cost that much. First of all you need a computer and a printer, and most people already have both. Laptops are advisable as they’re far more practical and means you can have all your documents on you at any time and can have a ‘paperless law office’. Make sure that you have the necessary software for managing contacts such as Outlook and for managing your money such as GnuCash. Likewise ensure that your printer has scanning and faxing capabilities.
If you currently don’t have much experience as an attorney then it can pay to shadow a company that do something similar to what you want to do for a month or so. You won’t get paid for this but if you volunteer your services for free for a month a lot of places will be eager to have you. In return ask to be sent to their meetings and involved in their privy discussions.
Now that you have the experience and the to
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