When starting a solo or small practice, a lawyer has to consider many new business details that were unnecessary while working for a larger firm. How do taxes differ for sole proprietorships versus other entity types? What are the necessary business or trust accounts for each individual lawyer? What is the most important thing to consider when paying taxes and acquiring insurance? Any lawyer who is starting a solo practice, confused by the options and information available, can make costly mistakes.
In this episode of New Solo, Adriana Linares interviews Reba Nance and Bill Gibson, two experts in the field of law practice management, about what steps lawyers can take in the beginning of their solo practice to optimize their chance of success. Nance recommends several bank accounts with clear paper trails that are reconciled regularly, acquiring malpractice insurance even if the state does not require it, and not taking shortcuts when pressured by clients. Gibson encourages lawyers who have newly gone solo to seek help and talk to a CPA, pay taxes and automate their payroll systems, and not overlook general liability and workers comp insurance. Both practice management experts highly advise any lawyer to carefully read the professional conduct rules and ethical regulations of each state. Starting a new practice is difficult; no lawyer should be afraid to ask for help.
Reba Nance is a law practice and risk management manager of the Colorado Bar Association. In addition to being a frequent presenter on topics such as legal technology and malpractice prevention, she is the first female chair of the ABA tech show.
Bill Gibson has practiced personal injury litigation in Portland, OR since 1979. Working as a full-time neutral since 2000, he has also written several books on law practice management including one of the latest ABA books called Flying Solo.
Special thanks to our sponsor, Solo Practice University.