New solo lawyers are often attracted to setting up practice in a large metropolitan area. But is that really the best choice?
No doubt big cities have the most clients, but they also have the most lawyers. Who are other lawyers? Your competition! And in a big city, how does one solo stand out from a sea of other attorneys?
New solos who fail to consider a small town practice are doing themselves a great disservice – at least in my estimation. In a small town, you can create a niche and become part of the community. You automatically stand out – sometimes as the only lawyer in town.
If you’re a skeptic, consider what others have had to say:
Small Towns Have Jobs for Young Lawyers – The Lawyerist
I was born in a small town, I will practise in a small town – Canadian Lawyer Magazine
Practicing in a small town will also save you money – rent will be lower, utilities and services are less, and taxes are likely to be less of a burden. And the ratio of clients-to-lawyers will usually be in your favor – sometimes marketedly so. (Believe it or not, there are places in Oregon that are under-lawyered.)
So if you can be flexible, and you are willing to put down roots in a new place, small town practice may be your quickest path to success.
Copyright 2012 Beverly Michaelis