For students and graduates
Practicing in a solo or small firm setting offers attorneys and law students the opportunity to build their legal skills faster and do more complex work sooner and often while maintaining a more flexible schedule. In addition, many attorneys prefer the freedom and control of operating their own law practice.
Given these benefits, it is not surprising that attorneys working in solo and small firms (2-10 attorneys) comprise the majority of the legal profession. In the 2019 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report, 63% of respondents identified themselves as solo and small firm attorneys (32% and 31%, respectively).
Mitchell Hamline also attracts entrepreneurial-minded graduates interested in developing their own law practices or working in a small law practice. In fact, each year for the last five years, 15-20% of new Mitchell Hamline graduates chose to practice in the Solo and Small firm setting upon admission to the bar.
For this reason, Mitchell Hamline’s Solo and Small Firm Practice program provides programming, mentoring, and other guidance to support Mitchell Hamline students, recent graduates, and alumni seeking to become successful solo or small firm practitioners.
Solo and Small Practice webinar series
The solo and small firm practice program hosts a webinar series designed to support Mitchell Hamline students, graduates, and alumni interested in becoming successful solo or small firm practitioners.
Each webinar features solo and small firm practitioners and other subject matter experts who will provide valuable legal and small business tools to help Mitchell Hamline students, recent graduates, and alumni understand what it takes to build independent and sustainable Solo and Small Firm practices.
In 2020-2021, webinars are scheduled for one Monday each month. All webinars will be held via Zoom from 5:45-6:45pm CT on the given day. Join us for one of the following sessions:
- March 15, 2021 – Becoming a Rural Lawyer Registration
- April 19, 2021 – Identifying the Skills Needed to Be a Law Firm Owner Registration
Advance registration is required. Click on the link above to register for each session that you wish to attend. You will receive a registration confirmation via email.
- Sept. 21, 2020 – Paths from Law School to Solo and Small Firm Practice
- Oct. 19, 2020 – How Solo and Small Firm Practice is Different from Other Organizational Settings
- Nov. 16, 2020 – Finding an Externship or Clerkship at a Solo or Small Firm
- Jan. 11, 2021 – Choosing a Practice Area
- Feb. 8, 2021 – Deciding to Launch Your Own Law Practice
Solo and Small Practice Mastermind Groups
In 2020–21, Mitchell Hamline will introduce Solo and Small Practice Mastermind Groups that bring together Mitchell Hamline alumni, recent graduates, and students for small group peer-to-peer mentoring focused on providing support and advice to those alumni, graduates and students with a specific plan to launch a solo or small firm practice.
Mastermind Group participants will establish goals for launching and growing their solo and small firm practices and will benefit from the mutual support and differing perspectives of other group members, an expanded network of resources, and accountability partners as they work toward those goals. Mastermind Groups are open to all Mitchell Hamline alumni, recent graduates, and students practicing in any jurisdiction. Mastermind Groups will meet six times per year and participants are required to attend all meetings of their assigned group.
For more information about joining a Solo and Small Practice Mastermind Group, please contact Mitchell Hamline Professor Leanne Fuith (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Job shadows and alumni connections with solo and small firm practitioners
Every Mitchell Hamline student is partnered with a J.D. Career Advisor who assists the student in focusing their career interests, identifying their strengths, and developing a job search strategy. For students interested in Solo and Small Firm Practice, their J.D. Career Advisor can also assist them in making important professional connections with attorneys practicing in the Solo and Small Firm sector for informational interviews, job shadows, or other professional networking.
To learn more, contact your J.D. Career Advisor or email@example.com.
Solo and Small Firm Practice Pathway and curriculum
Mitchell Hamline’s Pathways to the Practice of Law is a course planning tool to help Mitchell Hamline students navigate course planning in over twenty distinct potential career paths, including Solo and Small Firm Practice. Visit the Solo and Small Firm Practice Pathway to explore the core courses, recommended courses, and other courses to consider at early or later stages of law school.
In addition to its practical, skills-oriented curriculum, Mitchell Hamline also offers a variety of courses designed to prepare students specifically for Solo and Small Firm Practice including Lawyer as Business Owner, Legal Practicum: General Practice and Business Practice, and the Solo Practice Residency.
For questions about the Solo and Small Firm Practice Pathway, contact Pathway Coordinator Professor Leanne Fuith (firstname.lastname@example.org)
LegalWise (formerly Collaborative Community Law Initiative)
Mitchell Hamline’s post-graduate law firm incubator
Mitchell Hamline has a post-graduate law firm incubator program exclusively for Mitchell Hamline graduates interested in launching solo law firm practices.
LegalWise is a nonprofit law firm incubator that teaches recent graduates of Mitchell Hamline School of Law to build sustainable, independent small-firm practices that serve the needs of low- and moderate-income Minnesotans.
For graduates not intending to practice in Minnesota, LegalWise also offers support and connections to other law firm incubators around the country.
Solo and small firm practice resources
- Clio Blog
- Diversity and Small Firms (2018 Report)
- MyShingle.com — Resource page for solo practitioners and small firms.
- Ramsey County Law Library – Solo and Small Firm Resources and Tips
- Rural Lawyer
- Solo Practice University
- Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division of the American Bar Association
- Solo and Small Firm Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association
- Valuing Small Firm and Solo Practice (by Prof. Ann Juergens)
Solo and small firm practice podcasts
- Clienting Podcast
- Lawyerist Podcast
- New Solo Podcast
- The Filevine Fireside Podcast
- Unbundled Attorney Podcast
Solo and small firm mailing list
Join our solo and small firm mailing list so we can keep you apprised of upcoming programs, events, and other activities. Subscribe by emailing email@example.com with the email subject line of “Solo and Small Firm Mailing List.”
Solo and small firm employers
Are you interested in hiring a Mitchell Hamline student or alum to work in your solo or small firm or in hosting a Mitchell Hamline student for an externship or residency?
- Create an account and post a position on Symplicity, Mitchell Hamline’s online career and professional development database.
- You can post openings on Symplicity for paid clerkships, externships and residencies (students work in exchange for academic credit), and volunteer opportunities, free of charge, for as long as the position remains open.
- For assistance with posting a position or questions about accessing Symplicity contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Please review the Office of Career and Professional Development’s Non-Discrimination Policy.
Mitchell Hamline is proud to offer our students a wide array of opportunities to earn credit by working outside of the law school with practicing attorneys in the community in externships or legal residencies. These programs aim to provide students with an opportunity to achieve their individualized learning goals and gain practical, real-world experience in order to facilitate smooth transitions into their roles as legal professionals. Read more about our Externship and Legal Residency programs.