Solo practice is hard stuff: all the risk and responsibility with no one to help shoulder the load. As Three Dog Night sang all those years ago, “One is the loneliest number.” Yet 36 percent of all lawyers in Texas — more than 15,000 — are solos, according to the State Bar of Texas. Something must make it worthwhile. Here are three things that make solo practice a joy for me.

1. Eat what you kill: A solo enjoys all the financial rewards of his labors. Not some. Not a fraction resulting from a complex formula computed by a firm compensation committee working behind closed doors on the 48th floor. All the benefits. You find a client? Then you keep all the money made through him. You obtain a great recovery? Then you decide how to spend the fee in the case. It’s as simple as that. No part of a solo’s earnings goes to a senior partner who comes in at 10 a.m., checks his stocks in The Wall Street Journal, takes a long lunch and leaves at 4 p.m. A solo makes no one else’s boat payment. A solo is no one’s “leverage.”

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