Making a living as a solo can be a lonely business. Attorneys who are going to do it ought to have a virtual firm, a Web of other lawyers whose opinions they trust, support staff to the extent needed, family, an accountant and plenty of friends.

But even with such a safety net in place, there will be times when the solitary nature of the solo’s calling will settle in like a thick fog. At times like that, inspiration and energy can come from fictional accounts of the solo lawyer, that brave (if half-mad) loner tilting at windmills in the interest of justice. Such images, especially those found in motion pictures, can buck up a solo when nothing else will. As Ernest Hemingway said, “As you get older, it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.” Here are three inspirational Hollywood characters and some lessons they hold for the solo.

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