Be Well, 0220 WYBJ, Vol. 43 No. 1. 38

AuthorMaryt L. Fredrickson, Ninth Judicial District Court & 307 Yoga LLC
PositionVol. 43 1 Pg. 38

Be Well

Vol. 43 No. 1 Pg. 38

Wyoming Bar Journal

February, 2020

Welness and the Solo Practitioner

Maryt L. Fredrickson, Ninth Judicial District Court & 307 Yoga LLC

Solo and small-firm practitioners have different wellness challenges than attorneys practicing in large firms. You aren’t just practicing law. You are running a business. Tat makes you the lead attorney in every case and also the office manager in charge of getting the copier fixed while also sending out bills and somehow squeezing in the all-important process of collecting on those bills. Despite that specialized superhero strength, when does a solo practitioner have time to strategize attorney wellness, much less implement a wellness plan?

Small firm and solo lawyers also face some special strains unique to the practice. For example, a solo practitioner working on a difficult family law matter may not have anyone to share that burden with, leading to exacerbated emotional fatigue with fewer outlets for relief. A solo practitioner helping with a divorce or an estate plan likely knows more than they care to about a client’s ability to pay, or not pay, when it comes time to bill and then to collect. Solo practitioners without an assistant also face unique financial challenges since many of their necessary tasks are clerical or nonbillable. Solo practitioners are burdened with the financial pressures of a small business with no other revenue generator to rely on. Solo and small firm attorneys also have fewer people in the office to vent to about difficult clients, opposing counsel, or just feeling overwhelmed. This dynamic can promote feelings of isolation.

While small and solo firms face unique wellness challenges, those challenges are not insurmountable. A solo or small firm likely does not have a wellness committee pumping in boxes with wellness newsletters, announcing fitness challenges, or setting up lunchtime yoga in the conference room once a week. Instead, solo and small firms have the opportunity to tailor wellness efforts in response to specific needs, interests, and available time.

Step One to Wellness: Quick Learning

First, learn about attorney wellness. The fact that you are reading this column suggests you are already on your way. The cliff ’s notes for learning about attorney wellness is this—attorney wellness is a big deal. It always has been, but it is getting more attention now thanks to some...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT