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Champion of the Solos: Carolyn Elefant of “My Shingle.com”

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | August 30, 2008

Posted by Cliff Tuttle

It can be discouraging, being all alone. Some days you come home all beat up. Some days you worked 16 hours and didn’t make a cent. And some days, you remember with regret how easy it really was when somebody else did the job you just spent the whole day doing yourself.

The virtues of sole practice are many. But we need somebody to call them to mind. Nobody does that job better than Carolyn Elefant, author of the blog “My Shingle.com.” You may have noticed that it was added to the blogroll on the right hand column of this page.

Carolyn is a sole practitioner in Washington, DC. But she is also a very serious mother, an author of books, lecturer and giver of seminars. She is probably a few more things I don’t know about. And she is a mentor, advisor and cheering section for more single practice and small firm lawyers than you or I could count.

Carolyn preaches the gospel of solo practice to the galley slaves who man the oars in the triremes of Big Law. Here is a powerful example of vintange Elefant.

After observing the interaction of Michelle Obama, who once worked in a large Chicago law firm, with her daughters during the Democratic Convention, Carolyn mused:

” I couldn’t help thinking that even if Michelle Obama had worked at one of the fifty supposedly most family friendly law firms that she would have missed out on this type of experience. Michelle would have spent her time with her girls in carefully metered segment, from 7 pm when she arrived home until 8:30 pm when they went to sleep. And if Michelle Obama had brought her daughters to large firm meeting or conference (even on days when she was supposed to be working reduced hours), I’m sure she’d have been met with glowering stares or snide comments rather than the sheer delight that spilled forth from the convention audience.”

Carolyn persuasively argues that solos are the true pioneers in implementing advances in legal technology and trends that make law practice more efficient and effective. They bring down the cost of practice and thus the cost of legal services to the public. They are more likely to be wireless, paperless and even happy.

And she writes an outstanding, readable blog.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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