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How to be independent

With reports of record numbers of solicitors taking the plunge as freelance consultants within a virtual firm, what motivates them? And how do they survive the first year without the safety net of a salary?

31 May 2017

There is no doubt that being one’s own boss, choosing the legal work one really wants to do, and managing one’s own working hours all have their appeal. More time with the family and no drop in salary? What’s not to like?

Certainly these are top of the list of reasons why solicitors are increasingly leaving established positions within traditional firms and taking the plunge as freelance solicitors within virtual firms. Who could argue against keeping a much larger share of billable hours and saying farewell to office politics?

But one issue often stymies many solicitors’ ambitions before they even begin: money. Specifically, how will they survive the first year, even two, without the cushion of that big firm salary landing in the bank account each month? How have solicitors who have turned their backs on partnerships and monthly salaries survived thr...

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