Last week I told you we would look into ways you could “partner” with another attorney but not in a traditional way with contracts, space, etc.
One of the first ways is, of course, by sharing space. In this scenario you simply rent a space with communal areas that you share. This is usually a waiting room, kitchen, copier, etc. You split the rent.
CAVEAT: Be sure to keep your signage separate so that clients could never mistake the other person for your partner.
A second way of partnering is by joining with another attorney on a legal project.
CAVEAT: Take care to have the responsibilities and fees figured out in detail before you begin. You might even have a written informal contract to lay out who will do what and who will pay costs. How fees will be collected and distributed is a major decision.
Another way to partner is to do networking and speaking together. This works best when the two people are not practicing in the same areas(but related) and can make their talks more interesting this way. Such as a Family Law Attorney and an Estate Planning Attorney. Lots of cross referrals can come from this.
CAVEAT: This arrangement also has to be talked about before undertaken. It can be very effective but each attorney has to understand the ground rules and really want to help his or her “partner”.
Joining a support group that get together on a regular basis to discuss challenges in each attorney’s practice. When I was practicing we had a Personal Injury Group Support (PIGS) which met monthly. We laughed a lot and were able to keep up on the latest law while getting help with problem cases. These people act as a helpful partner would on a very limited basis.
CAVEAT: These groups take organization and on going care to stick together. Also everyone needs to take an oath of privacy so members feel free to share.
So here are some ideas that you can put into immediate practice if you would like to try a “nontraditional partnerships”. The main purpose of having a partner is to be able to share and get support and each of these models do that without a tremendous commitment. Let me know how that works for you.
***Sorry, I had to give you just a beautiful picture today because I couldn’t find a cute or catchy partner photo!!!