Law Practice Management

Find Support Group First, Then Open Office, Solo Advises

After 20 years of practice, Jane Ann Landrum decided she was ready to go solo this year after her previous law firm dissolved.

But a big part of what made it possible was the support network she had in place, the Kansas City, Mo., litigator tells the Kansas City Star.

Her biggest supporters are her retired parents, she says: Her mother, a former business secretary, helps her with her bookkeeping and business planning, and her father is a “cheerleader” and marketing manager. When she has more legal work than she can do on her own, she contracts for temporary paralegal or associate work.

Asked by the newspaper whether being female makes it harder to run a solo firm, Landrum replies “It has always been a challenge being a female civil defense attorney in a world of mostly men, but I like challenges.

“I have to balance the need to be a ‘tough litigator’ with the perception that tough women are sometimes called unfriendly names. This balancing act isn’t always easy, but I have learned that the best way to practice law is to find a way to cooperate with opposing counsel rather than to constantly be at odds with them.”

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