Can I bring my spouse to the consulate interviewImmigration Law: Solo Practice and Improvisation

When starting a solo practice it’s always important to have a plan of action, and set goals for your success. Having yearly goals and a five year plan for how you envision your growth will not only orient your practice but also provide you with a long term and personalized vision of success. Equally as important is the ability to remain flexible and adjust yourself and your practice according to the fluid situations you may find yourself in. In short being able to improvise on the fly is just as important to success as having a carefully constructed plan.

Having a plan in how you approach solo practice is essential. This can apply to everything from having a coherent business plan for financial success, to plan on how you intend to approach a certain client base, or even a plan on how to approach a certain case. Constructing a plan can help you understand your needs and provide you with a step by step approach to something that may seem overwhelming. Your first year of practice should provide you ample opportunities to explore and create plans, particularly as you have time to reflect while you wait for clients.

A proper plan can extend beyond your practice to your overall goals as a professional. You may plan to start a solo practice, while exploring teach opportunities on the side. You can plan to learn a foreign language or a particular skill to compliment your legal career. Some attorneys even have a long term plan of working from home on fridays once their business is established. The fact is that starting a solo practice puts you in the driver seat and allows you to set your own goals. But this also means that you are ultimately accountable to yourself about what you want and what you can achieve.

Part of having a successful plan and practice is being able to make changes according to what is needed. Just like when a football team makes adjustments at halftime in order to overcome a certain obstacle or obtain an advantage, you should be constantly reflecting on your plan and finding out exactly what is working and what needs to change. You should be constantly reflecting on important questions about yourself and your practice; what are your strengths, what is working, and what needs to improve both in the short and long term.

Improvisation is a skill that will serve you well, particularly when you are solo and don’t have others to fall back on with regards to a challenge. You should be able to adjust your practice according to the needs of the clients you serve. For example the surge of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in 2014 forced immigration practitioners to prioritize their caseloads and in some cases explore brand new practice areas.  Improvisation can also include finding unorthodox solutions to technical challenges, adopting new habits to replace old ones, and stepping out of your comfort zone as part of a calculated risk for success.
Adopting a mentality focused on planning but capable of improvisation is essential to solo success, particularly in a rapidly changing legal market. Approaching your career with the right mindset can make all the difference in how you succeed as a professional. The ability to maintain long term goals and work hard towards your dreams through adversity is an essential ingredient to success no matter what your profession is.  Complimenting your ability to plan with flexibility and the desire to improve efficiency and assess what works will constantly push you to build a dynamic and sustainable practice.

Immigration Law: Solo Practice and Improvisation