Can You Maintain a Second Practice?


Considering Alternative Careers Can a carefully defined solo practice be a sideline while a lawyer Considering Alternative Careers Can a carefully defined solo practice be a sideline while a lawyer maintains a primary job in a larger organization - providing that no conflicts of interest or other ethical issues intrude? Given the swiftness with which firms fail, partners are de-equitized and associates are laid off, the question is not a moot one. Such a side practice can be a valuable safety net. Today there is a greater inclination by many lawyers to consider alternative career scenarios that would previously have been unnecessary.

Balancing Two Careers Lawyers, of course, have done moonlighting in a certain sense for many years - in holding positions as elected officials, in serving with nonprofit or community interest boards, in being members of company boards of directors. As with these activities, the practicality of a sideline practice becomes a question of definition. If a lawyer in solo practice has a different full-time job, that full-time client probably represents 90 percent of the lawyer's time and revenue stream. No matter how many other clients the solo practice has, the overall emphasis will be smaller both in the amount of time required and in terms of dollars earned.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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