Polaris Global reports: Entrepreneur skills essential for attorneys

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2010-01-29

Sole practice lawyers need entrepreneur training

During Susan Cartier Liebel’s career, she had never worked in a large law firm. She had either worked for small outfits or taken her entrepreneur skills and struck out on her own. Her business and law experience since graduating in 1994 from Connecticut's Quinnipiac University culminated in her starting Solo Practice University (www.solopracticeuniversity.com), an online educational community for independent lawyers.

The current economic situation has resulted in many industries cutting back and the legal profession is no exception. The larger law firms have also been hit by downsizing, resulting in a host of experienced lawyers, specializing in various areas of the law, being thrust into the job market. Many are starting small boutique offices or firms and some are even consulting from home.

This migration to sole proprietor or independent business has opened up an opportunity for entrepreneur skills training. Many attorneys have found themselves out in the marketplace with significant skill sets but with little or no understanding of how to market themselves as an entity.

The American Bar Association (ABA) says that approximately 62 percent of attorneys in private practice work on their own or in small shops. Which means an awful lot of attorneys need advice on their business. Cartier Liebel, 50, believes her site is the first comprehensive remote learning platform targeted to the entrepreneur in the law game. The site concentrates on unfamiliar areas like marketing and development and also offers an in depth understanding of what it takes to launch a business.

Cartier Liebel had taught a class on going solo at Quinnipiac where she met her future business partner, David Carson, a lawyer who is also a technology whiz. They are the only two full time staff and they utilize an ever-growing network of online assistants on their team.

Solo Practice University offers virtual classes online with access to a plethora of learning tools and online support including networking tools and RSS feeds. They also have legal packages that can be purchased and their subscribers are able to link to groups of similar interest, like contract or divorce law.

Cartier Liebel’s vision is clear; she wants to provide a one-stop shop for attorneys striking out on their own. Her ability to teach entrepreneur skills to young hungry fresh out of college types, and lawyers who have been involved in small or even large firms, is exceptional, and according to industry professionals her university is gaining a reputation.

Susan says her idea is simply that if you want to go solo, all you need is a computer, a cell phone and her online university, an incredibly attractive offer to someone who works in the law profession. Their hectic schedules play havoc with traditional course times, so an alternative that caters to their needs and is available whenever they want is a highly effective solution to a previously unsolvable problem. SPU says that most of their pre-recorded video seminars are watched in the early hours of the morning when their clients have finished their normal workload.

A subscription-based service that has in its initial eight months already garnered an impressive amount of subscribers; Cartier Liebel aims to grow their subscriber base to a thousand by the end of the first year. The significant buzz around it and the fact that they already have more than 50 faculty members working for no pay means she just might make that target and the goal they have set for their five year growth plan - 20,000 subscribers and a massive network spanning the law profession nationwide, and a reinvented law profession with attorneys armed with entrepreneur skills.
 

Tags: Polaris Global, Polaris Global review, entrepreneur skills, entrepreneur, law profession

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