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Solo In Chicago

...empowering the Second City's entrepreneurial legal community

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Have I been brainwashed?

I was taking the 745am Metra train into Chicago from the 'burbs this morning reading my April 2006 edition of Entrepreneur magazine and came upon a nice piece about a woman's small bookstore business called Book Lovers Bookstore. Now I don't want to digress too far, although I am an avid reader, but what dawned on me as I read about her travails with creating a logo, Website design, marketing, and business culture was how much in common I have with this woman and different small business owners in similar situations. Duh...right?

Here's where I'm coming from on this: Doesn't it seem that a ridiculously small amount of legal education from law school to bar association committees to continuing legal education seminars just completely ignore this simple yet critical fact of business, i.e., we need to make money and run a lean business or we don't exist? Granted I'm on a little bit of a kick right now after having recently taken my annual trip to my accountant and getting slightly reamed out for not keeping my books better than I do. But where I'm coming from is just thinking about all of the legal seminars I attend from every issue regarding Illinois divorce law to probate and real estate transactions. And I enjoy the subject-matter seminars and want to be the best lawyer I can be. But where are the programs regarding accounting for lawyers or employee retention or using Quickbooks or business plan development for lawyers? Isn't the business side of things the foundation from which all the great lawyering begins?

And I don't want to slip into the old business vs. profession debate because clearly lawyers are both. But we've got to run great businesses or we don't exist. I think I'm going to start really seeking out more small business type events in supplement to the typical legal seminars. I want to build a better business foundation for my firm and heck I'll go drum up some non-lawyer small business clients at the same time!


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