Can an accountability partner really help a solo lawyer run a better law practice? Yes. The purpose of choosing an accountability partner for personal or professional reasons is so that you have someone to talk with about the things you know you need to do. Solo lawyers have a special burden placed upon them. Unlike lawyers who work in a firm with others, a solo lawyer may work from a virtual office, a shared space, or a private office. Many work alone and have little contact with other lawyers unless they’re working on the same matter. This lack of contact carries the potential of creating an environment in which a solo lawyer could make mistakes that would create the risk of an ethics complaint.
An Accountability Partner Helps You Focus on Tackling Your To-Do List
An accountability partner can help you run a better law practice by helping you focus on the items on your to-do list every day and every week. You’re able to involve your accountability partner in areas of your practice where you’re struggling to meet deadlines or stay on top of certain tasks such as billing. You can report your upcoming tasks to your accountability partner. Then, you let them know as you complete them. If you don’t complete them, talking to your accountability partner can help you figure out what happened and how you can be better prepared to fulfill your duties.
Learning More about the Legal Industry
Choosing an accountability partner in the legal industry can create an avenue for you to learn more. From answering questions about how to improve your practice or how to properly format court documents, an accountability partner is an invaluable resource.
An Accountability Partner Could Help You Grow Your Practice
Maybe your practice runs smoothly and you don’t need anyone to help you stay on task. An accountability partner can be useful in other ways. One important way is creating a new growth plan for your practice and talking with your accountability partner about how you’ll turn those ideas into a reality.
Finding an Accountability Partner
It can be hard for solo lawyers to find an accountability partner because of the isolation that comes with their choice to run their own practice. It’s also common for solo lawyers to think that they’re the only ones thinking about certain things or wondering how to improve. There are many solos who would love an accountability partner and they feel just like you: like it’s just them against the world and that every other solo lawyer has everything under control.
You can look first at the other solo lawyers you know and find someone that you feel comfortable with. This is important because accountability doesn’t work if you don’t feel like you can be honest with your partner. Also, you don’t have to choose another lawyer. You can choose anyone you like. The nice part about choosing a lawyer is that you’re talking with someone who understands the unique challenges you face.
Then, reach out and talk to them about whether they’d like an accountability partner. If they do, you’ll be prepared to choose a method that works best for both of you. You can create an email or a text that lists what needs to be done. Then, you check in and let your partner know what you’ve completed. They tell you what they’ve done. You talk about your accomplishments and things that didn’t get done. You can also do this by using Google Keep, OneNote, or another online collaboration system. You can also just check in with each other through social media.
However, to make an accountability relationship a success, you and your partner must be honest and open. Remember, if you and your accountability partner aren’t comfortable talking to each other, it may not be a good match. That’s okay. That doesn’t mean you have a bad relationship of any kind. It just means you two aren’t a match when it comes to this practice.