I used to be a solo practitioner. That is, I was the only attorney in my own firm. It was an exciting time and the way many lawyers start out after leaving the DA’s office. It was also an exceptionally challenging way to practice law. Guest Law Firm PC ended in 2011 when Guest and Gray was formed. It marked the end of my solo practice, and it helped me understand the benefits of having a team of lawyers in a criminal defense firm.
When I was solo I had to have all the answers not just for the case, but for the firm. I had to handle all the consultations, attend all the hearings, review all the discovery, watch all the videos, research all the issues etc; as well as attend to the running of a business with all the demands of marketing, accounting, payroll etc. I did not speak Spanish, but I would be appointed clients who did and assigned an interpreter.
I would have issues I hadn’t litigated before and sought the assistance of my peers. If I needed to workshop a case for litigation strategies I usually took another lawyer to lunch. If I got sick or took a vacation, my clients had to wait until I got back to reach me. If I was in trial, I couldn’t help anyone else until the trial ended. That’s the life of a solo lawyer, it’s a great way to get a lot of experience fast. But it also created problems when I couldn’t be two places at once. There are a lot of great solo defense lawyers in Texas, but in my experience practicing defense work alone is no match for a team of experienced defense lawyers.