If solos are the downtrodden and under-appreciated laboring masses of the legal profession, then Carolyn Elefant is their Spartacus. First through her blog, myShingle.com, then through her book, Solo by Choice, Carolyn has championed the cause of the sole practitioner. Now, Carolyn has teamed with another well-known solo, Lisa Solomon, to launch her latest project, SoloCorps, where videos tell the stories of solo lawyers from across the country.
The site is an outgrowth of Rebels in the Heartland, in which Carolyn and Lisa joined with the ABA Journal’s Legal Rebels project to chronicle through video their August trip through Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. Most (if not all) of the videos on the site are from that trip. But the site now hopes to build on that, adding new interviews while also encouraging solos to upload videos of their own.
The site is being sponsored by the good folks at Rocket Matter. You know that because, before you can view any video, you must first sit through a brief word from the sponsor.
Some of the videos are fun to watch, but I’d like to see them become more practical. I tried something similar some years ago, when I was the editor overseeing the launch of what was then called Lawyers Weekly USA (Now LawyersUSA). I initiated a regular feature called “Small Firm Profile.” The idea was to send reporters out across the country to profile solo and small-firm lawyers. We quickly understood from our readers that they wanted the profiles to focus on the how, what and why of a small firm — what technology they used, how they managed their finances, how they brought in business, etc., etc.
Unfortunately, the goals of that series far exceeded the constraints of our budget and we had to cut back on in-person office visits. SoloCorps could pick up that ball and run with it, assembling videos that put these how-to questions to solos all across the country.
Regardless of whether they take my advice, I think SoloCorps is a great idea and I hope to see it continue to develop.