Who Will Pinch-Hit for an Injured Solo?

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

20140407 Pinch-Hit for Injured SoloA lawyer client recently posed a question to me about obtaining professional liability insurance. She practiced in a larger firm, and now she wants to start her own solo practice. Solos face some unique issues in obtaining insurance and making disaster contingency plans. Some legal malpractice carriers require a solo to designate an attorney who will step in for her if she is incapacitated due to illness, injury, or even death. How does a solo find a lawyer willing to do that? Here are some of my suggestions:

Perhaps you have a colleague with a similar practice in a solo or small firm. They need lawyers available to cover for them, too. By making a reciprocal arrangement, you may be able to persuade a lawyer to take on that daunting responsibility.

If you don’t know someone who would be a good fit, however, it’s time to develop some additional relationships. How could you go about that?

1. Start by getting involved with your local bar association, particularly in the sections that focus on your practice area. You can’t just show up to your first meeting and start polling the attendees about whether they would be willing to stand in for you, however. You’ll have to invest in building relationships.

2. Go to the meetings regularly so that people can start to recognize you and get to know you. If you only attend sporadically, people may unconsciously perceive you as unreliable or disorganized. Read more «Who Will Pinch-Hit for an Injured Solo?»