Our relationship serves as a prime example of how these affiliations develop over time. Several years ago, a senior colleague introduced us at a networking cocktail event attended by many small firms and solo practitioners. We initially clicked because we were two women in a sea of male attorneys with complimentary, but not overlapping, practice areas. (Aimee is a transactional corporate attorney; Kim practices commercial and business litigation.)
Soon after, we began helping one another with drafting and consulting on various legal matters on behalf of our respective clients. Once we gained confidence in our respective skills and styles, we started exchanging a series of direct referrals to one another. We also introduced each other to a variety of business development and networking groups, leading to a further expansion of our individual networking circles.
Solo practice can become isolating. Having big firm backgrounds, we were both accustomed to an open door policy for the free exchange of ideas, resources, and camaraderie. The solo practitioner can find the equivalent through networking with other small firms and solo attorneys. Upon launching her solo practice, Aimee was astounded to learn that there are a vast array of business development groups and networking opportunities available to the solo practitioner. These groups tend to meet monthly and often focus on best practices for the small-firm attorney. They also serve as brainstorming sessions that enhance our respective practices.
We have found that the more professional and social circles in which we are engaged, the more likely we are to meet potential clients and referral sources, professional friends and colleagues, and, surprisingly enough, personal friends. In fact, when a personal friendship develops out of a professional connection, this is a Win/Win for everyone because work feels more like play.
Along the way, a personal friendship between Kim and Aimee blossomed and continues to grow to this day. Thank you, Michael Moskowitz and Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP.