How to become a sole practitioner // Career

Criminal Lawyer Sean Robichaud
Sean Robichaud's advice for going solo

By Daniel Fish

On Wednesday September 3rd, 2014


Imagine having the freedom to choose your clients and take on cases you’re passionate about, all while building a firm from the ground up. In 2009, Sean Robichaud went out on his own to do just that. Here’s his advice for going solo.


Make a choicePerson and arrows

Too often, young lawyers are stifled by indecision. “Decide one way or the other: be a sole practitioner or don’t,” says Robichaud. So if you decide to do it, jump in with both feet.


Reach out
Speech bubbles

Working as a sole practitioner doesn’t mean working alone. Call up leading lawyers in your practice area and ask them for advice and guidance. Robichaud puts it bluntly: “You will fail if you don’t have mentorship.”


Find a shared space
Two workers at desks

Rent an office at the most prestigious chambers you can afford and network with those lawyers. Sure, they can offer advice. But more importantly, they can send you work. Robichaud designed his chambers to accommodate up-and-coming young criminal lawyers — and they send each other files all the time.


Put in the work
Worker at a desk

Read everything you can about your practice area and work on your business plan. “If you put in 12 hours a day, you will succeed. That type of sustained effort cannot go unrewarded.”

Find out why Sean Robichaud loves being a criminal lawyer.

Illustrations by Isabel Foo.

This story appears in our 2014 national Student Issue