On Divine Intervention: As I have posted previously, I didn't have six months in which to prepare to hang up my shingle and start my solo law practice. I was offered an affordable office and needed to snap it up - which I did.
What I needed to in order to get started:
- A Desk
- Office chair
- File cabinets
- Letterhead, 2nd page letter, labels, envelopes, SASE envelopes
- Phone service - and a telephone number
- Website - email compatible with Outlook
- DSL or high-speed internet access
- Billing software
- System for storing files
- File folders for client matters
- A Bank account
- Certification from the Illinois Supreme Court
- Business cards
- Articles of Organization
- Fax machine
I could probably add more to this list, but I think this represents the bare necessities for starting a sole practice. Given my husband's close proximity, I was able to "borrow" some basic office supplies in the very beginning, but I had to arrange the phone, internet, website and email.
As for office furniture, this is where I believe I got some divine intervention - One of the secretaries in the suite approached me and asked if I wanted to buy some file cabinets - in great condition, for $75 dollars a piece. Really? I had priced these and knew that for the 5-drawer cabinets, I would be expending $800 a cabinet, minimally.
Do the math: $800 x 2 = $1600 - $150 = SAVINGS of $1450.
And no shipping cost - the secretary arranged for some attorneys to deliver them and install them in my office. Viola - storage for files for years to come.
My desk was free - a gift from the suite office manager who had it in storage.
My office chair is an old secretarial chair - (soon to be replaced)
Today I purchased a corner L-shaped computer desk from Office Depot - final cost after coupon, $165.43. I'm pretty sure it will be life-changing, just like the close-to-free file cabinets.
Since my office is small and windowless, I needed more space to spread out when working on more than file at a time (normal). I was looking at more expensive options, and then saw this one - the cherry wood matches my free desk, and the glass top won't overwhelm my smaller space.
For those of you out there in blogland who fear that taking the plunge and going solo is just too expensive - think of me, and pray for a little divine intervention and cheap (if not free) office furniture.