Karen Persis, Esq. is used to many accolades. A University of Florida alumni, she was selected as a Florida Rising Star for seven consecutive years, a distinction awarded to no more than 2.5% of the lawyers under the age of 40. She was also named a Florida Trend Legal Elite Up and Comer for 2017. She is a member of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys. Most recently, she received the Orange County Bar Association’s prestigious Young Professionalism Award for upholding high professional and ethical standards.
Karen has a niche law practice focusing on adoption, surrogacy and reproductive law in Orlando, Florida. Since she has been getting noticed as a stellar attorney, we wanted to ask her about her secrets of a successful solo law practice.
Q. Why did you make the leap to start your own law firm?
I wanted to practice a niche area of law, Assisted Reproductive Technology, which was not supported by the firm at which I was employed at the time.
Q. What makes your practice unique?
The subject matter of my practice is unique – I handle matters involving surrogacy, egg donation, embryo donation, sperm donation, and adoption, among other issues involving fertility procedures. If you consider the total number of attorneys in the U.S., there are very few lawyers nationally that specialize in this area of law. My practice is also largely virtual, though I do have a physical office space in downtown Orlando that I work from every day. I have clients around the state, the United States, and even on different continents. We often meet only via Skype or through phone and email communication.
Q. What do you wish you knew before jumping in?
I realized it would be hard. But if you are more of a lawyer than an entrepreneur (and I am definitely a lawyer first, business person second), then adjusting to some of the marketing aspects of the job can be difficult. Putting yourself “out there,” selling yourself, so to speak, is not my strong suit. I would rather just focus on my work and my clients, but a solo practitioner must make time for marketing.
Q. What do you enjoy most about having your own firm?
The flexibility in not just my schedule, but in the types of clients and cases I choose to take.
Q. What is your best marketing strategy?
For me, the best marketing strategy has been doing good work for my clients and getting referrals from clients and opposing counsel. Reputation and work product are critical to success.
Q. What advice would you tell someone who is considering solo practice?
I would advise them to save about 6 months to a year’s worth of expenses and budget as if you will not make a dollar your first year. This way, when you make money, it’s a happy surprise, and if you don’t, you didn’t expect to do so anyway. Also, I would invest in a professional website (can be simple) and email handle. You would probably feel uncomfortable if your doctor had a gmail or hotmail account. So spend some money and have a professional online presence.
And Some Random Questions…
Q. If someone gave you $10,000 to give to charity, which one would it be and why?
I would give $10,000 to our local public school system. Children are our future, and we need to do everything we can as a community to provide as much as we can to encourage their growth and education.
Q. If someone gave you a free plane ticket to anywhere, where would it be and why?
Australia; no good reason. I have never been, and if I am going to get a free ticket somewhere, I might as well get an expensive one.
Q. What cheers you up after a stressful day?
Seeing my son smile and laugh.
Q. What is the next thing you want to learn?
I would like to learn aerial yoga!
You can learn more about Karen Persis, Esq. at www.karenpersis.com.
Want more tips and advice for your awesome law practice? Check out Law Office on a Laptop, Second Edition: How to Set Up Your Own Successful Law Mobile Law Practice.