Dan Gilchrist made the best decision of his life last year. He started his own firm. After two decades in finance and at a private firm, he wanted to run his own show. “I’ve always had an entrepreneurial bent to me, so it was not a big leap,” he said. Gilchrist relished the ability to serve his clients better, and he is excited to have more flexibility for family time.
Gilchrist’s advice for those wanting to hang their shingle is simple: learn to do it all. “You’ve got to be able to do all the work yourself,” he said. He noted that having a support system is also important for a solo practitioner.
One way that Gilchrist developed a support system for himself was through his involvement with various bar associations. After passing the bar, he joined the Minnesota State Bar New Lawyers Section, and he eventually chaired the section. "I can't tell you how invaluable that was to me because I met dozens and dozens of lawyers in my first four years of practice, outside of my firm. I still know these folks and value our relationships,” he said.
About seven years ago, Gilchrist decided to focus his involvement with the HCBA. He joined various groups and committees and he eventually joined the board. “It's been a great experience learning what other lawyers do, knowing them, and meeting with them regularly. I hope I can help other people, too, along the way,” he said.