The great thing about having your own patent practice is that you can set your own hours, work from home, and generally be your own boss. The downside, of course, is that you don't have your friends, mentors, and esteemed colleagues next door or down the hall like the big firm folks do. National Association of Patent Practitioners (NAPP.org) is an organization that provides a support system for people like us. Our events (mainly a monthly happy hour) provide opportunities to network with your fellow colleagues who deal with the same issues you do: what should I include in an engagement agreement? How do I make sure I get paid? What about the latest changes to the examination guidelines? Should I get malpractice insurance? How about a 401(k) and medical? What's the best docketing system? Do you know any good paralegals that would work part time?
Though this group skews toward solo and small firm practitioners, it is open to all who are interested in running a law practice and/or any aspect of patent prosecution. Come join in the discussion with other folks who actually understand what you're dealing with at the office.