Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Authur Johnson


Growing numbers of America's 1,281,432 active licensed attorneys open their own law firms due to strained employment opportunities. With 50% of small businesses failing within 5 years, and solo law offices accounting for 75% of attorneys in private practice, there is a need for preparing solo criminal law practitioners for business success. Some solo criminal law practitioners do not understand the critical business performance variables that impact small business success. The total population for this quantitative correlational study included solo criminal law practitioners from the Philadelphia Bar Association Legal Directory and Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers members. Barney's resource-based theory (RBV) and Lussier's nonfinancial success-failure business prediction model were the foundational frameworks of this study. I used Lussier's nonfinancial success-failure questionnaire to collect data via a self-administered survey. A Kendall tau correlation was used to determine the relationship between Lussier's 16 independent variables measuring success or failure and a single dependent variable of 'level of profits' for the 31 participants. 31 participants (4%) is a very low response rate. Increased participation is needed for better research results. Fifteen of the 16 variables showed no relationships with the level of success. Only 1 hypothesis showed a relationship between the type of start-up plan developed by the firm and the level of success (Ï? = .322, p = .032). The findings from this study support the Small Business Association's definition of a business plan as a living roadmap for business success. The implications for positive social change include the potential to increase employment opportunities by directly impacting the economy in creating economic expansion.