Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

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abc12345675
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby abc12345675 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:48 am

Maybe this is odd, but I refuse to see a doctor unless he/she went to Johns Hopkins. So I'd imagine there are people who'd care about where you went.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby rickgrimes69 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:32 am

flem wrote: the actual technicolored fuck


:lol:

firm administrator
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby firm administrator » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:40 pm

Please do not go solo directly from law school- a very poor choice. You will know next to nothing about the practice of law even if you plan on starting with the lowest rungs of general practice (court appointed criminal defense, family law, juvenile appointments). The goal of a solo practice with 3 years experience is ambitious enough. I know you can "office-share", forge a relationship with a mentor, etc. but they usually do not work. There is a very high chance of something disastrous happening (legal malpractice, financial stresses, lack of client base). I have hired 30-40 lawyers over the years, from Stanford to large public U, and none have been anywhere close to being a functional lawyer after passing the bar.

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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby firm administrator » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:53 pm

Addendum to above post:

If you still feel the need to go solo directly from law school- hire the best legal secretary you can find. It will be the best money you will ever spend. Experienced legal secretaries and legal assistants will know more about the functionality of law than you will for the first 2-3 years- maybe more. DO NOT attempt to be a solo who can also do his own typing, filing, recording, etc.

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reformed calvinist
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby reformed calvinist » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:47 pm

flem wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:The problem is paying back student loans after law school. If you intend to open a solo practice, then it's best to attend law school on a full tuition scholarship since you're likely to incur substantial start-up costs during years of low income. In short, it's okay if you receive substantial grant money to pay your tuition & fees.


Also ignoring the fact that you're going to need things like a client base and resources to be successful, all while knowing fuckall about anything related to the actual practice of law.


I know this is late to the party, but seems like going solo would beat doc review (in every way but steady income). Worst case scenario you get a malpractice claim filed against you and your reputation is wrecked/lose your license. But what about doc review? How is that anything but a dead-end? Might as well find a couple of individuals in your class in the same boat and go for broke. I also have no idea what I'm talking about.

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North
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby North » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:54 pm

reformed calvinist wrote:I know this is late to the party, but seems like going solo would beat doc review (in every way but steady income). Worst case scenario you get a malpractice claim filed against you and your reputation is wrecked/lose your license. But what about doc review? How is that anything but a dead-end? Might as well find a couple of individuals in your class in the same boat and go for broke. I also have no idea what I'm talking about.

All these necros lately. Doc Review is generally a steady, if low-paying, job. Opening up a solo practice fresh out of law school is generally a low-paying, feast-or-famine, incredibly risky business venture that usually requires -- wait for it -- even more loans. Loans, mind you, that no sane lender would be willing to give to you and your TTT debt.

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TrialLawyer16
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby TrialLawyer16 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:05 pm

flem wrote:no clue what in the actual technicolored fuck you're doing.

lol. 178

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reformed calvinist
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby reformed calvinist » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:22 am

North wrote:
reformed calvinist wrote:I know this is late to the party, but seems like going solo would beat doc review (in every way but steady income). Worst case scenario you get a malpractice claim filed against you and your reputation is wrecked/lose your license. But what about doc review? How is that anything but a dead-end? Might as well find a couple of individuals in your class in the same boat and go for broke. I also have no idea what I'm talking about.

All these necros lately. Doc Review is generally a steady, if low-paying, job. Opening up a solo practice fresh out of law school is generally a low-paying, feast-or-famine, incredibly risky business venture that usually requires -- wait for it -- even more loans. Loans, mind you, that no sane lender would be willing to give to you and your TTT debt.


The only reason I necroed is I didn't want to start my own thread when there was already a discussion I wanted to add to-tried to find the most recent relevant solo thread.

I know doc review is steady, but it's not really a road to anywhere if I understand correctly (based on friends of friends anecdotes, reliable I know, one guy's been doing it going on 2 years). My parents, but not me, come from a working class background and beat into my head from an early age that no one is "above" any kind of work (Upton Sinclair situations excepted of course), so it's not pride or anything. It's just a desire to actually *do* something with the degree I spent three years "earning," even if it's not preftigious law. At least on your own you get some experience, sink or swim, and if you're a fast learner and good hustler, you become, I dunno, better. If you get laid off from your doc review job, where do you go from there? Does it prepare you to open your own practice or work for a firm? If not, it should probably be avoided at all costs. I'd rather pay the feast or famine price upfront. Easier said than done, I know. OCI is starting to scare me, just trying to keep my chin up is all.

timbs4339
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:40 am

reformed calvinist wrote:
flem wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:The problem is paying back student loans after law school. If you intend to open a solo practice, then it's best to attend law school on a full tuition scholarship since you're likely to incur substantial start-up costs during years of low income. In short, it's okay if you receive substantial grant money to pay your tuition & fees.


Also ignoring the fact that you're going to need things like a client base and resources to be successful, all while knowing fuckall about anything related to the actual practice of law.


I know this is late to the party, but seems like going solo would beat doc review (in every way but steady income). Worst case scenario you get a malpractice claim filed against you and your reputation is wrecked/lose your license. But what about doc review? How is that anything but a dead-end? Might as well find a couple of individuals in your class in the same boat and go for broke. I also have no idea what I'm talking about.


So, worse case scenario is that you starve because you cannot get any clients who actually pay. Then you end up having to do doc review just to pay the bills. Reading JDU and other doc review forums, a lot of the professional coders actually have their own practices but their main source of income are temp projects.

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2014
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby 2014 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:17 am

If you have the capital to start your own firm and the drive/entrepreneurship to be successful at it then going on your own is probably a better call than Doc Review. Both options are bad and both the up and downside of going solo are more extreme than the same with Doc Review, but there are probably far more success stories for solo practitioners than Doc Review folks. I personally don't have the guts for it though, not with how little prepared I know i'll be coming out of LS.

RodneyBoonfield
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby RodneyBoonfield » Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:50 pm

Pate wrote:There are MANY big name schools that are thought of more highly by the general public than many of the USNWR top 20 law schools. Aside from HYS, do you really think the average guy knows Ohio State, Miami, LSU, USC, etc., are considered less prestigious than Virginia or Northwestern? If you have the $$ to start up and know business owners, and/or you are active in the chamber, etc., why not go solo?


Not sure if serious

RodneyBoonfield
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby RodneyBoonfield » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:18 pm

flem wrote:Yeah dude, lay people are impressed with a JD, festering TTT or not. The issue with going solo out of law school has little to do with lay prestige of your school and more to do with the fact that you have no clients and no clue what in the actual technicolored fuck you're doing.


I think what he's trying to say is, if you go solo right out of law school, you're gonna have a bad time.

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barestin
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby barestin » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:22 pm

I met several people this summer who went this route since the recession and start-up costs aren't too high, provided you either work from home or share office space. Advertise on Craigslist and other free/low-cost websites and try to get on local bar association referral lists. You will be working Shitlaw, but you will be your own boss and can make decent money out of law school. I for one would rather work for a boutique firm out of law school for a few years before going this route, but it can be an exciting endeavor--hustling, wearing multiple hats to build a successful practice, meeting with clients, actually making court appearances and feeling important (as opposed to tedious transactional, desk-job work). Be aware though, when you start off most of your clients will be loose cannons until you have enough of a clientele to have the luxury of cherry-picking clients like other firms do. From what I'm told, even in this recession there is no shortage of clients, and never enough competent attorneys.

RodneyBoonfield
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby RodneyBoonfield » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:43 pm

barestin wrote:I met several people this summer who went this route since the recession and start-up costs aren't too high, provided you either work from home or share office space. Advertise on Craigslist and other free/low-cost websites and try to get on local bar association referral lists. You will be working Shitlaw, but you will be your own boss and can make decent money out of law school. I for one would rather work for a boutique firm out of law school for a few years before going this route, but it can be an exciting endeavor--hustling, wearing multiple hats to build a successful practice, meeting with clients, actually making court appearances and feeling important (as opposed to tedious transactional, desk-job work). Be aware though, when you start off most of your clients will be loose cannons until you have enough of a clientele to have the luxury of cherry-picking clients like other firms do. From what I'm told, even in this recession there is no shortage of clients, and never enough competent attorneys.


After you become a SA, you will learn just how much "stuff" there is to be done that you never would have thought of in any given case.

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SuperCerealBrah
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby SuperCerealBrah » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:56 pm

barestin wrote:I met several people this summer who went this route since the recession and start-up costs aren't too high, provided you either work from home or share office space. Advertise on Craigslist and other free/low-cost websites and try to get on local bar association referral lists. You will be working Shitlaw, but you will be your own boss and can make decent money out of law school. I for one would rather work for a boutique firm out of law school for a few years before going this route, but it can be an exciting endeavor--hustling, wearing multiple hats to build a successful practice, meeting with clients, actually making court appearances and feeling important (as opposed to tedious transactional, desk-job work). Be aware though, when you start off most of your clients will be loose cannons until you have enough of a clientele to have the luxury of cherry-picking clients like other firms do. From what I'm told, even in this recession there is no shortage of clients, and never enough competent attorneys.




This may be true, but from my understanding there IS a lack of clients that are actually willing to pay you.

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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby bruss » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:13 pm

barestin wrote:I met several people this summer who went this route since the recession and start-up costs aren't too high, provided you either work from home or share office space


Not allowed to work outta your home without having clients come into your home. So basically you have to put your home address online. Good luck having bums lined up outside your door asking for services.

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barestin
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby barestin » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:25 pm

bruss wrote:
barestin wrote:I met several people this summer who went this route since the recession and start-up costs aren't too high, provided you either work from home or share office space


Not allowed to work outta your home without having clients come into your home. So basically you have to put your home address online. Good luck having bums lined up outside your door asking for services.


Unless they are willing to meet at coffee shops or you temporarily rent office space by the day, etc. Besides the initial meeting, a lot of the information intake over the course of the case can be done via email or over the phone.

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PDaddy
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby PDaddy » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:28 pm

flem wrote:
josemnz83 wrote:Would that still be a problem?


yes


If you are not risk-averse - and I do mean you must relish RISK - it is ok to do this. You also need some good coin in the bank and a successful mentor who can guide your early development. Law school teaches you little or nothing about practice, and you will perceivably graduate with few or no contacts that lead to business. There is also a high probability that you will really screw up on some aspect of a case and leave yourself exposed to malpractice or misconduct charges, and that's not the way you want to start your career.

You must welcome risk, have solid financial footing, and have a really successful mentor or two who will keep an eye on your work - and possibly toss you some work on which you can develop your chops. If those things are in place, you can do solo practice out of the gate. I would also recommend that you delay marriage and children. You're going to work 80-100 hours per week when you start; you may even sleep in your office on several nights.

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barestin
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby barestin » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:31 pm

SuperCerealBrah wrote:
barestin wrote:I met several people this summer who went this route since the recession and start-up costs aren't too high, provided you either work from home or share office space. Advertise on Craigslist and other free/low-cost websites and try to get on local bar association referral lists. You will be working Shitlaw, but you will be your own boss and can make decent money out of law school. I for one would rather work for a boutique firm out of law school for a few years before going this route, but it can be an exciting endeavor--hustling, wearing multiple hats to build a successful practice, meeting with clients, actually making court appearances and feeling important (as opposed to tedious transactional, desk-job work). Be aware though, when you start off most of your clients will be loose cannons until you have enough of a clientele to have the luxury of cherry-picking clients like other firms do. From what I'm told, even in this recession there is no shortage of clients, and never enough competent attorneys.




This may be true, but from my understanding there IS a lack of clients that are actually willing to pay you.


Yes, and because of financial constraints, more people choose to go in pro per, but there are still many potential clients that have enough for the initial retainer (2K-3K) or you can choose to work out a monthly fee plan with them. At worst, they stiff you and you are out a few hours of billables if they don't comply to the fee arrangement you arrange with them. But the attorneys I talked to say they don't get stiffed often.

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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby bruss » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:36 pm

barestin wrote:
bruss wrote:
barestin wrote:I met several people this summer who went this route since the recession and start-up costs aren't too high, provided you either work from home or share office space


Not allowed to work outta your home without having clients come into your home. So basically you have to put your home address online. Good luck having bums lined up outside your door asking for services.


Unless they are willing to meet at coffee shops or you temporarily rent office space by the day, etc. Besides the initial meeting, a lot of the information intake over the course of the case can be done via email or over the phone.


They have laws against that now( can't remember where I read it). You have to meet with the client in your office at least once or some stupid shit like that.

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spleenworship
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby spleenworship » Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:13 pm

Nova wrote:From what I have read, for nearly all grads, going solo right away is not a good idea. LS teaches very little about the practical nature of day to day practice. It seems best to learn under someone else at first.


Yeah. I agree with this.

If you have to do this, do so in a group of other solos renting space at first so you can bounce ideas off people. And even then start small: simple non-contested divorces without kids, obviously negligent crashes (rear endings), misdemeanor defense, etc. I have seen people do this successfully, but all of them told me they wished they had had a few years working for someone else first in their area of law, because it was stressful as all hell trying to learn how to do it well enough (with the time that takes) and still make enough money to pay the rent and eat ramen.

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reformed calvinist
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby reformed calvinist » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:41 pm

bruss wrote:
barestin wrote:
bruss wrote:
barestin wrote:I met several people this summer who went this route since the recession and start-up costs aren't too high, provided you either work from home or share office space


Not allowed to work outta your home without having clients come into your home. So basically you have to put your home address online. Good luck having bums lined up outside your door asking for services.


Unless they are willing to meet at coffee shops or you temporarily rent office space by the day, etc. Besides the initial meeting, a lot of the information intake over the course of the case can be done via email or over the phone.


They have laws against that now( can't remember where I read it). You have to meet with the client in your office at least once or some stupid shit like that.


Depends on the state. Jersey requires a physical office space, I remember reading.

Bankrupt257
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby Bankrupt257 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:35 pm

josemnz83 wrote:Are there any good reasons to go to a low ranking law school if your goal is to practice solo? Would that still be a problem?


Actually, some law schools do teach you how to do this. I have been looking at lower-tiered schools and they offer ____(State) procedure, law practice management, law firm marketing, client advocacy, client management etc. Problem is, I dont think people actually take those courses...I know at one school Law Practice Management went without a prof for a year or two due to lack of interest. I know on the ABA website, there is a whole section of the site devoted to stuff like this. I would work somewhere first atleast for a year or two first..

I know Vermont Law has something like this. This school is the definition of TTT, but they have a really good General Practice program. Also now you can do your JD in 2 yrs instead of 3.

Per a Skadden Partner, "I became a lawyer because I am extremely risk adverse." So asking Law Students and Fresh Graduates about starting a business may not be the best people to ask.

I would go solo/review mortgages and leases/etc. before I go to Kohls and work full time as a cashier (unless doing both at the same darn time)

Everybody watches To Kill a Mockingbird and claims that's their inspiration to be a lawyer, yet they want to go to big law lol..I think people forget that every major firm first started out by a couple of lawyers who decided to branch out and start their own practice.

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flem
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby flem » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:23 am

PDaddy wrote:
flem wrote:
josemnz83 wrote:Would that still be a problem?


yes


If you are not risk-averse - and I do mean you must relish RISK - it is ok to do this. You also need some good coin in the bank and a successful mentor who can guide your early development. Law school teaches you little or nothing about practice, and you will perceivably graduate with few or no contacts that lead to business. There is also a high probability that you will really screw up on some aspect of a case and leave yourself exposed to malpractice or misconduct charges, and that's not the way you want to start your career.

You must welcome risk, have solid financial footing, and have a really successful mentor or two who will keep an eye on your work - and possibly toss you some work on which you can develop your chops. If those things are in place, you can do solo practice out of the gate. I would also recommend that you delay marriage and children. You're going to work 80-100 hours per week when you start; you may even sleep in your office on several nights.


So in this extremely specific and unlikely scenario where all of these factors intersect, it's cool. Word.

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reformed calvinist
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby reformed calvinist » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:40 am

flem wrote:
PDaddy wrote:
flem wrote:
josemnz83 wrote:Would that still be a problem?


yes


If you are not risk-averse - and I do mean you must relish RISK - it is ok to do this. You also need some good coin in the bank and a successful mentor who can guide your early development. Law school teaches you little or nothing about practice, and you will perceivably graduate with few or no contacts that lead to business. There is also a high probability that you will really screw up on some aspect of a case and leave yourself exposed to malpractice or misconduct charges, and that's not the way you want to start your career.

You must welcome risk, have solid financial footing, and have a really successful mentor or two who will keep an eye on your work - and possibly toss you some work on which you can develop your chops. If those things are in place, you can do solo practice out of the gate. I would also recommend that you delay marriage and children. You're going to work 80-100 hours per week when you start; you may even sleep in your office on several nights.


So in this extremely specific and unlikely scenario where all of these factors intersect, it's cool. Word.


Re malpractice-I'd rather risk that and wash out of law than spend the next decade in dead end doc review gigs. No shame in paying the bills, but I'd rather just surrender my license and do something else.




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