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mr. wednesday
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby mr. wednesday » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:26 pm

PatriotP74 wrote:And if i was offered a big law position that would be the way i would want to go about it, i just like i said didn't want to choose my school based on wanting to go big law when there are other options! But yes if the option comes up at any school i was at there would be no reason not to give it a try, unless some other better option was on the table

No one is going to just offer you a biglaw position at any school without putting in serious effort to get one. It's never going to just "come up" or fall into your lap. It also doesn't make sense to say, "This is the best route to what I want to do but I'm not going to put any effort into getting it."

If what you want to be is a small business owner, do it without going to law school. If what you want is to be a lawyer AND a small business owner, then be prepared to put the effort into the lawyer part, which probably means studying for the LSAT to get into a good school, then working for a few years at a firm before going solo.

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PatriotP74
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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:16 pm

Starting your own practice is an excellent choice! You're doing great on the path to life success, my friend!

First, as you've noted, you get to control your own hours! Pity the poor knaves in Biglaw who make four times you will--what fool could want the "steady stream of work" that comes into their offices? You, on the other hand, will have complete control over each of your 24 hours. Nothing can compare to the feel of having no obligations because no one has any idea who the fuck you are. Why, if you want to, you can even masturbate in your office, provided you close the blinds so none of the people walking out of the Hardee's parking lot can see you (and I guess you may want to lock the door, though since no one has walked into your office in six weeks you probably won't have to worry about being interrupted, and that's always nice). I'll bet those Biglaw suckers can't do that. It just seems like those T14 kids just don't get how liberating that is, as though they never even heeded the Cooley advice that told everyone that "only squares work for the man." That's what those people who are "successful" and "advancing in their careers" just don't get. As I matter of fact, I personally pity the Biglaw fools, and admire the homeless man who gives handjobs on the corner for $6.75 while singing "Proud Mary" the whole time. I mean, he controls all his hours. Now that is freedom. No corporate slavery for him, no siree. Or for you.

Second, you get to live an exciting life! There's nothing like explaining to the 40th backwoods chucklefuck hillbilly electrician that if he "can't afford" the $600 liability his dumb ass created, then he sure as hell can't afford you to take his case. After all, you've got a mouth to feed, and what if they raise the price of the Doritos Locos Taco? You're gonna need at least four of those a day to sustain yourself, and that really starts to add up after months and months without a stable client base. As a matter of fact, you'll become a connoisseur of that little-known spot in law where anyone who would hire you can't pay you enough to keep the lights on and anyone with long-term legal needs has already found someone else! Won't that be fun to explore! You'll also become an expert in diversity (as you get to watch a 17-year-old in Hyderabad do everything you can do for one-tenth of the price) and technology (you'll have a front-row seat as you'll discover new and exciting software covering every possible element of doc review that renders your services completely obsolete). And let's not forget all the people you'll meet--the people who will crumple up your business card and throw in it the trash during your 20-hour-a-week "networking excursions" to desperately find anyone who legitimately thinks going to a 25-year-old who has never handled a case before is the best way to solve their problems. And yeah, your desperate need to find business (combined with the painful inefficiency of your actual work because you've been practicing for four months) might lead to as many hours as those Biglaw knaves, but hey, we already covered that: they're YOUR hours, bud!

If you don't believe me, just look at the long list of successful lawyers who started working on their own with no experience. Why, it's almost four names long! Sure, the list of successful lawyers who began working in an actual job might be a little longer, but we already established that those Harvard slaves don't know jack about what it means to really be free compared to the Phoenix Law kids. As a matter of fact, you should ask them how it's going. Obviously the solo firms they're opening are indicative of their freedom and not their inability to find another human being who could hire them without bursting out laughing at the hilarious joke within three minutes. After all, there's no better advice than advice from someone who thought the best way to learn a difficult profession is to do it with absolutely no guidance whatsoever.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:35 pm

Dude, we all get your point, but you didn't need to write 700 words to show us how clever you were by making it.

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PatriotP74
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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:11 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Dude, we all get your point, but you didn't need to write 700 words to show us how clever you were by making it.


Outed as Hemingway fan. Faulkner is TCR.

Also, flame thread reaps the flame it sows. But tl;dr is always Having too much work >>>>>> Having not enough work.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:14 pm

People here can be too quick to call flame.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:23 pm

PatriotP74 wrote:I have nothing against working for someone else, i just would rather work for myself in the end of my career and not for someone else


Important word bolded. Revisit this again when you're 35. Go Biglaw and make money to insure yourself against the likelihood of your startup failing.

those large firms they didn't start from 500 lawyers saying lets start a huge firm, they started small and worked their way up.


Therefore buying $2000 of computer shit is a good investment because every garage techie founds the next Google?

I personally know 2 lawyers who run their own firm, enjoy it, and make decent money at it.


I'm sure the ones who failed are begging to tell everyone about it.

So its not impossible as so many on TLS want to make it seem


Yeah, it is.

of course 95 percent of the people on here also claim to have 179-180 lsat scores.


No, they don't.

I have no hate against the corporations, id love to start my own, to do that you usually need to work for one to learn the ins and outs


Okay, so you're going into Biglaw. I'm with you so far...

i had stated multiple times working for others was my plan to start out with the original question is based on choosing schools based on small firm goals rather than big firm dreams.


Doesn't matter. No school is particularly better for small firm work. Go work in Biglaw. Do well. Develop a good reputation and a client base. The longer you're out of school, the less your school matters.

Yes times change but the fact that some people defy the odds or have the drive to do things others wont doesn't change.


I'm sure 95% of people think they have more "drive" than the average person. And sure, some people defy the odds. But the whole effing point is not to put yourself in a situation where your odds have to be defied in the first place.

I think its the right thing to do to tell people like myself that the odds of anything good coming from starting a firm after school or working for small firms will happen. However its wrong to mock and say that it is impossible and something absolutely no one should ever attempt and if you do its because your the shittiest of the shittiest and because someone works for a big firm they are the best lawyer that can be. There are many variables.


1. It is not impossible to be a successful solo practitioner, it is merely exceedingly rare. Is that better?
2. I'm perfectly willing to say no one should ever attempt it. That is, assuming you have significantly better options (as any 0L does).
3. Working in Biglaw doesn't make you the best, but a majority of the best do work/have worked in Biglaw. And there's a reason for that.

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smaug_
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby smaug_ » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:50 pm

:roll: Dude, calm down.

OP, as you're aware you need to focus on retaking. Worry about this more when you're done with that. To be honest, it'll be easier to do almost anything from a T14 than a smaller school unless you know you really want to work in Regional Market X or do small-law. Even if you want to end up in a smaller market, I still think you're better off playing the prestige game, getting a generic biglaw job and then doing whatever you want than to live with the terror of fighting everyone else at a lower ranked school.

timbs4339
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby timbs4339 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:15 pm

OP: When you graduate law school you'll probably have (1) no experience, (2) no clients, (3) no money. It's pretty much impossible to start your own firm without those three.

What you need to do is go to a school in the region you want to practice for free or close to it, with no scholarship stips. This is important because after 1L year you are going to immediately start working 40 hours a week trying to build connections, so you're not going to have time to fend off all your classmates scrambling to get good grades. Then you'll go work for a small firm, hopefully one with honest lawyers who will teach you something for 2-3 years. Then you'll do general practicioner law, which means anything that walks in the door. Maybe some divorces, criminal law, personal injury, employment, small business incorporation, whatever. Meet some people, get some experience, save some money, then go out on your own.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:19 pm

Working in biglaw is the last thing you want to do before opening a solo shop. Solos have to run their own business and they do low level legal work for the lower/middle class. Big law will provide zero training for any of this.

Go be a DA or PD for a few years then do crim defense, or get on with a small shop that does low level legal work-- family, immigration, crim, low level property disputes, etc, -- then go off on our own.

Going off on your own right after law school is not going to work without a huge bankroll to keep you going for awhile..

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:29 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:Working in biglaw is the last thing you want to do before opening a solo shop. Solos have to run their own business and they do low level legal work for the lower/middle class. Big law will provide zero training for any of this.


It will, however, give him some money to fall back on when this all inevitably goes to shit like most solo practices. Which should probably be the main concern.

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banjo
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby banjo » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:22 pm

I know a solo practitioner who gets a significant amount of her work from former biglaw contacts -- i.e. stuff just a little too small for biglaw. These clients tend to be higher quality (more sophisticated, bring more interesting work, and are able to pay), and if you represent them well, you'll continue to get referrals. Personally, the route I'd take to solo practice is T14-->biglaw-->regional biglaw-->network & save money-->solo practice.

Gorki
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby Gorki » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:12 pm

I have worked with a solo OP over the past year and I will tell you that I thought as you did until I worked with him. Life is hell on earth unless you struck gold in the late 90s early 00s and somehow are insulated w/clients.

Honestly starting to regret law school entirely as "going solo" is more and more my likely outcome. Clients never pay on time, and always dispute every damn charge. Hell, they will dispute a filing fee for christ's sake... dispute a fee necessary to get their case into the courthouse.

I want to say idealistically go to a regional school with little debt, but that is what I did and its more likely I will end up washing out within a year after 3L (unless I somehow get a job with a non-solo).

There are T14~T25 grads working at the 5-6 person firms in my tertiary market these days... Yes, they have big debt, but what good is a small debt degree from a regional school when you never work as a lawyer?

TL;DR: Retake, or even better, you are still young and chipper so just find your own path in life and avoid the dull, uncreative, unrewarding, and befouled path to become a first-year attorney in the new normal economy.

crisgcia
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby crisgcia » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:11 pm

I'm actually in the same boat as you (really, same scores and grades strangely enough), and I understand where you're coming from. Having worked as a legal assistant for both a mid-sized firm and sole practitioner, I can guarantee that there is no specific formula for success and that with the right connections, experience, and start-up, you can go solo successfully, though it helps to have a partner or support group behind you.

Big-law, you don't take risks or need to put in the extra networking and business management to keep a small firm going, but I can guarantee that the stress levels for both aren't all that different. It's all about taking chances, hoping they pay off later, and doing what you think is best for you, kind of like the risk of a big T-14 law school debt.

Workingtitle
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby Workingtitle » Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:42 pm

I know this thread has died down, but I wanted to comment anyway because I think there is some gross misrepresentation.

Everyone agrees you should not start a solo out of law school, but you can start one later and be just fine. I work for an attorney in town who did this:

Graduated from 2nd tier school with little debt, worked at small firm to learn tricks of trade, started own firm with 4 others, and now has a solo practice. It takes a certain kind of person to do this, but he does it well, and very much enjoys it. He makes about 70K a year and works the hours he wants (for the most part).

BigLaw is not for everyone, and I think it's a bit ridiculous how much crap OP got for wanting to primarily explore other options. If you can graduate law school with little debt debt and think you are the type of person who can keep business coming in, then I think it's totally fine to start out at a small to medium firm with an eye on one day opening a solo.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:00 pm

if you don't like stress, don't be a lawyer. it's that simple.

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twenty
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby twenty » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:25 am

Workingtitle wrote:I know this thread has died down, but I wanted to comment anyway because I think there is some gross misrepresentation.

Everyone agrees you should not start a solo out of law school, but you can start one later and be just fine. I work for an attorney in town who did this:

Graduated from 2nd tier school with little debt, worked at small firm to learn tricks of trade, started own firm with 4 others, and now has a solo practice. It takes a certain kind of person to do this, but he does it well, and very much enjoys it. He makes about 70K a year and works the hours he wants (for the most part).

BigLaw is not for everyone, and I think it's a bit ridiculous how much crap OP got for wanting to primarily explore other options. If you can graduate law school with little debt debt and think you are the type of person who can keep business coming in, then I think it's totally fine to start out at a small to medium firm with an eye on one day opening a solo.


This isn't particularly promising, although the lack of debt certainly takes the sting out of the possibility of failure. So you spend three years in law school in the red (or at least not making money), to get out and, at best, be making 45k a year, then a few years later you can get up to about 70k-80k which is where you'll sit. I know the market for undergrads is bad, but 6-7 years in, I'd imagine most undergrads could figure something out to pay the bills that doesn't involve taking this path. Hell, a lot of fire departments will be paying better salaries than that.

With the huge exception that the desire to practice law isn't synonymous with a desire to have lots of money, obviously.




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