Running a Law Firm like a Business

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Maserati91
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Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby Maserati91 » Tue May 31, 2011 11:08 pm

I'm a business major and I was thinking, would it be realistic to run a law firm like a business?

Say you start off by yourself, gets tons of cases/clients until you can handle it by yourself. You hire a couple of attorneys, get more cases, hire more attorneys, expand from one field of law to more, and continue doing this.. to the point where you have like 200 attorneys. Is this possible or am I being stupid and unrealistic? I always thought of how these big law firms like cravath etc got started. They must have gotten started with only one or a couple of attorneys and worked their way up right?

I never see a lawyer on Forbes 400, but it seems so possible to me to run a law firm like a business when I think of it like this, and if you started the firm, you can probably make many millions a year, no? :?

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glitched
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby glitched » Tue May 31, 2011 11:15 pm

how are you so confident you will get clients?

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sundance95
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby sundance95 » Tue May 31, 2011 11:16 pm

Maserati91 wrote:I'm a business major and I was thinking, would it be realistic to run a law firm like a business

Is it realistic to not run a firm like a business?

Maserati91 wrote:Say you start off by yourself, gets tons of cases/clients until you can handle it by yourself. You hire a couple of attorneys, get more cases, hire more attorneys, expand from one field of law to more, and continue doing this.

You just described the hard part. Also, 'expanding' from one field to another typically means bringing on other partners who have, you know, expertise in those areas. Why would a client hire you to represent them if you have no experience relevant to their matter?

bdubs
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby bdubs » Tue May 31, 2011 11:17 pm

Of course firms can start this way, but it's hard to build a reputation based business from the ground up. Successful 'startup' firms have found a niche, like Wachtell which started relatively recently (as far as big name law firms go).

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Magnolia
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby Magnolia » Tue May 31, 2011 11:18 pm

sundance95 wrote:You just described the hard part. Also, 'expanding' from one field to another typically means bringing on other partners who have, you know, expertise in those areas. Why would a client hire you to represent them if you have no experience relevant to their matter?

Because he's running his law firm like a business, bro. Who wouldn't hire a genius like that?

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NYC Law
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby NYC Law » Tue May 31, 2011 11:20 pm

Magnolia wrote:
sundance95 wrote:You just described the hard part. Also, 'expanding' from one field to another typically means bringing on other partners who have, you know, expertise in those areas. Why would a client hire you to represent them if you have no experience relevant to their matter?

Because he's running his law firm like a business, bro. Who wouldn't hire a genius like that?


1) Start a law firm
2) Get a few lawyers
3) Get a few more lawyers
4) ???????????
5) PROFIT

This guy should go into consulting.

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thesealocust
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby thesealocust » Tue May 31, 2011 11:23 pm

Wow, this is a great idea. It's amazing nobody has thought of it before.

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Maserati91
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby Maserati91 » Tue May 31, 2011 11:25 pm

NYC Law wrote:
Magnolia wrote:
sundance95 wrote:You just described the hard part. Also, 'expanding' from one field to another typically means bringing on other partners who have, you know, expertise in those areas. Why would a client hire you to represent them if you have no experience relevant to their matter?

Because he's running his law firm like a business, bro. Who wouldn't hire a genius like that?


1) Start a law firm
2) Get a few lawyers
3) Get a few more lawyers
4) ???????????
5) PROFIT

This guy should go into consulting.


Lol.. I love these responses. But let me rephrase this.. I know you need a rep and stuff.

Say you work at BigLaw after law school, then get partner or in house counsel somewhere and win some big cases, make a name for yourself and raise capital. Say you are 35 at this point, and you decide to leave and start your own firm. You partner up with a couple lawyers in different areas, hire staff, get office space, and at this point, you will prob have enough contacts to get a lot of clients I think. Then you build on this, hire more attorneys, get more clients, expand.

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thesealocust
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby thesealocust » Tue May 31, 2011 11:26 pm

Maserati91 wrote:Say you work at BigLaw after law school, then get partner or in house counsel somewhere and win some big cases, make a name for yourself and raise capital. Say you are 35 at this point, and you decide to leave and start your own firm. You partner up with a couple lawyers in different areas, hire staff, get office space, and at this point, you will prob have enough contacts to get a lot of clients I think. Then you build on this, hire more attorneys, get more clients, expand.


Dude that's a great idea. What would you call it? Sort of like a business firm, only practicing law. Maybe you could call it a "law firm"?

bdubs
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby bdubs » Tue May 31, 2011 11:27 pm

Now sorry I fed the flames. This thread is terrible.
Last edited by bdubs on Tue May 31, 2011 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sundance95
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby sundance95 » Tue May 31, 2011 11:28 pm

NVM, sealocust nailed it.
Last edited by sundance95 on Tue May 31, 2011 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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NYC Law
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby NYC Law » Tue May 31, 2011 11:28 pm

Maserati91 wrote:Say you work at BigLaw after law school, then get partner or in house counsel somewhere and win some big cases, make a name for yourself and raise capital. Say you are 35 at this point, and you decide to leave and start your own firm. You partner up with a couple lawyers in different areas, hire staff, get office space, and at this point, you will prob have enough contacts to get a lot of clients I think. Then you build on this, hire more attorneys, get more clients, expand.


That's the tricky part.

But if you want to speculate on things you have less than a 1% chance of accomplishing, may as well start thinking of businesses you can launch once you win the lotto or take vegas for all its got.

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Maserati91
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby Maserati91 » Tue May 31, 2011 11:31 pm

The reason I made this post is because I never heard of a guy going solo and ending up with a huge law firm of 50 lawyers or so. So I was wondering if it is realistic/possible. I only read about people going solo or partnering with a couple lawyers and having small firms.

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NYC Law
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby NYC Law » Tue May 31, 2011 11:34 pm

Maserati91 wrote:The reason I made this post is because I never heard of a guy going solo and ending up with a huge law firm of 50 lawyers or so. So I was wondering if it is realistic/possible. I only read about people going solo or partnering with a couple lawyers and having small firms.


What would be the alternative route to ending up with a 50 lawyer law firm?
You and 50 unemployed Cooley grads decide to go open shop?
-Awesome movie idea when I think about it

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thesealocust
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby thesealocust » Tue May 31, 2011 11:36 pm

Maserati91 wrote:The reason I made this post is because I never heard of a guy going solo and ending up with a huge law firm of 50 lawyers or so. So I was wondering if it is realistic/possible. I only read about people going solo or partnering with a couple lawyers and having small firms.


Well, every law firm that exists was founded by a couple of lawyers forming a law firm. So if you've heard of a law firm, you've heard of what you're thinking of.

If you want two very recent examples, look into (the formation and growth of) Quinn Emanuel and Boies Schiller.

Also note that legal services are not an easily scalable commodity. People pay large fees for expertise and innovation, you can't just get a client then pass it off. It's not like manufacturing a computer then paying somebody else to keep doing the same thing.

JD2014
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby JD2014 » Tue May 31, 2011 11:40 pm

Say you are 35 at this point, and you decide to leave and start your own firm.


People leave Biglaw all the time to start their own firms. Above the Law usually runs a story if the person is well-known enough. Here's a link to a story on the phenomenon in general: http://abovethelaw.com/2010/08/a-hot-ne ... -own-firm/

The problem is that you don't do it at 35. You'd barely have made partner at that age and wouldn't have a book of business to take with you. Maybe at 50, and assuming you are in a niche business that can be done on a smaller scale.

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SOCRATiC
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby SOCRATiC » Tue May 31, 2011 11:42 pm

my god... lol

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Maserati91
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby Maserati91 » Tue May 31, 2011 11:43 pm

thesealocust wrote:
Maserati91 wrote:The reason I made this post is because I never heard of a guy going solo and ending up with a huge law firm of 50 lawyers or so. So I was wondering if it is realistic/possible. I only read about people going solo or partnering with a couple lawyers and having small firms.


Well, every law firm that exists was founded by a couple of lawyers forming a law firm. So if you've heard of a law firm, you've heard of what you're thinking of.

If you want two very recent examples, look into (the formation and growth of) Quinn Emanuel and Boies Schiller.

Also note that legal services are not an easily scalable commodity. People pay large fees for expertise and innovation, you can't just get a client then pass it off. It's not like manufacturing a computer then paying somebody else to keep doing the same thing.



Thanks so much for these examples, I just looked them up. It's really inspiring..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boies,_Sch ... 26_Flexner

flcath
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby flcath » Tue May 31, 2011 11:48 pm

This wasn't a serious thread, was it, OP?

I'm not upset at the trolling, but the earnestness of your OP almost makes it sound like you're serious.

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NYC Law
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby NYC Law » Tue May 31, 2011 11:48 pm

flcath wrote:This wasn't a serious thread, was it, OP?

I'm not upset at the trolling, but the earnestness of your OP almost makes it sound like you're serious.


The fact that his username ends in 91 convinced me this might be legit.

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Maserati91
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby Maserati91 » Tue May 31, 2011 11:52 pm

NYC Law wrote:
flcath wrote:This wasn't a serious thread, was it, OP?

I'm not upset at the trolling, but the earnestness of your OP almost makes it sound like you're serious.


The fact that his username ends in 91 convinced me this might be legit.


Whats wrong with 91?

...and I think I lost all credibility on these forums after this :cry:

r6_philly
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby r6_philly » Tue May 31, 2011 11:54 pm

If you have one of those gold paint signs, customers will come. Or you could take out some mid day and late night TV ads and find a catchy name like the "tax lady" or "raw justice" or such... :mrgreen:

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NYC Law
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby NYC Law » Tue May 31, 2011 11:56 pm

r6_philly wrote:If you have one of those gold paint signs, customers will come. Or you could take out some mid day and late night TV ads and find a catchy name like the "tax lady" or "raw justice" or such... :mrgreen:


Or you could just become a self proclaimed 'tax guy' and hit up all the business news channels during the slow cycles.

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blink
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby blink » Tue May 31, 2011 11:58 pm

Maserati91 wrote:
NYC Law wrote:
flcath wrote:This wasn't a serious thread, was it, OP?

I'm not upset at the trolling, but the earnestness of your OP almost makes it sound like you're serious.


The fact that his username ends in 91 convinced me this might be legit.


Whats wrong with 91?

...and I think I lost all credibility on these forums after this :cry:



It could mean that your're 19 or 20 years old, which would make this question understandable.

r6_philly
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Re: Running a Law Firm like a Business

Postby r6_philly » Tue May 31, 2011 11:59 pm

NYC Law wrote:
r6_philly wrote:If you have one of those gold paint signs, customers will come. Or you could take out some mid day and late night TV ads and find a catchy name like the "tax lady" or "raw justice" or such... :mrgreen:


Or you could just become a self proclaimed 'tax guy' and hit up all the business news channels during the slow cycles.


I will be doing this, but getting your foot in the door require a bit of luck or conning, or both. Paying for ads guarantees result. Actually if you take out a couple of network market ads and you will be on those shows pretty quick.




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