Page 1 of 1

Amount of independence/"self-employment" as lawyer

Posted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:25 pm
by Anonymous User
I'm curious whether being a lawyer in biglaw gives you any feeling of independence, "being your own person" etc. that other corporate professions do not give. I don't want to be just another cog in someone's machine.

Furthermore, how easy is it for lawyers to have their own firm, or work in smaller ones in which they are recognized as a true individual - and be lucrative??

I want to eventually work for myself, in the broadest sense of the word, and I'd like to think I can earn a good living due to my own hard work and not simply office politics.

Re: Amount of independence/"self-employment" as lawyer

Posted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:17 pm
by swester
Anonymous User wrote:I'm curious whether being a lawyer in biglaw gives you any feeling of independence, "being your own person" etc. that other corporate professions do not give. I don't want to be just another cog in someone's machine.

Furthermore, how easy is it for lawyers to have their own firm, or work in smaller ones in which they are recognized as a true individual - and be lucrative??

I want to eventually work for myself, in the broadest sense of the word, and I'd like to think I can earn a good living due to my own hard work and not simply office politics.


If you don't want to be a "cog in someone's machine," then working in BigLaw might just be the biggest nightmare you could possibly fathom. What part of BIGlaw doesn't suggest machine to you? It's all about processing large cases that typically spans months at a time, with various associates and partners contributing elements to the overarching project. Sure, in terms of independence, you might get your own office, but otherwise it's about the last place you'd look for a feeling of "self-employment."

Many people love the idea of being able to contribute to something larger than themselves, and Biglaw is a fit for them (some of the time). But if doesn't sound like it's for you at ALL.

Re: Amount of independence/"self-employment" as lawyer

Posted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:30 pm
by CanadianWolf
100% agree with the above post. There may be occasional exceptions such as being an estate planning attorney in a large law firm. Another possible exception is practising as a white collar crime criminal defense attorney in a large law firm, although the few that I know of were very successful solo or small firm practitioners who were later brought into the large firms.