Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

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anonymiB
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Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby anonymiB » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:06 am

If you can't find work for a business as an attorney?

Charge $500 a pop to defend petty criminals in court, do a bit of advertising and you could get 10 people a week doing that, good money there, especially if you are in a big city.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby Lawquacious » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:11 am

I think there are a bunch of other threads on this topic if you search, but I think the standard wisdom is that it is very hard to go solo immediately after law school. If you are asking from the perspective of a seasoned attorney seeking a new job (which I don't think is the case), I imagine it is still difficult, but there should be much more of an ability to gauge and handle the challenge in that case.

I think in a really small town this may be more of a possibility (especially if you are coming from a very top school and good attorneys are lacking in the town); from what I have heard going solo in a big city is almost impossible unless you are already experienced and well connected.
Last edited by Lawquacious on Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

Brock2010
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby Brock2010 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:12 am

Issues: insurance, client load, low prestige, actually defending petty criminals blah blah

anonymiB
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby anonymiB » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:12 am

Lawquacious wrote:I think there are a bunch of other threads on this topic if you search, but I think the standard wisdom is that it is very hard to go solo immediately after law school. If you are asking from the perspective of a seasoned attorney, I think it is still difficult, but I think there would be much more of an ability to gauge and handle the challenge.

I think in a really small town this may be more of a possibility (especially if you are coming from a very top school and good attorneys are lacking in the town); from what I have heard going solo in a big city is almost impossible unless you are already experienced and well connected.


Why not just put an ad on tv, you will get tons of calls, and how hard could it be? Just look at the law to see what they are up against and try to work with the judge.

anonymiB
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby anonymiB » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:14 am

Brock2010 wrote:Issues: insurance, client load, low prestige, actually defending petty criminals blah blah


For $5000 a week? Low prestige? Even with your tv commercial?

You need insurance for that? I don't know, that is why I am asking all these questions.

09042014
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:19 am

Because you'd almost without a doubt be committing malpractice.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby Lawquacious » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:20 am

anonymiB wrote:
Lawquacious wrote:I think there are a bunch of other threads on this topic if you search, but I think the standard wisdom is that it is very hard to go solo immediately after law school. If you are asking from the perspective of a seasoned attorney, I think it is still difficult, but I think there would be much more of an ability to gauge and handle the challenge.

I think in a really small town this may be more of a possibility (especially if you are coming from a very top school and good attorneys are lacking in the town); from what I have heard going solo in a big city is almost impossible unless you are already experienced and well connected.


Why not just put an ad on tv, you will get tons of calls, and how hard could it be? Just look at the law to see what they are up against and try to work with the judge.


I realized I gave some general thoughts on trying to go solo right after law school rather than addressing your hypo directly.. I think probably if you have some real business savvy it may be possible to break in to a larger market solo with the approach you're suggesting. I'm sure it would be really difficult (I think starting a business almost always is) but on the chance it worked for you it could pay off well. There's a lot of risk starting any business from scratch which is probably one reason most people are not interested in trying this route, especially right out of law school. An additional and perhaps bigger reason to consider is that without working for someone who is experienced for a while there could be a lot of liability attached to rookie mistakes.

anonymiB
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby anonymiB » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:28 am

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Why not cure cancer and secure world peace while you're at it? Those should be a piece of cake!

See also: http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/arti ... long_shot/


Well, assume you would be seeing mostly district court cases for petty offenses and avoided anything too out of your hands like Supreme Court cases until you had some more experience, still a good way to start, better than the insurance mill I hear, haha.

thegor1987
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby thegor1987 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:33 am

How many defense attorneys are listed in your local phonebook?

09042014
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:47 am

Also petty criminals get public defenders for free anyway.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby dextermorgan » Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:58 am

anonymiB wrote:
Brock2010 wrote:Issues: insurance, client load, low prestige, actually defending petty criminals blah blah


For $5000 a week? Low prestige? Even with your tv commercial?

You need insurance for that? I don't know, that is why I am asking all these questions.

--ImageRemoved--

anonymiB
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby anonymiB » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:02 am

thegor1987 wrote:How many defense attorneys are listed in your local phonebook?


Lots, but I assume they all get work, I have spoken with many and they all seem to stay busy. Maybe I only speak to the experienced ones though

09042014
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:06 am


keg411
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby keg411 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:11 am

anonymiB wrote:Why not just put an ad on tv, you will get tons of calls, and how hard could it be? Just look at the law to see what they are up against and try to work with the judge.


As someone who knows advertising prices, this made me :lol:. OP, advertising (especially in a larger city) can be VERY VERY expensive.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby Lawquacious » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:15 am




Not to say that you were ignoring the distinction, but this guy went solo after practicing at a large international law firm for a number of years (and I suspect coming out of a top school) rather than trying to go solo right after school. Even then it seems that the profession considers him to be somewhat of an anomalous miracle.

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romothesavior
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby romothesavior » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:20 am

anonymiB wrote:If you can't find work for a business as an attorney?

Charge $500 a pop to defend petty criminals in court, do a bit of advertising and you could get 10 people a week doing that, good money there, especially if you are in a big city.

You are either the worst new poster on TLS, or the best. Or maybe the most perfectly executed troll/alt in a while. I can't decide.

anonymiB
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby anonymiB » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:33 am

romothesavior wrote:
anonymiB wrote:If you can't find work for a business as an attorney?

Charge $500 a pop to defend petty criminals in court, do a bit of advertising and you could get 10 people a week doing that, good money there, especially if you are in a big city.

You are either the worst new poster on TLS, or the best. Or maybe the most perfectly executed troll/alt in a while. I can't decide.


Yeah I know, it is totally crazy for me to think a lawyer would have some sort of small firm for himself after being educated to be a lawyer. I am batshit, its clear from the hilarious insanity of my posts. Its all a troll guys...thinking lawyers should practice law in their own small firm, and I guess I was crazy enough to think public defense for a few months would give you the experience you need to do so. I am clearly and obviously insane. Someone get me some ritalin and just call the looney bin, I just type whatever random gibberish spews from my drunken hands on internet boards. I am just lucky it all formed into sentences coherent enough for you intelligent people to read. Thank you for tolerating me.

Voyager
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby Voyager » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:42 am

anonymiB wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
anonymiB wrote:If you can't find work for a business as an attorney?

Charge $500 a pop to defend petty criminals in court, do a bit of advertising and you could get 10 people a week doing that, good money there, especially if you are in a big city.

You are either the worst new poster on TLS, or the best. Or maybe the most perfectly executed troll/alt in a while. I can't decide.


Yeah I know, it is totally crazy for me to think a lawyer would have some sort of small firm for himself after being educated to be a lawyer. I am batshit, its clear from the hilarious insanity of my posts. Its all a troll guys...thinking lawyers should practice law in their own small firm, and I guess I was crazy enough to think public defense for a few months would give you the experience you need to do so. I am clearly and obviously insane. Someone get me some ritalin and just call the looney bin, I just type whatever random gibberish spews from my drunken hands on internet boards. I am just lucky it all formed into sentences coherent enough for you intelligent people to read. Thank you for tolerating me.


I bet you could figure it out. You will need to be active in the local defense bar. Much of your initial business will come from referrals. Also, seeking out an older attorney who is on his way to retirement could land you a bunch of work.

The difficult part is not actually practicing crim defense law. Mostly you show up to arraignments, arrange a deal with the ADA and file some paper work. The difficult part is finding enough work to stay afloat.

Here is an idea: why not track down some solo practioners and ask them if they will spend 30 minutes with you talking about how they got started? None of the pre-law and law students on this board have any idea how it really works. Why not go talk to someone who has done it? Also, most lawyers/law students are afraid to try anything that is off the beaten path.

Look, maybe it is too difficult to try right out of school, but the people to ask about that are actual solo defense practioners, not this lot here.
Last edited by Voyager on Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby D. H2Oman » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:43 am

anonymiB wrote:[Well, assume you would be seeing mostly district court cases for petty offenses and avoided anything too out of your hands like Supreme Court cases until you had some more experience



180

anonymiB
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby anonymiB » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:45 am

keg411 wrote:
anonymiB wrote:Why not just put an ad on tv, you will get tons of calls, and how hard could it be? Just look at the law to see what they are up against and try to work with the judge.


As someone who knows advertising prices, this made me :lol:. OP, advertising (especially in a larger city) can be VERY VERY expensive.


How about in a newspaper? Those are pretty cheap, and could get you some business.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby dextermorgan » Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:21 am

anonymiB wrote:
keg411 wrote:
anonymiB wrote:Why not just put an ad on tv, you will get tons of calls, and how hard could it be? Just look at the law to see what they are up against and try to work with the judge.


As someone who knows advertising prices, this made me :lol:. OP, advertising (especially in a larger city) can be VERY VERY expensive.


How about in a newspaper? Those are pretty cheap, and aren't read by anyone.

Fixed.

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sophia.olive
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby sophia.olive » Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:38 am

anonymiB wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
anonymiB wrote:If you can't find work for a business as an attorney?

Charge $500 a pop to defend petty criminals in court, do a bit of advertising and you could get 10 people a week doing that, good money there, especially if you are in a big city.

You are either the worst new poster on TLS, or the best. Or maybe the most perfectly executed troll/alt in a while. I can't decide.


Yeah I know, it is totally crazy for me to think a lawyer would have some sort of small firm for himself after being educated to be a lawyer. I am batshit, its clear from the hilarious insanity of my posts. Its all a troll guys...thinking lawyers should practice law in their own small firm, and I guess I was crazy enough to think public defense for a few months would give you the experience you need to do so. I am clearly and obviously insane. Someone get me some ritalin and just call the looney bin, I just type whatever random gibberish spews from my drunken hands on internet boards. I am just lucky it all formed into sentences coherent enough for you intelligent people to read. Thank you for tolerating me.


Why solo??
how about Anony & Olive

2LLLL
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby 2LLLL » Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:00 am

Here is an idea: why not track down some solo practioners and ask them if they will spend 30 minutes with you talking about how they got started? None of the pre-law and law students on this board have any idea how it really works. Why not go talk to someone who has done it? Also, most lawyers/law students are afraid to try anything that is off the beaten path.



TCR

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ggocat
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby ggocat » Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:13 am

1. Yes, it can be done. No, it's not as simple as OP thinks (and from OPs comments, I am wondering if OP is even in law school).
2. Yes, OP should chat with lawyers who have done this.
3. Other people commenting on public defenders and lack of insurance are oversimplifying as much as OP is. Many states/cities don't have public defenders, and sometimes new lawyers can be appointed to handle indigent defense work. Some states also do not require attorneys to have malpractice insurance. If OP is doing criminal defense work, that is one of the best practice areas to not carry insurance. (But really, the cost is going to be so low it probably wouldn't hurt to get it).

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nygrrrl
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Re: Why not open a solo or private practice defense firm?

Postby nygrrrl » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:25 pm

Gosh, I kind of hate to do this as this was some particularly amusing and skillful trolling... but the time has come to close the door.
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