BigLaw vs opening your own firm?

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delusional
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Re: BigLaw vs opening your own firm?

Postby delusional » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Clients and cases I care about doesn't really equate to saving people.

As for your questions, at some point you do make your own hours. Not for awhile, of course, but when you establish yourself. I have no illusions that I'd be working when I want or taking month long vacations two weeks after setting up my practice.

There are suites and buildings of suites, some full of other lawyers, that probably include toilet paper. I can mop my own floors if necessary...thank God I wasn't coddled growing up. And yes, I'd much prefer to have to find a business to share trash pickup with than have to sift through legal trash on my desk for 12 hours a day.

I wish you godspeed.

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alexonfyre
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Re: BigLaw vs opening your own firm?

Postby alexonfyre » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:07 pm

Having known quite a lot of attorneys who have opened their own firms, I will say that making 200k+ with your own firm is about the same as making it to the NBA from high school, some people do it, but they are the exceptions, not the rule.

Anonymous User
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Re: BigLaw vs opening your own firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:10 pm

alexonfyre wrote:Having known quite a lot of attorneys who have opened their own firms, I will say that making 200k+ with your own firm is about the same as making it to the NBA from high school, some people do it, but they are the exceptions, not the rule.


I'd bet that if you polled big law lawyers making $200k vs solo practitioners making, hell, even $60k, who was happier, it wouldn't be close in favor of solo practitioners.

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bk1
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Re: BigLaw vs opening your own firm?

Postby bk1 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
alexonfyre wrote:Having known quite a lot of attorneys who have opened their own firms, I will say that making 200k+ with your own firm is about the same as making it to the NBA from high school, some people do it, but they are the exceptions, not the rule.


I'd bet that if you polled big law lawyers making $200k vs solo practitioners making, hell, even $60k, who was happier, it wouldn't be close in favor of solo practitioners.


That's not the point.

The point is that if you try to open your own firm, you are far more likely to fail than succeed.

Anonymous User
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Re: BigLaw vs opening your own firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:17 pm

bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
alexonfyre wrote:Having known quite a lot of attorneys who have opened their own firms, I will say that making 200k+ with your own firm is about the same as making it to the NBA from high school, some people do it, but they are the exceptions, not the rule.


I'd bet that if you polled big law lawyers making $200k vs solo practitioners making, hell, even $60k, who was happier, it wouldn't be close in favor of solo practitioners.


That's not the point.

The point is that if you try to open your own firm, you are far more likely to fail than succeed.


I'd assume this depends on how you measure success, no? How are we defining success?

If $200k is your mark of success, ok. But what about 100k? 60k? 40k?

I'd also like to see some statistics here. Lots of discussing about how many people who open their own firm early on fail, but no real data or evidence.

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alexonfyre
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Re: BigLaw vs opening your own firm?

Postby alexonfyre » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:
bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
alexonfyre wrote:Having known quite a lot of attorneys who have opened their own firms, I will say that making 200k+ with your own firm is about the same as making it to the NBA from high school, some people do it, but they are the exceptions, not the rule.


I'd bet that if you polled big law lawyers making $200k vs solo practitioners making, hell, even $60k, who was happier, it wouldn't be close in favor of solo practitioners.


That's not the point.

The point is that if you try to open your own firm, you are far more likely to fail than succeed.


I'd assume this depends on how you measure success, no? How are we defining success?

If $200k is your mark of success, ok. But what about 100k? 60k? 40k?

I'd also like to see some statistics here. Lots of discussing about how many people who open their own firm early on fail, but no real data or evidence.


The OP defined success as making as much money or more than one would in BigLaw, whatever your definition is does not matter to my argument.

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Re: BigLaw vs opening your own firm?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:09 am

Big law = 200k+?

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bk1
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Re: BigLaw vs opening your own firm?

Postby bk1 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:Big law = 200k+?


After a year and accounting for bonuses and lockstep raises, roughly yes.

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Objection
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Re: BigLaw vs opening your own firm?

Postby Objection » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:21 am

bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Big law = 200k+?


After a year and accounting for bonuses and lockstep raises, roughly yes.


Just to jump in here...I don't think the odds of getting into a good school and then getting good enough grades to land a big law job paying $200k after a year ITE are that much higher than doing well with your own practice. Just a hunch.

Big law salaries are the exception, not the rule.

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bk1
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Re: BigLaw vs opening your own firm?

Postby bk1 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:58 am

Objection wrote:Just to jump in here...I don't think the odds of getting into a good school and then getting good enough grades to land a big law job paying $200k after a year ITE are that much higher than doing well with your own practice. Just a hunch.

Big law salaries are the exception, not the rule.


False equivalence.

You can't really compound making it into a good school with getting into biglaw and then say that it's rare. If we start at a fairer point such as the T14, the chances of getting biglaw is roughly 50%... something far more likely than succeeding at starting your own firm right out of school.

Even then, I think the point is actually starting your own firm a few years out and I think even that the odds there are stacked against you. However, once you are in the position to try and go it solo or start your own firm then you will be in a better position to estimate whether you can bring in your book of business than hypothesizing it as a 0L or a law student.

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Objection
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Re: BigLaw vs opening your own firm?

Postby Objection » Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:09 am

bk1 wrote:
Objection wrote:Just to jump in here...I don't think the odds of getting into a good school and then getting good enough grades to land a big law job paying $200k after a year ITE are that much higher than doing well with your own practice. Just a hunch.

Big law salaries are the exception, not the rule.


False equivalence.

You can't really compound making it into a good school with getting into biglaw and then say that it's rare. If we start at a fairer point such as the T14, the chances of getting biglaw is roughly 50%... something far more likely than succeeding at starting your own firm right out of school.

Even then, I think the point is actually starting your own firm a few years out and I think even that the odds there are stacked against you. However, once you are in the position to try and go it solo or start your own firm then you will be in a better position to estimate whether you can bring in your book of business than hypothesizing it as a 0L or a law student.


I think you're seriously overestimating the % of t14 students who were able to land these jobs paying $160k ITE.

I also don't think it's fair to exclude getting into a good school as part the big law process. Though I have no data to back this up, I'd suspect that the odds of having your own successful law practice remains much steadier outside of the t14 than do the odds of landing big law as we have defined it. In other words, you basically need t14 to make big law money in big law; you don't to make it solo.

I would also wager a guess that at some point in the t100, the most likely path to seeing big law money would be through solo practice (though the odds would still be slim).

This is all a long way of saying that it is totally circumstantial.

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romothesavior
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Re: BigLaw vs opening your own firm?

Postby romothesavior » Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:12 am

Objection wrote:I think you're seriously overestimating the % of t14 students who were able to land these jobs paying $160k ITE.

I'll agree with this. The majority of NLJ 250 jobs don't pay 160k. Some pay less than 100k, and some only pay a bit more than that.

But to OP, don't start your firm right out of LS.

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bk1
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Re: BigLaw vs opening your own firm?

Postby bk1 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:24 am

Objection wrote:I think you're seriously overestimating the % of t14 students who were able to land these jobs paying $160k ITE.

I also don't think it's fair to exclude getting into a good school as part the big law process. Though I have no data to back this up, I'd suspect that the odds of having your own successful law practice remains much steadier outside of the t14 than do the odds of landing big law as we have defined it. In other words, you basically need t14 to make big law money in big law; you don't to make it solo.

I would also wager a guess that at some point in the t100, the most likely path to seeing big law money would be through solo practice (though the odds would still be slim).

This is all a long way of saying that it is totally circumstantial.


You really think roughly 50% biglaw + A3 clerks is "seriously overstimating" for the T14?

My point about excluding it is because you know before you go to law school which schools you got into. Sure, if it was some variable that was unknown you could include it, but once you have your acceptances (or heck even your LSAT/GPA) you know what kind of school you are getting into and that changes the equation.

You need T14 (or T12 or T18 or T30 or whatever) to have a good shot at biglaw (which is the easiest path to initial 6 figure salaries)... which was I think you mean at "making biglaw money in biglaw."

You're probably right that once your school has poor biglaw chances you might actually have a better shot at 6 figures through your own firm, however that I think is highly dependent upon the individual more than anything else and the contacts an individual makes. You won't know those going into school and won't even know them enough in school to have a realistic estimation of your chances of success starting your own firm, it will only be with years of experience that you can tell whether you actually have a decent chance of success as failure is almost assured right out of law school. However, for biglaw, you can pretty much estimate your chances of it at the end of your 1L year once you have your grades (or a few months later once you've gone through OCI).

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Objection
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Re: BigLaw vs opening your own firm?

Postby Objection » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:25 am

bk1 wrote:
Objection wrote:I think you're seriously overestimating the % of t14 students who were able to land these jobs paying $160k ITE.

I also don't think it's fair to exclude getting into a good school as part the big law process. Though I have no data to back this up, I'd suspect that the odds of having your own successful law practice remains much steadier outside of the t14 than do the odds of landing big law as we have defined it. In other words, you basically need t14 to make big law money in big law; you don't to make it solo.

I would also wager a guess that at some point in the t100, the most likely path to seeing big law money would be through solo practice (though the odds would still be slim).

This is all a long way of saying that it is totally circumstantial.


You really think roughly 50% biglaw + A3 clerks is "seriously overstimating" for the T14?

My point about excluding it is because you know before you go to law school which schools you got into. Sure, if it was some variable that was unknown you could include it, but once you have your acceptances (or heck even your LSAT/GPA) you know what kind of school you are getting into and that changes the equation.

You need T14 (or T12 or T18 or T30 or whatever) to have a good shot at biglaw (which is the easiest path to initial 6 figure salaries)... which was I think you mean at "making biglaw money in biglaw."

You're probably right that once your school has poor biglaw chances you might actually have a better shot at 6 figures through your own firm, however that I think is highly dependent upon the individual more than anything else and the contacts an individual makes. You won't know those going into school and won't even know them enough in school to have a realistic estimation of your chances of success starting your own firm, it will only be with years of experience that you can tell whether you actually have a decent chance of success as failure is almost assured right out of law school. However, for biglaw, you can pretty much estimate your chances of it at the end of your 1L year once you have your grades (or a few months later once you've gone through OCI).


Foonberg seems to disagree with you. Not saying he's definitely right and you're definitely wrong, but it's not that cut and dry.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: BigLaw vs opening your own firm?

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:
delusional wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
delusional wrote:Uh, no, it's because I am aware that people don't want to be "helped" or "saved". And your own terms means that you not only decide the terms but are responsible to see them through. Try making payroll a few weeks in a small office and tell me you want your "own terms".


Who said anything about helping or saving people? Wanting to choose what cases I take has nothing to do with helping or saving anyone. You should pepper up that reading comprehension before you actually get to law school.

I would love to do some work advising startups, work some soft ip cases, do some criminal defense/post conviction work, whatever interesting civil cases come my way, some entertainment law, etc. Obviously, I'd have less leeway at the beginning to turn down clients and cases, but I'd have no leeway in big law.

I also appreciate your mini lecture on having the responsibility to see my terms through. I guess my "I pick the terms and then take a nap" groundbreaking law firm concept is out the window. Damnit.

I still think that it was a reaosnable interpretation of this
I want to take cases and clients whose causes I actually care about,

Regardless, I know nothing about law, but I know a little about small offices and being your own boss. You can take it or leave it, I guess. You don't make your own hours. You work while you pee. Who is going to buy your toilet paper and mop your floor when it's just you and a secretary? Are you going to be happy spending your time trying to find a neighboring business to share a trash pickup with, instead of doing legal work you don't like?


Clients and cases I care about doesn't really equate to saving people.

As for your questions, at some point you do make your own hours. Not for awhile, of course, but when you establish yourself. I have no illusions that I'd be working when I want or taking month long vacations two weeks after setting up my practice.

There are suites and buildings of suites, some full of other lawyers, that probably include toilet paper. I can mop my own floors if necessary...thank God I wasn't coddled growing up. And yes, I'd much prefer to have to find a business to share trash pickup with than have to sift through legal trash on my desk for 12 hours a day.


I like you anonymous, let's be friends :)




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