Self Employment After Graduation

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Anonymous User
Posts: 273498
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Self Employment After Graduation

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:54 pm

I'm looking into law school after finishing my MBA program next spring. Life goal has always been to be self employed, start a business/firm/nonprofit- SOMETHING...where I can do two things 1) use my skills & profits to help others 2) be actively involved in the lives of my (future) children. I don't necessarily want to make tons of money, my husband has a small family business which pays the bills. I also don't want to go into massive debt to get a law degree. (I think this can be avoided, I test very high and plan on attending a 3rd tier school where theoretically I should get a decent scholarship).
How then, should I approach summer employment and internships, knowing that I don't want to be "workin for the man" the rest of my life? Obviously, I may have to spend a few years at firm after grad to gain experience and save up some cash. I have gathered from reading the posts in the forums that the summer work experience is really important. I also know that I could only work in the city I attend school, and I am not sure if that would also be a turn off to employers.
Additionally, how do I weave this in to my personal statement in applications? I feel as though I will come off as arrogant/not taking things seriously if I admit that most of my reasons for wanting a law degree go back to my love of learning for the sake of learning. I also think I will sound completely unoriginal if I spout off something about social justice, even though improving the quality of life for others through my knowledge of the law is hugely important to me.
However, I have spent a lot of time in the decision process and I know law school is something I want to do...I certainly have enough life experience to know the things that I DONT want to do!!

aliarrow
Posts: 886
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:08 pm

Re: Self Employment After Graduation

Postby aliarrow » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:59 pm

Why law school though? It doesn't sound like you actually want to be a lawyer.

And you'll probably get grilled for this:

I test very high and plan on attending a 3rd tier school

dark
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:21 pm

Re: Self Employment After Graduation

Postby dark » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:37 pm

Biglaw probably isn't a path you want to do then. I'd recommend doing summer internships with small firms so you can get a much better sense of firm management, flexibility in practice of law, and so you will be practicing law on a similar scale to how you will be doing when you start your own (small) firm. Also, do externships for small firms during law school. Altogether, you could do two summer experiences, and 4 externships - get experience at 6 small firms, and come out of law school feeling like you've got a good idea about how to be entrepreneurial in the practice of law.

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Veyron
Posts: 3598
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:50 am

Re: Self Employment After Graduation

Postby Veyron » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm looking into law school after finishing my MBA program next spring. Life goal has always been to be self employed, start a business/firm/nonprofit- SOMETHING...where I can do two things 1) use my skills & profits to help others 2) be actively involved in the lives of my (future) children. I don't necessarily want to make tons of money, my husband has a small family business which pays the bills. I also don't want to go into massive debt to get a law degree. (I think this can be avoided, I test very high and plan on attending a 3rd tier school where theoretically I should get a decent scholarship).
How then, should I approach summer employment and internships, knowing that I don't want to be "workin for the man" the rest of my life? Obviously, I may have to spend a few years at firm after grad to gain experience and save up some cash. I have gathered from reading the posts in the forums that the summer work experience is really important. I also know that I could only work in the city I attend school, and I am not sure if that would also be a turn off to employers.
Additionally, how do I weave this in to my personal statement in applications? I feel as though I will come off as arrogant/not taking things seriously if I admit that most of my reasons for wanting a law degree go back to my love of learning for the sake of learning. I also think I will sound completely unoriginal if I spout off something about social justice, even though improving the quality of life for others through my knowledge of the law is hugely important to me.
However, I have spent a lot of time in the decision process and I know law school is something I want to do...I certainly have enough life experience to know the things that I DONT want to do!!


You probably won't get to spend a few years with a firm if you go T3 (at least not one that pays enough to allow you to "save up"). You better be serious about the entrepreneurial stuff because you need to be thinking abut starting your own firm fresh out of school from day one and have a solid plan in place for doing that.

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gwuorbust
Posts: 2087
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:37 pm

Re: Self Employment After Graduation

Postby gwuorbust » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:19 pm

I am considering starting my own law firm out of law school and let me tell you it will not easy by any means. I have another company that I run which is profitable and can support me, but here is what I figure.

First, personal expenses and minimum income:

rent: $0. Here I assume that I can buy a house and then get either (a) biddy to live with who has an income or (b) roommates who will cover rent.
food/entertainment/gas: $1,000 month
debt: $2,000 (while I could pay less, I do not want to)

That gives me personal income necessary just to live of $36,000 year. Because of deductions, I doubt I will pay much in taxes at that level.

-----

business expenses:

$1,000/month office space
$1,000/yearly insurance
overhead, etc. of $400/month

combining the two, I basically have to make 50k/year. This assumes that (1) I have no personal rent; (2) an office; (3) pay debt expenses.

Now, obviously this will probably be different for you. But presumably you do not have another business operation. That either would require that you (1) live off SO's money; (2) start based off current savings(if any); (3) work for someone else then try to start your own firm.

Different kinds of law have different lead times till income is in the door. DUI/criminal law is payment up front, which means you could have some (tho still probably limited) income close to immediately. But if you focus on DUI/petty-crime then you will have difficulty transitioning to something else more profitable later on, like small business, wills, environmental, whatever.

Finally, that does not even take into account advertising. Without advertising you will not have many leads. Networking is one way, but is not a real, organized strategy.

Basically, what it comes down to is that you have to have some way to subsidize an unprofitable venture for probably a year, possibly longer.

blsingindisguise
Posts: 1296
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:08 am

Re: Self Employment After Graduation

Postby blsingindisguise » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm looking into law school after finishing my MBA program next spring. Life goal has always been to be self employed, start a business/firm/nonprofit- SOMETHING...where I can do two things 1) use my skills & profits to help others 2) be actively involved in the lives of my (future) children. I don't necessarily want to make tons of money, my husband has a small family business which pays the bills. I also don't want to go into massive debt to get a law degree. (I think this can be avoided, I test very high and plan on attending a 3rd tier school where theoretically I should get a decent scholarship).
How then, should I approach summer employment and internships, knowing that I don't want to be "workin for the man" the rest of my life? Obviously, I may have to spend a few years at firm after grad to gain experience and save up some cash. I have gathered from reading the posts in the forums that the summer work experience is really important. I also know that I could only work in the city I attend school, and I am not sure if that would also be a turn off to employers.
Additionally, how do I weave this in to my personal statement in applications? I feel as though I will come off as arrogant/not taking things seriously if I admit that most of my reasons for wanting a law degree go back to my love of learning for the sake of learning. I also think I will sound completely unoriginal if I spout off something about social justice, even though improving the quality of life for others through my knowledge of the law is hugely important to me.
However, I have spent a lot of time in the decision process and I know law school is something I want to do...I certainly have enough life experience to know the things that I DONT want to do!!


Oh boy, not sure where to start with this one. There's a lot here, but I'll give it a shot.

1) If you really "test high" why not set your sights a little higher than tier 3? The better the law school you attend, the better the opportunities you'll have in whatever area you pursue. You may at least be able to land some T2 scholarships.

2) Starting your own "business/firm/non-profit" seems awfully broad and vague, and is probably not the ideal way to maintain a lot of involvement in the lives of your children. Running your own firm is enormously time-consuming. Further, it doesn't sound like you have any real sense of what it is you want to do, just a vague idea that you want to "help people" and not "work for the man." Really, if you want to be involved with your kids and not work for the man, at least in a corporate sense, the best thing to do is probably pursue a government job. As far as the non-profit thing, people have this strange myth that starting a non-profit is somehow easier than starting any other kind of business, as though funding sources will just magically appear to pay your salary.

3) Working for someone else for a few years out of law school is definitely a good idea before starting your own anything.

4) I think you're getting ahead of yourself with all this thinking about what summer employment is going to help you start your own whatever. Frankly, the job market is terrible for law students right now and you'll probably have to take what you can get.




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