MSNBC solo practice article

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Michaela
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MSNBC solo practice article

Postby Michaela » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:40 am


albanach
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby albanach » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:04 am

They could add some balance by telling us about grads that tried and failed.

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swc65
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby swc65 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:08 am

Why is "the chetson firm" in all lower case letters?


Other than that, good for these people, if what hey report is true. The artcile mentions the terrible job market for nearly everyone else, but I think it should have been more balanced.

Also, the Cardozo attorney... "It's pretty sweet." If I were a solo, I am not sure I would have said those exact words in an interview.

"If you’ve been accused of having committed drug trafficking crime, you the chetson firm." Wtf is that?

There is no way this guy is making 200K from defending poor criminals and fighting off DWI. I call BS.

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Michaela
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby Michaela » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:08 am

albanach wrote:They could add some balance by telling us about grads that tried and failed.


That's what I thought, too. These people are the exception, not the rule.

Aston2412
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby Aston2412 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:20 am

swc65 wrote:
There is no way this guy is making 200K from defending poor criminals and fighting off DWI. I call BS.


This was my question.

albanach
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby albanach » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:00 pm

swc65 wrote:
There is no way this guy is making 200K from defending poor criminals and fighting off DWI. I call BS.


Perhaps he sits outside bars at night, tipping off police as patrons drive away?

I guess if he were somewhere large enough, you could get 50-100 DWI cases and charge a flat fee $1,000 a time for representation. I can see where the income could come from but they'd have to be exceptional at finding clients.

I think the biggest challenge for any new solo must be client generation. You also cannot take on large complicated cases because you need an income stream to cover ongoing expenses, and clients are used to no-win no-fee lawyers. If you ask for cash up front, they'll go find someone else that doesn't.

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gwuorbust
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby gwuorbust » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:42 pm

albanach wrote:
swc65 wrote:
There is no way this guy is making 200K from defending poor criminals and fighting off DWI. I call BS.


Perhaps he sits outside bars at night, tipping off police as patrons drive away?

I guess if he were somewhere large enough, you could get 50-100 DWI cases and charge a flat fee $1,000 a time for representation. I can see where the income could come from but they'd have to be exceptional at finding clients.

I think the biggest challenge for any new solo must be client generation. You also cannot take on large complicated cases because you need an income stream to cover ongoing expenses, and clients are used to no-win no-fee lawyers. If you ask for cash up front, they'll go find someone else that doesn't.


DUIs can easily cost between 1k-5k+. but yeah, if you are doing 75 DUI cases at 2k + some other stuff you could pull in 200k. most of that stuff is pretty formulaic. Not to say "easy," but we aren't talking massive complexity here.

The main issue comes down to client generation. If you sign up for bar referral service you can get clients that way. Plus online marketing might lead to some clients. Then you add in referrals from other attorneys. not easy, but not impossible either.

ruski
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby ruski » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:57 pm

i think people are forgetting that revenue =/= income. people incur costs when running a bidness.

albanach
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby albanach » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:46 pm

ruski wrote:i think people are forgetting that revenue =/= income. people incur costs when running a bidness.


Well, I think the point the article was making was that lawyers are somewhat fortunate in that they can set up as a solo with low initial outlay and low operating costs.

Some work from home, reducing monthly costs to only a few $hundred per month. You don't need much more than a phone line, computer printer & fax And a subscription to one of the low-costs lexis alternatives. Oh, and clients!

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swc65
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby swc65 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:56 pm

albanach wrote:
swc65 wrote:
There is no way this guy is making 200K from defending poor criminals and fighting off DWI. I call BS.


I can see where the income could come from but they'd have to be exceptional at finding clients.
.



LoL The article makes it seems as though you just put up a website (one that is full of grammatical and spelling errors) and then you "wake up and have clients without knowing how they found you."

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Stringer Bell
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby Stringer Bell » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:13 pm

albanach wrote:They could add some balance by telling us about grads that tried and failed.


Why? That wasn't really the point of the article.

gjr8891
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby gjr8891 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:39 pm

After graduating from Connecticut’s Quinnipiac School of Law in 1994 and passing the bar, Cartier Liebel hung her own shingle with two other recent graduates. She, like many solo practitioners, received no practical business training at law school. Her company’s tagline is: Solo Practice University picks up where your legal education left off.


I think her company's tagline got cut off, it's actually:

Solo Practice University picks up where your legal education left off, if you went to Quinnipiac.

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arvcondor
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby arvcondor » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:27 pm

I'm also wondering how the hell a freshly minted JD is picking up enough business to pull in that kind of money. Still, the idea of going solo and being successful is appealing. But I agree: I'd like some more info on how many people went it alone and struck the fuck out.

Aston2412
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby Aston2412 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:33 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
albanach wrote:They could add some balance by telling us about grads that tried and failed.


Why? That wasn't really the point of the article.


The point he's trying to make is that these are likely the exceptions.

You'll also note that one of them is making 150K+ and the other is making 40-50k. Even within the article, 50% of the people surveyed aren't all that inspiring.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby Stringer Bell » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:44 pm

Aston2412 wrote:
Stringer Bell wrote:
albanach wrote:They could add some balance by telling us about grads that tried and failed.


Why? That wasn't really the point of the article.


The point he's trying to make is that these are likely the exceptions.

You'll also note that one of them is making 150K+ and the other is making 40-50k. Even within the article, 50% of the people surveyed aren't all that inspiring.


The article wasn't supposed to be about likely expectation graduating from law school with the goal of going into solo practice. An article talking about successful tech start up entrepenuers like Zuckerburg doesn't need to include anecdotes about people that have failed trying to do the same thing. The doom and gloom legal hiring articles with specific instances of t14 students that have failed to land gainful employment don't have an obligation to talk about someone individually from their class that is making 160k.

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Hippononymous
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby Hippononymous » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:45 pm

From the stetson firm Website:

A DWI (DUI/Drunk Driving) may start as low as $2,000 (sometimes lower) or go as high as $3,500. A misdemeanor case may start at $1,000 and go as high as $3,500 for representation in District Court. Felony cases can start as low as $2,000 for District Court representation. Superior Court will cost more. Federal Court fees depend on the kind of case.


TBH, I'd believe that his overhead could be under $15,000K/year. So, if he's cranking out 100 cases in a year at an average of $2K a pop, I suppose it's possible...

areyouinsane
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby areyouinsane » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:12 pm

Solo Practice U. is a scam, scam scam. Read the excellent essay below from the old blog "Big Debt, Small Law" for the real dope on this comical waste of time:
__________________________________________________________


New shingle-hangers get hung out to dry

From Wikipedia’s “Frauds” article:
Scammers recognize that the victim who has just been scammed is more likely to fall for scamming attempts than a random person. Often after a scam, the victim is contacted again by the scammer, representing himself as a law enforcement officer. The victim is informed that a group of criminals has been arrested and that they have recovered his money. To get the money back, the victim must pay a fee for processing or insurance purposes. Even after the victim has realized that he has been scammed, this follow up scam can be successful as the scammer represents himself as a totally different party yet knows details about the transactions. The realization that he has lost a large sum of money and the chance he might get it back often leads to the victim transferring even more money to the same scammer.
Brilliant, no? After all, each orchard of morons always has a few low-hanging fruit just ripe for the picking. The “perennial” suckers, if you will. As our former president George W. Bush so eloquently put it: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice- uh, well, uh, uh- it’s not nice to fool people again!”


Consider the typical, hapless TTT law school grad: First she invested 100 K in a worthless undergrad degree like English Lit or Poli-Sci, then compounded this initial mistake by piling on 120 K or more in non-dischargeable law school loans, bought hook, line and sinker the materially fraudulent salary stats of her law school, endured the BarBri blather-thons, walked the hot coal hazing ritual of the bar’zam, and now finds herself coping with $1500 a month loan payments and a total lack of job opportunities. It’s a familar disaster. Like the Mountain Climber game on The Price is Right, she yodeled her way up the debt mountain and has now fallen off the cliff. Yo-da-le-hee-hoo! Thanks for playing! Even document review, the perennial “parting gift” of the law school also-ran, has now been shipped off to India like those factory jobs of yore. As Springsteen sang in “My Hometown”:

They’re closing down the textile mill ‘cross the railroad track
Foreman says these jobs are going, boys
And they ain’t a comin back

That said, we recently learned here at Big Debt that a new genus of parasite has mutated within the infectious Petri-dish of the law. This nascent strain of law school “after-scammers” are breeding like salmonella in lukewarm mayonnaise. Our friend & fellow blogger Tom the Temp dubs this new (and apparently, now viral) bug the “Solo Practice Cheerleader Crew” (see Tom’s thoughts on these pathogens here):
http://temporaryattorney.blogspot.com/2 ... sters.html

The solo practice pipedream is nothing new to us here at Big Debt, having wreaked its way through our document review projects for the better part of this decade. All us old time coders remember the so-called “solos” on project who were “just having a slow month” and ended up in the doc review gulag “for a short while.” Curiously, those “slow months” stretched into years as these folks popped up again and again on projects like those old character actors from the 1940s gangster movies. Like bad pennies, they were always back in Biglaw’s pocket sooner rather than later. It wasn’t by choice, either.

Armed with a flimsy stack of Vista-Print business cards and a “prestigious” midtown Manhattan mail-drop address, these usual suspects were always “open for business,” such as it were. You’d sometimes hear them on the phone in the vestibules, bickering over some rinky-dink traffic ticket or small-claims case. One particular guy nicknamed “ShitFingers” liked to operate his side practice via cellphone while dropping heat in the restroom stall, giving “toilet law” a literal dimension. His clients must have thought one of those Civil War re-enactments was going on while he discussed the retainer.

Later, you’d go to wipe and find he’d captioned draft briefs on the Charmin and hidden a stapler under the toilet tank. I often wondered why he didn’t just tape his law degree up in there alongside the stall’s graffiti. No one would’ve cared. This was, of course, in the SullCrom basement, down amid the boxes. Those were the days, young grasshoppers.
As mentioned supra, these “solos” had little more to show for their 7 year education than those pathetic Vista-Print cards. They were curious spectacles in themselves, these cards, featuring the obligatory “Esq” after the last name, coupled with the redundant “Attorney & Counsellor at Law” directly beneath in bold font. Sometimes they’d even slug it “The Law Office of Mr. Loser Solo, Esq, Attorney & Counsellor at Law, JD, LLM” and other such nonsense, as if listing every permutation of their “title” would somehow confer respect.

It didn’t. When the bowel movement was over and the business cards put away, he went back to being Temp. Coder #670934, like Superman doffing his cape and becoming Clark Kent. On payday, he drew the same $21 an hour as the rest of the losers.

But again, we think there really was something to these business cards, something quite profound. A fire within, perhaps? Like the tiny American flag that John McCain & his cellmates stitched while inside the “Hanoi Hilton”, the cards represented pride and honor and-dare we write-loyalty to a system. A system that (like McCain & his cellmates) had ruthlessly screwed and exploited them, but a system for which they harbored latent pride nonetheless. We often wondered what pleasure was drawn from seeing one’s own name followed by “Esq.” as opposed to Temp. Coder #670934, or prison inmate, or midget porn director? Of what did these coders dream? Did they stare into the alkalide glow of the monitor and see not a Global Broker Dealer Sub-Agreement but instead a plush corner office, complete with mahogany desk, silk drapes, and Cartier fountain pens? The law school sheepskins proudly framed on the walls? Were the images real and concrete, or lacy and vague at the edges like a sitcom’s dream sequence?

We’d rather not know. Here at Big Debt, we find these “solo law practice” pipedreams rather comical, and somewhat akin to delusions. To paraphrase Nietzsche, “if you stare too deeply into the monitor, the monitor will stare into you.” So it goes. As the SullCrom partner once told a peskily querying coder “We’re not paying you guys to think. Just click, and click fast. There’s too much fucking around down here.” Right after that, some old coder farted.
But we digress. Our first snowfall in NYC was just last week, yet shitlaw firms have been reporting severe, isolated blizzards since the 4th of July. This often culminates in the phenomenon known as a “white-out.” A white-out occurs when the quantity of incoming resumes exceeds the toner capacity of the fax machine.

Like hurricanes, scientists are studying the “life cycle” of the typical NYC whiteout. Its root causes, if you will. The “chain of events.” They tell us it all starts with a craigslist ad, calling for some no-fault/landlord tenant/personal injury/_________(insert shitlaw practice area here) associate, with 0-2 years experience. Usually the salary offered will be south of 40 K, but much “experience” is promised in lieu of monetary remuneration. Court appearances and depositions are often mentioned, as well as “motions.”

Upon pressing the “post” button and placing the ad online, the white-out phenomenon unfolds. Within seconds, the telltale ring of the fax machine sounds thru the office as the resumes start shooting in. Building slowly, like a dynamo whirring up to speed, the ring soon blares into a continuous, screeching din like a submarine’s “torpedo” alarms in those old WWII movies. Upwards of 75 resumes a minute have been reported, and often the hapless secretaries are dispatched to find milk crates, empty wastebaskets, and other vessels to absorb this incoming resume avalanche.
But there’s no taming this feral beast. As the toner bleeds dry, the print becomes fainter and fainter, until the boldfaced “Cardozo Sports Law Journal” and “Top 46%” boldfaced type dissolves from a scream to a faint whisper. By the ten-minute mark, the fax machine pages emerge blank and unblemished, the shitlaw credentials unprinted. The toner is empty. Yet onward the onslaught continues, page upon empty page pouring into a vortex of abject nothingness. This heart of darkness is pure white.

(A nostalgic digression: Our old NYC personal injury firm was notoriously cheap, and bought those knockoff Canal Street toners that left your motions looking like a charcoal briquette had been rubbed across them. A judge once charitably compared them to cave paintings, and asked if I’d scrubbed a chimney with them).
But let’s get back on track: Below is the website link to the new “Solo Practice University”, complete with ringing customer endorsements:
http://solopracticeuniversity.com/
God, I haven’t laughed this hard since George Carlin kicked the bucket. Is Carlton Sheets this huckster’s uncle? Don’t laugh. I can easily see these solo-practice shysters taking to late night TV to hawk this useless drivel. You know, like those investment scam “informericals”…..

Imagine Susan Carter Liebel, CEO of Solo Practice University, reclined on a beachfront patio in Miami, the jade green waters over her shoulder and the shills facing west. Perhaps a dwarf or two, fanning her with palm fronds. Everyone sports a tan. Sunshine, smiles & sunglasses abound:

SCL: “Tell us about your experience with Solo Practice University, Shill #1”
Shill: “Susan, I can’t thank you enough for these wonderful Solo Practice Univesity materials. Two years ago I was sweating in the Paul Weiss cockroach basement coding documents for $21 an hour. That’s right Susan, a LICENSED NY ATTORNEY making $21 an hour.
“Dear God, surely you jest, Mister Shill?”
“I wish I was kidding, Susan, I really do. Sadly, that’s the going rate for doc review in NYC.”
“But at some point, that changed, didn’t it? Tell our audience here what happened?”
“Well Susan, after getting home from Paul Weiss at 2 am with my eyes weeping blood, I switched on my 13 inch TV to watch Gilligan’s Island when I caught the end of your program here.”
“You mean “Solo Practice University”?
“Yes, and it was a moment that changed my life. Like a revelation, a God coming down to Moses, it all fit suddenly together. Everything was made clear, the solutions to all my problems and the answer to all my prayers. The “Ten Commandments” of Solo Practice U” touched my soul!
“What happened next, pray tell, Mister Shill?”
“First, my neighbor started screaming about the extension cord I’d strung across the fire escape to steal his electricity, since mine had long since been cut off for non-payment. After he settled down, I had my roommate hold the rabbit ear antenna while I took down the toll-free number for Solo Practice University! After a few minutes I thought, “Gee whiz, why have I been reviewing those Global Bi-Lateral Broker-Dealer Sub Agreements for Paul Weiss at $21 an hour, when I can do it just as well myself for $950 an hour?
“And tell us, Mister Shill, how things have worked out since that call?”
“Susan, I’m just so happy I’m almost speechless. These tears are the tears of sheer ecstasy, by God. I swear I haven’t wept like this since chopping a bushel of onions at my old Gray’s Paypaya side job. Now, thanks to Solo Practice University, I have my own solo boutique doing Sarb-Ox compliance and multi-international securities work, and my biggest decision is choosing what color Ferrari I want next. Me and the Goldman Sachs gang, who are now clients of mine, are partying balls out with Derek Jeter & some hookers in a couple hours. And Susan, you see this watch? See it? This watch cost more than a year’s tuition at Seton Hall. That’s who I am, and these loser coders I worked with are still nothing.”
Cue the toll-free number. So it goes, beachcombers. You can almost smell the Coronas.

Note that none of the solo-practice cheerleaders actually practice law themselves, just as Carlton Sheets never sold real estate and Ron Popeil never ate a rotisserie chicken injected with chunks of raw garlic. Instead, they peddle the idea of solo practice as a kind of elixir, a “snake oil” or tonic if you will. Like the patent medicines of the 19th century, they’re palliative treatments for the JD pox, not cures. They make outrageous claims and far-out promises knowing full well they can’t deliver. And shit, why not? As we wrote in the intro, someone gullible enough to waste 100 K+ on a TTT law school surely won’t mind parting with another $595 to learn the “inside secrets” of Solo Practice U! The typical TTT grad blows more than that a semester on Rule Against Perpetuities study-aid puzzles and other accessories of the lawschool scam machine.
But the truth soon sets in. Like the Wizard of Oz, the curtain has long since been pulled back on the charade of solo shitlaw by consumer-friendly websites like Legalzoom. The public know full well what a worthless “product” most shitlawyers peddle, and the jig is now up. It sure don’t take 7 years of schoolin’ to cut n’ paste some janitor’s Last Will & Testament together or grovel before some lowlife traffic court judge for a point reduction. Anyone who can read can now pretty much solve their own legal problems by downloading a few boilerplate forms, doing some quick Googling, and pulling the old cut n’ paste. They surely couldn’t be any more incompetent than the typical recent law grad, unless of course their case involved a “fertile octagenarian” or other bar exam trivia. Opening a solo shitlaw office in 2010 is like opening a typewriter repair store in 1993- your product is already obsolete. And no, we don’t want to hear about your uncle/neighbor/dad’s college roommate who made millions in the 1980s on whiplash cases. That horse has long since limped off to the glue factory. Maybe Grandpa Kettle made a living shoeing horses, but that doesn’t mean my spiffy new blacksmith shop on the NJ Turnpike will become a going concern. Times have changed.

Funny too how the “solo university” hucksters have mimicked the TTT law school website template. It features all the lame, hackneyed buzzwords like “networking” and “professional connections,” the usual “success story” shills, and even a spiffy section of “faculty” bios (btw, the faculty member on the upper right corner looks of Solo U like he just swallowed a quart of bong water). Funniest of all is the “virtual law office” faculty chick- (she’s second from the right, bottom row). Does this virtual practice come with virtual clients and a virtual paycheck? To be fair, many lawyers do practice in a virtual way, but the problems is that these “lawyers” are located in Mumbai, Bangalore, and other Third World sweatshops and charge $25 a week to churn the same cut n’ paste shitpaper as Joe Schmoe Esq. down on Main Street USA. All with the American Biglaw Association (ABA’s) full blessing to boot. Let’s sing the “ABA Outsourcing Theme Song” to the old Gilligan’s Island tune:
“No dues, no exams, no background checks, not a single CLE, like Robison Crusoe, it’s primitive as can be.”
And like Quinnipiac Law School (Susan C. Liebel’s former employer) you’ll be pleased to know that Solo Practice University’s entrance standards are “virtually” nonexistent! She has indeed learned well. Just fork over your credit card number and $595 later you’re on your way to Solo Practice nirvana. And away we go!

Doc review will look like a night on the town once you get a few “rubber check retainers” for some serial drunkard’s 4th DWI, or sit in some kerosene-reeking trailer park signing up an SSI disability scammer with bulging spinal discs, or chew No-Doz until 4 am filling out the 84,578 pages of HUD-1 dreck and title work toilet paper for some $300 fee residential real estate closing.

We found especially amusing the personal injury practice “negotiation” video, because we here at Big Debt are old veterans of the NYC plaintiff sewer. Save your $595, because Professor Law is 4 Losers can tell you everything you need to know about personal injury work in about 12 sentences:

First off, w/out a 7 figure ad budget you aren’t going to have any decent cases, so class is dismissed. Go have a beer. Second, if you do get a fender-bender whiplash case, the “negotiation’ with Allstate or State Farm will go something like this:

Shitlaw Solo: “Hi, I represent Mister Brokedick with a bulging lumbar disc and want to settle the case.”
Allstate: “We have it marked no pay. We will force you to trial and make 12,459 motions a day to bury you in paperwork. If the client had chicken pox in 1st grade we will make discovery motions for the HIPPA authorization for that and also seek authorizations for every other sniffle, sneeze or fart this bastard has squeezed since 1965. If the facilities don’t provide them, we’ll just make the motion over and over and over again until you give up. We have a team of lawyers we pay $5 an hour just to do this from Touro Law School. We know damn well you’re a solo and can’t afford to pay the treating doctor 5 K to testify if it gets that far. And even if you do and you win the trial, it’s only a 25 K policy, so you’ll have made nothing after expenses. By the way, go fuck yourself mister attorney. I am a high-school dropout claims adjuster and make 65 K a year with health benefits and you are a scrounging solo ambulance chaser buried up to your ass in debt!”

Really kids, where are you going to get the $210 it costs to buy an index number, the $95 to buy an RJI (request for judicial intervention), the $500 in photocopying fees to get the medical reports,/MRI films/X-rays, the $200 for deposition fees/transcripts, the $45 for each motion and (if you go to trial) the $5,000 a Board Certified Orthopedist gets for a morning of testimony? Just a handful of fender-bender cases and you’re looking at thousands of dollars in “fronting” expenses just to churn the files. Remember, this is on top of your student loans.

Oh, you’ll have the client pay expenses upfront? Good luck. Most personal injury victims are clumsy, illterate basket cases that don’t have a pot to piss in, but what they lack in $$$ they make up for in street smarts. Ask them for money and they’ll be changing lawyers inside of 30 seconds, probably to a big mill that has the juice to get them a 1-800-Lawcash loan shark advance too.

Wake up. This is the real fucking world kids, not some Erin Brokovich fairy tale. We at Big Debt write of the world as it is, not as we wish it to be. We’re dead serious when we warn you away from the solo practice pipedream. Not only does solo practice shitlaw offer lower hourly wages than mowing lawns and less job satisfaction than stocking shelves at Wal-Mart, it also features another fun thing called the “order to show cause to withdraw.” In law, when clients don’t pay, judges don’t care. You need to formally get the court’s permission to part ways with the non-paying, bellicose, and obstinate scum that constitute the “clients” of most shitlaw offices In the words of one wag, “they have big problems and empty pockets.”
Solo practice university, as we here at Big Debt well know, is little more than a modern-day recycling of the old “snipe hunt” prank. These jokers send the newbies forth in search of non-existent “clients” and wax poetic on the notions of “justice” and “making a difference” while laughing hysterically behind the poor sucker’s backs. I’d bet a week’s worth of food stamps that half these “professors” of solo shitlaw U have an uncle who was claims manager of an insurance company or some other family connection that 99% of the incoming suckers could only dream of. It takes serious money to start a law practice, and don’t let the Solo U cheerleaders convince you otherwise. They’re just salesman out to score a quick buck.
Take this under advisement: A law practice isn’t a shoeshine stand, crack deal, or hot dog cart. You’ve gotta pay bar dues, CLE fees, malpractice insurance, court filing fees, your own health insurance, and a host of other expenses too numerous to list. Student loans are beyond crushing. It’s very easy to get in over your head, and a couple bounced retainer checks will have Access Group’s goons “accessing” your bank account. Short of dropping off $150,000 of seed money on your doorstep, there’s nothing Solo Practice U can do to help you. As the old saw goes, “wish in one hand and shit in the other, and see which one fills up first.”

Like all good salesman, the solo practice cheerleader’s purpose is not to teach you the “practice of law” or “how to network” or any other Oprah-esque, self esteem junkie nonsense. Our society’s nonstop doses of ”feel good” syrup and “you’re very special” candy canes have rotted our collective teeth out already. Most people graduating from law school aren’t special, and aren’t going to amount to a pint of cold piss in this devilish farce of a “profession.” Forty years go, no accredited law school would’ve even accepted the majority of the mouth-breathers enrolled today, and rightly so. Fact is, the ”solo cheerleaders” only want to make a sale, and the #1 key to making a sale is overcoming objections. Consider this snippet:

Solo U Website: “The common preconception among law students is that starting a solo practice is unwise, if not downright impossible. Conventional wisdom says you should work for someone else for a few years to learn the ropes.”
Law is 4 Losers Translation: The common perception is wrong. YOU can succeed where others failed. YOU can beat the odds, YOU can defy the convention wisdom, etc. All you need to do is fork over $595 and the secrets of Solo Practice U will have you minting so much money you’ll need a Brinks truck to escort it to the bank while you follow in your Bentley sniffing blow off the dashboard.
It’s no different than the law school scam itself. These hucksters are so slick it’s as though they were the Valvoline Dean’s own understudies. When kids (and their parents) object to paying a 2nd tier boiler room “school” like Seton Hall $44,000 a year in tuition, the old “Valvoline Dean” Pat Hobbs just grins and points to the “average starting salary” of $125,000 listed in the brochure and extends a shiny pen.
“Dear God”, say the kids, “that’s only the “starting salary!” “Just imagine how well I’ll do 5 years out!” Hobbs flashes his soulless, oil-can grin and in three years the kids aren’t lunching at Sardi’s but instead sucking glue off their food stamps. The snack bar’s been relocated to the shithouse.
Kids, the sad truth is that a JD/law license is nothing special. Any mouth-breathing moron can drool on the LSAT, get admitted to a TTT, sleep thru the so-called “classes,” take BarBri, and get admitted. If the standards for medicine were as low as for law, the typical US life expectancy would be about age 6. Cutting my Inspector Gadget Fan Club membership off the back of the Coco-Puffs box was more of an accomplishment than passing the NY/NJ bars. You might as well frame your driver’s license as hang a J.D. on the wall. It’s as watered-down a credential as there is and getting exponentially worse by the day. You don’t make tomato soup by squirting ketchup into a swimming pool, but that’s about as weak as this “profession’s” flavor is today, thanks to our pals at the ABA (American Biglaw Association), who just accredited 4 new law schools on Dec 5.

For a real laugh to ring in the new year, feature this: Solo Practice U now offers gift certificates for that “special” loser in your life. I’m not making this up:
"We’ve had many requests from non-lawyer spouses, parents, girlfriends and boyfriends and even lawyers themselves who have wanted the option to purchase the ‘gift of education’ for the lawyer or law student in their life. Now you can do so and just in time for the holidays or even a ‘passed the bar exam’ present or simply because you want to help someone kick start their career in solo practice. They are good for any occasion and available year-round."

Wow. Talk about a lump of coal in the old Xmas stocking. Maybe a better gift would be a tighter-fitting garage door so the carbon monoxide doesn’t escape while your resident loser-lawyer does himself in. Hell, would you rather be dispatched with the quick choke of exhaust fumes or the slow strangulation of starting a shitlaw “practice” with Sallie Mae riding shotgun? And you really have to chuckle (or wretch) at the “requests from spouses, parents and girlfriends” pouring into good old Solo Practice U. Like Al-Anon families, these folks are collateral damage in the law school bloodbath. It’s hard for laypeople to comprehend just how utterly hopeless and abysmal this industry has lately become, especially with noxious drivel like Boston Legal flooding the airwaves 24-7. Let’s be perfectly clear: For most, a law degree confers nothing but a lifetime of non-dischargble debt, sporadic and miserable employment, stress, bitter disappointment, and wages well south (after loans are deducted) than that of a truck driver, garbage man, or bricklayer. These “loser” grads aren’t just statistics, lest we forget. They’re real people-our friends from law school, from projects, from practice.

Here’s a fact: law school salary numbers aren’t exaggerated or puffed or coiffed or stretched. They’re outright lies. I’ve been in this game 5 years and can’t name a single attorney I know making more than 60 K. Not one. This is in NY City. Almost everyone I know is either unemployed or working in some doc review boiler room for embarrassingly low wages and no health insurance. Most are already so jaded and ground-down by this perpetual misery that they just plain want out. Who can blame them? Only a true sociopath could take any satisfaction or pride from the mind-numbing boredom, vapid make-work, elitist pricks, gutter wages, crushing stress, and complete ethical cesspool that is the “practice of law” in our time. It’s nothing more than a giant Ponzi scheme with a tiny handful of “winners” and rapidly growing hordes of very pissed-off “losers.”

Rather than piss $595 away on a worthless Solo U pipedream, I suggest that all shitlawyers send their families the link to our blog (as well as others in our blogroll at right). Encourage them to read the many horror stories and shattered dreams posted in the comments section and elsewhere. You are not alone. Unlike Solo Practice U, we charge no tuition and make no false promises. We’ve rubbed the law school lamp too, and no genie was released. Our only goal here is to kick the oinking snouts of the law school pigs who grow forever fatter at the federally-backed tuition loan trough. These swine squeal and bleat about pro-bono work while collecting their six-digit paychecks and jacking up tuition at 5 times the rate of inflation like the hypocritical limousine liberals that they are. We here at Big Debt would like to wish all the absolute worst on them, their families, and their health for 2010. It’s past time these shysters reap some of the misery they’ve sown.

The only surefire cure for the “disease” of a J.D. is to run fast and far from this swirling sewer of an industry before you are sucked down the toilet with the other “solo” rabbit turds. If you’re on unemployment in NJ, you qualify for free tuition at any of the community college tech schools. Our advice here at Big Debt is to roll up your sleeves and load up your toolbox. Thanks to a generation of propogandist “college for everyone” drivel, there’s an acute shortage of HVAC repair techs, plumbers, electricians, and other skilled tradesman. Don’t believe us? Call a plumber and a lawyer and see who can get there first. By the way, ask the plumber if he’s willing to install your faucets “pro bono” because you have no money. After all, running water is surely as important as your legal problems (and plumbers are VERY expensive), so just tell him he should do it for free in the public interest. Try the same thing with your auto mechanic, roofer, HVAC guy, and electrician. You’ll quickly find that only the “law” is so fixated on the merits of giving expensive professional services away to deadbeats for free. Here at Big Debt we’ve long argued against any and all pro bono work. Why? Because by so doing, one reinforces in the public’s mind that the service provided is worthless. This is especially true when rendering an “intangible” product like law, one that looks to a layperson like nothing more than a stack of very boring paperwork. (Imagine that!)

In summation, starting a “solo practice” in 2010 is like selling saltwater on a lifeboat: people are already surrounded by an infinite quantity of this worthless and unpalatable resource. Drinking that saline-soaked Kool Aid will kill you faster than thrist. Just open up your hometown Yellow Pages and count the 500 or so pages of desperate solo shitlawyers begging for DWI, real estate, personal injury, and other “common folk” law. When you’ve finished that assignment, we recommend a “bonus tour” of craigslist’s legal services section, where the truly desperate bottom feeders hang out. Like catfish, these barristers subsist on a steady diet of legal excrement, the carrion every other lawyer has already turned down. Some of these “craigslisters” will even shovel your snow or clean your gutters during your free 7-hour consultation. When you’ve completed this “lawyer-counting” assignment, ask yourselves how many lawyers you (and your family) have needed in your life and divide this by the number of lawyers you’ve counted in your area. Lawyers aren’t much for arithmetic, but this is what’s known as “doing the math.” And unlike Solo Practice U, these numbers don’t lie.
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Last edited by areyouinsane on Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

albanach
Posts: 1011
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby albanach » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:15 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:An article talking about successful tech start up entrepenuers like Zuckerburg doesn't need to include anecdotes about people that have failed trying to do the same thing.


Typically an article about the tech entrepreneurs is fashioned in a way to portray them as unique and brilliant. This did nothing of the sort:

The economic downturn has prompted more graduates like Chetson to open their own law firms rather than take the law firm or corporate attorney route. Many newly minted solo practitioners are succeeding by turning to digital media to hang their own virtual shingles.

“I don’t need a big copier, I don’t need a huge support staff to manage all my paperwork and I don’t need an expensive phone system,” Chetson said in a recent interview. “Basically I just need a laptop and cell phone and I’m off and running.”


They give the impression that many new grads could do this and that it should be straightforward if not easy. That's why the article was lacking balance.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby Stringer Bell » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:35 pm

albanach wrote:
Stringer Bell wrote:An article talking about successful tech start up entrepenuers like Zuckerburg doesn't need to include anecdotes about people that have failed trying to do the same thing.


Typically an article about the tech entrepreneurs is fashioned in a way to portray them as unique and brilliant. This did nothing of the sort:

The economic downturn has prompted more graduates like Chetson to open their own law firms rather than take the law firm or corporate attorney route. Many newly minted solo practitioners are succeeding by turning to digital media to hang their own virtual shingles.

“I don’t need a big copier, I don’t need a huge support staff to manage all my paperwork and I don’t need an expensive phone system,” Chetson said in a recent interview. “Basically I just need a laptop and cell phone and I’m off and running.”


They give the impression that many new grads could do this and that it should be straightforward if not easy. That's why the article was lacking balance.


I think the article does portray the two people profiled as good entrepenuers. Zuckerburg was probably a bad example, but profiles like this about start up businesses are pretty common and don't include disclaimers that 80% of new businesses fail within a year. Subjects of pieces like this are more portrayed as enterprising rather than brilliant.

ETA: I don't think this article is particulary deep or well written. It's just that pieces like this covering a broad spectrum of commercial mediums are common.

jarofsoup
Posts: 1952
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby jarofsoup » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:05 pm

Future title:


"Law grads going solo, getting sued for Mal Practice, and no longer loving it


The recession has forced many new lawyers to hang their own shingle; some are succeeding and some have no idea what they are doing"

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kapachino
Posts: 566
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby kapachino » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:16 pm

I think they should have profiled the JDs that are working out of Starbucks and only make $30K-50K/year.

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dr123
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby dr123 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:26 pm

Woah, that was the post epic post I have ever seen on TLS

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gwuorbust
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby gwuorbust » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:50 pm

dr123 wrote:Woah, that was the post epic post I have ever seen on TLS


it is a JDU repost

areyouinsane
Posts: 208
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby areyouinsane » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:17 pm

"Law grads going solo, getting sued for Mal Practice, and no longer loving it


Actually, it's pretty damn hard to get sued successfully for malpractice when you're doing solo stuff like consumer bankruptcy, DWI, residential real estate closings, etc. There really just isn't much to screw up, and remember that legal malpractice cases are almost always done on contingency, so no decent plaintiff malpractice lawyer is going to go to bat for some clown who got convicted of DWI or missed the deal on some crap condo in Kearney, NJ.

Besides that, malpractice for a newbie solo is cheap- like $1200 a year premium for 100 K of coverage.

And overall, the work quality of many newbies actually surpasses the old timers when it comes to typical consumer shitlaw. Noobs are hyper-afraid of screwing up, so they tend to triple-check everything, whereas the old timers running "mills" that crank out shitlaw crap by the wheelbarrow-load (and have paras and such do all the paperwork) often cut corners and get lazy about things.

A good per-diem paralegal is worth his/her weight in gold when it comes to things like residential closings. I churned out quite a few residential closings back in 2006/07 when the market was good, and paid a 64 year old semi-retired paralegal $30 an hour to basically do all the paperwork, soup to nuts. She's forgotten more about this crap than most lawyers will ever know. I signed all the docs ahead of time and even sent her to the closings for me to collect my check and wish everyone well, give them a bottle of Gallo I bought off the back of a truck, etc.

Too bad the RE market crashed, b/c those closings were a really easy buck, esp. if you owned your own title company (which in most states is legal so long as the client signs a waiver acknowledging that you have an interest in same). I was in the process of getting set up when the market crapped out in late 2008. It was gonna be the golden ticket out of doc review.

Now everyone has rushed into doing consumer Ch 7's, which are not very profitable. Most you can charge in NJ is about 1700 bucks, and from that comes the 350 filing fee, the initial consult, a few follow up calls, paying a para to file the petition and handle the other mailings and calendar, and about an hour or two at the 341 trustee hearing. Also very hard to get your fee since these clowns are already broke and can't put it on their credit card (for obvious reasons). You GOTTA get that fee upfront, or else you'll be chasing them for $$$ post-discharge and good luck with that.

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ggocat
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Re: MSNBC solo practice article

Postby ggocat » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:12 am

jarofsoup wrote:Future title: "Law grads going solo, getting sued for Mal Practice, and no longer loving it

:roll:




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