No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:14 am

Quick information on my background...

First off, I'm in a unique situation because I have absolutely NO DEBT. I have been fortunate to have parents that have paid for all of my legal education. This will probably anger some people (I kept it secret from all my law school classmates), but realize I would never have went to law school if my parents had not agreed to do that for me... It's not like I went into law school and then stumbled upon a fortune.

Now I'm on the job-hunt, but so far I've been getting nothing but the run-around from potential employers/interviewers.

Since nobody wants to hire me... I'm thinking about opening my own practice right out the gate. I've talked to my parents about this, and they said they would spot me the money I would need for the first couple of years (including rent for an office, and a Westlaw account).

This prospect sounds so exciting to me... I'm thinking of opening the practice even if someone offers me a job.

My question is this...

Are solo practitioners coming straight out of law school doomed to fail? The way that I look at it... even if I do flop after two years, at least I can use that experience towards applying to a firm down the road.

The only thing that scares me is that if I do flop, I don't know what kind of experience future employers would want in hiring an attorney. Do you think an employer would look down on me for opening my own practice? If I focus primarily on criminal law, would that be something that employers in other fields would not care about?

Thanks in advance for any advice you have to offer.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:21 am

need more info. school range, location, class rank, career goals?

fwiw I believe that doing this will permanently preclude you from big law in the future, unless you are such a success that big law is no longer worth it.

TheZoid
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:07 pm

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby TheZoid » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:21 am

This is a bad idea. You don't have enough experience coming straight out of ls for that. A few bad mistakes resulting from inexperience could sully the reputation you would need down the road to get a job. Also, it makes it kind of obvious that you had no other options as far as jobs, and that's not a good indication.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:22 am

Find successful local solo practitioners. Talk to them about this, not us. Also, really likely to fail.

PeanutHead
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:01 pm

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby PeanutHead » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:33 am

Work for someone for free for a couple years.

User avatar
Bronx Bum
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:02 pm

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby Bronx Bum » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:35 am

TheZoid wrote:This is a bad idea. You don't have enough experience coming straight out of ls for that. A few bad mistakes resulting from inexperience could sully the reputation you would need down the road to get a job. Also, it makes it kind of obvious that you had no other options as far as jobs, and that's not a good indication.


Very hard to make a mistake in criminal law.

03121202698008
Posts: 3002
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:07 am

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby 03121202698008 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:36 am

My dad is a solo with a small practice. The start-up money helps but you just don't have the requisite skills. Ask a successful local lawyer to mentor you in exchange for a cut for a few years. Besides knowing how to practice, you've got no idea how to bill clients, interact with opposing counsel, which clerks to try and frequent, how to work the local system, how to generate business, etc.

03121202698008
Posts: 3002
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:07 am

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby 03121202698008 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:37 am

Bronx Bum wrote:
TheZoid wrote:This is a bad idea. You don't have enough experience coming straight out of ls for that. A few bad mistakes resulting from inexperience could sully the reputation you would need down the road to get a job. Also, it makes it kind of obvious that you had no other options as far as jobs, and that's not a good indication.


Very hard to make a mistake in criminal law.


Seriously? There are a ton of possible mistakes. And every ∆ has the right to counsel to appeal, and WILL claim ineffective assistance of counsel as a standard matter.

crazyblink653
Posts: 196
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:13 pm

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby crazyblink653 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:42 am

i would advise against opening a solo practice right out of the gate...I would try to find some small firms or other solo practitioners in the area you want to practice and try to set up an apprenticeship with them. after a few years you should have the skills necessary to branch out on your own.

User avatar
DoubleChecks
Posts: 2333
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:46 am

malpractice insurance for a newly minted grad would be killer as well...and you'd be setting yourself up to fail with 0 experience. since money doesnt seem to be a huge concern for you, take a year working pro bono or for very little money for other solos or a non-profit. you can then either 1) gain experience and/or 2) develop networking connections that lead to jobs. i know a few people who couldnt get jobs out of a low T1 and got jobs through work connections (where they were pro bono) while simultaneously gaining experience.

User avatar
Bronx Bum
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:02 pm

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby Bronx Bum » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:47 am

blowhard wrote:
Bronx Bum wrote:
TheZoid wrote:This is a bad idea. You don't have enough experience coming straight out of ls for that. A few bad mistakes resulting from inexperience could sully the reputation you would need down the road to get a job. Also, it makes it kind of obvious that you had no other options as far as jobs, and that's not a good indication.


Very hard to make a mistake in criminal law.


Seriously? There are a ton of possible mistakes. And every ∆ has the right to counsel to appeal, and WILL claim ineffective assistance of counsel as a standard matter.


I work at a small firm (about 20 lawyers) that handles all types of shit law. The partners make a fortune but lawyers make shit. Anyway, they started taking some criminal court cases and put me pretty much in charge (with guidance from older attorneys when I need it of course). I have argued 2 motions in NYC in front of a judge and am preparing to argue an appeal in September. Criminal law is straight fwrd. Thereis a book called "Handling a Criminal Case in NY." For another appeal when I first started, I fucked up the whole CPLR 5531 statement. I called the judge's chambers and they basically laughed and said I don't have to worry about it and they'll make a note on it. We once filed a Motion in Limine 20 days late. Another time, I put the wrong docket number on a whole set of documents in the Bronx Supreme Court Criminal Division. Just had to correct it.

Criminal law is a joke. P.S. This was ALL during my 1L.
Last edited by Bronx Bum on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:48 am

blowhard wrote:My dad is a solo with a small practice. The start-up money helps but you just don't have the requisite skills. Ask a successful local lawyer to mentor you in exchange for a cut for a few years. Besides knowing how to practice, you've got no idea how to bill clients, interact with opposing counsel, which clerks to try and frequent, how to work the local system, how to generate business, etc.


+1. Going solo with zero experience is a terrible idea. If only for a or two year, moonlight with a practitioner to at least learn the daily ins and outs of system. There is a lot more to the practice of law than writing good memos, briefs or making good oral arguments (which is really all law school teaches you). Your civ pro class only marginally prepared you for the formal and informal rules of the local courthouses.

03121202698008
Posts: 3002
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:07 am

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby 03121202698008 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:56 am

Bronx Bum wrote:
blowhard wrote:
Bronx Bum wrote:
TheZoid wrote:This is a bad idea. You don't have enough experience coming straight out of ls for that. A few bad mistakes resulting from inexperience could sully the reputation you would need down the road to get a job. Also, it makes it kind of obvious that you had no other options as far as jobs, and that's not a good indication.


Very hard to make a mistake in criminal law.


Seriously? There are a ton of possible mistakes. And every ∆ has the right to counsel to appeal, and WILL claim ineffective assistance of counsel as a standard matter.


I work at a small firm (about 20 lawyers) that handles all types of shit law. The partners make a fortune but lawyers make shit. Anyway, they started taking some criminal court cases and put me pretty much in charge (with guidance from older attorneys when I need it of course). I have argued 2 motions in NYC in front of a judge and am preparing to argue an appeal in September. Criminal law is straight fwrd. Thereis a book called "Handling a Criminal Case in NY." For another appeal when I first started, I fucked up the whole CPLR 5531 statement. I called the judge's chambers and they basically laughed and said I don't have to worry about it and they'll make a note on it. We once filed a Motion in Limine 20 days late. Another time, I put the wrong docket number on a whole set of documents in the Bronx Supreme Court Criminal Division. Just had to correct it.

Criminal law is a joke. P.S. This was ALL during my 1L.


I would guess this is because of the type of case you were handling. It's almost impossible to get criminal work without a reputation. Clients won't come find you and many local defense bars won't appoint you until you have experience.

User avatar
Bronx Bum
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:02 pm

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby Bronx Bum » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:59 am

We were talking about mistakes, not getting clients. I'm just telling you with criminal law, especially in New York, Bronx, Kings, etc. you can correct your fuck ups, reuse old forms, etc.

What do you mean type of case? Essentially, all criminal cases are the same unless you're in Fed. Even then you can learn everything you need on wikipedia (not kidding, did this for a motion and won). Anything complex is being handled by a big time criminal firm anyway.

03121202698008
Posts: 3002
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:07 am

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby 03121202698008 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:07 pm

Bronx Bum wrote:We were talking about mistakes, not getting clients. I'm just telling you with criminal law, especially in New York, Bronx, Kings, etc. you can correct your fuck ups, reuse old forms, etc.

What do you mean type of case? Essentially, all criminal cases are the same unless you're in Fed. Even then you can learn everything you need on wikipedia (not kidding, did this for a motion and won). Anything complex is being handled by a big time criminal firm anyway.


The vast majority of criminal cases plead out or plead guilty. Many people handle those but don't handle trials. Also, different crimes have different levels of complexity. There isn't usually a ton of money in defending shoplifting cases. However, there is money in small-time white collar, violent crimes (especially where unwitnessed or victim can't ID), etc. However, those types of cases are way more complex and much more difficult to handle.

I agree criminal law is much more straightforward, but that doesn't mean you cannot make a mistake. There is a different handling a motion when someone says, hey go argue this should be suppressed...and deciding which motions to bring, whether it's malpractice not to bring one, should clients plead, etc.
Last edited by 03121202698008 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Blessedassurance
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby Blessedassurance » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:07 pm

You should spend some time learning from practicing attorneys and take some business classes relevant to what you want to do (if you haven't done so already). Conversely, you can go solo straight outta law school. You wouldn't be the first.

There are many variables that affects your odds of success including location, supply and demand (saturation), ties etc.

I think you should do it but that's just me. You have no debt and your start-up costs are being taken care of. What's there to lose?

03121202698008
Posts: 3002
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:07 am

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby 03121202698008 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:09 pm

Blessedassurance wrote:You should spend some time learning from practicing attorneys and take some business classes relevant to what you want to do (if you haven't done so already). Conversely, you can go solo straight outta law school. You wouldn't be the first.

There are many variables that affects your odds of success including location, supply and demand (saturation), ties etc.

I think you should do it but that's just me. You have no debt and your start-up costs are being taken care of. What's there to lose?


His license. I've seen a ton of solos in my hometown get disbarred for accidentally making stupid mistakes that experience would have avoided.

User avatar
Blessedassurance
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby Blessedassurance » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:11 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:malpractice insurance for a newly minted grad would be killer as well.


Do you have evidence to substantiate this claim? There's actually evidence to the contrary. One rationale is that the longer you've been practicing, the higher the likelihood of getting sued.

crazyblink653
Posts: 196
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:13 pm

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby crazyblink653 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:15 pm

Blessedassurance wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:malpractice insurance for a newly minted grad would be killer as well.


Do you have evidence to substantiate this claim? There's actually evidence to the contrary. One rationale is that the longer you've been practicing, the higher the likelihood of getting sued.


this is the stupidest thing i've ever read.

MrAnon
Posts: 1615
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby MrAnon » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:19 pm

Look in some other direction. You need to do something on your own and stop having your parents "spot" you money. They paid for school but obviously your grades didn't turn out that great. Now they are going to keep your law firm afloat, until when? Your making $100k per year? That may be 2 or 3 decades.

User avatar
TrojanHopeful
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 1:37 am

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby TrojanHopeful » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:21 pm

Bronx Bum wrote:
blowhard wrote:
Bronx Bum wrote:
TheZoid wrote:This is a bad idea. You don't have enough experience coming straight out of ls for that. A few bad mistakes resulting from inexperience could sully the reputation you would need down the road to get a job. Also, it makes it kind of obvious that you had no other options as far as jobs, and that's not a good indication.


Very hard to make a mistake in criminal law.


Seriously? There are a ton of possible mistakes. And every ∆ has the right to counsel to appeal, and WILL claim ineffective assistance of counsel as a standard matter.


I work at a small firm (about 20 lawyers) that handles all types of shit law. The partners make a fortune but lawyers make shit. Anyway, they started taking some criminal court cases and put me pretty much in charge (with guidance from older attorneys when I need it of course). I have argued 2 motions in NYC in front of a judge and am preparing to argue an appeal in September. Criminal law is straight fwrd. Thereis a book called "Handling a Criminal Case in NY." For another appeal when I first started, I fucked up the whole CPLR 5531 statement. I called the judge's chambers and they basically laughed and said I don't have to worry about it and they'll make a note on it. We once filed a Motion in Limine 20 days late. Another time, I put the wrong docket number on a whole set of documents in the Bronx Supreme Court Criminal Division. Just had to correct it.

Criminal law is a joke. P.S. This was ALL during my 1L.


Great attitude to have when you are dealing with other people's lives.

User avatar
Blessedassurance
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby Blessedassurance » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:26 pm

crazyblink653 wrote:
Blessedassurance wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:malpractice insurance for a newly minted grad would be killer as well.


Do you have evidence to substantiate this claim? There's actually evidence to the contrary. One rationale is that the longer you've been practicing, the higher the likelihood of getting sued.


this is the stupidest thing i've ever read.


It's better to shut up and let people assume you're stupid than to type on TLS and remove all doubt.

User avatar
DoubleChecks
Posts: 2333
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:26 pm

crazyblink653 wrote:
Blessedassurance wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:malpractice insurance for a newly minted grad would be killer as well.


Do you have evidence to substantiate this claim? There's actually evidence to the contrary. One rationale is that the longer you've been practicing, the higher the likelihood of getting sued.


this is the stupidest thing i've ever read.


lol

blessed, are you asking for evidence that malpractice insurance for zero experience lawyers would be really, really high? seriously?

User avatar
DoubleChecks
Posts: 2333
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:27 pm

Blessedassurance wrote:
crazyblink653 wrote:
Blessedassurance wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:malpractice insurance for a newly minted grad would be killer as well.


Do you have evidence to substantiate this claim? There's actually evidence to the contrary. One rationale is that the longer you've been practicing, the higher the likelihood of getting sued.


this is the stupidest thing i've ever read.


It's better to shut up and let people assume you're stupid than to type on TLS and remove all doubt.


i see you're not one to take your own advice...

User avatar
Blessedassurance
Posts: 2081
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Re: No job offers yet... so I'm thinking about hiring myself!

Postby Blessedassurance » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:32 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
crazyblink653 wrote:
Blessedassurance wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:malpractice insurance for a newly minted grad would be killer as well.


Do you have evidence to substantiate this claim? There's actually evidence to the contrary. One rationale is that the longer you've been practicing, the higher the likelihood of getting sued.


this is the stupidest thing i've ever read.


lol

blessed, are you asking for evidence that malpractice insurance for zero experience lawyers would be really, really high? seriously?


I know it sounds counter-intuitive which is why people keep propagating the myth. Do some research or ask people who have done it (you can pm Areyouinsane etc).




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.