Going Solo

(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.
User avatar
gwuorbust
Posts: 2087
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:37 pm

Re: Going Solo

Postby gwuorbust » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:44 pm

Voodoo94 wrote:
Please, for this sake of this online community's general intelligence level, STFU and GTFO.


Why are you so nasty?

You haven't made a single substantive rebuttal of anything that Buttonpusher has said. As someone who's followed this whole thread, I think you have some nerve telling him to "STFU" when he has made multiple posts of his own experiences. His posts, by the way, jive with just about everything I've heard about the state of solo and small law practice in 2011.


Previously I said:

You need to hit the ground running from day one, giving speeches to community groups, writing articles, going to endless number of networking events, etc. etc. Yeah, it won't be easy.


To which Buttonpusher said:

You're a typical, run-of-the mill lawschool lemming


You utterly fail to take into account just how expensive marketing those alleged "skills" is going to be, and once more marketing said skills to a client(s) who has the ability to pay.


My marketing plan doesn't involve buying $9 per-click adwords. It involves going out and talking and interacting with real people. Something that is, largely, free. And that I am good at. So yeah, Buttonpusher can ignore what I actually say all day long and decide to say I am "just another lemming." But in response, I get to tell him to go fuck himself.

User avatar
NinerFan
Posts: 482
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: Going Solo

Postby NinerFan » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:48 pm

GWU, I think you're underestimating how difficult that is to do..... where exactly are you going to go and "talk to people"

buttonpusher
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:56 am

Re: Going Solo

Postby buttonpusher » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:03 pm

My marketing plan doesn't involve buying $9 per-click adwords. It involves going out and talking and interacting with real people. Something that is, largely, free. And that I am good at. So yeah, Buttonpusher can ignore what I actually say all day long and decide to say I am "just another lemming." But in response, I get to tell him to go fuck himself.


There are a lot of firms in my area that host free seminars on estate planning, elder law, and things of that nature at libraries and community centers to try and drum up business. For the most part, these seminars have pretty low attendance and generally attract "tire kickers" looking for a freebie or some free advice. It's a pretty desperate way to try & market yourself, and mostly done by crappy firms who can't afford legitimate ads like YP and adwords.

Clients with the ability to pay a decent rate to private counsel aren't hanging around the community rooms of a public library at 7 pm on a Tuesday night listening to seminars, they're asking their peer group (business associates, friends etc) for a recommendation to locate an experienced attorney, who's in all likelihood a baby-boomer aged dood. Also don't forget that many employers offer pre-paid legal services for routine things like wills, DWI defense, real estate, etc. As a solo you can pay to join these pre-paid plans, but the hourly rates are VERY low and mostly flat fee deals. Some friends of mine from the doc review circuit all tried these plans/groups and decided it was easier and more profitable just to be a click monkey, with a hell of lot less stress. Of course, they are all "losers" I suppose.

I am somewhat amused by GWU's "carnival barker" business plan, however. Maybe if all else fails he can peddle Sham-Wow rags at the local flea market.

Voodoo94
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:58 pm

Re: Going Solo

Postby Voodoo94 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:10 pm

Clients with the ability to pay a decent rate to private counsel aren't hanging around the community rooms of a public library at 7 pm on a Tuesday night listening to seminars, they're asking their peer group (business associates, friends etc) for a recommendation to locate an experienced attorney, who's in all likelihood a baby-boomer aged dood.


This is spot on and is very insightful. This is how individuals with disposable income (ie. desirable clients) shop for legal services.

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

Re: Going Solo

Postby gwuorbust » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:13 pm

buttonpusher wrote:
My marketing plan doesn't involve buying $9 per-click adwords. It involves going out and talking and interacting with real people. Something that is, largely, free. And that I am good at. So yeah, Buttonpusher can ignore what I actually say all day long and decide to say I am "just another lemming." But in response, I get to tell him to go fuck himself.


There are a lot of firms in my area that host free seminars on estate planning, elder law, and things of that nature at libraries and community centers to try and drum up business. For the most part, these seminars have pretty low attendance and generally attract "tire kickers" looking for a freebie or some free advice. It's a pretty desperate way to try & market yourself, and mostly done by crappy firms who can't afford legitimate ads like YP and adwords.

Clients with the ability to pay a decent rate to private counsel aren't hanging around the community rooms of a public library at 7 pm on a Tuesday night listening to seminars, they're asking their peer group (business associates, friends etc) for a recommendation to locate an experienced attorney, who's in all likelihood a baby-boomer aged dood. Also don't forget that many employers offer pre-paid legal services for routine things like wills, DWI defense, real estate, etc. As a solo you can pay to join these pre-paid plans, but the hourly rates are VERY low and mostly flat fee deals. Some friends of mine from the doc review circuit all tried these plans/groups and decided it was easier and more profitable just to be a click monkey, with a hell of lot less stress. Of course, they are all "losers" I suppose.

I am somewhat amused by GWU's "carnival barker" business plan, however. Maybe if all else fails he can peddle Sham-Wow rags at the local flea market.


Again, misconstruing what I am saying. Marketing by networking involves more than hanging out at a local library. That you don't know how to network is your own problem.

Plus, as I said before I have income of 20k/year which covers my costs of living. So most of what you are saying doesn't apply to me because I am not desperate to pay the bills.

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

Re: Going Solo

Postby gwuorbust » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:17 pm

Voodoo94 wrote:
Clients with the ability to pay a decent rate to private counsel aren't hanging around the community rooms of a public library at 7 pm on a Tuesday night listening to seminars, they're asking their peer group (business associates, friends etc) for a recommendation to locate an experienced attorney, who's in all likelihood a baby-boomer aged dood.


This is spot on and is very insightful. This is how individuals with disposable income (ie. desirable clients) shop for legal services.


I actually agree, but there are ways to meet those people. You just have to be innovative. Most people in their 20s are very reluctant to go to boring networking events on topics they have minimal knowledge on. It is not that the opportunities to meet these kinds of people don't exist, it is that buttonpusher and other struggling solos either choose not to or don't know how to find these kinds of events. But again, that is their issue to deal with.

EDIT: just as an example, a local technology-company association has a lot of networking for their members. There are about 250 tech firms among the members and five law firms. I would join this group and go mingle at their events. Yeah, people may not throw themselves at me. But say I meet the CEO of a small tech company. He is now a connection. I can send him relevant links to articles about legal issues related to his company, we can get drinks, and eventually maybe he will retain me. Or he will recommend me to friend. Sending someone a link takes like 10 seconds. And if I work a large enough network, eventually someone will have a legal issue and I will be right there. It's really not that complicated.

buttonpusher
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:56 am

Re: Going Solo

Postby buttonpusher » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:34 pm

Another relevant question to ask yourself is how many times in your life (and your friends/families lives) have the services of a lawyer been necessary? For most people, their only need to retain legal counsel is when they purchase a home, go bankrupt, get a DWI, or make a will. Thus most shitlaw clients are of the "one and done" variety, and you need a constant stream of new clients coming in each & every week to actually make a living. It's not like a dentist or doctor where people are coming in for annual checkups, cleanings, etc and also bringing their kids in for same.

Even small business clients have little to no need for attorneys. The only time they need private counsel is when buying another business, or perhaps for some special compliance issues or things of that nature, suing a competitor who violated a non-compete and poached your staff, etc.

Any other claims/suits against a small biz: discrimination, a trip/fall, workers comp etc- will be handled by the insurance carrier, as the policy provides for counsel when you have a suit against you. The carrier will just use their own 40 K a year in-house shitlawyers or farm it out to a shitlaw mill like Wilson Elser.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Going Solo

Postby Grizz » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:39 pm

buttonpusher wrote:Any other claims/suits against a small biz: discrimination, a trip/fall, workers comp etc- will be handled by the insurance carrier, as the policy provides for counsel when you have a suit against you. The carrier will just use their own 40 K a year in-house shitlawyers or farm it out to a shitlaw mill like Wilson Elser.

I actually think I applied to Wilson Elser this recruiting season.

kams
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:10 pm

Re: Going Solo

Postby kams » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:51 pm

gwuorbust wrote:
Voodoo94 wrote:
Clients with the ability to pay a decent rate to private counsel aren't hanging around the community rooms of a public library at 7 pm on a Tuesday night listening to seminars, they're asking their peer group (business associates, friends etc) for a recommendation to locate an experienced attorney, who's in all likelihood a baby-boomer aged dood.


This is spot on and is very insightful. This is how individuals with disposable income (ie. desirable clients) shop for legal services.


I actually agree, but there are ways to meet those people. You just have to be innovative. Most people in their 20s are very reluctant to go to boring networking events on topics they have minimal knowledge on. It is not that the opportunities to meet these kinds of people don't exist, it is that buttonpusher and other struggling solos either choose not to or don't know how to find these kinds of events. But again, that is their issue to deal with.

EDIT: just as an example, a local technology-company association has a lot of networking for their members. There are about 250 tech firms among the members and five law firms. I would join this group and go mingle at their events. Yeah, people may not throw themselves at me. But say I meet the CEO of a small tech company. He is now a connection. I can send him relevant links to articles about legal issues related to his company, we can get drinks, and eventually maybe he will retain me. Or he will recommend me to friend. Sending someone a link takes like 10 seconds. And if I work a large enough network, eventually someone will have a legal issue and I will be right there. It's really not that complicated.


This is much less innovative than you think. Many lawyers and their moms are attempting to network at any possible event to suck in any legal business they can with the economy the way it is. Hope you don't tank, but just know that most struggling solos are not just sitting around not going to events. When your livelihood depends on it, pretty much everyone is doing it. Especially since most lawyers are pretty good with people.

But if you strike gold, then come back and tell us about it.

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

Re: Going Solo

Postby gwuorbust » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:35 pm

kams wrote:
This is much less innovative than you think. Many lawyers and their moms are attempting to network at any possible event to suck in any legal business they can with the economy the way it is. Hope you don't tank, but just know that most struggling solos are not just sitting around not going to events. When your livelihood depends on it, pretty much everyone is doing it. Especially since most lawyers are pretty good with people.

But if you strike gold, then come back and tell us about it.


Again, like I said I don't think it will be easy and I know some lawyers already do it. But there is a difference between what I am talking about (real strategies to attract clients) and the straw-man arguments buttonpusher keeps throwing up. Like I said, I am gunning for a 5-15 lawyer plaintiff-side firm. But I am realistic and know that the legal market is awful and that I might strike-out. And if I strike out, I see no reason why I shouldn't try to supplement my current 20k/year income with a solo practice. It is not like all my eggs will be in the basket of "going solo." It will just be a second income stream. I don't see how that is controversial.

kams
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:10 pm

Re: Going Solo

Postby kams » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:52 pm

gwuorbust wrote:
kams wrote:
This is much less innovative than you think. Many lawyers and their moms are attempting to network at any possible event to suck in any legal business they can with the economy the way it is. Hope you don't tank, but just know that most struggling solos are not just sitting around not going to events. When your livelihood depends on it, pretty much everyone is doing it. Especially since most lawyers are pretty good with people.

But if you strike gold, then come back and tell us about it.


Again, like I said I don't think it will be easy and I know some lawyers already do it. But there is a difference between what I am talking about (real strategies to attract clients) and the straw-man arguments buttonpusher keeps throwing up. Like I said, I am gunning for a 5-15 lawyer plaintiff-side firm. But I am realistic and know that the legal market is awful and that I might strike-out. And if I strike out, I see no reason why I shouldn't try to supplement my current 20k/year income with a solo practice. It is not like all my eggs will be in the basket of "going solo." It will just be a second income stream. I don't see how that is controversial.


Fair enough, good luck. I think the only that was controversial is your claim of having a magical personality that will make finding clients a non-issue, where others would likely fail.

buttonpusher
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:56 am

Re: Going Solo

Postby buttonpusher » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:18 pm

I actually think I applied to Wilson Elser this recruiting season.


They are doing OCI now? I thought they strictly went after people with a few years ID experience already under their belt? At least that's how it was back when I was in the rat race. They also advertise on craigslist pretty heavily, esp. for the White Plains (Westchester NY) office, which is a notorious hellhole.

WEMED has a really bad reputation in the NYC area for burning thru associates at lighning speed- back when I was doing depositions there almost every day for plaintiff ambulance chasing (at their 42 st office near Grand Central), the associates were always pushing me resumes and trying to switch over to plaintiff side where there are no billables since it's all contingency.

Doc review is packed with WEMED veterans, as for the hours/stress WEMED requires for 60 K, it's easier just to temp in doc review and fill the gaps between projects with unemployment checks and waiting tables, etc.

I will say the NYC office does a decent job pretending to be real Biglaw- they have little coffee-pod machines, nice furniture/conf rooms, etc. At a plaintiff PI firm people sit on milk crates and desks made from plywood and sawhorses since PI doods are dirt cheap and the clients are all lowlife crackheads anyway.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Going Solo

Postby Grizz » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:38 pm

buttonpusher wrote:
I actually think I applied to Wilson Elser this recruiting season.


They are doing OCI now? I thought they strictly went after people with a few years ID experience already under their belt? At least that's how it was back when I was in the rat race. They also advertise on craigslist pretty heavily, esp. for the White Plains (Westchester NY) office, which is a notorious hellhole.

WEMED has a really bad reputation in the NYC area for burning thru associates at lighning speed- back when I was doing depositions there almost every day for plaintiff ambulance chasing (at their 42 st office near Grand Central), the associates were always pushing me resumes and trying to switch over to plaintiff side where there are no billables since it's all contingency.

Doc review is packed with WEMED veterans, as for the hours/stress WEMED requires for 60 K, it's easier just to temp in doc review and fill the gaps between projects with unemployment checks and waiting tables, etc.

I will say the NYC office does a decent job pretending to be real Biglaw- they have little coffee-pod machines, nice furniture/conf rooms, etc. At a plaintiff PI firm people sit on milk crates and desks made from plywood and sawhorses since PI doods are dirt cheap and the clients are all lowlife crackheads anyway.

Was gonna apply in Orlando but ended up not. Interesting stuff.

buttonpusher
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:56 am

Re: Going Solo

Postby buttonpusher » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:33 pm

Was gonna apply in Orlando but ended up not. Interesting stuff.


Rest assured you didn't miss out on anything. WEMED is a joke, there is no bonus, salary is 60 K, and they expect Biglaw type hours and dedication for 1/3 the Biglaw first-year pay. Increases/raises are also putrid.

The partner-to-associate ratio there was always high, because a chunk of desperate people end up staying b/c even at 60-65 K the pay is light years ahead of most small-time shitlaw shops & solos, and if you have loans there isn't much choice but to stick around, since they're like the Applebees of shitlaw whereas the mom n' pops are your local greasy spoon diner. Stay like 5 years and you'll make "partner."

Another funny thing is that the WEMED associates used to call them PINOS- Partners in Name Only. They are basically non-equity senior associates who delegate/assign the wheelbarrow loads of fender-bender shitpaper to the newbie underlings and ride their asses to make sure enough cut n' paste gets ground out every day. These folks top out at say 80-85 K, not bad, but they are under enormous pressure from the "real" owners of this franchise to bill, bill bill and make everyone grind out motions etc. That's b/c in gutter areas like insurance defense, many tasks cannot be billed (like under 15 minute phone calls, emails etc) and the substantive billing time (like SJ motion drafting) gets cut all the time by the carriers, not like Biglaw where you can charge 90 K for an SJ motion in "real" litigation.

Another thing killing insurance defense (ID) mills like WEMED is that the carriers are now doing their own "direct" outsourcing- a lot of the routine stuff like answers, interrogatories, and other boilerplate crap is sent right to India by the carriers, cut/pasted over there, and then emailed to the WEMED drones to sign off on & file. I believe in the real garbage cases (like soft tissue fender bender) the Indians may even draft substantive motions and such for the WEMED'ers to autograph and schlep to the courthouse. Thus you cry as plaintiff when up against WEMED because they file tons of frivilous motions all the time just to scrounge billing, and also send you like 80 X letters and such a day fishing for all sorts of irrelvant, makework nonsense.

Welcome to the new world order.

REALLYBIGLAW
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:26 pm

Re: Going Solo

Postby REALLYBIGLAW » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What's even more laughable is that you assume every place operates the same. You're talking about NYC, one of the most desirable and expensive places to live in the world. Not every place works the same.


I can confirm it is basically the same in the Pacific Northwest. Buttonpusher has nailed it as far as my experience goes.

REALLYBIGLAW
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:26 pm

Re: Going Solo

Postby REALLYBIGLAW » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:08 pm

gwuorbust wrote:Please, for this sake of this online community's general intelligence level, STFU and GTFO.


You are just a twit to keep your head so firmly in the sand about this. You want buttonpusher to go away because he is writing info that makes you extremely nervous and uncomfortable. This is the brutal reality of newbie solo practice these days. It sucks, but it is true.

You are still on stage 1 of the 5 stages of grief realizing that you made a mistake entering law school.
Stage 1: Denial

In a few years you will have gone through Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.
Then you will be on JDU.

REALLYBIGLAW
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:26 pm

Re: Going Solo

Postby REALLYBIGLAW » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:12 pm

NinerFan wrote:GWU, I think you're underestimating how difficult that is to do..... where exactly are you going to go and "talk to people"


I have been to many of those "networking" organizations.
It is full of 1st year Merrill Lynch "financial advisors" and newbie lawyers trying to find clients.
It all gets old really fast.

buttonpusher
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:56 am

Re: Going Solo

Postby buttonpusher » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:54 pm

I have been to many of those "networking" organizations.
It is full of 1st year Merrill Lynch "financial advisors" and newbie lawyers trying to find clients.
It all gets old really fast.


LOL, I once went to a couple lame BNI "networking" breakfast meetings back in the day, and it was depressing in an Alcoholics Anonymous, metal folding chair, church-basement sort of way:

http://www.bni.com/


Half the fucking crew there are fellow bottom-scraping shitlawyers, many of them in their late 40s trying to scrounge out a living. They show up all hung over and like breathe on people, and beg them to review their apartment leases or the warranty for their toaster for like $10 an hour! There were a couple hot bimbos though who were realtors and one of them sent me a closing that fell thru because the house got trashed in a flood about 2 weeks after the K was signed. I think they both went back to topless dancing when the market crashed in '08.

The entire spectacle is so damn sad, and reeks of desperation and failure. Working as a commission-based salesclerk in JC Penny's mens dept. is less degrading than schlepping around trying to sell solo shitlaw services to people who are like "dude, I just roll with LegalZoom."

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

Re: Going Solo

Postby gwuorbust » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:01 pm

REALLYBIGLAW wrote:
gwuorbust wrote:Please, for this sake of this online community's general intelligence level, STFU and GTFO.


You are just a twit to keep your head so firmly in the sand about this. You want buttonpusher to go away because he is writing info that makes you extremely nervous and uncomfortable. This is the brutal reality of newbie solo practice these days. It sucks, but it is true.

You are still on stage 1 of the 5 stages of grief realizing that you made a mistake entering law school.
Stage 1: Denial

In a few years you will have gone through Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.
Then you will be on JDU.


oh hai buttonpusher alt

User avatar
Objection
Posts: 1272
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:48 am

Re: Going Solo

Postby Objection » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A few points. I was the one who posted earlier about my dad being a solo. I'll post under my regular username if needed to lend validity, but I prefer not to talk about my dad being a lawyer.

1) My dad (and a lot of solos that I know through my dad) go to trial. A lot. In fact, my dad has two this week. It's not an everyday thing, but it certainly does happen far more than what some other posters here are saying it does. In fact, his trial skills are one of the reasons people hire him. Not because he's bullheaded and insists on everything going to trial, but because he's not afraid to if he has to.

2) As to Veyron's question, I'm in a pretty major market, and you can get court-appointed stuff pretty easily for criminal work. You have to be approved by the judges, but the work is there. It's not the greatest money, but it's not begging in the street either. Without working murder trials (which take a lot of experience and you won't get those for years), somewhere between $85K and $110K a year, which is quite good here. Low cost of living.

But criminal and civil are two polar opposites in terms of the work and skills required.

3) As for GWU, he may fail, he may not. But the dirty little secret here is that being a lawyer isn't actually all that hard, especially as a solo. For large-firm stuff, it can be pretty challenging, but most of solo work is different. You get a mix of cases, and they are real-world people with real-world problems. If anyone is curious, I can post a lot of the types of stuff my dad and his friends have done. Some interesting, some boring.

But being confident in yourself is a huge part of being a solo. People come to lawyers because they have a pretty bad problem and they need help with it. The first part of getting paying clients is making them feel like you're the person to handle their case.


Look, solo work isn't all unicorns and good times. It'll suck a lot at times. But it does have a lot of rewards, and it's certainly not the valid wasteland some make it out to be. In fact, the term "shitlaw" is pretty stupid. I know a lot of people who are solos or small firm people, and without fail they have all said they love their work and it is, on the whole, pretty interesting.


Could this anon user PM me? I'm interested in discussing some of what you said more specifically, but don't feel like getting dragged down into the nonsense of this thread.

User avatar
AreJay711
Posts: 3406
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:51 pm

Re: Going Solo

Postby AreJay711 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:08 pm

Well fuck it, I'm going to skip OCI and just go solo... I was tired of this "studying for finals" thing anyway.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273363
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Going Solo

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:02 pm

Objection wrote:Could this anon user PM me? I'm interested in discussing some of what you said more specifically, but don't feel like getting dragged down into the nonsense of this thread.



Done. And if anyone else would like to discuss any of my points, I'm happy to without getting into the pissing match in here.

BeautifulSW
Posts: 582
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:52 am

Re: Going Solo

Postby BeautifulSW » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:52 am

Buttonpusher's post about India outsourcing was interesting to me. I'd heard of it in general, of course, but this was the first time I've heard anyone name names. Depressing.

BP's other point about lawyers in their 40s trying to scrape together a living is not exactly the situation here in the Southwest. The solos seem to keep themselves and their staffs employed with enough cash flow to survive. What they DON'T do, and where the Church basement image fits exactly, is prepare for retirement. These folks get to be in their 50s and suddenly realize that they've saved nothing for retirement and they panic because they can't just keep working until they die.

REALLYBIGLAW
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:26 pm

Re: Going Solo

Postby REALLYBIGLAW » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:38 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:What they DON'T do, and where the Church basement image fits exactly, is prepare for retirement. These folks get to be in their 50s and suddenly realize that they've saved nothing for retirement and they panic because they can't just keep working until they die.


That is common in any small business where the owner's income varies month to month. When your paycheck is not stable, it is very difficult to automatically send a set amount to the 401k each pay period. Anyone who is a solo or in a small firm faces this difficulty.

If you are a successful small business owner (like a solo lawyer) you have advantages which enable you to save up to $49,000 per year in tax deferred retirement accounts. But if you are struggling to get by each month, the tendency is very strong to skip the payment to the retirement account. It is great if you can be successful as an owner of a small firm. But the vast majority of lawyers fail at it. You have to be a salesperson to get clients and most law school grads don't want to do that. It seems like most law school grads want to just be an employee, have a $100,000+ salary and just have their clients assigned to them.

The people who make the money in any law firm, whether it's Biglaw, Midlaw, Smalllaw or Shitlaw, are the lawyers that bring in clients. Those guys don't even have to do the legal work, they assign it to the worker bee lawyers. Then they rake in the money. If a solo is good at finding clients, he is quickly overwhelmed with work and hires others to work for him. Become a good salesperson and you will become a rich lawyer without actually having to do much legal work.

BeautifulSW
Posts: 582
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:52 am

Re: Going Solo

Postby BeautifulSW » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:30 pm

Or even without being ABLE to do good legal work.

"Making rain isn't the main thing in law practice. Making rain is the ONLY thing in law."-Anon.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.