Going Solo

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IAFG
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Re: Going Solo

Postby IAFG » Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:01 pm

buttonpusher wrote:
Yes, but if you fail in a pizzeria you can file a Ch. 7 bankruptcy and discharge the debt, sell off the equipment, etc. Not so with a worthless law degree, which you are stuck paying for regardless of your ability to earn sufficient income to service said debt.

IBR is a default. It's an admission that you made a poor choice (lawschool), cannot pay back the $$$, and as such the taxpayers have to step in & bail you out. Also with the GOP on the budget cutting warpath coupled with skyrocketing default rates, it's unlikely the program will be around much longer anyway.

When you frame it this way, law school sounds like a great bet for someone who starts a small business. There's IBR and possibly LRAP to fall back on. It's really easy to get funding (for law school). Your start-up costs and continuing overhead are pretty low, and you have quite a bit of control over them.

Shit, you about convinced me.

buttonpusher
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Re: Going Solo

Postby buttonpusher » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:19 pm

This is why you would (have? ) fail at starting a solo law practice. As a solo lawyer I would differentiate myself because I am me. I can tell my clients that I am going to charge them $200 an hour because there is only one of me. And that I will go in front of that jury and represent them to the best of my ability. I believe that I have a convincing personality and am a great public speaker (just as note, won several regional debate competitions, received about $5k in schlys from winning speech competitions, and am currently on the moot court team in LS). I am not trying to brag or gloat, I am just saying that what is going to differentiate ME to my clients is that I can speak articulately and hopefully convincingly in front of a jury. I am not just going to be rubber stamping forms.


My God this post has me ROTFL! You really believe you're going to find clients to pay you HOURLY for routine shitwork like Ch 7 bankruptcy, real estate closings, etc? Esp. when every other lawyer in your area is charging bottom-rate flat fees for same? You say you aren't going to be "rubber stamping" forms? Buddy, law is probably not your "thing" if that's really the case. In shitlaw 99.9% of the job is simply rubber stamping forms and cut/pasting templates. Or do you plan on "custom designing" your own HUD-1 for a closing or your own Chapter 7 petition to take to the trustee?

And the nonsense about jury trials is a real laugher! About 0.000000001% of personal injury cases (which you apparently aspire to handle) go to a jury. In fact, most lose on summary judgement for failing to state a "serious" injury:

http://www.articlesbase.com/personal-in ... 96684.html

Nearly all states have similar laws, as the insurance companies pay off politicians to make the laws more anti-plaintiff each year. And the judges are mostly lazy and hate these scummy ambulance chasers, so it's easier just to grant SJ and move these turds off their calendar. Being a great "oral arguer" won't help much here, as the motions (in NY anyway) are usually decided on the papers alone, and by "papers" I mean the reports of the examining physicians. The motion itself is just cut n' paste toilet paper- the judge won't even read it, but just flip right to the doctor's reports, grant SJ, and move on.

I've actually done 2 jury trials myself in personal injury cases in NYC. First was a loss for soft-tissue car accident injuries, second was a whopping 15 K "win" for a woman who fell down some stairs in a housing project. I use "win" in quotes because our plaintiff doctor got 5 K fee to testify, so we lost $$$ on the file.

Wait until you see how hostile potential jurors are to PI lawyers. In Manhattan you've got Goldman Sachs people in their laughing in your face and calling you a lowlife "ambulance chaser," others farting around on their phones, reading newspapers, etc. No one is esp. interested in hearing about how your broke-dick client slipped on a puddle of laundry detergent at some grungy bodega and now has a backache. Even during the trial you look into the jury box and half the people are playing with their phones, one guy even had his Ipod cord fished up his sleeve with the headphones on!

If you do land a PI firm interview, don't go in there nagging them about doing trial work or they'll think you're some kind of moron. The $$$ in PI is taking any and all cases regardless of merit and calling insurance adjusters 1000X a day to beg them for a few hundred bucks on crap files. If the firm ever does land a decent PI case and it goes to trial, you can rest assured you'll have no role whatsoever except maybe to tag along and Scotch-tape exhibits to the easel. As others have mentioned, trials are so rare that demand/desire to train associates in this area is comical. The trial partner at my old PI firm has only done about 25 trials in 30-odd years, and most settled before verdict anyway. Real life ain't Law & Order & Jack McCoy, it's copy-pasting boilerplate together in a grungy office for 40 K a year at best.

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NinerFan
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Re: Going Solo

Postby NinerFan » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:27 pm

Veyron wrote:Yah, I was about to say ... WAY more than 50 criminal trials a year in any state. Criminal definitely seems like an important and fun component of solo practice.


Agreed. Crim trials might be fun.... but good luck getting paid.

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Veyron
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Re: Going Solo

Postby Veyron » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:31 pm

NinerFan wrote:
Veyron wrote:Yah, I was about to say ... WAY more than 50 criminal trials a year in any state. Criminal definitely seems like an important and fun component of solo practice.


Agreed. Crim trials might be fun.... but good luck getting paid.


How hard to become court appointed?

buttonpusher
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Re: Going Solo

Postby buttonpusher » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:52 pm

How hard to become court appointed?



Large cities like NYC are fighting tooth & nail to eliminate traditional "court appointed" criminal work, which used to be called 18-B cases:


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/22/nyreg ... wanted=all

That article spells out the cold, hard truth for the pipedreamers on here. Should be required reading, in fact.

Politicians love slashing things like legal aid, since it's easy to pick on (the public hates lawyers anyway), and only the poorest of the poor (who are politically powerless) feel the pain. We're living in a country who's best days are behind it, and the concept of trying to better oneself thru education and the student loan cartel are becoming increasingly laughable endeavors.

The lack of research and basic common sense exhibited in this thread is amazing. "Naive" doesn't begin to describe most of the posters on this board. Again, read the NYT article linked above, it describes in perfect detail what a miserable, dead-end joke of a "career" you aspire to enter.
Last edited by buttonpusher on Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Notor
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Re: Going Solo

Postby Notor » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:57 pm

This buttonpusher guy is pretty lame. Seems kinda weird to post really long, animated messages in a board dedicated to a field you sucked too much to break into. Your new life as a "teacher" must really suck if posting in law student forums is something you would even consider, let alone do.

Probably a troll/alt anyways, whatever.

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schwar46
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Re: Going Solo

Postby schwar46 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:04 am

buttonpusher wrote:
This is why you would (have? ) fail at starting a solo law practice. As a solo lawyer I would differentiate myself because I am me. I can tell my clients that I am going to charge them $200 an hour because there is only one of me. And that I will go in front of that jury and represent them to the best of my ability. I believe that I have a convincing personality and am a great public speaker (just as note, won several regional debate competitions, received about $5k in schlys from winning speech competitions, and am currently on the moot court team in LS). I am not trying to brag or gloat, I am just saying that what is going to differentiate ME to my clients is that I can speak articulately and hopefully convincingly in front of a jury. I am not just going to be rubber stamping forms.


My God this post has me ROTFL! You really believe you're going to find clients to pay you HOURLY for routine shitwork like Ch 7 bankruptcy, real estate closings, etc? Esp. when every other lawyer in your area is charging bottom-rate flat fees for same? You say you aren't going to be "rubber stamping" forms? Buddy, law is probably not your "thing" if that's really the case. In shitlaw 99.9% of the job is simply rubber stamping forms and cut/pasting templates. Or do you plan on "custom designing" your own HUD-1 for a closing or your own Chapter 7 petition to take to the trustee?

And the nonsense about jury trials is a real laugher! About 0.000000001% of personal injury cases (which you apparently aspire to handle) go to a jury. In fact, most lose on summary judgement for failing to state a "serious" injury:

http://www.articlesbase.com/personal-in ... 96684.html

Nearly all states have similar laws, as the insurance companies pay off politicians to make the laws more anti-plaintiff each year. And the judges are mostly lazy and hate these scummy ambulance chasers, so it's easier just to grant SJ and move these turds off their calendar. Being a great "oral arguer" won't help much here, as the motions (in NY anyway) are usually decided on the papers alone, and by "papers" I mean the reports of the examining physicians. The motion itself is just cut n' paste toilet paper- the judge won't even read it, but just flip right to the doctor's reports, grant SJ, and move on.

I've actually done 2 jury trials myself in personal injury cases in NYC. First was a loss for soft-tissue car accident injuries, second was a whopping 15 K "win" for a woman who fell down some stairs in a housing project. I use "win" in quotes because our plaintiff doctor got 5 K fee to testify, so we lost $$$ on the file.

Wait until you see how hostile potential jurors are to PI lawyers. In Manhattan you've got Goldman Sachs people in their laughing in your face and calling you a lowlife "ambulance chaser," others farting around on their phones, reading newspapers, etc. No one is esp. interested in hearing about how your broke-dick client slipped on a puddle of laundry detergent at some grungy bodega and now has a backache. Even during the trial you look into the jury box and half the people are playing with their phones, one guy even had his Ipod cord fished up his sleeve with the headphones on!

If you do land a PI firm interview, don't go in there nagging them about doing trial work or they'll think you're some kind of moron. The $$$ in PI is taking any and all cases regardless of merit and calling insurance adjusters 1000X a day to beg them for a few hundred bucks on crap files. If the firm ever does land a decent PI case and it goes to trial, you can rest assured you'll have no role whatsoever except maybe to tag along and Scotch-tape exhibits to the easel. As others have mentioned, trials are so rare that demand/desire to train associates in this area is comical. The trial partner at my old PI firm has only done about 25 trials in 30-odd years, and most settled before verdict anyway. Real life ain't Law & Order & Jack McCoy, it's copy-pasting boilerplate together in a grungy office for 40 K a year at best.



Gotta say you are the most negative, depressing clown I've seen on this forum. I'm sorry it didn't work out for you.

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NinerFan
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Re: Going Solo

Postby NinerFan » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:06 am

Notor wrote:This buttonpusher guy is pretty lame. Seems kinda weird to post really long, animated messages in a board dedicated to a field you sucked too much to break into. Your new life as a "teacher" must really suck if posting in law student forums is something you would even consider, let alone do.

Probably a troll/alt anyways, whatever.


What he's posting probably isn't too far off from reality for many solo practitioners.

BeenDidThat
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Re: Going Solo

Postby BeenDidThat » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:07 am

NinerFan wrote:
Notor wrote:This buttonpusher guy is pretty lame. Seems kinda weird to post really long, animated messages in a board dedicated to a field you sucked too much to break into. Your new life as a "teacher" must really suck if posting in law student forums is something you would even consider, let alone do.

Probably a troll/alt anyways, whatever.


What he's posting probably isn't too far off from reality for many solo practitioners.


No...just...No.

He's either a pretty impressive, bitter troll, or he has a serious mental problem and this is part of his psychopathy. I'm leaning strongly towards the latter.

His screed against personal injury is utterly laughable. Or would be, if it weren't for the danger of impressionable 0Ls listening to the misleading bastard.

Note: Going to TTT or TTTTs and going solo ... yeah. Not a good idea. Missing the biglaw boat at a T14 and going solo while getting work from more established attorneys in the area to help build experience? Very doable. Not easy. Doable.

buttonpusher
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Re: Going Solo

Postby buttonpusher » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:18 am

His screed against personal injury is utterly laughable. Or would be, if it weren't for the danger of impressionable 0Ls listening to the misleading bastard.


How is the "serious injury" threshold requirement for auto accident cases a "screed?" Or the NY Times article about the struggles of court-appointed lawyers? Unlike most on here, I have backed up every statement with facts and articles which explain in great detail why your future solo practice is likely to be an exercise in futility & little more than a pipedream.

Sadly, you'll have to find that out the hard way.

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IAFG
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Re: Going Solo

Postby IAFG » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:21 am

BeenDidThat wrote:
No...just...No.

He's either a pretty impressive, bitter troll, or he has a serious mental problem and this is part of his psychopathy. I'm leaning strongly towards the latter.

His screed against personal injury is utterly laughable. Or would be, if it weren't for the danger of impressionable 0Ls listening to the misleading bastard.

Note: Going to TTT or TTTTs and going solo ... yeah. Not a good idea. Missing the biglaw boat at a T14 and going solo while getting work from more established attorneys in the area to help build experience? Very doable. Not easy. Doable.

You think clients care that I went to Northwestern? Or that "established attorneys" are going to refer to me? That sounds... implausible.

BeenDidThat
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Re: Going Solo

Postby BeenDidThat » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:22 am

buttonpusher wrote:
His screed against personal injury is utterly laughable. Or would be, if it weren't for the danger of impressionable 0Ls listening to the misleading bastard.


How is the "serious injury" threshold requirement for auto accident cases a "screed?" Or the NY Times article about the struggles of court-appointed lawyers? Unlike most on here, I have backed up every statement with facts and articles which explain in great detail why your future solo practice is likely to be an exercise in futility & little more than a pipedream.

Sadly, you'll have to find that out the hard way.


Yeah, I suppose I'll be crying when I cash my 3k checks.

Oh, and you know, I suppose my knowledge based on interactions with tons of real lawyers makes my opinion useless because I won't link to one circumstantially relevant article on the interwebz. Give me a fucking break, troll.
Last edited by BeenDidThat on Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

BeenDidThat
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Re: Going Solo

Postby BeenDidThat » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:23 am

IAFG wrote:
BeenDidThat wrote:
No...just...No.

He's either a pretty impressive, bitter troll, or he has a serious mental problem and this is part of his psychopathy. I'm leaning strongly towards the latter.

His screed against personal injury is utterly laughable. Or would be, if it weren't for the danger of impressionable 0Ls listening to the misleading bastard.

Note: Going to TTT or TTTTs and going solo ... yeah. Not a good idea. Missing the biglaw boat at a T14 and going solo while getting work from more established attorneys in the area to help build experience? Very doable. Not easy. Doable.

You think clients care that I went to Northwestern? Or that "established attorneys" are going to refer to me? That sounds... implausible.


Not sure if sarcastic...plz advise.

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Notor
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Re: Going Solo

Postby Notor » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:31 am

Still don't get why buttonpusher is posting. I seriously doubt this stems from altruistic motives, especially considering most of the people who view this forum already have jobs/are the types of people who are going to get jobs. Don't see any motivation here other than trolling, especially given the aggressive/annoying tone of his posts.

If you are a troll, kudos, pretty solid.

If not a troll, you are just really sad and pathetic, have fun grading papers, I'm sure you are bad at teaching considering you never really wanted to do it in the first place.

buttonpusher
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Re: Going Solo

Postby buttonpusher » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:37 am

Missing the biglaw boat at a T14 and going solo while getting work from more established attorneys in the area to help build experience? Very doable. Not easy. Doable.



Sure, just stroll down the street and knock on Mr. Solo X's door and say:

"Hi, I'm a new Top 14 grad, opened up shop & need some work. Do you have any spare Ch. 7 bankruptcies, extra real estate closings, or surplus small business clients you can send my way?"

ROTFL! Solos don't turn ANYTHING away unless it's a major headache and client is flat broke. And if they have a decent case in an area they don't practice in, they'll send it to an experienced colleague to maximize their referral fee, not roll the dice handing to an incompetent, pompous noob from a Top 14.

The idea that there's tons of "surplus" work out there is comical. If clients were lined up at everyone's door would they be dropping 25 K a year on tacky Yellow Pages ads and such year in & year out?

BeenDidThat
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Re: Going Solo

Postby BeenDidThat » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:42 am

buttonpusher wrote:
Missing the biglaw boat at a T14 and going solo while getting work from more established attorneys in the area to help build experience? Very doable. Not easy. Doable.



Sure, just stroll down the street and knock on Mr. Solo X's door and say:

"Hi, I'm a new Top 14 grad, opened up shop & need some work. Do you have any spare Ch. 7 bankruptcies, extra real estate closings, or surplus small business clients you can send my way?"

ROTFL! Solos don't turn ANYTHING away unless it's a major headache and client is flat broke. And if they have a decent case in an area they don't practice in, they'll send it to an experienced colleague to maximize their referral fee, not roll the dice handing to an incompetent, pompous noob from a Top 14.

The idea that there's tons of "surplus" work out there is comical. If clients were lined up at everyone's door would they be dropping 25 K a year on tacky Yellow Pages ads and such year in & year out?


I'll play the game for one more post.

First, when did I say you'd have to go to other solos? I didn't, shithead.

Second, when did I say Ch. 7's, real estate closings, or surplus small biz was the way to go? I didn't, shithead.

Good game. Have fun with that 30k salary and having kids give you the flu :D

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Going Solo

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:56 am

GWUorBust is generally spot on. It's not any more difficult to start a law firm than it is to start any other business, and while odds are any given business will fail within 3 years, law school graduates (indirectly) have more knowledge of what it takes to succeed than the average person that starts a business.

Also, if you are going to start a local practice right after law school, the only consideration that you -may- want to put towards which law school you attend is whether you want to attend an institution that the locals (where you want to practice) believe is prestigious vs. one that they may not have heard of (this may sometimes conflict with US News/NLJ rankings). While it generally won't matter what school you went to when you get off your feet, attending a school the locals have heard of will help inspire their confidence in your abilities (through social outings, professional events [re: CLE and bar association stuff], golf tournaments, referrals by mouth, etc.).

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Veyron
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Re: Going Solo

Postby Veyron » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:58 am

Aberzombie1892 wrote:GWUorBust is generally spot on. It's not any more difficult to start a law firm than it is to start any other business, and while odds are any given business will fail within 3 years, law school graduates (indirectly) have more knowledge of what it takes to succeed than the average person that starts a business.

Also, if you are going to start a local practice right after law school, the only consideration that you -may- want to put towards which law school you attend is whether you want to attend an institution that the locals (where you want to practice) believe is prestigious vs. one that they may not have heard of (this may sometimes conflict with US News/NLJ rankings). While it generally won't matter what school you went to when you get off your feet, attending a school the locals have heard of will help inspire their confidence in your abilities (through social outings, professional events [re: CLE and bar association stuff], golf tournaments, referrals by mouth, etc.).


Correction, if you're going to go solo right out of law school, the ONLY factor that you can consider when picking a school is "where can I go for free."

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Re: Going Solo

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:10 am

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.

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Veyron
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Re: Going Solo

Postby Veyron » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:17 am

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.


Thanks for the answer. Can you get it even if you're fresh out of school (post-bar obvi)?

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Re: Going Solo

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:26 am

Here you have to be approved to be a court-appointed. If you can pass the panel of judges, you can be appointed.

It's easy to get approved for misdemeanor work, a little harder for felony, very difficult for murder, and extremely difficult for capital murder. But it mostly comes with experience. There's a reason DA's start with minor stuff like DWI, it's a good place to learn the ropes, basic trial skills, etc. Also, a buttload of money in DWI defense.

Judges and the court coordinators have a lot of discretion here as to who gets appointed, so it's a big deal to communicate well and get your work done and turned in on time. That's where half the guys get in trouble is not being organized and ready to go, and for doin stupid shit like not meeting with the clients and stuff. But the guys who are known to do things right and on time and in an organized manner are always busy here, and making good money.

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NinerFan
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Re: Going Solo

Postby NinerFan » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:39 am

Anonymous User wrote: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.



Wait a second. You're saying in your market, court-appointed lawyers can make 85k-115k? I uh... am going to be skeptical of this unless I see some data, because states are slashing budgets so I highly doubt there's this much money lying around unless you are a robot and don't sleep.

Anonymous User
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Re: Going Solo

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:51 am

NinerFan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: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.



Wait a second. You're saying in your market, court-appointed lawyers can make 85k-115k? I uh... am going to be skeptical of this unless I see some data, because states are slashing budgets so I highly doubt there's this much money lying around unless you are a robot and don't sleep.



They don't provide data. At the felony level, you either get $100/hour or take a flat fee that varies by type of case, between $350 and $600. It's a little lower on the misdemeanor side, but not a ton. You get paid when the case settles. You won't make much initially, but once you start turning in pay sheets, yeah, you can make a good living.

Especially for capital murder. Those average around $140,000 to $160,000 over 2-3 years. Those, the expericences lawyer turns in pay sheets on a fairly regular basis so the judge doesn't shit a brick at the end of the case.

We don't really have PD's here. They only take 30 cases a month per PD per assigned court, and they usually aren't very experienced. Most of the major felony-level stuff goes to court-appointed. And it's a major city, so lots of bad people doing bad things.

Also keep in mind that once you gain some experience, a lot of guys are also being retained in cases. It's usually $3,000 to $5,000 for a felony-level assault, and the more naughty stuff you've done, the more expensive it is. For a murder trial, most won't touch it for less than a $25,000 retainer, $50,000 for capital murder. But the same guys being retained are also the same ones appointed to those, because that takes a lot of skill.

But yes, $85,000 to $110,000 is easily doable if you're organized and hard-working.

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Veyron
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Re: Going Solo

Postby Veyron » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:
NinerFan wrote:
Anonymous User wrote: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.



Wait a second. You're saying in your market, court-appointed lawyers can make 85k-115k? I uh... am going to be skeptical of this unless I see some data, because states are slashing budgets so I highly doubt there's this much money lying around unless you are a robot and don't sleep.



They don't provide data. At the felony level, you either get $100/hour or take a flat fee that varies by type of case, between $350 and $600. It's a little lower on the misdemeanor side, but not a ton. You get paid when the case settles. You won't make much initially, but once you start turning in pay sheets, yeah, you can make a good living.

Especially for capital murder. Those average around $140,000 to $160,000 over 2-3 years. Those, the expericences lawyer turns in pay sheets on a fairly regular basis so the judge doesn't shit a brick at the end of the case.

We don't really have PD's here. They only take 30 cases a month per PD per assigned court, and they usually aren't very experienced. Most of the major felony-level stuff goes to court-appointed. And it's a major city, so lots of bad people doing bad things.

Also keep in mind that once you gain some experience, a lot of guys are also being retained in cases. It's usually $3,000 to $5,000 for a felony-level assault, and the more naughty stuff you've done, the more expensive it is. For a murder trial, most won't touch it for less than a $25,000 retainer, $50,000 for capital murder. But the same guys being retained are also the same ones appointed to those, because that takes a lot of skill.

But yes, $85,000 to $110,000 is easily doable if you're organized and hard-working.


I can vouch for the CM fees. However, I agree, it all sounds too good to be true - why isn't every freshly minted TTT grad doing this?

Anonymous User
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Re: Going Solo

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:14 am

Because criminal work is hard. Not everyone is going to be good at it, and it's plain hard to stand up there and try and defend some of these people. To try and defend some guy who beat a kid half to death with his buddies and then ran over his body and head in a parking lot, and you've got to defend him while the kid's mother is staring at you and crying. It's hard to do.

Aside from that, I didn't say everyone is going to make money at it. We here on TLS take a lot of things for granted as far as hard work and the desire to be good at our jobs, but there are a lot of lawyers who are just plain shitty at their jobs and don't care. They're scraping by on appointment scraps and $30,000 a year. No one wants to appoint them to anything, and there are far more than you'd think like that.

The guys making good money are the ones that are organized and do things right. They meet with clients in a timely manner, and try and do the best they can by them. Make the best deal, or go to trial if they have to. They are organized (I know I hit that point a lot, but when you've got 35-40 pending cases at any given time, it's damn important), and the court staff respect and like them and want to work with them.

It's like anything else in life...just because it's doable doesn't mean everyone will put in the effort and time necessary to do it. Like I said, there are a lot of shitty lawyers who know they are and don't care.




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