Sole practitioner salary

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Geon
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby Geon » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:05 am

Cinderella wrote:I've never heard of a jurisdiction not having court appointed criminal defense attorneys. Even if there is a public defender's office and alternate public defenders, there will probably still be court appointed attorneys.


I understand your point. In all of Canada if a person commits a criminal offence and cannot pay a lawyer, they usually get a legal aid certificate which they can take to any lawyer in private practice willing to take their case. The certificate has a pre-set rate, I think like $100 an hour but is very limited in the number of hours one can rack up. Thus it is possible/viable to be a lawyer in solo private practice if you basically set up shop in a high crime area, as you'd have lots of clients who are poor but get paid by the government. Public defenders usually max out at 50k in the us in terms of salary. Whereas if you were able to get enough clients you could earn 210k in Ontario of almost none do, but it is possible to make 100k net after a few years in practice that way. This model is called judicare. So in this model the court doesn't appoint the lawyer, the client selects them and the lawyer gets paid by legal aid ontario = government. I know some American jurisdictions have this but I wasn't sure which ones, as it seems that just hiring a direct public defender is more popular in the US.

rad lulz
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby rad lulz » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:06 am

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Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

rad lulz
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby rad lulz » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:09 am

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Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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kalvano
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby kalvano » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:09 am

Here in Dallas, court-appointed attorneys, at least at the felony level, vastly outnumber PD's, and make a fairly good living, assuming you don't suck at the job.

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Veyron
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby Veyron » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:15 am

You don't hire a public defender. You get appointed one.


True. But, especially in more rural jurisdictions, the government sometimes will sometimes rely exclusively on appointing private attorneys from the court appointed list to represent defendants. Not every place is going to have a public defender.

All in all, relying only on government payments as you have indicated is a pretty shitty business strategy here in the states where capitalism is king. Some attorneys have success with picking up appointed work in addition to their regular private clients, however.

And, at the high end, good criminal defense attorneys can make a lot more than 100k US. Most don't but the ones that do do so mainly by being retained by private individuals.

Geon
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby Geon » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:17 am

Veyron wrote:
Cinderella wrote:
Veyron wrote:
Cinderella wrote:I've never heard of a jurisdiction not having court appointed criminal defense attorneys. Even if there is a public defender's office and alternate public defenders, there will probably still be court appointed attorneys.


NYC (or just Manhattan, I forget) is considering doing away with court appointed attorneys entirely. Can't imagine they'd be the only place in the country that has done so.


Not saying its not possible. Just that the vast majority of places have court appointed counsel, so there's not much point in trying to list every place that does.


Sure but the big distinction is when, how, and under what conditions a person gets access to court appointed counsel. In some places the vast majority of cases where the state picks up the check are handled by PD's, in others by private attorneys being paid by the court, and in yet others there is a balanced mix. Its sort of useless to lump the three together just because "technically" they all have provisions for private court appointed counsel. If I was a guy who wanted to make state appointed work a big part of my practice (as the originally questioner seems to be), I wouldn't work in NYC no matter what because, even though (as of now) they do sometimes use outside counsel, it is really, really hard to get any work from them because they heavily favor using government lawyers and go public whenever possible. What little work they do give out is distributed based on some seniority system which virtually guarantees the exclusion of new grads.


This is 100% correct. I was alluding to, but never said it directly that I'd consider doing work on a judicare basis. In NYC though it is basically impossible because the work would go to a public defender on a government salary. In other jurisdictions the work goes to private lawyers selected by the client giving private new grads a shot

Geon
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby Geon » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:As a guy who wants to go solo after a few years at a firm, here's why it's important to get at least a few years of experience first: Law school teaches you substantive law (and lots of bullshit theory) but doesn't help with the nuts and bolts.

Do you know what a return date is, and how to set them?
Do you know what interrogatories to ask, how to serve them, and how to respond when the other party jerks you around?
Do you know what types of service are required for each step in litigation?
Do you know how to notice a depo?
Do you know how to actually respond to and object to discovery from the other party?
Do you know all the deadlines for timely pleadings, motions, and responsive motions in your state court?

You can start learning a lot of this in school by interning or working, but I think it would take a couple of years, at a minimum, to really know how to do everything well enough to handle the entirety of a case.


To the ones I do not know the answer, to most of them where I am are readily available online and in statutes and rules of procedure. Canada has examinations for discovery instead of depositions.

Geon
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby Geon » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:23 am

Desert Fox wrote:I think you'd do worse in a rich neighborhood. Rich people aren't stupid enough to pay a novice for legal issues.


Legal issues have little to do with experience of the lawyer. It is all in case law and statutes. Senior attorney's lose cases all the time, novices win, all that really matters is how the case is argued.

rad lulz
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby rad lulz » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:34 am

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Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

rad lulz
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby rad lulz » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:37 am

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Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby 09042014 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:44 am

Geon wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I think you'd do worse in a rich neighborhood. Rich people aren't stupid enough to pay a novice for legal issues.


Legal issues have little to do with experience of the lawyer. It is all in case law and statutes. Senior attorney's lose cases all the time, novices win, all that really matters is how the case is argued.


Yea bro, as an 0L tell me about about the law.

Anonymous User
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:51 pm

i knew a few people who graduated from TTT who went solo and are pretty successful (making in the low 100s is my educated guess). one of the guys didn't even have a lexis account. he did a few real estate closings a week and other basic stuff. these people spend their law school interning with other solos. they weren't gunning for gov agencies or judge externships like everyone on this board. they knew they were going solo from 1L year. also all these kids who i know were successful came from immigrant backgrounds, and they mostly served their community. i think this is easier than graduating from a t-14 then randomly deciding to go solo b/c you couldnt find anything and open up shop in some random neighborhood.

ruski
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby ruski » Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:55 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Geon wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I think you'd do worse in a rich neighborhood. Rich people aren't stupid enough to pay a novice for legal issues.


this is true. one young guy who opened up his own small business told me he paid a lawyer 3 grand to "set up his business." i didn't have the heart to tell him all his lawyer did was file an LLC charter with the state.

Geon
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby Geon » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:40 pm

ruski wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Geon wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I think you'd do worse in a rich neighborhood. Rich people aren't stupid enough to pay a novice for legal issues.


this is true. one young guy who opened up his own small business told me he paid a lawyer 3 grand to "set up his business." i didn't have the heart to tell him all his lawyer did was file an LLC charter with the state.


Wouldn`t that suggest the guy is paying lots of money for little advice.

I am not sure if I am convinced between the link of experience and how `good` a lawyer is, I have encountered plenty of experiences lawyers who are no good, never review the numerous changes in the law, and are full of useless outdated knowledge. Kinda that laziness that comes with age.

Anonymous User
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:07 pm

2L starting a semi-legal business this summer. Reasons why:
Balls,
OCI failure,
Desperation,
Unique Practice Area (semi-legal IP/tech),
practical courses in law school,
low start up costs,
looks better than being unemployed (increased chances of 3L oci if I have a book already).

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holdencaulfield
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby holdencaulfield » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:19 pm

ruski wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Geon wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I think you'd do worse in a rich neighborhood. Rich people aren't stupid enough to pay a novice for legal issues.


this is true. one young guy who opened up his own small business told me he paid a lawyer 3 grand to "set up his business." i didn't have the heart to tell him all his lawyer did was file an LLC charter with the state.


That's actually not unreasonable. There's much more to properly setting up a business than filing a charter or certificate of formation.

Geon
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:10 am

Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby Geon » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:2L starting a semi-legal business this summer. Reasons why:
Balls,
OCI failure,
Desperation,
Unique Practice Area (semi-legal IP/tech),
practical courses in law school,
low start up costs,
looks better than being unemployed (increased chances of 3L oci if I have a book already).


In theory one could make a decent $ if they specialized in an area and put together a credible looking team... Ie. if one could get a few older unemployed lawyers to throw their hat in a new firm and try to land some contracts. Of course then it'd all depend on how much contracts you land.

Geon
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby Geon » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2L starting a semi-legal business this summer. Reasons why:
Balls,
OCI failure,
Desperation,
Unique Practice Area (semi-legal IP/tech),
practical courses in law school,
low start up costs,
looks better than being unemployed (increased chances of 3L oci if I have a book already).

sounds smart

Norwood
Posts: 345
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Re: Sole practitioner salary

Postby Norwood » Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:58 am

isn't it common for solo practitioners to have some sort of mentor? someone they can reach out and get some advice?




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