Small law and mid law are NOT, in most cases, any different with respect to billable hours than big law. Attorneys work long hours because they have to get the work done. It is easier to bill more hours as a litigator than a transaction attorney. One can bill 1.0 for a complaint that
may take you 15 minutes to complete because it was a form used in a similiar case. You can bill 1.0 for a set of standard interrogatories that you had your secretary prepare. My spouse's firm of 20 lawyers expects associates to bill, at a minimum, 160 hours per month.
See I can see this to a point, but if your solo or something and happen upon an odd case its usually the total opposite... there are no forms for the type of actions u need to plead to ensure you survive a dismiss, you have to do most of it from scratch using practice guides, and the middle class/small biz client is not OK paying for the 10-15 hours minimum it took to make it a winning pleading.
In the case I was working on this summer the client would haggle down the amount paid at any given time... It really has opened my eyes as to why I would never solo fresh out of lawl skoo. You need to know when to say enough is enough and walk away, even if it means you cease getting experience... Otherwise clients will keep burning you...
But, if you just do form practice, then yeah this is possible.
TL;DR: There is no easy way to make $$$$$$$$$$ running your own biz cause if there was, we would all be doing it already.