Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

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flashback
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Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

Postby flashback » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:55 pm

I wonder- Can one work both for the government (say, Federal) and have a solo practice (on your own time, of course)?
Is it possible to work both for 1) yourself while 2) having another job- either corporate/private/government?

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Drake014
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Re: Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

Postby Drake014 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:03 pm

flashback wrote:I wonder- Can one work both for the government (say, Federal) and have a solo practice (on your own time, of course)?
Is it possible to work both for 1) yourself while 2) having another job- either corporate/private/government?


My understanding is that the answer to this question is generally no. While this is technically possible, most employers, public and private, do not allow you to work as an attorney for anyone else, including yourself. This is due to concerns over conflicts.

Edit: However, feel free to open a bakery.

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Lacepiece23
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Re: Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

Postby Lacepiece23 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:06 pm

My friends dad I believe was running for an ada posistion of a small town, has his own partnership at a medium sized firm, and has a private practice on the side. Don't know if this is the norm and is purely anecdotal.

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Re: Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:38 pm

I used to do conflicts checks for a federal government agency, and generally the answer is no. It varies agency by agency, of course, but in DOJ specifically there are rigorous regulations to comply with in order to do anything outside of your job. On top of those, there are a bunch of criminal laws that set ethical boundaries for government lawyers that can get someone in a ton of trouble for something that would be okay on the private side.

So is it possible? In certain usual circumstances. Is it likely? Not really.

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presh
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Re: Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

Postby presh » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:51 pm

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Last edited by presh on Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

flashback
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Re: Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

Postby flashback » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:24 pm

thanks, you all. It sounds like it is doable. if you have a non-demanding government/private sector job, it sounds like a good idea. If anything goes wrong, you can always relay on income, even if very small, from your private practice.
I'd like to hear if this is actually done in practice, real life stories.

Some (all?) federal agencies require that you get approval for any outside employment, legal or not.
Is there a rule referencing this requirement that anyone can point us to?
Thanks!

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presh
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Re: Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

Postby presh » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:35 pm

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Last edited by presh on Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:40 pm

flashback wrote:thanks, you all. It sounds like it is doable. if you have a non-demanding government/private sector job, it sounds like a good idea. If anything goes wrong, you can always relay on income, even if very small, from your private practice.
I'd like to hear if this is actually done in practice, real life stories.

Some (all?) federal agencies require that you get approval for any outside employment, legal or not.
Is there a rule referencing this requirement that anyone can point us to?
Thanks!

Wait, didn't most answers in this thread say that it was difficult/unlikely? (The guy whose father was running for DA - that's no evidence he could keep his practice/firm job if he was elected.)

flashback
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Re: Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

Postby flashback » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:04 pm

[/quote]
Wait, didn't most answers in this thread say that it was difficult/unlikely? (The guy whose father was running for DA - that's no evidence he could keep his practice/firm job if he was elected.)[/quote]

I am assuming the clients/legal issues in my private practice will pass the conflicts check.

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Lacepiece23
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Re: Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

Postby Lacepiece23 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:24 pm

flashback wrote:

Wait, didn't most answers in this thread say that it was difficult/unlikely? (The guy whose father was running for DA - that's no evidence he could keep his practice/firm job if he was elected.)[/quote]

I am assuming the clients/legal issues in my private practice will pass the conflicts check.[/quote]

He was allowed to keep his other job. It only paid like 5k or something tiny like that.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:49 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote:
flashback wrote:

Wait, didn't most answers in this thread say that it was difficult/unlikely? (The guy whose father was running for DA - that's no evidence he could keep his practice/firm job if he was elected.)


I am assuming the clients/legal issues in my private practice will pass the conflicts check.


He was allowed to keep his other job. It only paid like 5k or something tiny like that.

Oh, I get it. When you said "running" I figured it hadn't come up yet. I think the conflicts check would depend entirely on what areas of private practice you wanted to pursue and what government job you end up with, so hard to predict. But I'm also probably overly influenced by the limits on judicial clerks (what I'm familiar with).

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presh
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Re: Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

Postby presh » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:31 pm

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Last edited by presh on Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dr123
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Re: Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

Postby dr123 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:36 pm

FWIW I know a small-town County Attorney, who is a .5 FTE and also has a solo practice. He's not allowed to do Crim. Defense in his solo practice tho and mainly does Family Law and stuff.

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Re: Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:03 am

I've had two government jobs -- federal clerkship and state government lawyer.

At the federal level, you really couldn't even do unpaid pro bono legal work. Nonlegal depended on the judge -- I know a few that let their clerks teach an adjunct class or two. Though these restrictions might be specific to working for a judge and not the government.

At the state level, you had to get approval from the AG for any outside work (legal or nonlegal). In general, he disapproved anything legal or political, with two exceptions -- "minor" legal work for a family member (i.e., nothing criminal or high value) or pro bono work that didn't put the attorney adverse to any state or local government agency. He was usually fine with nonlegal moonlighting. I know a couple of attorneys who bartended on the weekends to meet people and pick up some extra cash. (It's actually not a bad idea if you're single -- as a government lawyer, your weekends are pretty open, and it would be a nice change from being in an office all week. Alas, I had a wife and kid.)

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Re: Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:17 am

As a law clerk for a judge, I am prohibited from providing legal services (paid or pro bono) because of heightened restrictions on judges and their staff by the canons of judicial conduct. My state allows outside work for government employees under certain conditions that should be obvious (like not impacting the government work or creating conflicts).

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Re: Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:50 am

I've worked for 3 federal agencies, all regulate some aspect of national commerce which makes non-conflicting outside employment all that much harder to find. Only approved outside jobs I've seen attorneys have were bartender and adjunct prof. I knew one agent that was a real estate salesman, but can't remember if he was an attorney or not.

anon168
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Re: Can you work both in private prictice (Solo) and for the gov

Postby anon168 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:01 am

On the federal level, a CJA panel attorney can have a separate private practice. Completely copacetic.

However, as an AUSA the answer is no with some very limited exceptions, like being a unicorn breeder on the side might be ok ...




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