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stillwater
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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby stillwater » Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Br3v wrote:Do you know what kind of pay your boss is bringing home? I would imagine he isn't doing that bad personally if he could spare to create a 45k position. Unless you are just bringing in that much business?



She is considering cutting her own pay as well, and I believe she cut her pay in order to bring me on, but I am not sure of details.

I think she brought on an associate more out of ego. I think she thinks it looks more legit than a solo practice. She named the firm Boss & Associates Law Office, instead of Law Office of Boss D. Bosslady, so I think that's a little telling.

She had hired an associate 6 months before I came on (someone with less experience than me whom she paid 35k), but he died in a car accident.

also, I'm pretty sure she is a trust fund baby.


this just made everything 10x more depressing

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armenazo
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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby armenazo » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:03 pm

How does your boss go about bringing in business? Referrals? Targeted advertising? Word of mouth?

Think you could do some of that to justify her paying you a higher wage? Why/why not?

rad lulz
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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:26 pm

Would you say this is a fairly typical outcome for your school?

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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:31 pm

...
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:40 pm

...
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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armenazo
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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby armenazo » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
armenazo wrote:How does your boss go about bringing in business? Referrals? Targeted advertising? Word of mouth?

Think you could do some of that to justify her paying you a higher wage? Why/why not?


We are currently revamping our whole approach to our website and SEO. We run a yellow pages ad. We are also involved in collaborative divorce groups, take court appointed work/mediations, and swap referrals with other lawyers in town outside of our practice area.

To be frank with you, however, my boss is not the most popular attorney in town. She is socially awkward and not in step with the prevailing political attitudes in the area. She is a transplant from the north and is not very good at or interested in hobnobbing. Word of mouth is word of mouth and it's not really in our control, but that is the way we get most clients. Yellow pages would be second.

I am involved in marketing efforts, blogging, trying to establish personal connections within the community, etcetera. But I have only been here since september and that kind of thing takes time. I contribute ideas regarding our website and things like that, but we're putting the SEO efforts into the hands of professionals. I would love to be able to bring in new business at will, but it's a time-consuming process and it can't happen overnight, especially for a young attorney 3.5 years out of law school. I am trying to build some community ties here though through volunteer work and I am considering the mason lodge. Taking court appointed work also helps to get your face and name out there, but the best quality clients come from other satisfied clients, so I really believe that the best marketing a lawyer can do is to do great work for clients, treat them fairly, make sure that they feel like they are a high priority (even if they are not), and show them respect. So I try to do that. Marketing and learning how to drum up new business is something I am interested in learning and getting good at, but truth be told I don't think my boss is very good at it. Almost all marketing also costs money. When you don't control the purse strings, it's a bit difficult to take over marketing efforts as an associate.


Understood.

As an aside: SEO professionals are full of shit. They're just going to recommend you guys purchase Google Ad Words and maintain a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and blog in your free time. All of that stuff is important, but it's only used by clients to establish your legitimacy, and see you have an online footprint, not to bring in business.

I'd recommend that you compile a list of family law firms with 2-10 attorneys that are within 50 miles of your area. Put their firm names, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses into an Excel spreadsheet. Begin the process of calling every partner on your list. When talking to them, mention that your firm offers a referral fee. After you discuss the specifics of the referral fee, advertise your firm, your (and your boss') educational accolades, professional accolades, and significant jury results. Squeeze this all into 15 seconds as that is all the time you will be given. Practice your pitch for days, as all it takes is one time to make a bad impression. In reality, you will probably have less than a 1% success rate.

For the people who don't outright reject the idea, ask them what their e-mail address is. After the phone conversation, send them an e-mail containing a more comprehensive summarization of what you discussed. Create a nice looking e-mail signature, with your firm's fancy fonts/styles, that will have hyperlinks to your website, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc.

Schmooze, kiss ass, and recognize that the work you're performing in these marketing sessions is probably more important than anything else you will do in your day. While good work product is important, plenty of small firms have gone out of business that put out the finest paperwork. Additionally, putting out truly "great" work product takes time - time that your clients will be suspicious of paying when they receive your firm's bill. Make a comprehensive form directory that you will use for any generic complaint/motion/discovery item.

Remember: market, market, market. Your situation sucks, but small law can be profitable. If you start bringing in cases, your boss may take you on as a partner, or one of your referral firms will as well.

Hope this helps. I used to work at a very prosperous small firm with only two attorneys, that made roughly $2,000,000 every year. One of the partners who followed this advice I'm giving you used to be the associate for his current partner.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby bizzybone1313 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rad lulz wrote:Would you say this is a fairly typical outcome for your school?



I don't know if there is a typical outcome for my school. My school is a southern state school ranked in the 30s (draw your own conclusions there), and my class had a wide variety of outcomes. I matriculated in 2006 and graduated 2009, so the shit hit the fan right around the first semester of my class' 3L year. It's hard for me to give a good answer to this because my class' outcomes were way, way worse than the ones immediately preceding us. With that said, some people did fine. My best buddy was at the top of the class, clerked for a SCOTUS justice, and is now slaying bitches in BIGLAW. Some people in the class Im sure are basically destitute at this point. I don't know. If I had a gun to my head, I would guess that roughly the top 15% (re: maybe 12-18 people out of a class of 100-120) got great jobs out of school, but many of those kids had to defer (my buddy who clerked at scotus was deferred from DLA for a year, it was that bad, shit was all bizarro). As someone who was smack dab in the middle of the class grades-wise, I kind of shudder to think at what the kids in the bottom 20% are up to now.



Lol. What do you mean by your friend is "slaying bitches in Big Law?"

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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:35 pm

...
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rad lulz
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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:38 pm

I have a suspicion this is UGA. If so, you still in GA?

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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:10 pm

...
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:10 pm

rad lulz wrote:I have a suspicion this is UGA. If so, you still in GA?


.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:29 pm

Just FYI, using the info here I found you online so if that's something you wanted to avoid you may want to take out some details.

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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just FYI, using the info here I found you online so if that's something you wanted to avoid you may want to take out some details.


Ok, this might be a good time to call it quits then. Hope this was informative and or helpful to someone!

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Nova
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Re: ...

Postby Nova » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:15 am

It was! Thank you!

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dingbat
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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby dingbat » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Br3v wrote:Do you know what kind of pay your boss is bringing home?
I believe she cut her pay in order to bring me on, but I am not sure of details.
I know this thread is being discontinued, but I just want to point out that if a sole practitioner brings on another attorney, of course s/he is cutting her pay to bring you on. What, you think the money to pay for your salary comes out of thin air? At any employer (excluding gov & pi), your salary comes out of the owner's pocket (owner, partners, shareholders, etc.)

Here's something an economics professor once told me: you will only ever be hired for one of two reasons:
A) you help bring in more business
B) you do something your boss doesn't want (or can't) to do his/her self

A) is mostly sales, but it also includes marketing (firm of boss & associates)
B) is because boss has too much of a workload, can't do something (e.g. accountant) or doesn't want to do it (e.g. janitor)

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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:19 am

dingbat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Br3v wrote:Do you know what kind of pay your boss is bringing home?
I believe she cut her pay in order to bring me on, but I am not sure of details.
I know this thread is being discontinued, but I just want to point out that if a sole practitioner brings on another attorney, of course s/he is cutting her pay to bring you on. What, you think the money to pay for your salary comes out of thin air? At any employer (excluding gov & pi), your salary comes out of the owner's pocket (owner, partners, shareholders, etc.)

Here's something an economics professor once told me: you will only ever be hired for one of two reasons:
A) you help bring in more business
B) you do something your boss doesn't want (or can't) to do his/her self

A) is mostly sales, but it also includes marketing (firm of boss & associates)
B) is because boss has too much of a workload, can't do something (e.g. accountant) or doesn't want to do it (e.g. janitor)

By your logic, Walmart would gross more money if they had zero employees. The reason a business owner hires more employees is to make more money, not less. So, no, it's not "of course" true that a solo is cutting her pay by hiring an associate. The notion is that the additional lawyer lets the firm handle more cases, lets the partner focus on the bigger picture stuff, etc. For someone who is so consistently pedantic about finance, economics, etc., this is pretty basic.

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stillwater
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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby stillwater » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:24 am

dingbat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Br3v wrote:Do you know what kind of pay your boss is bringing home?
I believe she cut her pay in order to bring me on, but I am not sure of details.
I know this thread is being discontinued, but I just want to point out that if a sole practitioner brings on another attorney, of course s/he is cutting her pay to bring you on. What, you think the money to pay for your salary comes out of thin air? At any employer (excluding gov & pi), your salary comes out of the owner's pocket (owner, partners, shareholders, etc.)

Here's something an economics professor once told me: you will only ever be hired for one of two reasons:
A) you help bring in more business
B) you do something your boss doesn't want (or can't) to do his/her self

A) is mostly sales, but it also includes marketing (firm of boss & associates)
B) is because boss has too much of a workload, can't do something (e.g. accountant) or doesn't want to do it (e.g. janitor)


LOL at a professor deserving any respect.

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20130312
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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby 20130312 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:Just FYI, using the info here I found you online so if that's something you wanted to avoid you may want to take out some details.

This is why we can't have nice things.

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stillwater
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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby stillwater » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:37 am

InGoodFaith wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just FYI, using the info here I found you online so if that's something you wanted to avoid you may want to take out some details.

This is why we can't have nice things.


I think the problem is inherent: the internet is populated by creeps with excess free time.

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dingbat
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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby dingbat » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:55 am

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
dingbat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Br3v wrote:Do you know what kind of pay your boss is bringing home?
I believe she cut her pay in order to bring me on, but I am not sure of details.
I know this thread is being discontinued, but I just want to point out that if a sole practitioner brings on another attorney, of course s/he is cutting her pay to bring you on. What, you think the money to pay for your salary comes out of thin air? At any employer (excluding gov & pi), your salary comes out of the owner's pocket (owner, partners, shareholders, etc.)

Here's something an economics professor once told me: you will only ever be hired for one of two reasons:
A) you help bring in more business
B) you do something your boss doesn't want (or can't) to do his/her self

A) is mostly sales, but it also includes marketing (firm of boss & associates)
B) is because boss has too much of a workload, can't do something (e.g. accountant) or doesn't want to do it (e.g. janitor)

By your logic, Walmart would gross more money if they had zero employees.
you're missing the point. Wallmart's owners (let's not debate what this encompasses) cannot operate every store on their own and they will not do all the work themselves, so they hire extra staff to do the work they can't.

The owners are unable and unwilling to stock the shelves themselves, so if they don't hire people to do it, the shelves remain empty; empty shelf means no sales means no profit (and a loss, due to costs). Therefore, they need to hire people. These fall under category B.
dixiecupdrinking wrote: The reason a business owner hires more employees is to make more money, not less.
not true. A business owner might want to cut back on his/her hours (e.g. because s/he doesn't want to work 22 hours per day - which is the predominant reason why a solo practitioner would take on a new associate)
dixiecupdrinking wrote: So, no, it's not "of course" true that a solo is cutting her pay by hiring an associate. The notion is that the additional lawyer lets the firm handle more cases, lets the partner focus on the bigger picture stuff, etc.
by letting the firm handle more cases, the associate helps bring in business (category A); by letting the partner focus on big picture stuff, the associate is doing something the partner doesn't want (or have time) to do - category B.

Sure, it's an oversimplification, but it is fairly accurate. Another way to look at it is to ask "what can you do for me?". The answers are either "I do stuff so you don't have to", "I do stuff you can't, but you need" or "I help bring in money" (note that more often than not it's a combination)


The reason she's taking a pay cut is because 1. the associate is not bringing in a book of business, and 2. the associate is not working on commission (no work = no pay). Of course, this assumes the boss lady doesn't have a fuckton of work just laying making the new employee instantly profitable (which is rare in any business) note that there's a difference between a new hire and a replacement hire; though the concepts stay the same

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Associate at a very small law firm (solo + me) taking q's

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:26 pm

dingbat wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:By your logic, Walmart would gross more money if they had zero employees.
you're missing the point. Wallmart's owners (let's not debate what this encompasses) cannot operate every store on their own and they will not do all the work themselves, so they hire extra staff to do the work they can't.

The owners are unable and unwilling to stock the shelves themselves, so if they don't hire people to do it, the shelves remain empty; empty shelf means no sales means no profit (and a loss, due to costs). Therefore, they need to hire people. These fall under category B.
dixiecupdrinking wrote: The reason a business owner hires more employees is to make more money, not less.
not true. A business owner might want to cut back on his/her hours (e.g. because s/he doesn't want to work 22 hours per day - which is the predominant reason why a solo practitioner would take on a new associate)
dixiecupdrinking wrote: So, no, it's not "of course" true that a solo is cutting her pay by hiring an associate. The notion is that the additional lawyer lets the firm handle more cases, lets the partner focus on the bigger picture stuff, etc.
by letting the firm handle more cases, the associate helps bring in business (category A); by letting the partner focus on big picture stuff, the associate is doing something the partner doesn't want (or have time) to do - category B.

Sure, it's an oversimplification, but it is fairly accurate. Another way to look at it is to ask "what can you do for me?". The answers are either "I do stuff so you don't have to", "I do stuff you can't, but you need" or "I help bring in money" (note that more often than not it's a combination)


The reason she's taking a pay cut is because 1. the associate is not bringing in a book of business, and 2. the associate is not working on commission (no work = no pay). Of course, this assumes the boss lady doesn't have a fuckton of work just laying making the new employee instantly profitable (which is rare in any business) note that there's a difference between a new hire and a replacement hire; though the concepts stay the same

Your initial response suggested that you think there is a single, stable pot of money out of which an employer pays its employees when you said "of course s/he is cutting her pay to bring you on." Not only is that not obvious, it's not even necessarily likely. I don't know why you would assume that a solo is bringing on an employee when there isn't enough work to justify it from a business standpoint (i.e., that it is likely to result in a more profitable business).

Anyway, I'm done here.

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dingbat
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Re: ...

Postby dingbat » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:28 pm

^actually, that was a bad assumption on my part (though probably still true)
Mea Culpa




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