Laziest Field of Law to make $$$$

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Laziest Field of Law to make $$$$

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:31 am

ragelion wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Lazy lawyers are almost universally poor.

All lawyers are lazy.

lol, no

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ragelion
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Re: Laziest Field of Law to make $$$$

Postby ragelion » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:32 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
ragelion wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Lazy lawyers are almost universally poor.

All lawyers are lazy.

lol, no

Then why are they lawyers?

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Laziest Field of Law to make $$$$

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:37 am

ragelion wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
ragelion wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Lazy lawyers are almost universally poor.

All lawyers are lazy.

lol, no

Then why are they lawyers?


Because they decided that working hard and taking crap from clients, judges and other lawyers was a more likely and/or less risky way to make a lot of money than anything else they could have done.

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gwuorbust
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Re: Laziest Field of Law to make $$$$

Postby gwuorbust » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:31 am

bizzybone1313 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rad lulz wrote:Start your own firm which does traffic violations and somehow through marketing and shit become the go-to guy for that


This times 1 Million. The main traffic clinic guys in the courthouse I work at clean up. They charge like 200 for like 15 minutes of work.


There is a guy on jdunderground.com that claims he makes about $100K a year based off like 2-3 hours of real work per day. This seems doable to me. How hard could it possibly be to find enough work as a solo to make a living? You don't need to bill 2,500 hours. One could make due with as little as 800 hrs or even less. Maybe I am just an ignorant 0L.

I think it would be all about finding a good niche in a good location. For me, those niches would be immigration (completely fluent in Spanish) and construction law (significant background in this area). I might be a solo one day.


I know which poster you are talking about. It is hardly as easy as it sounds. A good solo who properly controls cases and allocates his/her time can make money hand over fist. Unfortunately, for many solos living on the edge of subsistence it is simply too easy to take on dogs of cases. What does that mean?

So a client comes in and wants you to do her divorce for $2,000. Presume that there are multiple custody disputes, property division issues, possible TROs or injunctive hearings, etc. At $200 an hour a case like this could easily require 100 hours of work. That's 20k .. a far cry from the 2k the hypothetical client has.

If you are 3 days away from not being able to pay rent, you might take it. In just a few days you could easily use up the entire 2k retainer. So you ask the client for more. Maybe she pays, maybe she doesn't. In the hopes of getting paid you continue to represent the client. You start to get more and more involved in the details.

And there is where things start to go sideways. In my opinion, when lawyers have a retainer to draw down, they tend to work those cases first. When the client owes money, many lawyers have a tendency to do the bare minimum. Unfortunately, that only results in even more work for the lawyer as he has to do repetitious work because the case is dragging on longer than expected. But here is the real issue: once this sad, solo lawyer has gotten herself entangled in this messy case, she may not even be able to dump the client if it would result in prejudice to the client.

Suddenly that $2,000, which looked so tempting when rent was due, has resulted in 200 hours of work, untold amounts of stress, and a never ending feeling of desperation. Unfortunately, I believe this is why many solos never make past the bare subsistence level. At a billing rate of $200/hour a solo with plenty of paying work would be rolling in the money. But when you do 200 hours on a case you took on for $2,000.. you aren't even making $10/hour.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Laziest Field of Law to make $$$$

Postby bizzybone1313 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:57 am

gwuorbust wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rad lulz wrote:Start your own firm which does traffic violations and somehow through marketing and shit become the go-to guy for that


This times 1 Million. The main traffic clinic guys in the courthouse I work at clean up. They charge like 200 for like 15 minutes of work.


There is a guy on jdunderground.com that claims he makes about $100K a year based off like 2-3 hours of real work per day. This seems doable to me. How hard could it possibly be to find enough work as a solo to make a living? You don't need to bill 2,500 hours. One could make due with as little as 800 hrs or even less. Maybe I am just an ignorant 0L.

I think it would be all about finding a good niche in a good location. For me, those niches would be immigration (completely fluent in Spanish) and construction law (significant background in this area). I might be a solo one day.


I know which poster you are talking about. It is hardly as easy as it sounds. A good solo who properly controls cases and allocates his/her time can make money hand over fist. Unfortunately, for many solos living on the edge of subsistence it is simply too easy to take on dogs of cases. What does that mean?

So a client comes in and wants you to do her divorce for $2,000. Presume that there are multiple custody disputes, property division issues, possible TROs or injunctive hearings, etc. At $200 an hour a case like this could easily require 100 hours of work. That's 20k .. a far cry from the 2k the hypothetical client has.

If you are 3 days away from not being able to pay rent, you might take it. In just a few days you could easily use up the entire 2k retainer. So you ask the client for more. Maybe she pays, maybe she doesn't. In the hopes of getting paid you continue to represent the client. You start to get more and more involved in the details.

And there is where things start to go sideways. In my opinion, when lawyers have a retainer to draw down, they tend to work those cases first. When the client owes money, many lawyers have a tendency to do the bare minimum. Unfortunately, that only results in even more work for the lawyer as he has to do repetitious work because the case is dragging on longer than expected. But here is the real issue: once this sad, solo lawyer has gotten herself entangled in this messy case, she may not even be able to dump the client if it would result in prejudice to the client.

Suddenly that $2,000, which looked so tempting when rent was due, has resulted in 200 hours of work, untold amounts of stress, and a never ending feeling of desperation. Unfortunately, I believe this is why many solos never make past the bare subsistence level. At a billing rate of $200/hour a solo with plenty of paying work would be rolling in the money. But when you do 200 hours on a case you took on for $2,000.. you aren't even making $10/hour.


On behalf I am sure of other 0L's, we really appreciate this substantive post. This makes a lot of sense. I will keep this in mind when I decide to attend or not. I have always heard undetailed reasons why being a solo is difficult, but this is something that puts that lifestyle in perspective a little bit more.

I think a lot of people just wouldn't be able to handle the business side of being a solo. That would seem to be a major stumbling block. Well that and not having any substantive experience to draw upon if one cannot get hired anywhere in the first place. Not having any startup capitol is an obvious problem.

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Re: Laziest Field of Law to make $$$$

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:28 am

To echo the earlier poster, being a solo practitioners is very risky. It is difficult to get and retain clients that will pay you. A close friend of the family was a solo practitioner for years and lived hand to month. She was the primary bread-winner for her family and lived a really stressful existence (and this was being a well-known, well-liked solo practitioner in a rich town). Before I went to law school I spoke with her about her practice and a lot of the stress comes from a lack of resources. Maybe a solo has a secretary, but everything else, books, billing, legal research, court appearances, drafting, marketing, etc. is done by you, and your clients are mostly individuals who cannot afford or do not want to pay crazy rates... especially to someone straight out of law school. No one will want to hire you except the very desperate or cheap...or maybe a good family friend or two. I have several friends who were also forced into this as a career choice because they could not get jobs and it has come close to wrecking one of the friend's marriage (because he essentially makes nothing and his wife is stressed about money and his career path... not to mention he's depressed), and other friends who are making next to nothing...really unsteady workflow, living with parents, and basically working partime when stuff comes in (think maybe 30-40 hours of work for maybe $1-2K per month). You really have to hussle your ass off and get a little bit lucky to make it.

If you want to become a solo the proper way, get solid experience from a large law firm or medium/botique law firm and then, after maybe 5-10 years of experience, try to go off on your own (hopefully with a couple of other attorneys). Starting out as a solo from law school or shortly thereafter as a solo is almost impossible to make a good living.

As a side note, the only area of law that seems to be somewhat reasonable in terms of hours and still decent pay is botique trusts & estates work.

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guano
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Re: Laziest Field of Law to make $$$$

Postby guano » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:If you want to become a solo the proper way, get solid experience from a large law firm or medium/botique law firm and then, after maybe 5-10 years of experience, try to go off on your own (hopefully with a couple of other attorneysclients). Starting out as a solo from law school or shortly thereafter as a solo is almost impossible to make a good living.

Fixed

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gwuorbust
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Re: Laziest Field of Law to make $$$$

Postby gwuorbust » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you want to become a solo the proper way, get solid experience from a large law firm or medium/botique law firm and then, after maybe 5-10 years of experience, try to go off on your own (hopefully with a couple of other attorneys). Starting out as a solo from law school or shortly thereafter as a solo is almost impossible to make a good living.

As a side note, the only area of law that seems to be somewhat reasonable in terms of hours and still decent pay is botique trusts & estates work.


This advice isn't fully accurate, in my opinion. At most large firms you will not learn the ins-and-outs of practicing law as a solo. Many biglaw associates focus on one area. Solo work requires that you have a very diversified knowledge base.

The best thing to do is to work for a few small law firms/solos for a few years while also saving up money. Starting a solo practice without enough capital is a recipe for failure.

Anonymous User
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Re: Laziest Field of Law to make $$$$

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:23 pm

gwuorbust wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If you want to become a solo the proper way, get solid experience from a large law firm or medium/botique law firm and then, after maybe 5-10 years of experience, try to go off on your own (hopefully with a couple of other attorneys). Starting out as a solo from law school or shortly thereafter as a solo is almost impossible to make a good living.

As a side note, the only area of law that seems to be somewhat reasonable in terms of hours and still decent pay is botique trusts & estates work.


This advice isn't fully accurate, in my opinion. At most large firms you will not learn the ins-and-outs of practicing law as a solo. Many biglaw associates focus on one area. Solo work requires that you have a very diversified knowledge base.

The best thing to do is to work for a few small law firms/solos for a few years while also saving up money. Starting a solo practice without enough capital is a recipe for failure.


Depends on the solo work and depends on the clients you take with you.
Remember the trajectory of a big law attorney is usually generalist (early in career) to specialist (midlevel) to generalist or specialist (specifically depending on the practice). So a solo career can be very dependent on clients and the way you set up shop. You will need to know how to manage an office/people.

Agree with your comment on capital.

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purpletiger
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Re: Laziest Field of Law to make $$$$

Postby purpletiger » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:30 pm

The obvious answer is trusts & estates at a biglaw firm? I've been told that no one in that practice area ever stays past 5pm.

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jbiresq
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Re: Laziest Field of Law to make $$$$

Postby jbiresq » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:47 pm

purpletiger wrote:The obvious answer is trusts & estates at a biglaw firm? I've been told that no one in that practice area ever stays past 5pm.


It's a dying practice at BigLaw firms for that precise reason.

dolia
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Re: Laziest Field of Law to make $$$$

Postby dolia » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:12 am

The obvious answer is trusts & estates at a biglaw firm? I've been told that no one in that practice area ever stays past 5pm.


Still true at my firm, but also the smallest division and hard to get into. But really nice work if you can get it.




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