Legal work outside of law firm

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bh061013
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Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:04 pm

Legal work outside of law firm

Postby bh061013 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:34 am

I am currently working as an associate at a mid sized civil defense firm. I am happy with the job and enjoy what I am doing, however I am not satisfied with the pay. I have friends and family who are always getting in trouble and in need of legal help. I was wondering if it would be permissible to take on criminal cases on my own, while remaining a full-time associate at my firm.

BeenDidThat
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Re: Legal work outside of law firm

Postby BeenDidThat » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:46 am

bh061013 wrote:I am currently working as an associate at a mid sized civil defense firm. I am happy with the job and enjoy what I am doing, however I am not satisfied with the pay. I have friends and family who are always getting in trouble and in need of legal help. I was wondering if it would be permissible to take on criminal cases on my own, while remaining a full-time associate at my firm.


That sounds like the kind of thing that would be in the firm's policy manual, not the heads of random people on the internet who have no knowledge of the firm's internal workings.

Miller32
Posts: 131
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: Legal work outside of law firm

Postby Miller32 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:27 am

I'd be shocked if your firm Ok'd that. Best case scenario is they let you develop your own practice area a little bit and give you a cut of whatever you bring in.

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kalvano
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Re: Legal work outside of law firm

Postby kalvano » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:45 am

"You aren't paying me enough and all of my criminal friends want me to rep them in their criminal cases, even though I'm a civil attorney, so I'll need to be gone a lot to sit in trial and jury selection and negotiations with the prosecutors, but it's not work for you guys that are already paying me, but that's cool right? Awesome, good talk."


I think that will go over well.

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northwood
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Re: Legal work outside of law firm

Postby northwood » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:00 am

I don't think your firm will want to be competing with you for clients. But like others have said, check your firms policy manual

bh061013
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Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:04 pm

Re: Legal work outside of law firm

Postby bh061013 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:35 am

Thanks for the responses everyone. To some of the comments, I am not talking about taking on any clients for lengthy criminal trials involving robbery, murder, or anything crazy. I am more so speaking to court appearances involving minor offenses such as underage drinking, disorderly conduct, etc., so I would not be expecting my firm to be paying me to essentially be making money on my own, however, I was wondering if taking on a case or two would be permissible, not setting up my own practice while working for my firm.

Gorki
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Re: Legal work outside of law firm

Postby Gorki » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:53 pm

I would probably not do it. But if you want to, you have to ask your firm.

What will happen IMO is you will have to ask your firm (to avoid them getting pissed off), and they will basically say "sure, you do all the work and we will give you 20%." That is my understanding of how it will work. Boomer partners will retain almost all the coin.

Plus, do you really want to charge your friends and family whatever your boss wants you to charge?

aces
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Re: Legal work outside of law firm

Postby aces » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:55 pm

Firms will sometimes OK this if it's clear it's a one-off instance of you representing a family member/close friend on a pro bono basis as a personal favor. If you are getting paid for this work and intend to do it regularly, they're almost certainly going to say no.

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nealric
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Re: Legal work outside of law firm

Postby nealric » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:57 am

Merely asking about this could be viewed as a lapse in judgment.

p1arnold
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Re: Legal work outside of law firm

Postby p1arnold » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:51 am

By the nature of your association with this firm, your actions could potentially conflict the firm out of potentially lucrative matters. You never know. Even if you think there is no possible way, there is always some weird chance. If someone brings it up and the firm has to litigate the claim to remove them from representing a client because of your actions, I doubt that will do much for your career advancement.

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kalvano
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Re: Legal work outside of law firm

Postby kalvano » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:54 am

Also, you do civil work. Criminal work has entirely different rules and procedures and you could potentially be liable because you screwed up something you didn't even know about.




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