Intent to Solo Practice

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rdawkins28
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:52 am

Re: Intent to Solo Practice

Postby rdawkins28 » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:39 pm

Quite a few people from TTT that I went to intended to go solo, including the top graduate from one year and #2 graduate from another year. They're both as smart as heck and are quite successful, i.e. 150K a year after about 4 years. The #1 guy works from home, but has a virtual office. The #2 guy works from 10-4 at his office, and sometimes at home. One average graduate found a niche fighting county property taxes and she's been quite successful. Has about 5-6 employees after 5 years (sweat shop). These types seem to be happy.

Then there are some who do it more as a hobby than a real career. A few guys I know make about 40-60K doing criminal defense. They either have some money, spouses with good jobs, or some other reason for not needing too much money. They also seem to be quite happy.

I've met T30-to-TTTTTT lawyers who have successful solo practices. And some knew that they were going to go solo. They're the street smart guys that just need a JD from anywhere to practice. They tend to be good with people, crappy on legal issues. But you'd be amazed how dumb lawyers can win cases. I tend to hate these the most because they care more about squeezing money out of their clients than anything else. I've seen them bill anywhere from 30-50K for cases involving less than 10K, which is painful for their clients when they don't win or don't get attorney fees from my clients.

Then there are some at my TTT who intended to practice solos but then met people in LS whom they clicked with and ended up opening a small firm.

So yeh, outside of TLS there are plenty of people who don't rely on biglaw, midlaw, smalllaw, tinylaw, or anyone else.

Some succeed. Quite a few don't.

If you're not the adventurous type or need to make much, I suggest you stick with the TLS ways.

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Strangely Appealing
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:58 pm

Re: Intent to Solo Practice

Postby Strangely Appealing » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:18 pm

itascot1992 wrote:Yeah seeking general information. Not everyone sees working crazy hours at biglaw as their goal tho


Herewith, general information:

Going Solo
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=173535
Lots of discussion about strategy and planning, market conditions, and making the best of it - just scroll past the head-bashing in between the useful posts

2L Need to Prepare to Go Solo in 24 Months
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=198609
Third post links to Carolyn Elefant's book on going solo. Her solo practitioner blog seems to be fading away, but Google her name to find it - lots of stuff to consider there.

Solo Practice Right Out of Law School?
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=183805
Mostly covers malpractice hazards, taxes, and what kind of preparation law school provides for solo practitioners

Accounting
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=239718
Included here because of a post suggesting a JD/CPA combo being a highly viable strategy for a solo

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JohannDeMann
Posts: 13831
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

Re: Intent to Solo Practice

Postby JohannDeMann » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:24 pm

rdawkins28 wrote:Quite a few people from TTT that I went to intended to go solo, including the top graduate from one year and #2 graduate from another year. They're both as smart as heck and are quite successful, i.e. 150K a year after about 4 years. The #1 guy works from home, but has a virtual office. The #2 guy works from 10-4 at his office, and sometimes at home. One average graduate found a niche fighting county property taxes and she's been quite successful. Has about 5-6 employees after 5 years (sweat shop). These types seem to be happy.

Then there are some who do it more as a hobby than a real career. A few guys I know make about 40-60K doing criminal defense. They either have some money, spouses with good jobs, or some other reason for not needing too much money. They also seem to be quite happy.

I've met T30-to-TTTTTT lawyers who have successful solo practices. And some knew that they were going to go solo. They're the street smart guys that just need a JD from anywhere to practice. They tend to be good with people, crappy on legal issues. But you'd be amazed how dumb lawyers can win cases. I tend to hate these the most because they care more about squeezing money out of their clients than anything else. I've seen them bill anywhere from 30-50K for cases involving less than 10K, which is painful for their clients when they don't win or don't get attorney fees from my clients.

Then there are some at my TTT who intended to practice solos but then met people in LS whom they clicked with and ended up opening a small firm.

So yeh, outside of TLS there are plenty of people who don't rely on biglaw, midlaw, smalllaw, tinylaw, or anyone else.

Some succeed. Quite a few don't.

If you're not the adventurous type or need to make much, I suggest you stick with the TLS ways.


I'll cosigning this.

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ExBiglawAssociate
Posts: 2092
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: Intent to Solo Practice

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:34 pm

My brother-in-law started a solo practice right out of law school and struggled mightily. After eight years of barely scraping by, he's giving up and moving to another state to work with one of his buddies.

It's not for the faint of heart. You have to have an entrepreneurial attitude to make it work. My BIL's problem was that he had no time to actually run his business because he put so much time into doing top notch legal work (which he did) to build his reputation. It's hard when you don't have dozens of secretarial and other support staff to do all the non-legal work for you, like we have in biglaw.

rdawkins28
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:52 am

Re: Intent to Solo Practice

Postby rdawkins28 » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:54 pm

Amusing thing happened today. We went to the Apple store during lunch to buy a new computer. Started talking to the salesperson. After a while, we revealed that the purchase was for our law office. The salesperson then whipped out his bar card. 2012 TTT graduate.

Yeh... it can be quite sad.




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