Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

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yankees12345!

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby yankees12345! » Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:36 pm

r6_philly wrote:
yankees12345! wrote:Congrats on taking the plunge! This is a great thread, thanks for answering questions.

What kind of services / practice areas are you offering your clients? I'm really curious, would be interested in making a move like this myself in another part of the country...


Ideally, you build a relationship with the startup by helping with formation. Then through contract reviews and funding. And if you have a relationship they will continue to come to you for GC type of things. Then when disputes arise you can litigate too. I think for most startups the lawyer they need is a outside GC who understands their industry and business.

So I am almost full service. and I really do get all kinds of work.


Very cool, thanks!

wannabee

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby wannabee » Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:58 pm

r6_philly wrote:
yankees12345! wrote:Congrats on taking the plunge! This is a great thread, thanks for answering questions.

What kind of services / practice areas are you offering your clients? I'm really curious, would be interested in making a move like this myself in another part of the country...


Ideally, you build a relationship with the startup by helping with formation. Then through contract reviews and funding. And if you have a relationship they will continue to come to you for GC type of things. Then when disputes arise you can litigate too. I think for most startups the lawyer they need is a outside GC who understands their industry and business.

So I am almost full service. and I really do get all kinds of work.


It seems that there is a lot of cross-selling opportunities in your practice, which is great. What advice would you give someone interested in starting a firm with two practice areas that are unrelated (e.g. criminal law and commercial litigation) and/or have clients from different demographics (e.g. low income vs. high income, etc.)? Would be great to hear your take both on feasibility/implications and marketing.

1styearlateral

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby 1styearlateral » Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:47 pm

r6_philly wrote:
1styearlateral wrote:I'm a junior in NYC from Philly as well; definitely jealous that you've taken the plunge into areas I want to work in.


msg me if you have any specific questions. Come and visit and chat if this is something you want to do down the road.


Next time I am planning on being in town I'll shoot you a PM. Thanks for making yourself available.

wannabee

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby wannabee » Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:08 pm

How did you decide on your hourly rate and how do clients react to it?

Thanks again

Hutz_and_Goodman

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:38 pm

What do you pay for malpractice insurance?

r6_philly

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby r6_philly » Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:10 pm

wannabee wrote:It seems that there is a lot of cross-selling opportunities in your practice, which is great. What advice would you give someone interested in starting a firm with two practice areas that are unrelated (e.g. criminal law and commercial litigation) and/or have clients from different demographics (e.g. low income vs. high income, etc.)? Would be great to hear your take both on feasibility/implications and marketing.



So I do already serve two demographic groups because I have two client streams: startups and immigrants. For immigrants I do literally everything because language and cultural trust means everything to those clients. For startups it is my technical and business expertise. I just have two marketing plans. I don't think they really overlap in my case.

For practice area, you may have difficulty combing commercial lit and criminal work. Trial work is trial work, but you have different rules and objectives there. It may then be easier (I am not sure if better) to be a generalist so you don't have to look odd with unrelated practice areas. Or for alliances with others in the two areas so you can get referred or cocounsel on cases you want but don't have to establish two distinct identities.

r6_philly

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby r6_philly » Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:13 pm

wannabee wrote:How did you decide on your hourly rate and how do clients react to it?

Thanks again


No problem!

I looked at what small firm partners command and decide to go around/just above it because I have some additional skills to offer. So I settled on 400. Some potential clients think it is sky high, but I think it's reasonable for biglaw type work. Clients who agreed think it's fair. I am also fairly generous with my hours (I don't charge everything, and I provide and stick to most estimates).

r6_philly

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby r6_philly » Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:15 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:What do you pay for malpractice insurance?


IP, class action, securities are rate killers. I think I am at about 3500 a year for mid-range coverage. I had quotes for like 1500 a year without IP.

Arbinshire

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby Arbinshire » Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:18 pm

Consider moving to Denver? ;) An IP/LIT Firm is my dream-firm to own/partner. So much want. So much debt.

r6_philly

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby r6_philly » Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:25 pm

Arbinshire wrote:Consider moving to Denver? ;) An IP/LIT Firm is my dream-firm to own/partner. So much want. So much debt.


Just do it! What you have to lose? lol Set yourself up and collaborate! This is a niche space because there is a growing culture and market where biglaw firms are not nimble enough to get in.

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:50 pm

Did you start doing any of this while you were still in biglaw? Does biglaw forbid handling your own small cases?

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oidsedidy

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby oidsedidy » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:13 pm

tyroneslothrop1 wrote:Was getting ready to flame b/c as a junior associate I generally do not believe a second year is capable of litigating a complex matter appropriately. Your pre-law-school experience was probably very valuable.



Thomas Pynchon would approve.

run26.2

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby run26.2 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:53 pm

Shout out. We still need to talk. Glad to hear that things are going well.

r6_philly

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby r6_philly » Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Did you start doing any of this while you were still in biglaw? Does biglaw forbid handling your own small cases?


You can't have any clients in biglaw because your clients become the firm's clients for conflict and liability reasons so there is a blanket policy against doing so.

I made friends, got to know people and had a plan. But could not do anything until after I left.

r6_philly

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby r6_philly » Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:32 pm

run26.2 wrote:Shout out. We still need to talk. Glad to hear that things are going well.


Thanks! I'm anytime you are free let's catch up.

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:01 am

Thanks for doing this!

What type of work do you do for immigrants? Getting Visa type of work? Are there many immigrants in Philly?

r6_philly

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby r6_philly » Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for doing this!

What type of work do you do for immigrants? Getting Visa type of work? Are there many immigrants in Philly?


No problem, may this thread help anyone who even remotely considered doing this.

I still focus on business related issues for immigrants. A lot of immigrants own small businesses but are painfully unfamiliar with laws and regulations. Individuals too, with personal legal issues, but there are a lot of other lawyers(and non-lawyers) who would do immigration work for a lot less than what I charge. So what happens is I get the top of the pyramid work in the immigrant community. I charge the most, have the best credentials, so people who have the most valuable or urgent issues come to me when they don't think others can handle it to satisfaction.

There are a lot of immigrants here in Philly. I think I have a unique, small niche market, but as far as I know right now I am the only one in this segment.

Biglaw Investor

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby Biglaw Investor » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:22 am

r6_philly wrote:No problem, may this thread help anyone who even remotely considered doing this..


Absolutely it will. No questions from me, but just wanted to add another layer of thanks for taking the time to post this. As you very well know, every third-year associate at your firm is probably jealous and wondering how you did it!

mvp99

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby mvp99 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:01 am

are you going to hire new law grads and pay them $10 an hour? Or do you see yourself hiring someone to keep them long term?

didntretake

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby didntretake » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:07 am

Tagging this thread for reference when I am likely considering a move like this in a few years. Best of luck!

r6_philly

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby r6_philly » Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:28 am

Biglaw Investor wrote:
r6_philly wrote:No problem, may this thread help anyone who even remotely considered doing this..


Absolutely it will. No questions from me, but just wanted to add another layer of thanks for taking the time to post this. As you very well know, every third-year associate at your firm is probably jealous and wondering how you did it!


I wouldn't say jealous. I think, based on what we talked about at my farewell party, others like the idea of being able to leave, but at this point in their lives it is not quite the right thing to do yet. It isn't for everyone, and I will not hesitate to say that my biglaw job was a great job. It is just that I wanted something different for my career. As for how I did it ... as my wife continues to support me by saying: you just have to have faith and make the leap. Life is too short not to try.

r6_philly

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby r6_philly » Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:35 am

mvp99 wrote:are you going to hire new law grads and pay them $10 an hour? Or do you see yourself hiring someone to keep them long term?


My plan is to grow and generate enough business so I can hire a new grad or junior for $50-70k, depending on experiences. I do not want to lowball anyone who works with me. They should have a decent experience and be reasonably happy with their job. I would also like to retain the person I hire for the long run because it would take a bit of effort to train and that would be my investment. I would love to find a future partner than a short-term rental.

I would also hire an associate before a paralegal/assistant so they can go to court and be client facing. I am hoping to be able to hire by next spring, at the end of the first year.

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 07, 2016 3:11 pm

I am already thinking about starting solo practice after working at a law firm for 2-3 years. How important do you think "location" of law school would be to start solo practice?

The thing is that I go to school in Midwest (regional school like Indiana/St. Louis, Notre dam, etc)but I want to practice in LA where my language skill would be best utilized, including other factors. I do not have family ties to CA.

I posted this question in a separate thread but I would truly appreciate your comments. Thanks!

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:21 pm

Mark for the future. Great thread. Thanks!

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Re: Biglaw junior left to start a tech/startup/lit solo, AMA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:22 pm

r6_philly wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for doing this!

What type of work do you do for immigrants? Getting Visa type of work? Are there many immigrants in Philly?


No problem, may this thread help anyone who even remotely considered doing this.

I still focus on business related issues for immigrants. A lot of immigrants own small businesses but are painfully unfamiliar with laws and regulations. Individuals too, with personal legal issues, but there are a lot of other lawyers(and non-lawyers) who would do immigration work for a lot less than what I charge. So what happens is I get the top of the pyramid work in the immigrant community. I charge the most, have the best credentials, so people who have the most valuable or urgent issues come to me when they don't think others can handle it to satisfaction.

There are a lot of immigrants here in Philly. I think I have a unique, small niche market, but as far as I know right now I am the only one in this segment.


Thanks for the answers. Can I ask you a follow-up question? You only spent a couple of years at a law firm then how come you can get the "top of the pyramid work" while there are a lot of other, presumably more experienced, lawyers who do immigration work? You didn't even do immigration law at the law firm. I am asking this merely because I don't get it.

Also, why do your clients go to more experienced yet less expensive (than $400) lawyers in town? I am curious to know what type of better/distinctive legal service a solo practice can offer clients by charging $400. I have these questions, because I am very interested in what you are doing and this type of questions haunt me...



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