Hanging a shingle

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Anonymous User
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Hanging a shingle

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:05 pm

Many people seem to view the idea of starting a practice as a last resort. People who find themselves unable to find gainful employment, or are cut from a firm, come to this option only out of necessity.

This seems especially true of those who go to top schools. I find myself in the vast minority in that I want to go to a great school, but I also have no desire to work in BIGLAW. In fact, when you look at the websites of most solo/small partnerships, they went to TTT schools and may be solo out of necessity.

I want to open my own practice one day and hopefully build it from a solo or 2 person partnership in to a successful small firm, but I still want a top notch and respectable legal education from a top school.

Ideally, I'd love to work for two years or so after school; build experience, connections, and a bank account, and then hang a shingle. I feel like 95% of other people shooting for top schools want BIGLAW. Does anyone else at/applying at a top school actually want to go solo or start a practice?

Anonymous User
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Re: Hanging a shingle

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:09 pm

My mom is a solo practitioner, but she worked for 10 years developing clients and connections before 'hanging her own shingle'. I think realistically solo practice (or founding one's own firm) has to be a long term goal. Few people want to hire a green lawyer, and the costs to start up would be enormous.

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pjo
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Re: Hanging a shingle

Postby pjo » Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:29 pm

Personally I think you see more TTT or T2 grads start up solo practice firms moreso because of finances. Chances are (and this is a grave generalization) a T2 or TTT grad will have significantly less debt than say a T14 grad. This in turn allows them to have more financial freedom to go out on their own and quicker than the T14 grad who almost HAS to work BIGLAW and take a few years to pay off that big debt. Like it or not, your debt really determines what you can and can't do, the borrower is slave to the lender in a way. Plus, once you get into the BIGLAW culture, many (but not necessarily all) associates will feel a need to live the part or keep up with the spending habits of their peers which delays the time it takes to get out of debt. This is just my opinion though and I'm sure if you keep your goal in mind you can go to a T14, pay off your debt and start your own practice

Anonymous User
Posts: 273591
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hanging a shingle

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:Many people seem to view the idea of starting a practice as a last resort. People who find themselves unable to find gainful employment, or are cut from a firm, come to this option only out of necessity.

This seems especially true of those who go to top schools. I find myself in the vast minority in that I want to go to a great school, but I also have no desire to work in BIGLAW. In fact, when you look at the websites of most solo/small partnerships, they went to TTT schools and may be solo out of necessity.

I want to open my own practice one day and hopefully build it from a solo or 2 person partnership in to a successful small firm, but I still want a top notch and respectable legal education from a top school.

Ideally, I'd love to work for two years or so after school; build experience, connections, and a bank account, and then hang a shingle. I feel like 95% of other people shooting for top schools want BIGLAW. Does anyone else at/applying at a top school actually want to go solo or start a practice?


I think I read somewhere where Ken said he started a private practice (after creating this board for a legion of people who want biglaw). I think I will likely transition to solo after a couple years max (but hopping onto the $160K a year biglaw wagon for a couple years first doesn't sound bad either).

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reasonable_man
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Re: Hanging a shingle

Postby reasonable_man » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:12 am

Im exactly one year post bar exam... I worked at a bigger firm (175 lawyers) for 2 years before LS while in college, I worked at a small firm in General practice part time for 2 years of law school and I worked as an SA and then part time during my 3rd year for my current firm of about 75 lawyers.. In short, my expereince base is pretty solid. Even so, I know that I'm years away from being able to actually consider "hanging a shingle." The financial commitment is huge and risk of failure is substantial. Moreover, this is a profession built on learning from the previous generation. The idea of LS in this country is only about 100 years old.. Trust me, you learn very little about actual practice in LS.. The real actual points of practice that you MUST know is generally shown to you at a firm.. This takes more than "a year or two." I've been supervising three SAs this summer and it has served as a reminder of just how little LS teaches you.. They are good students, smart and capable, but they simply don't know what they are doing yet... It takes time..




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