Sole Practitionership (part-time) and LS Choice?

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NotAnAmbiTurner
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Sole Practitionership (part-time) and LS Choice?

Postby NotAnAmbiTurner » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:56 am

Hello venerable and most knowledgeable forum members,

Now, the realities of law are coming to bear, I have some decisions to make and I was hoping you could help me.

I am soon to graduate with my BBA in "Entrepreneurial Leadership" (this is sort of a high-level managment/consulting degree) and have always dreamed of going to law school, however, the idea of working 55 ours a week for 5, 10 or even 2 years after law school doesn't really appeal to me, if only because I am prone to burnout from boredom/tedium.

I have heard a number of accounts of people who worked in biglaw then started their own practices and were infintely happy to charge $200/hr, keep the revenue and work fewer hours for reduced income.

WHAT I AM WONDERING IS THIS:

What are the paths to private practice, either in a sole practitionership or a partnership

and on a related note:

If you wanted to go to law school, but not necessarily practice law unless it was in a part-time sole practitionership (I'm thinking like 20-30 hours a week so that I can continue with other entrepreneurial activites while I'm young) would you go the scholarship route, or the biglaw to sole practitioner route? Why?

What are some common paths to sole practitionership? Which are most common, most successful and why?

Finally, I live in Canada presently, so am not eligible for all that U.S. financial aid hootenany and my numbers are I have a 167 on my LSAT and a 3.75 - 3.95 GPA with good softs for someone relatively young.

I know this is a bit of a long post and I don't expect you to make my decision for me, any info is great and I really appreciate your input.

Hopefully the information/posts gathered here help other forum members too.

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PLATONiC
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Re: Sole Practitionership (part-time) and LS Choice?

Postby PLATONiC » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:13 pm

If by "scholarship route" you mean entering a professorship for some time prior to starting your own practice, then this is a huge no-no. There are several reasons as to why a professorship is not a strong stepping-stone for your SP career:

1. Scholarship strays away from the "problem-solving" approach required for serving clients. It focuses more on a "theoretical" realm that has little to do with actually practicing law.
2. The scholarship route will enable you to gather clients by providing consulting services here and there, but the vast majority of your professional network will be within the scholarly realm. This means that you'll have to find new clients once you start your SP.. and this is known to be very, very... urgh.
3. Unless you earn your JD from a "super-elite" law school, namely HYS, then it is very likely that you'll be needing a few years in private practice (about two years, because too much time in private practice is looked down upon by the scholarly world for some very dumb reason that I don't wish to elaborate upon). It's possible for you to expand your business network during your two years or so of practice in the private sector, but this network will grow flimsy during your time as a professor...

So it would be particularly unwise to pursue the "scholarship route" for entering an SP.

What's most important, especially if you are seeking to minimize the number of hours worked per week, is the list of clients that you've saved up by the time you're initiating the SP. This list of clients can be developed during your time in biglaw. If you want biglaw for just a couple of years, you need to perform well in a top 30 law school (at least... I'd like to say top 20 nowadays).

final note: a lot of SP players face difficulties with not finding enough work. They literally go to their office and realize that they've got no clients to serve and therefore no money to earn. This is why I place such huge emphasis on gathering your clients before you even considering starting an SP.

Anonymous Loser
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Re: Sole Practitionership (part-time) and LS Choice?

Postby Anonymous Loser » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:34 pm

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NotAnAmbiTurner
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Re: Sole Practitionership (part-time) and LS Choice?

Postby NotAnAmbiTurner » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If by "scholarship route" you mean entering a professorship for some time prior to starting your own practice, then this is a huge no-no. There are several reasons as to why a professorship is not a strong stepping-stone for your SP career:

1. Scholarship strays away from the "problem-solving" approach required for serving clients. It focuses more on a "theoretical" realm that has little to do with actually practicing law.
2. The scholarship route will enable you to gather clients by providing consulting services here and there, but the vast majority of your professional network will be within the scholarly realm. This means that you'll have to find new clients once you start your SP.. and this is known to be very, very... urgh.
3. Unless you earn your JD from a "super-elite" law school, namely HYS, then it is very likely that you'll be needing a few years in private practice (about two years, because too much time in private practice is looked down upon by the scholarly world for some very dumb reason that I don't wish to elaborate upon). It's possible for you to expand your business network during your two years or so of practice in the private sector, but this network will grow flimsy during your time as a professor...

So it would be particularly unwise to pursue the "scholarship route" for entering an SP.

What's most important, especially if you are seeking to minimize the number of hours worked per week, is the list of clients that you've saved up by the time you're initiating the SP. This list of clients can be developed during your time in biglaw. If you want biglaw for just a couple of years, you need to perform well in a top 30 law school (at least... I'd like to say top 20 nowadays).

final note: a lot of SP players face difficulties with not finding enough work. They literally go to their office and realize that they've got no clients to serve and therefore no money to earn. This is why I place such huge emphasis on gathering your clients before you even considering starting an SP.


Sorry, I guess that was unclear. By "scholarship route" I meant going to a a lower school which would pay me to go, as opposed to a "better" school where the money would flow the other way.

Posner
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Re: Sole Practitionership (part-time) and LS Choice?

Postby Posner » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:11 pm

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Last edited by Posner on Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PLATONiC
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Re: Sole Practitionership (part-time) and LS Choice?

Postby PLATONiC » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:00 am

Law school might not be for you. Practicing law probably isn't for you. No matter how creative you try to get with practicing law on your own, you'll need to have your own clients. The best to get your clients is to practice law for long hours. Even if you're not billing the 2000+ hours/year, you'll still need to invest long hours into taking longer lunch breaks to spend time with clients, attending conferences/associations, etc.

Seeing how you only want to spend half the hours that normal biglaw associates spend working at their offices so that you can use the leftover time that you have for "entrepreneurial purposes" amuses me. It shows that you're not taking your future law career seriously.

NotAnAmbiTurner wrote:I have heard a number of accounts of people who worked in biglaw then started their own practices and were infintely happy to charge $200/hr, keep the revenue and work fewer hours for reduced income.


This is just undimensional, but easily perceived as attainable among entrepreneurial dreamers who form assumptions about something that they hardly know a thing about. But up to this point, it's fine, because a lot of hard-work and long nights could make it happen.

NotAnAmbiTurner wrote:If you wanted to go to law school, but not necessarily practice law unless it was in a part-time sole practitionership (I'm thinking like 20-30 hours a week so that I can continue with other entrepreneurial activites while I'm young)


Adding this mentality into the equation is just silly - Utterly naive - it undermines the validity of acquiring any degree that includes the term "entrepreneur" in its title... just so out of touch with reality.. hahahahAHAHAHAHAHAA.

AAAHHHAHAHAHA

hahaha

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NotAnAmbiTurner
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Re: Sole Practitionership (part-time) and LS Choice?

Postby NotAnAmbiTurner » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:14 am

Thank you, everyone, most of your comments have been great.
Posner wrote:It doesn't sound like you should go to law school period. Long work weeks are inevitable. It is not so easy to just relax and collect $200/hr for 20 hours a week. It's not easy to generate business right out of law school.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, then go that route for a couple years and see how it works out. It doesn't sound like you are excited about law school or the prospect of practicing. Do not go to law school because you do not know what else to do.


Very insightful.

It's true, I am way more excited about the idea of going to law school and "learning to think like a lawyer" than actually practicing law - this is largely because no matter how many people I talk to I also can't get a good approximation of whether I would actually like practicing law, except for some interest inventories which say I would.

I do think, however, that I am just as sure as a number of people who enroll in law school each year, I am just more open about my uncertainty and trying to explore my options a bit better - maybe I'm overthinking this, but otherwise how do you explain all the people with low job satisfaction upon entering the legal profession? Thoughts on that?

I do know that I would like to keep my career options fairly flexible - which law is good for - I also know that I don't like to work at boring, repetative, overly-structured jobs - which I have heard law (biglaw especially) is bad for. I also know that the most valid way to see if I would like being a lawyer is to actually try it and if it doesn't work out then I have a JD/LLB in addition to BBA next to my name - but am unemployed.

Anonymous User wrote:Adding this mentality into the equation is just silly - Utterly naive - it undermines the validity of acquiring any degree that includes the term "entrepreneur" in its title... just so out of touch with reality.. hahahahAHAHAHAHAHAA.

AAAHHHAHAHAHA

hahaha

Image




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