When did you give up on BigLaw?

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Macunaíma
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When did you give up on BigLaw?

Postby Macunaíma » Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:50 pm

For most law students, it's like learning that Santa Claus iz not exist.

Your stories, please.

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Macunaíma
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Re: When did you give up on BigLaw?

Postby Macunaíma » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:04 pm

Manners would have me going first.

Seeing first-semester grades trickle in over winter break gave me the sinking feeling, but I remained delusional for a few weeks after OCIs at the beginning of my second year. Then I began formulating Plans B through T.

(My OCIs were in 2006, when there was still hope for someone with middling grades at a T20.)

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solotee
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Re: When did you give up on BigLaw?

Postby solotee » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:27 pm

What are you doing now?

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Macunaíma
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Re: When did you give up on BigLaw?

Postby Macunaíma » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:32 pm

Solo in a niche practice.

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Royal
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Re: When did you give up on BigLaw?

Postby Royal » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:43 pm

Macunaíma wrote:Solo in a niche practice.


Never really had an interest in biglaw. I didn't go to law school because I wanted to spend my life reviewing thousands of emails all day for discovery.

More interested in hearing stories from recent grads who went solo. How'd you end up doing that? How lucrative has it been? Any advice? Any regrets?

truevines
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Re: When did you give up on BigLaw?

Postby truevines » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:48 am

Macunaíma wrote:Solo in a niche practice.


Could you tell more about your solo in that niche practice?
How did you enter that market?
How did you build your client base?
For what you have now, would you say it's better than going to BigLaw?

Thank you very much.

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Macunaíma
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Re: When did you give up on BigLaw?

Postby Macunaíma » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:21 am

Hasn't been terribly lucrative yet, but the practice is growing very quickly. Clients come naturally, through, uh, networking. I'm extremely outgoing and gregarious, and actually find rainmaking to be the easiest and most enjoyable part of being a lawyer. If I could find a clerk or partner with Asperger's, I could spend all of my time bringing in clients.

The niche was a natural for someone with strong language abilities. As far as building the practice, key is keeping overhead as low as possible. Office sharing or a virtual office is the way to go when you start actually needing a physical office space. I began the practice out of my apartment.

The only upsides I see to BigLaw are the pay and the resume fodder. BigLaw associates are glorified spear carriers, who spend the bulk of their billables doing mind-numbing doc review. That model will continue to disappear with the rise of LSOs - corporate clients will no longer pay hundreds an hour for a first-year associate to learn how to be a lawyer.

The way the market will continue to evolve, it is utter folly for anyone who cannot imagine running his own business to enter law school. People who want to be good little employees with big salaries need to go into another line of work.

christmas mouse
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Re: When did you give up on BigLaw?

Postby christmas mouse » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:05 am

Sounds like your firm is doing really well... Are you currently accepting applications?
I've got no problems dressing in all leather or getting whipped for doc review errors.

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Rodchenko
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Re: When did you give up on BigLaw?

Postby Rodchenko » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:26 pm

Thanks for posting this, Macunaíma — it's reassuring to see somebody talking about opening their own shop, which is the reason I'm in law school. Just finished my first semester while continuing to run my company and, although it may have impacted my grades a bit, I think it's worth it. I've been meeting with my school's career advisors about internships & clinics, and I'm amazed at the pressure they put on students to pursue a job with a big firm rather than explore other possibilities. When I mention running my own company after I graduate, they look at me like I'm nuts. I understand that the school must protect its placement statistics for US News rankings, but I think they're doing a lot of students a disservice in the process. Especially when other disciplines are becoming leaner and more entrepreneurial. (I was surprised to learn that something like 80% of law graduates in other countries work for themselves or in 2-3 person partnerships — and the trend is picking up here, too.)

Anyway, I was happy to see your note and hear that things are going well for you.

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nealric
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Re: When did you give up on BigLaw?

Postby nealric » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:33 pm

Best of luck to you, but I have to disagree with some of your assertions.

BigLaw associates are glorified spear carriers, who spend the bulk of their billables doing mind-numbing doc review


This meme is way overplayed. Sure, some litigation associates do nothing but doc review. But not everyone is in litigation and not everyone is at a highly leveraged firm that can't think of a better way to use its junior associates.

The only upsides I see to BigLaw are the pay and the resume fodder


Biglaw is the only way to get started in certain practice areas. You don't do mergers and acquisitions from a small solo practice.

corporate clients will no longer pay hundreds an hour for a first-year associate to learn how to be a lawyer.


They will and they won't. The costs of training will just be reflected in midlevel/senior associate and partner billing rates. Corporate clients will eventually realize they are just squeezing the balloon with regard to complaining about first years.




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