Wily wrote:So far this thread has delivered more than 99% of TLS threads have.
UTLaw, out of curiosity, how does employment/discrimination law fare on the scale of profitability for smaller firms? I work right now as a paralegal for a plaintiff's side employment law firm and my boss seems to make decent money. Usually the cases settle for low six figures but we do have one with 20 plaintiffs that's settling for above a million. It's also an area of law that's pretty interesting to me, even after writing a few dozen complaints for racial/gender/age discrimination.
Employment discrimination is actually one of my practice areas. I am plaintiff's side, as well. The cases are more complex than your typical PI or criminal case. But I like them. As far as profitability goes, it depends on your clients' cases. But overall, I'd say this is a good practice area that allows for a very good profit margin. Your clients should be professionals. It raises the value of the cases.
So how would one manage to get a steady stream of clients without engaging in unethical practices orrunning grossly expensive tv ads. I just have difficulty understanding that.
You have to get out there and meet as many people as you can. That's the hard part. I have no problem doing this because I am a very social person. When you make small talk with all kinds of people, big cases can spring out of nowhere. But you have to make small talk with LOTS of people. Only when you've built up a rep after years of doing this, will people come to you. Otherwise, you have to find your cases. But expand your superficial network as much as possible. Be out and about.
Also, be likeable. If your clients like you, they will refer other cases to you. I practice contracts litigation, construction litigation, employment discrimination, and products liability. I would not advise anyone to get involved with products liability unless you are partnered with a law firm with deep pockets. These cases have very large payouts, but they nearly all involve you suing a major corporation. And when you are suing a major corporation, you better have money to spend just to survive summary judgment. It's also imperative that you are VERY knowledgeable about civil procedure, both federal and state, because you will have to plead it perfectly, otherwise, your case WILL get dismissed. The first time I sued a major corporation who was foreign to the state of Texas, I must have pled like 7 paragraphs of jurisdiction just to make sure they could not get the case dismissed. I was up against the statute of limitations so I had no room for error.
This is all small firm work, but sometimes, you are going up against biglaw firms. So you better be ready. I haven't had to face any of my classmates yet, but a law school classmate of mine works at a small plaintiffs firm and he has already faced a classmate of ours working biglaw when going up against a major manufacturer.