Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

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utlaw2007
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:31 pm

Assuming genuine curiosity, I'll bite. I think most people refer to "Shit Law" as being small (<20, more likely 2-10 attorneys per "firm") and low paying ($40k-60K/year). They typically practice under the guise of "general practice", which could mean tickets, misdemeanors, wills and trusts, real estate, or whatever they can find. The pay is substantially less than BigLaw and the work is much less prestigious. There are worse case scenarios, and the work isn't entirely uninteresting - just not particularly well respected.

ETA: 0L here, didn't realize the forum. Do have experience in the area though.


I was responding, in part, to this post. So my post was not off topic. I was trying to dispel some not totally correct info.

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rayiner
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby rayiner » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:43 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:
I'm not saying your contention is wrong, I'm saying it's non-responsive to OP's original post.

OP: "Why is it called shit law?"
You: "You can make a lot of money as a solo."
Me: "Most solos don't make much money which is why it's called shit law."


I only wanted to point out that non biglaw jobs can be very lucrative since the thread seemed to think they weren't at that time. I apologize if I offended you.


I'm not offended, and I don't disagree with what you said, in principle. I simply posted the data as a counter point to show that the results you were talking about were atypical.

utlaw2007
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:48 pm

It's all good. I appreciate your civility.

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tedalbany
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby tedalbany » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:16 pm

Also, read through this if you want to learn more about shit law (specifically areyouinsane's posts): viewtopic.php?f=23&t=157855

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:34 pm

While success stories are always more fun to hear about, it is helpful to hear the unsuccessful stories.

tedalbany wrote:Also, read through this if you want to learn more about shit law (specifically areyouinsane's posts): viewtopic.php?f=23&t=157855


The most on point areyouinsane post in that thread might be the following:
areyouinsane wrote:I graduated in 2004 from an NYC Tier One school with a 3.1 GPA. Did an intership both summers, but the gov't agency I interned with did not have any openings when I graduated. I sent out tons of resumes, but when $$$ ran low I registered with the temp agencies and got into Paul Weiss. Then I did a couple SullivanCromwell gigs and left temping for a personal injury firm where I worked as an associate for 45 K and no health benefits. That firm was so miserable I seriously thought about suicide and basically started drinking and doing drugs to cope with stress and depression. I had to keep deferring loans and really couldn't survive on the low salary. I was in the personal injury firm for about one year. Then the partner at the PI firm got disbarred and the other PI firms wouldn't interview me because of having a "stain" like that place on my resume. So my only substantive experience was basically worthless because it came from a place where a guy was getting disbarred for all types of sleazy shit, etc. I didn't really like that type of work anyway- it's a nightmare dealing with injured people and if you can't bring in cases you're pretty much topping out at 50-55 K for a salary.

So I went back into temping for another 3 years or so, and also waited tables and did other non-legal jobs between projects. Doc review wasn't too bad in terms of $$$, but you have to accept being treated like complete and utter garbage all the time. You are in no way a "professional" or accorded any respect or dignity on these gigs. They lie about the project length, lie about the hours, and terminate people with no warning by calling you at 11 pm to say the gig is over. On many projects you can't have your cell phone with you- you have to check it in with the front desk before going to your worskstation, other crappy childish rules like that.

Sometimes I really do wonder how things turned out so bad. Basically my "career" has been nothing but dead-end temp jobs and working for a scumbag firm. At this point I'm pretty much a ruined shell of a person, and plan on moving abroad with my fiancee so we can escape my massive student loan debt and start over elsewhere. She is a former ballet dancer and has an offer to dance with a company in Turkey, so I might take an English teaching job when we get there.

It's too bad student loans can't be discharged in BK. I'd gladly resign from both bars I'm admitted to for the chance at a clean financial start. I've accepted that my legal "career" so to speak is beyond dead, and dead-end temping is the only legal job I'll ever have any chance of getting. With the debt, it's simply impossible for me to "start over" in this country and change careers. Why struggle to pay for another 25 years for an education I'm not even able to use? My hunch is also that things are going to get far, far worse in the USA over the next few years, so it's probably an ideal time to run for the exit.

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IHeartPhilly
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby IHeartPhilly » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:07 am

tedalbany wrote:Also, read through this if you want to learn more about shit law (specifically areyouinsane's posts): viewtopic.php?f=23&t=157855


Just perused the thread. Brutal.

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tedalbany
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby tedalbany » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:11 am

I present areyouinsane on Personal Injury Law:

areyouinsane wrote:Even personal injury, once the "golden ticket" for TTT grads, is really, really tough nowadays. The carriers will NOT settle any car accident cases without bone fractures, and fight to the death over all the herniated disc cases and such. You can do OK with employment law- I did settle a sexual harrassment case for my sister's friend for 18 K last spring with a letter and half dozen phone calls. But to get enough cases like that to earn a steady living is very, very hard unless you already have a "spare" 50 K or so laying around for google adwords or your own sleazy TV commerical, etc. The typical newbie solo gets only drips & drabs, hence their contantly running back to these temporary doc review projects to supplement their meager incomes from their own "practice." NYC and NJ are really just too saturated with lawyers to make a go of it as a solo, and I'm too ground down by this industry to sit another bar and relocate to another state. At this point it just isn't worth it.

Non-legal employers don't understand the world of doc review, and often ask "why were you never made permanent anywhere" and things like that. They don't understand that doc review is transient work, and that lowlife TTT coders like me are not offered associate positions no matter how many docs you code.

Another thing I forgot to mention is that most firms make you sign a paper before you start the temp job which states you may NOT put the firm's name on your resume or do anything to make others think you actually worked there. God forbid a bunch of TTT grads were shopping their SullCrom or Paul Weiss resumes around! Instead, you are only allowed to put the name of your temp. agency (like HireCounsel, Lexolution, Update Legal, etc) and the duration of the project. The firms want to make damn sure some TTT'er doesn't soil their name by putting it on their garbage resume.


And as I said, my only substantive experience was in personal injury law. Understand that most injury lawyers who don't advertise on TV bribe "runners" to get cases for them- like hospital orderlies, nurses, ambulance drivers, etc. Here's how it works: the runner gives an accident victim the lawyer's card with a $20 bill wrapped around it and says "call that # and you'll get another $100 later today." The runners do this to people they "know" will not think it's anything unusual, like someone who's homeless or otherwise not very educated (most of the really good cases come from very poor urban areas- they tend to have more accidents since they frequent places which are in bad repair- housing projects, dive bars- and also tend to not wear seat belts or have cars with airbags).

So when the accident victim calls, the lawyer sends another dood out to the hospital (or their apt. or house if they've been discharged), gives them the $100, and has them sign a retainer. Bingo- they get a case worth thousands in lawyer fees for fronting the client $120 bucks. The runner gets paid a "commission" based on the quality of cases he/she brings in.

This isn't some TV show script, it's business as usual for NYC/NJ personal injury. How the hell else do you think some solo in Brooklyn or Queens you've never heard of makes big $$$ doing PI? Hardly anyone ever gets caught, about twice a year the AG's office plants some undercover folks in the ER to catch a few ambulance chasers, but mostly it gets ignored.

The other way these places get cases is by paying sleazy "medical mills" in the outer boroughs to "refer" cases to them. If someone is treating at a walk-in clinic and the "doctor" learns they were in an accident, he calls the PI lawyer and offers him the case. The catch is that the fee for the "medical reports" (wink wink) vary based on the injury. For sprains and soft tissue cases, it's usually 1200-1500 bucks, for a fracture it can be like 3 K or more. It's really sleazy shit and most of the clinics are run by Russian mobsters. To play this game you have to have enough cash to get the "medical reports," which is more expesnive than paying runners. But there is much less chance of getting busted.

So for anyone considering a career in personal injury law, that's the 5 minute primer. You can see now why associates in this area are paid almost nothing: they don't bring anything to the table. Getting the case is all that matters: the "legal work" is mostly cut and pasted stock pleadings and depostions where you try your best to get these illiterate, often crack-addicted clients to put some kind of coherent story together about the puddle of urine they slipped on at Roy's Billard Hall or wherever. Trials are very, very rare and mostly are reserved only for VERY high value cases (like 200 K+). Usually the trials are "farmed out" to a stable of silver-haired shysters who are very slick at getting juries to open the floodgates and get a huge payday. The per-diem trial guys get a 1/3 curt of any verdict they get. No lawyer in their right mind would let a young associate do a trial, because when you guy to trial you have to pay for the doctor upfront to testify, which is 5 K or more. And this money is coming from the firm's pocket since these are contingency cases (YOU DON'T PAY UNLESS WE WIN!- you've all seen the commericals lol).

The "typical" auto or trip n' slip case you just scrounge whatever you can from the insurance company and move on. It's a volume business, as that's the only way to make $$$.

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RedBirds2011
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby RedBirds2011 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:20 am

tedalbany wrote:I present areyouinsane on Personal Injury Law:

areyouinsane wrote:Even personal injury, once the "golden ticket" for TTT grads, is really, really tough nowadays. The carriers will NOT settle any car accident cases without bone fractures, and fight to the death over all the herniated disc cases and such. You can do OK with employment law- I did settle a sexual harrassment case for my sister's friend for 18 K last spring with a letter and half dozen phone calls. But to get enough cases like that to earn a steady living is very, very hard unless you already have a "spare" 50 K or so laying around for google adwords or your own sleazy TV commerical, etc. The typical newbie solo gets only drips & drabs, hence their contantly running back to these temporary doc review projects to supplement their meager incomes from their own "practice." NYC and NJ are really just too saturated with lawyers to make a go of it as a solo, and I'm too ground down by this industry to sit another bar and relocate to another state. At this point it just isn't worth it.

Non-legal employers don't understand the world of doc review, and often ask "why were you never made permanent anywhere" and things like that. They don't understand that doc review is transient work, and that lowlife TTT coders like me are not offered associate positions no matter how many docs you code.

Another thing I forgot to mention is that most firms make you sign a paper before you start the temp job which states you may NOT put the firm's name on your resume or do anything to make others think you actually worked there. God forbid a bunch of TTT grads were shopping their SullCrom or Paul Weiss resumes around! Instead, you are only allowed to put the name of your temp. agency (like HireCounsel, Lexolution, Update Legal, etc) and the duration of the project. The firms want to make damn sure some TTT'er doesn't soil their name by putting it on their garbage resume.


And as I said, my only substantive experience was in personal injury law. Understand that most injury lawyers who don't advertise on TV bribe "runners" to get cases for them- like hospital orderlies, nurses, ambulance drivers, etc. Here's how it works: the runner gives an accident victim the lawyer's card with a $20 bill wrapped around it and says "call that # and you'll get another $100 later today." The runners do this to people they "know" will not think it's anything unusual, like someone who's homeless or otherwise not very educated (most of the really good cases come from very poor urban areas- they tend to have more accidents since they frequent places which are in bad repair- housing projects, dive bars- and also tend to not wear seat belts or have cars with airbags).

So when the accident victim calls, the lawyer sends another dood out to the hospital (or their apt. or house if they've been discharged), gives them the $100, and has them sign a retainer. Bingo- they get a case worth thousands in lawyer fees for fronting the client $120 bucks. The runner gets paid a "commission" based on the quality of cases he/she brings in.

This isn't some TV show script, it's business as usual for NYC/NJ personal injury. How the hell else do you think some solo in Brooklyn or Queens you've never heard of makes big $$$ doing PI? Hardly anyone ever gets caught, about twice a year the AG's office plants some undercover folks in the ER to catch a few ambulance chasers, but mostly it gets ignored.

The other way these places get cases is by paying sleazy "medical mills" in the outer boroughs to "refer" cases to them. If someone is treating at a walk-in clinic and the "doctor" learns they were in an accident, he calls the PI lawyer and offers him the case. The catch is that the fee for the "medical reports" (wink wink) vary based on the injury. For sprains and soft tissue cases, it's usually 1200-1500 bucks, for a fracture it can be like 3 K or more. It's really sleazy shit and most of the clinics are run by Russian mobsters. To play this game you have to have enough cash to get the "medical reports," which is more expesnive than paying runners. But there is much less chance of getting busted.

So for anyone considering a career in personal injury law, that's the 5 minute primer. You can see now why associates in this area are paid almost nothing: they don't bring anything to the table. Getting the case is all that matters: the "legal work" is mostly cut and pasted stock pleadings and depostions where you try your best to get these illiterate, often crack-addicted clients to put some kind of coherent story together about the puddle of urine they slipped on at Roy's Billard Hall or wherever. Trials are very, very rare and mostly are reserved only for VERY high value cases (like 200 K+). Usually the trials are "farmed out" to a stable of silver-haired shysters who are very slick at getting juries to open the floodgates and get a huge payday. The per-diem trial guys get a 1/3 curt of any verdict they get. No lawyer in their right mind would let a young associate do a trial, because when you guy to trial you have to pay for the doctor upfront to testify, which is 5 K or more. And this money is coming from the firm's pocket since these are contingency cases (YOU DON'T PAY UNLESS WE WIN!- you've all seen the commericals lol).

The "typical" auto or trip n' slip case you just scrounge whatever you can from the insurance company and move on. It's a volume business, as that's the only way to make $$$.


That thread is one of my favorites. But did nobody else make the connection that the guy he worked for in personal injury that this experience is based off of was disbarred? He mentions that. Putting one and two together makes me think he just worked for a really unethical and shitty lawyer.

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tedalbany
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby tedalbany » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:25 am

RedBirds2011 wrote:That thread is one of my favorites. But did nobody else make the connection that the guy he worked for in personal injury that this experience is based off of was disbarred? He mentions that. Putting one and two together makes me think he just worked for a really unethical and shitty lawyer.


Pretty much.

Oh, there was this other hilarious shyster that used to be friends with my boss. I'll begin by saying that under NYC Sidewalk Law, an unlevel sidewalk slab must be at least 2 inches apart or it's considered "de minimis" and you can't get any $$$ for the trip n' fall. So this clown had a special fake ruler made where one inch was really one half inch, and he'd photograph the defect with the fake ruler next to it. He was smart and knew the city were too lazy/incompetent to actually send someone out there and take their own measurements, so he'd roll into a deposition or court settlement conference with photos showing a two-inch separation (which of course was in reality only one inch, if that) and settle the cases for whatever he could get.

Finally some judge or another lawyer smelled a rat, and his office got raided and turned up the fake ruler and tons of other neafarious frauds. At his disbarrment hearing he tried to claim he bought the ruler at Staples and it was "made wrong at the factory." That dood was like a legend in NYC personal injury. He was later prosecuted for like 200 counts of fraud and now resides in Attica, NY, which is a bit upstate lol.

utlaw2007
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby utlaw2007 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:27 am

tedalbany wrote:I present areyouinsane on Personal Injury Law:

areyouinsane wrote:Even personal injury, once the "golden ticket" for TTT grads, is really, really tough nowadays. The carriers will NOT settle any car accident cases without bone fractures, and fight to the death over all the herniated disc cases and such. You can do OK with employment law- I did settle a sexual harrassment case for my sister's friend for 18 K last spring with a letter and half dozen phone calls. But to get enough cases like that to earn a steady living is very, very hard unless you already have a "spare" 50 K or so laying around for google adwords or your own sleazy TV commerical, etc. The typical newbie solo gets only drips & drabs, hence their contantly running back to these temporary doc review projects to supplement their meager incomes from their own "practice." NYC and NJ are really just too saturated with lawyers to make a go of it as a solo, and I'm too ground down by this industry to sit another bar and relocate to another state. At this point it just isn't worth it.

Non-legal employers don't understand the world of doc review, and often ask "why were you never made permanent anywhere" and things like that. They don't understand that doc review is transient work, and that lowlife TTT coders like me are not offered associate positions no matter how many docs you code.

Another thing I forgot to mention is that most firms make you sign a paper before you start the temp job which states you may NOT put the firm's name on your resume or do anything to make others think you actually worked there. God forbid a bunch of TTT grads were shopping their SullCrom or Paul Weiss resumes around! Instead, you are only allowed to put the name of your temp. agency (like HireCounsel, Lexolution, Update Legal, etc) and the duration of the project. The firms want to make damn sure some TTT'er doesn't soil their name by putting it on their garbage resume.


And as I said, my only substantive experience was in personal injury law. Understand that most injury lawyers who don't advertise on TV bribe "runners" to get cases for them- like hospital orderlies, nurses, ambulance drivers, etc. Here's how it works: the runner gives an accident victim the lawyer's card with a $20 bill wrapped around it and says "call that # and you'll get another $100 later today." The runners do this to people they "know" will not think it's anything unusual, like someone who's homeless or otherwise not very educated (most of the really good cases come from very poor urban areas- they tend to have more accidents since they frequent places which are in bad repair- housing projects, dive bars- and also tend to not wear seat belts or have cars with airbags).

So when the accident victim calls, the lawyer sends another dood out to the hospital (or their apt. or house if they've been discharged), gives them the $100, and has them sign a retainer. Bingo- they get a case worth thousands in lawyer fees for fronting the client $120 bucks. The runner gets paid a "commission" based on the quality of cases he/she brings in.

This isn't some TV show script, it's business as usual for NYC/NJ personal injury. How the hell else do you think some solo in Brooklyn or Queens you've never heard of makes big $$$ doing PI? Hardly anyone ever gets caught, about twice a year the AG's office plants some undercover folks in the ER to catch a few ambulance chasers, but mostly it gets ignored.

The other way these places get cases is by paying sleazy "medical mills" in the outer boroughs to "refer" cases to them. If someone is treating at a walk-in clinic and the "doctor" learns they were in an accident, he calls the PI lawyer and offers him the case. The catch is that the fee for the "medical reports" (wink wink) vary based on the injury. For sprains and soft tissue cases, it's usually 1200-1500 bucks, for a fracture it can be like 3 K or more. It's really sleazy shit and most of the clinics are run by Russian mobsters. To play this game you have to have enough cash to get the "medical reports," which is more expesnive than paying runners. But there is much less chance of getting busted.

So for anyone considering a career in personal injury law, that's the 5 minute primer. You can see now why associates in this area are paid almost nothing: they don't bring anything to the table. Getting the case is all that matters: the "legal work" is mostly cut and pasted stock pleadings and depostions where you try your best to get these illiterate, often crack-addicted clients to put some kind of coherent story together about the puddle of urine they slipped on at Roy's Billard Hall or wherever. Trials are very, very rare and mostly are reserved only for VERY high value cases (like 200 K+). Usually the trials are "farmed out" to a stable of silver-haired shysters who are very slick at getting juries to open the floodgates and get a huge payday. The per-diem trial guys get a 1/3 curt of any verdict they get. No lawyer in their right mind would let a young associate do a trial, because when you guy to trial you have to pay for the doctor upfront to testify, which is 5 K or more. And this money is coming from the firm's pocket since these are contingency cases (YOU DON'T PAY UNLESS WE WIN!- you've all seen the commericals lol).

The "typical" auto or trip n' slip case you just scrounge whatever you can from the insurance company and move on. It's a volume business, as that's the only way to make $$$.


And this is a prime reason why I only mess with catastrophic or serious personal injury cases. This field is pretty dang sleazy to me. Here in Texas, you have chiropractors who have deals with PI lawyers. The victim goes to the lawyer. The lawyer sends him to his chiro. The chiro trumps up the medical bills. But the chiro doesn't charge the patient. He is only paid when the lawyer gets an award. It's really sleazy stuff.

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IHeartPhilly
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby IHeartPhilly » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:37 am

shit-law, it would seem. Those posts cleared up alot of questions.

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RedBirds2011
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby RedBirds2011 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:45 am

IHeartPhilly wrote:shit-law, it would seem. Those posts cleared up alot of questions.


I think we have a much better definition for what REAL shitlaw would be. Thanks for starting this thread.

Curious1
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby Curious1 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:49 am

This is great.

My dad actually told me I should go into personal injury because he was involved in a car accident and ended up winning his case (he got something like 50K and split it 3 ways between him, the lawyer and the doctor). He was telling me "oh these people don't do anything and make so much money, the lawyer's secretary drives a BMW."

Of course, his main concern was that big firm life will be too intimidating/tiring. I will now show him this thread to explain why I need to do what I need to do.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby TaipeiMort » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:04 am

IHeartPhilly wrote:shit-law, it would seem. Those posts cleared up alot of questions.


I think a better question for you is "what is there that would be appealing from my school?"

Most non-T14 schools won't give you a statistically significant chance at Biglaw. However, there are some pretty cool practices that any school can prepare you for. This will be less so if you pick a saturated legal market to start in.

There are some pretty interesting locally-based niche practices (eg. land use) which normally are performed by small-sized and midlaw firms. There is a shot at upward mobility in these practices if you are entrepreneurial and can find the right person to work underneath. They may even end in a midlaw opportunity, or being the owner of a real practice.

When I say "be entrepreneurial," I mean identify the supply and demand for such practices. Find underserved/unique practices which have a likelihood of demand increase over the next few years. If you just want to jump into an area of the law where the market is saturated (personal injury in new york), you are likely going to fail. However, imagine if you were developing a knowledgebase around natural-gas or mineral rights for small and mid-sized clients that haven't been gobbled up in a relatively unsaturated market like South Dakota?

The problem is that the two ways into a legal career currently are earning your way into the top 1%-- which will give you a natural and dependable path to success, or instead being a trail blazer. Most don't want to do that and think that the reality of the market is that they will walk out of oversaturated market TTT with a real job, which 95% of them wont.

utlaw2007
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby utlaw2007 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:07 am

When I say "be entrepreneurial," I mean identify the supply and demand for such practices. Find underserved/unique practices which have a likelihood of demand increase over the next few years. If you just want to jump into an area of the law where the market is saturated (personal injury in new york), you are likely going to fail. However, imagine if you were developing a knowledgebase around natural-gas or mineral rights for small and mid-sized clients that haven't been gobbled up in a relatively unsaturated market like South Dakota?


Most important piece of advice on this thread.

utlaw2007
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby utlaw2007 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:15 am

Curious1 wrote:This is great.

My dad actually told me I should go into personal injury because he was involved in a car accident and ended up winning his case (he got something like 50K and split it 3 ways between him, the lawyer and the doctor). He was telling me "oh these people don't do anything and make so much money, the lawyer's secretary drives a BMW."

Of course, his main concern was that big firm life will be too intimidating/tiring. I will now show him this thread to explain why I need to do what I need to do.


It really just depends on the market. Here in Texas. Some PI lawyers do well some don't. I would say that most don't. However, the lawyer who owns the firm that my friend works at made 24 million dollars last year. He knows of another guy (doesn't know this guy personally) who pocketed 55 million dollars last year. But the large majority don't do well. But if you get out there and make a name in the community (not necessarily for being a lawyer, just known by a lot of people), you will get cases. Most solos don't do well, but most solos work not too smartly, from a business perspective and from a lawyer perspective, also.

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A'nold
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby A'nold » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:21 pm

The PI stuff on this thread is extremely overblown. All PI lawyers I know (and I know a lot of them) do very well. I worked for one raking in over 25 million in one summer. The difference is working for a "sleazbag douche" who pays you 40k a year or actually networking in the good firms and/or starting your own practice. This site is woefully uninformed when it comes to solo practice in general. Hell, I've nearly seen it all. I regularly go up against a DUI attorney who probably makes 300k+ a year and she wears jeans and tennis shoes to court. Even her peons seem to like their jobs and many of them are middle aged attorneys.

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Gail
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby Gail » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:41 pm

I would think that solo-lawyers could do mighty fine for themselves. Even DUI lawyers. I know some that charge a lot per-hour. More than the rate that you'd make at biglaw.

utlaw2007
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby utlaw2007 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:07 pm

This site is woefully uninformed when it comes to solo practice in general. Hell, I've nearly seen it all. I regularly go up against a DUI attorney who probably makes 300k+ a year and she wears jeans and tennis shoes to court. Even her peons seem to like their jobs and many of them are middle aged attorneys.


This site is totally clueless about everything regarding solo practice. I totally agree. All the PI lawyers I know personally do very well, as well. I know of bad ones who struggle mightily and resort to shady tactics. But I don't know those guys personally. When someone says you can make more than a million dollars off of one case, it doesn't seem to register with people on this site. They think that's some type of anomaly and then point to stats that don't bear that out because they fail to distinguish practice areas or the type of legal services rendered as if traffic ticket lawyers make as much as criminal lawyers who handle felonies or those PI attorneys who only do catastrophic personal injury as opposed to little car wrecks. I will say this, if you are a lawyer and you follow the lawyers who aren't adept business people down the same path , you will fail. Every single entrepreneurial woman and man I know, regardless of profession, does very well for themselves. That's not to say that that is the norm. However, that is to say there is a certain business acumen that exists in certain environments that just doesn't seem to fail. And I don't see why that acumen would not work for anyone who is decent at the services or products they provide.

I have my own practice as I've said before. I will admit that God has blessed me with some huge cases. But I am far from an anomaly in that it seems like every lawyer I know that works for themselves is doing very well. All of them. Some are doing much better than others, obviously.

I think the key difference that the stats don't bear out is that there are those lawyers who are terrible businessmen and those who are good businessmen. But those are factors you can control to a large degree. You have to work to network. You have to be smart about it. Most lawyers are not. But there are far too many that are smart about it and they are the ones who mkae yearly salaries that put biglaw associate salaries to shame. And some of those put biglaw partner revenue sharing amounts to shame. And they are not as rare as you think. I think some of this depends on the market you live in. But a lot of it depends on what kind of entrepreneurial acumen you have.

A DUI lawyer who gets volume is generally making 200k to300k a year. A DUI in Texas costs about $5000 upfront and then an additional $10,000 if it goes to trial. Any good DUI lawyer is going to have volume. If you get just 4 of those in a month, that is $20,000. And that is just in a month's time.

The only way you can get an accurate picture of what it's like to be a solo or own a small firm is to talk to as many solo's/small firm owner's as you can. Stats just don't bear out all of the distinctions in practice areas or revenue generated from different practices.

But to those who do not know firsthand, you can continue to not listen and cling to incomplete stats and everything else that is said on this site. I am on here because I want to provide hope to those who won't or do not want to go biglaw. Not all is lost. I know some of you say that an accurate picture should be painted. I agree with that sentiment. But if we are going to paint an accurate picture, then let's make sure we get all aspects right before we adopt incomplete pictures of the situation.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:50 am, edited 3 times in total.

sheila1s
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby sheila1s » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:56 am

another question that goes along with this:

Are there typically any 'big law' firms in small cities? Or are those areas serviced by 'shit law' firms with work occasionally being outsourced to better firms in bigger cities?

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boredatwork
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby boredatwork » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:28 am

utlaw2007 wrote:
tedalbany wrote:
And this is a prime reason why I only mess with catastrophic or serious personal injury cases. This field is pretty dang sleazy to me. Here in Texas, you have chiropractors who have deals with PI lawyers. The victim goes to the lawyer. The lawyer sends him to his chiro. The chiro trumps up the medical bills. But the chiro doesn't charge the patient. He is only paid when the lawyer gets an award. It's really sleazy stuff.


It isn't limited to Texas, it happens all the time in CA and is a big magnet for organized crime as well. Not saying all PI work is like that, just that it can be.

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RedBirds2011
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby RedBirds2011 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:29 am

boredatwork wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote:
tedalbany wrote:
And this is a prime reason why I only mess with catastrophic or serious personal injury cases. This field is pretty dang sleazy to me. Here in Texas, you have chiropractors who have deals with PI lawyers. The victim goes to the lawyer. The lawyer sends him to his chiro. The chiro trumps up the medical bills. But the chiro doesn't charge the patient. He is only paid when the lawyer gets an award. It's really sleazy stuff.


It isn't limited to Texas, it happens all the time in CA and is a big magnet for organized crime as well. Not saying all PI work is like that, just that it can be.


Organized crime? Like the mafia? Lol

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boredatwork
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby boredatwork » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:43 am

RedBirds2011 wrote:
boredatwork wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote:
tedalbany wrote:
And this is a prime reason why I only mess with catastrophic or serious personal injury cases. This field is pretty dang sleazy to me. Here in Texas, you have chiropractors who have deals with PI lawyers. The victim goes to the lawyer. The lawyer sends him to his chiro. The chiro trumps up the medical bills. But the chiro doesn't charge the patient. He is only paid when the lawyer gets an award. It's really sleazy stuff.


It isn't limited to Texas, it happens all the time in CA and is a big magnet for organized crime as well. Not saying all PI work is like that, just that it can be.


Organized crime? Like the mafia? Lol


absolutely, the Russian and Armenian mobs, but this is OT sorry.

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RedBirds2011
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby RedBirds2011 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:50 am

That is effing nuts lol ok back OT

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Big Law vs "Shit" Law. I don't get it.

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:01 am

sheila1s wrote:another question that goes along with this:

Are there typically any 'big law' firms in small cities? Or are those areas serviced by 'shit law' firms with work occasionally being outsourced to better firms in bigger cities?


Use http://www.nalpdirectory.com/ to check what big firms work in what cities. It's not comprehensive, but it's a good starting point.




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