Is it frowned upon to leave a PD office for Private Practice

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jcm043
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Is it frowned upon to leave a PD office for Private Practice

Postby jcm043 » Thu May 10, 2012 11:14 am

How is viewed if you work in a Public Defender's office but then decided to go solo criminal defense?

I believe this is the track I want to take.

ran12
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Re: Is it frowned upon to leave a PD office for Private Practice

Postby ran12 » Thu May 10, 2012 11:19 am

jcm043 wrote:How is viewed if you work in a Public Defender's office but then decided to go solo criminal defense?

I believe this is the track I want to take.


Happens all the time with prosecutors and no one really has bad things to say b/c it's just a normal thing to happen so not likely it'll look bad to go PD to private practice. Public interest criminal pratice and being a prosecutor overall aren't that great and only suit certain types of people. Lawyers understand that so for them to look at it poorly makes no sense. You gotta do what makes most sense to you and honestly, being able to have a chance to make some money matters.

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jcm043
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Re: Is it frowned upon to leave a PD office for Private Practice

Postby jcm043 » Thu May 10, 2012 11:27 am

ran12 wrote:
jcm043 wrote:How is viewed if you work in a Public Defender's office but then decided to go solo criminal defense?

I believe this is the track I want to take.


Happens all the time with prosecutors and no one really has bad things to say b/c it's just a normal thing to happen so not likely it'll look bad to go PD to private practice. Public interest criminal pratice and being a prosecutor overall aren't that great and only suit certain types of people. Lawyers understand that so for them to look at it poorly makes no sense. You gotta do what makes most sense to you and honestly, being able to have a chance to make some money matters.


Thanks. My current thought is that being in a Public Defender office will provide a plethora of experience in defense. Being in private practice is the goal, just want to get feet wet first. Private practice will hopefully pay the bills + more.

Additional question. How is the pay for a criminal defense attorney in a large city like Memphis or Atlanta? Is it extremely competitive to retain clients? It seems in smaller towns with fewer lawyer where everyone knows each other, it is easier?

ran12
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Re: Is it frowned upon to leave a PD office for Private Practice

Postby ran12 » Thu May 10, 2012 11:34 am

jcm043 wrote:
ran12 wrote:
jcm043 wrote:How is viewed if you work in a Public Defender's office but then decided to go solo criminal defense?

I believe this is the track I want to take.


Happens all the time with prosecutors and no one really has bad things to say b/c it's just a normal thing to happen so not likely it'll look bad to go PD to private practice. Public interest criminal pratice and being a prosecutor overall aren't that great and only suit certain types of people. Lawyers understand that so for them to look at it poorly makes no sense. You gotta do what makes most sense to you and honestly, being able to have a chance to make some money matters.


Thanks. My current thought is that being in a Public Defender office will provide a plethora of experience in defense. Being in private practice is the goal, just want to get feet wet first. Private practice will hopefully pay the bills + more.

Additional question. How is the pay for a criminal defense attorney in a large city like Memphis or Atlanta? Is it extremely competitive to retain clients? It seems in smaller towns with fewer lawyer where everyone knows each other, it is easier?


I don't know what the pay would be like but the thing about being a solo criminal defense attorney is that it'll prob have a ton of growing pains. Finding clients anywhere is going to be tough b/c you need a reputation and people who trust you to build a base. A lot of the sleazier ones will have people who tip them off about possible cases for a fee. You'll prob need a good chunk of money to basically advertise if you don't have a solid base to begin with. I would not go solo right after PD without a solid base regardless of size of town or city. Even after you get a base going, you prob won't make much for a while b/c the type of defendants that solos in your situation have are usually not whales but more lower to middle class. That combined with volume issues can make it difficult so try to join an established firm or team up with others who have similar goals.

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Veyron
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Re: Is it frowned upon to leave a PD office for Private Practice

Postby Veyron » Thu May 10, 2012 11:38 am

I'd say pay is something along the lines of

Top 5%: 100-500k
Top: 25%: 100k ish
Middle: 50-75K
Bottom 25%: 0-50k

Yes, its extremely competitive.

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jcm043
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Re: Is it frowned upon to leave a PD office for Private Practice

Postby jcm043 » Thu May 10, 2012 11:42 am

Veyron wrote:I'd say pay is something along the lines of

Top 5%: 100-500k
Top: 25%: 100k ish
Middle: 50-75K
Bottom 25%: 0-50k

Yes, its extremely competitive.


Thanks.

I could come back to my hometown and sop up the business. I just cringe at the idea of being back here from the rest of my life. I guess I need to go with plan B - Marry money!

rad lulz
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Re: Is it frowned upon to leave a PD office for Private Practice

Postby rad lulz » Thu May 10, 2012 12:22 pm

It's not finding clients that's the problem. It's finding clients that 1) aren't crazy/have unrealistic expectations, 2) have money, and 3) are willing to pay that money, preferably up front.

There are plenty of people who need representation. There aren't many of them that are good clients.

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Corsair
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Re: Is it frowned upon to leave a PD office for Private Practice

Postby Corsair » Thu May 10, 2012 1:34 pm

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jcm043
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Re: Is it frowned upon to leave a PD office for Private Practice

Postby jcm043 » Thu May 10, 2012 5:07 pm

Corsair wrote:
rad lulz wrote:There are plenty of people who need representation. There aren't many of them that are good clients.



This.


As for being "frowned upon", frowned upon by whom?


By the diehard public defenders that have been there 20+ years. I guess I hear going to a PD office then being ridiculed for chasing the money instead of defending the damned.

rad lulz
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Re: Is it frowned upon to leave a PD office for Private Practice

Postby rad lulz » Thu May 10, 2012 5:22 pm

I know several people who started at PD and now do private practice. It's not uncommon bro. It would probably be more of a rarity to be a career PD actually.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Is it frowned upon to leave a PD office for Private Practice

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu May 10, 2012 5:31 pm

Agree with the above post.

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Corsair
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Re: Is it frowned upon to leave a PD office for Private Practice

Postby Corsair » Fri May 11, 2012 12:54 pm

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