AssumptionRequired wrote: TyrionLannister wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote:If you want to be a good trial lawyer, you HAVE to have charisma and charm. If you don't, no matter how smart or proficient you are, you better choose another area of law to practice. Or you better hope that every trial lawyer you go up against is just as dry as you are. If you can't speak/relate to that jury, but your opponent can, you're sunk. This isn't appellate practice. This is trial practice. This is the prime reason why big law firms usually get their asses kicked in the courtroom when facing a charismatic trial lawyer who can say his ABC's backwards. He doesn't have to be that smart. He just can't lack intellect altogether.
Thanks for taking the time to write such a complete response to my last round of questions. As someone transitioning into the legal field from acting - charisma, charm, and ability to perform under pressure are my greatest advantages over the next person. I had considered a focus towards being a trial lawyer, and you are doing a fine job of convincing me that my instincts are dead on. I was hoping you could paint a picture of the income and hours of your specialty. Obviously, life gets more hectic around "game day", when you are actively at trial, but can you give a sense of hours work/billed for a trial lawyer? Equal to typical Biglaw jobs? What is your typical compensation for the work that you do? Flat fee or percentage? How did you first set a price for your skills? Is there a market rate/scale that you generally charge depending on a lawyer's level of experience? Best case scenario, what is the likely annual net income for a trial lawyer?
Sorry if the answers to these questions are hard to provide because of the broad spectrum of specialties, experience, and demand for different lawyers. Anything you could offer about what a successful trial lawyer makes and the hours he works would be great.
Thanks again! Great thread.
You still havent answered this. Curious as to what kind of income you are looking at. Is it all directly linked to how much you work?
Was biglaw or midlaw an option for you? I know you said you intereviewed with some firms and didnt like the feel. Most people I know (I know quite a few solo pract.) who went staright solo didnt have the grades to get biglaw. If you could have.... Why did you not go biglaw or midlaw right out of school for a few years to pay down loans and have some guaranteed income/job security? Are you making close to what you would have made in biglaw?
Going solo sounds exciting, but very risky. How did you go about obtaining your first clients?
I became gravely ill for three years after I graduated. I was temporarily incapacitated for a bit while I was in law school. The grades were there at this time, the health was not. This destroyed any shot I had of being hired by anyone out of law school. I couldn't cook myself something to eat, let alone work.
My sickness first manifested itself during the first semester of 2L year, during OCI. But I had reservations about working biglaw when I was a 1L. We had many 1L receptions at quite a few Texas based biglaw firms. As you mentioned, I just didn't like the vibe at all.
But I opened my firm because I pretty much had to because I had just recovered from my illness. The economy was absolutely terrible. So I just did my own thing. The few classmates I had, who were my friends, who have already opened up their own firms are doing well, all of them.
It wasn't scary to me because my illness was very scary. That put things into perspective. So opening a firm was kind of easy.
As for your question about income, I prefer not to give specifics. But let's just say that I would never want to work for someone, regardless of how large and prestigious the law firm is.