making sh&%$ law pay you well

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bizzybone1313
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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby bizzybone1313 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:52 pm

During your first year, was there ever a time where you were real close to giving up or being close to not making it as a solo? Going bankrupt or just not bringing in enough volume to make it? I know you said earlier you were doing document review for a while. Why do a lot solos fail? It sounds like you are one of the most successful graduates out of your graduating UT Law class. Do you find this to be true?

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scifiguy
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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby scifiguy » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:12 pm

Following up on the post above, did you have a back-up plan for IF the solo practice thing didn't work out?

I, too, wonder how hard that first year or so is when you're trying to build a business. I think something like 80% of all small businesses fail in the first year and don't make it. ...It's a very high percentage.

Did you ever think about that and was there a back-up plan for that? Was there an absolute minimum you needed to make to survive (or could you have borrowed money from your parents, for example)? How close did you get to that minimum amt. (if ever)?

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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby atcushman » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:31 pm

tag

utlaw2007
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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby utlaw2007 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:35 pm

bizzybone1313 wrote:During your first year, was there ever a time where you were real close to giving up or being close to not making it as a solo? Going bankrupt or just not bringing in enough volume to make it? I know you said earlier you were doing document review for a while. Why do a lot solos fail? It sounds like you are one of the most successful graduates out of your graduating UT Law class. Do you find this to be true?


I don't know for sure, but I do have a classmate who has been more successful than me if only that he has been doing this longer than I have. His story helped inspire me to take the risk. I would imagine that we would have to be among the most successful in our class in financial terms. I cannot see how we would not be. But to me, that is not saying much. It really isn't. This is business. And so many professionals, no matter their education, are so woefully deficient when it comes to financial success because they just aren't willing to take the risks in the first place. The quality of one's education does not equate to a higher chance of financial success from an entrepreneurial standpoint. And if one is not even willing to take on the risks associated with it, there is little chance that that person will reap the same types of financial rewards. It's just that simple.

There was never a time I considered giving up going solo. My life experiences, both athletic and my illness, made it such that failure was just not an option for me,neither was giving up. My illness was very severe. There were times I considered giving up when I fought that. That was a real battle. That's where I was up against it. This solo stuff was not even remotely as severe as that no matter how bad the financial struggle was. My faith in God is strong. I knew it was just a matter of time, a matter of how long.

Every person is different. Some people will fail because they get too impatient. That combined with the fact that they just aren't used to dealing with the ugliest of hardship compels them to throw in the towel too early.

Most solos fail because they don't do things intelligently. They fail for the same reasons why small businesses fail. They don't market enough. They don't even attempt to get to know people outside of the people they already know. Others pick practice areas that are already crowded. There's no demand for their services because so many lawyers are already providing those services or they are already providing those services to the demographic. This is no different than any other business. you have to provide a need that is in demand. that's what real businesses do. too many solos hang their hat on the misconception that they are a lawyer with a law firm and therefore they are going to make money. well, that's just wrong. other solos fail because they don't have the ability to be a lawyer. so their services suck. and who is willing to pay for services that suck? Solos fail because they have not grasped that owning a law firm is more about running a business than practicing law. Lawyers don't keep their expenses low. So they don't give themselves enough margin for error.

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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:10 pm

Haven't forgotten about those other questions. I'll get to them when I get the chance.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby bizzybone1313 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:47 pm

Why do you think so many attorneys are so dissatisfied with their choice of profession? What makes it about law that makes so many people miserable? I am assuming that you have not regretted making the decision to attend law school because of the money you have made or maybe I am wrong. Those guys on JDUnderground really give me a lot of anxiety about wanting to attend law school.

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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby FineGentleman » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:26 am

Which area(s) of law is in demand right now? Civil rights? Consumer fraud? Environmental?

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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby utlaw2007 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:06 pm

bizzybone1313 wrote:Why do you think so many attorneys are so dissatisfied with their choice of profession? What makes it about law that makes so many people miserable? I am assuming that you have not regretted making the decision to attend law school because of the money you have made or maybe I am wrong. Those guys on JDUnderground really give me a lot of anxiety about wanting to attend law school.


I love my decision to go to law school. And I absolutely love being a lawyer and practicing law. Everyone is different. I am different. I am sure there are lots of things that I like that most people don't. That's why one should never really assume that another's liking/disliking of something would be an indication of how one will like it. All that can really be stated are facts of that profession.

I was always a very picky person. I never liked school. I hated it. I excelled at scholastic things, mainly tests. But I still hated school. I didn't like the idea of all sorts of professions. I gave going to law school a lot of serious thought. I thought about whether I should go for five years prior to pulling the trigger.

I think law does not go well with people's personalities. It's tedious. It is demanding in terms of the amount of work you have to do to get something done. But I love it because it gives me a sense of purpose. I feel I am making a difference no matter how small it may be. I can wield power. I can make people pay to right wrongs. That is just awesome to me!

I also own my law firm. I work for myself. I get to pick and choose what I want to do and how much I want to do. I suppose that I wouldn't like the practice of law, either, if I had I had to work for someone else. I suppose that would suck. Although, I do think trial law cannot be beaten in terms of excitement even if I worked for someone else.

I think working for one's self gives one a sense of purpose and satisfaction. There is tremendous freedom. And that is a great place to be.
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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby utlaw2007 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:20 pm

All I can say is to research the profession. Talk to as many lawyers that you can. Sample answers from both those who hate it and those who love it. Find out the differences for their opinions. That will give you a better idea what you think will be good for you.

If you find it very unlikely to enter into a part of the profession that you would like, then don't go to law school. If you feel it is likely to enter into a part of law that you do like, go to law school. But I do think that one must explore ALL of their options outside of law. One should NEVER choose to enter law in a vacuum. I explored other fields before deciding on law. I researched other areas. I did not come to my decision to go to law school lightly. I looked at employment prospects and earning power of a lot of other professions. I felt that law was the best choice for me. Not just from a "fit" perspective, but from an economical perspective. And this economic perspective was relative to the economic perspective of other professions. I think this assessment is imperative. Make sure that going to law school is the best thing for YOU from a financial sense. There may be other areas that are even better for you. Choose those areas. Or, there may not be any areas that are better.

You really can't determine if you would like it beforehand. That is just impossible. You can try. I suppose that wouldn't hurt. But you can evaluate all of your options from a financial and time sense. I think it's best to base the decision of of that. But it certainly wouldn't hurt to find out what the daily, weekly, monthly routine is for lawyers at all levels in various fields of law. I know that may not be possible. It wasn't for me. But you want to at least try to survey what various lawyers do to see if it is a good fit. I think most miserable lawyers have no idea what they are getting themselves into. They go to law school, especially the good ones, for the prestige associated with the that level of lawyer and law firm.

I wasn't very drawn to biglaw even from day one. Deep down, I was going to find another pathway to becoming an experienced lawyer that didn't involve biglaw or taking cases from people with little to no money off the street, which is what so many solos do. I didn't find that the least bit appealing either. There is a middle ground. I just had to find it.

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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby Kafkaesquire » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:34 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:All I can say is to research the profession. Talk to as many lawyers that you can. Sample answers from both those who hate it and those who love it. Find out the differences for their opinions. That will give you a better idea what you think will be good for you.

If you find it very unlikely to enter into a part of the profession that you would like, then don't go to law school. If you feel it is likely to enter into a part of law that you do like, go to law school. But I do think that one must explore ALL of their options outside of law. One should NEVER choose to enter law in a vacuum. I explored other fields before deciding on law. I researched other areas. I did not come to my decision to go to law school lightly. I looked at employment prospects and earning power of a lot of other professions. I felt that law was the best choice for me. Not just from a "fit" perspective, but from an economical perspective. And this economic perspective was relative to the economic perspective of other professions. I think this assessment is imperative. Make sure that going to law school is the best thing for YOU from a financial sense. There may be other areas that are even better for you. Choose those areas. Or, there may not be any areas that are better.

You really can't determine if you would like it beforehand. That is just impossible. You can try. I suppose that wouldn't hurt. But you can evaluate all of your options from a financial and time sense. I think it's best to base the decision of of that. But it certainly wouldn't hurt to find out what the daily, weekly, monthly routine is for lawyers at all levels in various fields of law. I know that may not be possible. It wasn't for me. But you want to at least try to survey what various lawyers do to see if it is a good fit. I think most miserable lawyers have no idea what they are getting themselves into. They go to law school, especially the good ones, for the prestige associated with the that level of lawyer and law firm.

I wasn't very drawn to biglaw even from day one. Deep down, I was going to find another pathway to becoming an experienced lawyer that didn't involve biglaw or taking cases from people with little to no money off the street, which is what so many solos do. I didn't find that the least bit appealing either. There is a middle ground. I just had to find it.


It seems that you more or less created the middle ground, what with being your own boss. I wonder, is the same middle ground there for those who are going to work as an associate and those who are opening up their own law firm?

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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby rouser » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:09 am

this may have already answered (i read this thread a couple weeks ago) but did you start out in personal injury or grind up some cash first by doing things like divorce? you talked about how your family connections helped you get started (as well as putting yourself around successful people generally), but did you also take out ads in yellow pages and such? what might be some marketting strategies you would recommend for someone who doesn't have the hook ups yet? it seems to me that a clever ad geared towards a particular niche could be helpful...maybe something emphasizing that paying more would be silly when the case will end the same regardless...so it would be pointless to pay more for an older, more experienced att'y. did you do that kind of thing at all?

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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby Nightrunner » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:56 am

You often discuss finding the right area (geographically and practically), where there is sufficient demand. What resources did you use/would you recommend to study that demand?

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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby Blessedassurance » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:42 am

talk to me about dui lawyers. i've seen some charging 10 grand per case. how hard is it to defend a dui?

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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby utlaw2007 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:02 pm

Kafkaesquire wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote:All I can say is to research the profession. Talk to as many lawyers that you can. Sample answers from both those who hate it and those who love it. Find out the differences for their opinions. That will give you a better idea what you think will be good for you.

If you find it very unlikely to enter into a part of the profession that you would like, then don't go to law school. If you feel it is likely to enter into a part of law that you do like, go to law school. But I do think that one must explore ALL of their options outside of law. One should NEVER choose to enter law in a vacuum. I explored other fields before deciding on law. I researched other areas. I did not come to my decision to go to law school lightly. I looked at employment prospects and earning power of a lot of other professions. I felt that law was the best choice for me. Not just from a "fit" perspective, but from an economical perspective. And this economic perspective was relative to the economic perspective of other professions. I think this assessment is imperative. Make sure that going to law school is the best thing for YOU from a financial sense. There may be other areas that are even better for you. Choose those areas. Or, there may not be any areas that are better.

You really can't determine if you would like it beforehand. That is just impossible. You can try. I suppose that wouldn't hurt. But you can evaluate all of your options from a financial and time sense. I think it's best to base the decision of of that. But it certainly wouldn't hurt to find out what the daily, weekly, monthly routine is for lawyers at all levels in various fields of law. I know that may not be possible. It wasn't for me. But you want to at least try to survey what various lawyers do to see if it is a good fit. I think most miserable lawyers have no idea what they are getting themselves into. They go to law school, especially the good ones, for the prestige associated with the that level of lawyer and law firm.

I wasn't very drawn to biglaw even from day one. Deep down, I was going to find another pathway to becoming an experienced lawyer that didn't involve biglaw or taking cases from people with little to no money off the street, which is what so many solos do. I didn't find that the least bit appealing either. There is a middle ground. I just had to find it.


It seems that you more or less created the middle ground, what with being your own boss. I wonder, is the same middle ground there for those who are going to work as an associate and those who are opening up their own law firm?


I think it's there. It's just going to be hard to find. I think when one graduates law school, one doesn't have much of a choice in choosing the manner in which he/she earns money. But as one gains experience, then other doors of employment opportunity open up. This is also true if you open your own law firm. You don't have much of a choice as to what types of cases you want in the beginning. At that point, you don't know what you're doing and you don't know specific market demands for different demographics until you experience them while marketing and just getting to know people. But eventually, experience will help you find that middle ground. And there is always the possibility you may never find it. But again, that's one of those risks that you have to take if you are desperate to find it.

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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby utlaw2007 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:54 pm

Nightrunner wrote:You often discuss finding the right area (geographically and practically), where there is sufficient demand. What resources did you use/would you recommend to study that demand?


That's a good question.

This is pretty important what I am about to say. This is one area where anecdotal evidence is supreme.

It does you no good to read stats (if such stats existed, they don't) and make decisions based on those stats that say this and that, but from your firsthand experiences, things are totally different.

For example, if you happen to be in the company of solos who are in the top 10% relative to earnings, then go with what they do, serve the demographic they serve, copy their techniques, and practice their area of law. Or use this info as a guide to do your own thing if modification is required.

When you are sampling demand in your area, you should be evaluating two different things primarily. Those things should be the area of law and the population you encounter that may need services for that area of law. This part HAS to be anecdotal because it's going to rely on what you encounter. If stats say that DUI lawyers in your area make a killing, but you don't encounter anyone who is able to afford the upfront costs associated with DUI's, you are not going to be successful as a DUI lawyer unless you find those people who can afford it in your area.

There is a reason why the MBE tests for 6 areas of law that are common to most states. It's because these areas have the highest demand, along with family law. These areas are so common that one must choose a demographic to serve within these areas. You have to choose a demographic because there are valuable cases and cheap cases within the same practice area. And with contracts, a great many things are contracts between two parties for the most part. So you need to weed out what is good and what is bad. That's why, you need to survey different industries in your area.

I've recently expanded my practice to include transactional services to certain types of businesses. I do it for marketing, mostly. And I have done it to meet demand. When surveying the businesses that I market to, I found a demand for transactional services based on contract and disclaimer issues. If you are doing simple transactional stuff for these people, you are going to be the first person they go to when there is a need for litigation. And that is what I want. Stubbornness is the only reason why I have not yet thought of this before.

Any type of commercial litigation requires a sampling of demand in your area. It is not enough to say that you practice commercial/business litigation. You have to choose specific industries. You have to get to know those businesses on an intimate level. You don't have to be best friends with this people. But you want face time with these people.

Sorry, I get off on tangents and have a tendency to ramble. But the best way to survey demand in your area is to get to know people and ask them about business ventures or criminal legal trouble, etc...

You also want to survey attorneys about how they get business from individuals pertaining to their practice area to get a better read on demand for services in your area. And merely find out what they practice. Only ask those with offices. That way, you know they are making enough money to pay for living expenses and office expenses.

But you can always survey individuals you meet. I suppose it can't be a contrived way. But I found it pretty easy to tell people I am a new attorney. That always sparks interest. The marketing or surveying you do in that conversation should be done on the sly. Meaning, you want to keep the conversation as personable as possible.

And I would just invite myself into solo offices, make sure you wear a suit, and just tell them you are a new attorney looking to establish relationships with experienced attorneys. That has always gone over well every time I have done it. Sure, you are going to, many times, get the weird look from the lawyer like, "what the hell is he doing in my office?" But as soon as you tell them you are a new attorney that just wants to get to know more experienced attorneys, they are always welcome to chat for a minute with you. I have never had a problem picking the brains of older attorneys for business tips. You're not picking their brains for marketing tips. They all do word of mouth and that is terrible to solely rely on word of mouth. But what you are picking their brains for is demand for different types of legal services in your area.

You are not soliciting. So you are not breaking any laws or policies of the building. You are just establishing relationships with older attorneys. That is not illegal. Those that go to top law schools have an added advantage because you earn instant credibility by going to a law school that they could not attend. Being in Texas, I have instant credibility with these guys. But I never say where I went to law school until the middle of the conversation after they have warmed up to me. So it is not necessary to have gone to a top law school in most cases. Besides, you always want to give them the utmost respect and deference. You never want them to feel like you are showing them up. They eat it up that you, an attorney, their peer, are coming to them for advice. That is a rare position for solos to be in. They give advice to lay people all the time, but not other lawyers.
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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby utlaw2007 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:56 pm

And assessing demand is a continual process so modify accordingly.

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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby utlaw2007 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:43 pm

scifiguy wrote:New Question:

You mentioned finding an area of specialty that is in demand in your geographical location. Can you explain how one can go about doing this?

But, secondly, how much weight did you give to how much you liked or disliked a particular area? For example, suppose you found that asbestos law is underserved in your area and could potentially offer a lucrative specialization. But, on the other hand, suppose you find it boring or otherwise just not very interesting to you ... How much do other factors play in your decision of what type of practice to pursue?


This is a very good question.

I will be the first to admit that my being in a big city gives me a big advantage as to what types of law I can practice.

Being in Houston, money exchanges hands a lot. As a result, there is a need for legal business practice areas, whether they be transactional or litigation based. Those are areas that I don't mind. And litigation is just awesome! There is nothing like it. But even the transactional stuff that I have begun doing is still pretty cool because it is done in relation to litigation, meaning, how can I enter into this transaction in a way that reduces the need for litigation as much as possible? That's pretty cool, too, just not nearly as cool as litigation.

My main point is that I like doing those things. I did not want to provide appellate services ever because of the work involved. Well, that was until I ran into ill decided legal issues made by the trial court in preliminary litigation matters. These things were so irritating that I decided to do these things myself since I feel no one can do a better job. Whether that is true or not is besides the point. The simple fact is that I can offer these services at a discount to the client so that the client is willing to pursue them. These things have to be pursued if you want to get a larger amount of money from your cases or any amount of money at all. I just felt better about these cases if I pursued appellate work myself. In any event, these things relate back to litigation and I love litigation.

I have the luxury of avoiding practice areas that I do not like. But I did not have this luxury in the beginning. I have practiced criminal law. I do not like criminal law. I have considered doing breach of warranties pertaining to new cars. I have done a car accident case. I have not handled a family law case and would not unless I was in an incredibly desperate situation.

I think happiness is most important. However, I think you have to be prepared to do the dirty work to get to that point. I did doc review for a long time. And there is NOTHING worse than that. It's not just the work that is so bad. It's the idea that everyone thinks they are doing rocket science. It's highly annoying. It's even more annoying when they think you can't do it good as you are actually doing much more sophisticated and difficult work when you actually practice law. In reality, you know that stuff better than they do because you actually build cases and know everything there is to know about relevance to a case. But they don't understand that. Instead, you get supervisors who have chips on their shoulders because they went to crappy law schools and have to throw their weight around in the doc review world. You get placement agencies that think you are not good enough to place on a project because you don't routinely do them as if any brain power is required. Never mind that you have an academic pedigree that sh%^$&*s on everyone in the placement agency and every doc reviewer. Never mind that you have accomplished things in your young career that no one on that project has accomplished or even KNOWS how to do. But you do it to make ends meet. It is a necessary evil.

So yes, it's always better to engage in what you like. For me, it is almost a necessity. But there may be times where you just have to do what you despise. But if doing what you despise makes you a lot of money, there is no reason why you can't do that and supplement it with work that you love doing that does not make you money. Do both, if only to get some satisfaction and joy from your work.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby utlaw2007 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:44 pm

this may have already answered (i read this thread a couple weeks ago) but did you start out in personal injury or grind up some cash first by doing things like divorce? you talked about how your family connections helped you get started (as well as putting yourself around successful people generally), but did you also take out ads in yellow pages and such? what might be some marketting strategies you would recommend for someone who doesn't have the hook ups yet? it seems to me that a clever ad geared towards a particular niche could be helpful...maybe something emphasizing that paying more would be silly when the case will end the same regardless...so it would be pointless to pay more for an older, more experienced att'y. did you do that kind of thing at all?


Blessedassurance wrote:talk to me about dui lawyers. i've seen some charging 10 grand per case. how hard is it to defend a dui?


I'll get to these two questions when I get the chance...

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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby bizzybone1313 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:13 pm

I know you have tangently discussed this with other responses, but I figured I would more directly ask the question. What is your ultimate goal? Is it to make as much money as possible? Is it to build the next V100 Big Law firm? Is it to build your business big enough to employ a dozen attorneys? Is it to continue running your solo shop completely independently without any help whatsoever? Is it to make as much money as possible with as little number of hours as possible of work?

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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby utlaw2007 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:36 pm

bizzybone1313 wrote:I know you have tangently discussed this with other responses, but I figured I would more directly ask the question. What is your ultimate goal? Is it to make as much money as possible? Is it to build the next V100 Big Law firm? Is it to build your business big enough to employ a dozen attorneys? Is it to continue running your solo shop completely independently without any help whatsoever? Is it to make as much money as possible with as little number of hours as possible of work?


This is a very interesting question! I say that about a lot of questions, but they all touch upon interesting things in my mind.

My ultimate goal is to take over the world.

Just kidding. I want to make as much money as possible by working a decent, not ridiculous, number of hours. Basically, I want to make a ridiculous amount of money as efficiently as possible. I do want to expand to multiple states. That's a long term goal of mine that I have always had. And I have already formulated part of that plan. But, of course, I am just in the pre-implementation of that. So I don't know how effective it would be. That day is not as far off as one would think. One must take extra precautions to keep overhead low so they don't overextend themselves. And then one must be able to set aside time to market in that region. I do not have that set aside time yet. The eventual plan is to hire an associate that can do that marketing for me and tie bonuses to the effectiveness of that marketing.

I would very much like to create a premium law firm. That idea intrigues me. But this goal is not really a goal as much as it is a conditional option.

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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby utlaw2007 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:05 pm

scifiguy wrote:Following up on the post above, did you have a back-up plan for IF the solo practice thing didn't work out?

I, too, wonder how hard that first year or so is when you're trying to build a business. I think something like 80% of all small businesses fail in the first year and don't make it. ...It's a very high percentage.

Did you ever think about that and was there a back-up plan for that? Was there an absolute minimum you needed to make to survive (or could you have borrowed money from your parents, for example)? How close did you get to that minimum amt. (if ever)?



I had no back up plan and never felt the need to make one. I just continuously modified my business plan. Never paid attention to that small business stat because that doesn't tell you anything. It's way too general and lumps all businesses into one group. I think that is stupid and sheds no light on businesses specific to what you may be running. If one does not have the have the foresight to break that group down into several parts that can be distinguished from each other, than perhaps it's best that the person doesn't go into business for himself/herself. As discussed earlier, there are several decisions one can make that factor largely into success or failure.

Those failures can be traced to poor financing (usually too much overhead, no thought is given to the efficiency of money making), lack of effective marketing, and attempting to provide a service or product for which there is no demand. These factors can be avoided.

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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby utlaw2007 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:14 pm

Kafkaesquire wrote:I would like to ask a follow-up question to the one above.

Consider you have started your own firm in an area with its own demands for legal services, but you don't really want to continue practicing to meet those demands, i.e., you want to practice in another city/area of law. What would you weigh when considering whether to pack up your bags and move to meet these desires? How picky is too picky (in a practical/financial sense)?

For the sake of this discussion, just assume the attorney has no personal obligations (family, e.g.) outside of his career.


This totally depends on the individual. If it were me, location trumps practice areas any day of the week unless I had to practice family law. I would tailor my practice areas accordingly. But if I just had to move, it would be to a place with a low cost of living and a decently sized population.

utlaw2007
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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby utlaw2007 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:19 pm

rouser wrote:this may have already answered (i read this thread a couple weeks ago) but did you start out in personal injury or grind up some cash first by doing things like divorce? you talked about how your family connections helped you get started (as well as putting yourself around successful people generally), but did you also take out ads in yellow pages and such? what might be some marketting strategies you would recommend for someone who doesn't have the hook ups yet? it seems to me that a clever ad geared towards a particular niche could be helpful...maybe something emphasizing that paying more would be silly when the case will end the same regardless...so it would be pointless to pay more for an older, more experienced att'y. did you do that kind of thing at all?


I'll also address this question when I get the chance.

utlaw2007
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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby utlaw2007 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:20 pm

FineGentleman wrote:Which area(s) of law is in demand right now? Civil rights? Consumer fraud? Environmental?


Depends on your region.

utlaw2007
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Re: making sh&%$ law pay you well

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:47 pm

Blessedassurance wrote:talk to me about dui lawyers. i've seen some charging 10 grand per case. how hard is it to defend a dui?


The going rate for a DUI in Texas is $5000 upfront and then an additional $10,000 if it goes to trial. I don't think they go to trial often. When a person is charged with a DUI, you have to (or you should, at least) go down to the courthouse and see if the complaint is properly made by the state. That takes very little time. Then you have to go to the DA's office and request to see the tape of the incident. Then you get your arguments together and go talk to the prosecutor handling the case to get a plea deal. Then help your client fill out the paper work and I think you're done.

There are some procedural matters that you have to take care of during this process, but they are not big. They just involve appearing before the judge and constantly resetting your dates if you have a lot of criminal cases. Your docket calls are going to overlap in criminal court if you have a lot of cases so resetting settings is very common.

It's not hard to attempt to defend. If you're client was stone drunk, you are trying to get a plea for him/her anyway. You get paid to put on a defense, not to win. So put on a good defense so you can sleep at night. It doesn't take a lot of work. It is more involving if you have to bail your client out of jail and all of that, but not much more.

You do need to learn the science behind the breathalyzer, but that is not hard.

DUI's will easily make you well off. The challenge is making the right connections with the demographic who can pay that money. It's not hard to find them. The hard part is making those connections.

But basically, it's an incredibly easy way to make $5000. That's why criminal law absent murder and other high level felonies that require complicated science is a great practice area.




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