Starting your own firm...

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
drummerboy
Posts: 512
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: Starting your own firm...

Postby drummerboy » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:18 pm

thanks .any suggestions for other schools maybe east coast etc. by the way, i initially thru myself into the fire because i really wanted to get a strong sense of this communities fears for the future. since no one has yielded and most have remained steadfast. i am now starting to take this more seriously. indeed, more valuable stats are starting to emerge and the gloom is more reality than pure pessimisimim

sidhesadie
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Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Starting your own firm...

Postby sidhesadie » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:31 pm

I have a bit of insight into this subject (I'm just going to answer like the OP wasn't insulting and like the question is serious, because the fact is that a lot of us aren't going to get biglaw jobs so it's not an irrelevant conversation) because my ex husband was the owner of a small firm that he/we started, which was his second firm (the first he started with another attorney, they parted ways shortly after we married)

First of all, we were in a mid sized town. "City" would be an exaggeration but it had population over 75,000. I think that actually made it easier because there were just fewer attorneys to begin with. But, there were still plenty and some did better than others. The dearth of large law firms made it easier for sole practitioners and small (less than 10) attorney offices to thrive more than in a larger market. I definitely think you'd have better luck with this approach in a smaller city/town environment than trying to go sole practitioner in a larger market.

Second, I would say about 20% of the clients asked after the experience level of the attorney that would be handling their case. It was a rare client who asked anything about law school but those who asked about experience wanted to know how many years the attorney had been in practice and how many of 'this type' of case he had handled. So it *is* going to matter initially if you are just out of law school and have no case history. I think perhaps we had fewer people ask because although small, we presented as a 'firm'. So, I think maybe forming a 'group' with other sole pracs might be advantageous as opposed to going it solely alone, because people are impressed by the idea of a 'team' working for them. We had 2 'legal assistants' and a full time Investigator, and that was VERY impressive to the clients. Divorce clients loved that we had an investigator (even though we are in a no fault state and most of that stuff can't be used in court here, LOL).

I would say 2/3 of our clients were word of mouth referrals and the remainder came out of the phone book. I also think that's a high number for the phone book, but we had a catchy ad. (PM me if you want details) I wouldn't count on that number. So, I think that if there's a smaller market where you already know some people, that's where you'd want to locate.
I used to be a hairstylist, owned a hair salon. I have to say more people queried ME about how long I'd been doing hair, how much of this or that I'd done, etc, than ever asked about my husband's experience in the law. I think this is where being older was an advantage, as well. If you're over 30 people assume you've been doing it awhile, even if you haven't. But, I think that the type of law we were doing (divorce, criminal defense, minor real estate and business transactions) contributed to lack of questioning by clients. In other words, someone with a law degree was significantly more educated, in their eyes, than they were. So they assumed knowledge. However, if you're planning to go into a field where you are more likely to encounter college and graduate level education in your clients, I think you could expect a lot more questioning about your experience level.
HTH.

drummerboy
Posts: 512
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: Starting your own firm...

Postby drummerboy » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:40 pm

thanks for your input. i guess im wondering if there are t3 t4 schools known to be good choices in specific cities. i pretty much blanketed the country knowing that i would be willing to go to the best school with the least debt possible. i just dont want to get stuck in totally useless school . arent some t3 t4 are better than others. ?

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Mickey Quicknumbers
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Re: Starting your own firm...

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:44 pm

drummerboy wrote:thanks for your input. i guess im wondering if there are t3 t4 schools known to be good choices in specific cities. i pretty much blanketed the country knowing that i would be willing to go to the best school with the least debt possible. i just dont want to get stuck in totally useless school . arent some t3 t4 are better than others. ?

UF, FSU, and Stetson (if you want tampa specifically) at near full rides I think would be solid. The key though is understanding that you are more than likely to fail, and so debt minimization becomes the key.

drummerboy
Posts: 512
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: Starting your own firm...

Postby drummerboy » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:06 pm

thanks. why are you so down on FIU? Please elaborate. I too am from FL. This maybe a curse since I know nothing about other areas and Im getting full rides to schools like John Marshall, New England Law Etc. Im not thru with my cycle however. Maybe Ill be ok. I got 0 bucks so far from stetson.

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romothesavior
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Re: Starting your own firm...

Postby romothesavior » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:51 pm

Great post sid. Very insightful.

I'll just throw out one other thought... I think that ITE, going solo is going to be harder than it ever has been due to 1) less legal work (obviously not a concern if you're doing DUI or criminal defense etc., but in almost anything that depends on the economy, there will be less work) and 2) more unemployed law grads being forced to hang a shingle.

flcath
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Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Starting your own firm...

Postby flcath » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:02 pm

If I had a shred of entrepreneurial spirit, I would not be in law school.

Signed,
TLS

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Stringer Bell
Posts: 1922
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:43 pm

Re: Starting your own firm...

Postby Stringer Bell » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:22 pm

flcath wrote:If I had a shred of entrepreneurial spirit, I would not be in law school.

Signed,
TLS


If I could get a 250k loan from the govt. after taking a standardized test with no collateral and the ability to wipe the debt away after 10 years teaching or something, law school would look less attractive.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Starting your own firm...

Postby keg411 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:43 pm

drummerboy wrote:thanks. why are you so down on FIU? Please elaborate. I too am from FL. This maybe a curse since I know nothing about other areas and Im getting full rides to schools like John Marshall, New England Law Etc. Im not thru with my cycle however. Maybe Ill be ok. I got 0 bucks so far from stetson.


Get a job (I don't care if it's a crappy one). If you still want to go to law school in 3-5 years, re-take the LSAT at that time. Then go to UF/FSU with $.

UCSD1984
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:13 pm

Re: Starting your own firm...

Postby UCSD1984 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:04 pm

My goodness, this thread is still going on. Very interesting responses.

Just for the record, once again, I didn't mean to insult anyone in my original post.

UCSD1984
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:13 pm

Re: Starting your own firm...

Postby UCSD1984 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:09 pm

Haha, this site is awesome. Hats off to whoever did this in some earlier posts.

http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=How+do+I+win+at+life%3F

drummerboy
Posts: 512
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: Starting your own firm...

Postby drummerboy » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:11 pm

cool




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