Employment Options

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sikemenow
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Employment Options

Postby sikemenow » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:20 pm

Alright looking to get some input here. After really doing some research I'm trying to reconcile the general attitude of the average TLS poster and the TLS forum in general. Corrct me if I'm wrong, but the feel that I get is that BigLaw are head and shoulders above any other form of employment in law practice. I can understand that BigLaw provides 6 figure salaries that enable the payment of possible 6 figure student debt. I also understand the prestige that comes with employment in big name firms. However, once you crunch the numbers, running a solo practice or a small partnership is much more efficient and profitable in terms of compensation for time spent working. Additionally, I feel that the satisfaction of building your own name and having flexibility of schedule would be a huge draw as well. Now, there is an unspoken assumption that if you started your own firm then business would be available, which is a very big if. Is it this risk and the extra networking and work of building a book of business that causes many to gravitate towards firm life? Or am I completely misreading many posters who simply want to work BigLaw until they are debt free and then move onto a more self-controlled work life? Give me some feedback and help me out if I'm being overly optimistic about self-employment or missing something.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Employment Options

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:21 pm

Starting a solo firm takes start-up capital, contacts, and clients, and knowledge about how to actually practice law on a practical level. None of which most new law school grads have.

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NYC Law
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Re: Employment Options

Postby NYC Law » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:23 pm

It's extremely difficult to start a solo when you (1) don't know what you're doing, and (2) don't have any business, and likely won't be able to get any due to how saturated the market is.

I'd like to someday, but this probably isn't the best time to do it. Plus you only have a shot at biglaw once, and the exit options from biglaw is the real prize.

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paratactical
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Re: Employment Options

Postby paratactical » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:26 pm

Finding clients on your own is incredibly difficult. Think about it, what kind of person wants to pay a person with no experience to handle their legal issues? People with no money looking for the best deal and people with cases so crazy no respectable lawyer wanted to take them. Furthermore, you can't have your own practice and then go back and work in a firm. You can work in a firm and then open your own practice. Opening your own practice after being at a large, reputable firm will at least give you experience to get better clients. Not to mention, if opening your own shop was so easy, why aren't all of the law school graduates who are unemployed doing just that?

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sikemenow
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Re: Employment Options

Postby sikemenow » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:47 pm

I absolutely agree with everything said so far. I think trying to start a solo firm right out of school is crazy and unrealistic. I completely understand why starting in an established firm is so important. I'm trying to figure out how many people go into firms planning on trying to make partner and how many are there to pay off debt and get the experience, clientele and capital to go solo.

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NYC Law
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Re: Employment Options

Postby NYC Law » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:51 pm

sikemenow wrote:I absolutely agree with everything said so far. I think trying to start a solo firm right out of school is crazy and unrealistic. I completely understand why starting in an established firm is so important. I'm trying to figure out how many people go into firms planning on trying to make partner and how many are there to pay off debt and get the experience, clientele and capital to go solo.


I think most understand that partner (at least at a big firm) isn't likely, so it's primarily for debt repayment and exit options. I guess it could lead to solo work if you have an opportunity to develop client relationships.

flcath
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Re: Employment Options

Postby flcath » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:11 pm

It's doable and has been done, a lot, although it's very risky. Most people are in law school because they lack the balls to start a small business, and that's exactly what you're doing (we also lack real talent to enter a real profession, like medicine).

But it's totally doable; I know several people who've done it. There's a pretty good book I'll try to remember the title to on how to go about setting up a solo, and all the real talents, apparently, relate to client acquisition and entrepreneurship, not legal skills (which makes sense: you're in law school, does this shit seem hard?).

I would guess that the type of person who succeeds in doing this is the type of person who's always wanted to do it, not the guy who strikes out from BL and has no other options.

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sikemenow
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Re: Employment Options

Postby sikemenow » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:51 pm

So if generally law grads look for exit options after a short tenure in BL is the next step generally employment in a mid-size or small firm or perhaps a boutique firm if you're not going to take the entrepreneurship risk? What is the line of thought behind the actions taken? In my mind, starting a business that delivers a service is much different than one that delievers a product because the owner doesn't have the extra expenses associated with inventory, shipping, supply chain, etc. You are simply being compensated for time and your overhead consists of thing such as rent, assistant/paralegal salaries, advertising, etc. which is much easier to manage. But again, as flcath points out, this has much more to do with aptitude than anything else. I guess I'm just curious as to people's personal long-term plans or goals as far as their law career is concerned.

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Gail
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Re: Employment Options

Postby Gail » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:03 am

It's as difficult as opening a small business. You have a high likelihood of failing, but you could succeed and become your own man.

I recently met a lawyer who graduate from Texas Weslyan. He worked for a DA for a few years (I mean maybe 2) and then started his own practice. He went to school in Texas and now works in the midwest. He seems to be doing just fine. He's not being crushed. It's a hustle game at first, but he enjoys life.


He also graduated with no debt, however, so take that into consideration. Crim law.




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