Anyone Considering Going SOLO right now?

(Advantages vs Disadvantages, Hours and Compensation, Career Growth Potential, Company Culture, Getting Hired, Types of Practices- general vs specialty vs complementary, Small & Midsized Firm reviews & experiences)
leavingfirm

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Anyone Considering Going SOLO right now?

Post by leavingfirm » Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:58 pm

May be a bad time, but if there is a bad recession many lawyers won't have the choice of working at another biglaw firm. I'm getting the administrative side of a solo practice set up right now: website, site content, logo, business cards, etc.

It won't be effective as long as the lockdown lasts but as soon as this is over I want to be ready to pounce.

Anyone else sick of working biglaw and considering something similar?

leavingfirm

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Re: Anyone Considering Going SOLO right now?

Post by leavingfirm » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:28 pm

No one? No one? Bueller? What do you plan to do when your firm lays you off?

Anonymous User
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Re: Anyone Considering Going SOLO right now?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:40 pm

Anon cause I don’t need anyone at my firm seeing this. What practice and what year are you? I’m considering this but I’m in lit and a mid level. Would love to bounce and set up my own, but I don’t think in lit. Maybe something like trusts and estates, but I don’t know where to start with that.

leavingfirm

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Re: Anyone Considering Going SOLO right now?

Post by leavingfirm » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote: .
I'm commercial lit midlevel in biglaw. There are a bunch of practice guides on my state's bar association website that I've been reading about solo practice areas. Trust and estates would be a good one I think. The thing I'm most concerned about is getting clients. But the freedom from biglaw is so enticing.

Lurk2020

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Re: Anyone Considering Going SOLO right now?

Post by Lurk2020 » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:58 pm

leavingfirm wrote:No one? No one? Bueller? What do you plan to do when your firm lays you off?
You have people an hour and a half before following up with this? Come on

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Anonymous User
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Re: Anyone Considering Going SOLO right now?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:30 pm

I'm a mid-level trusts and estates associate at a biglaw firm. I wouldn't recommend going straight from being a litigation or corporate associate to trying to be a solo T&E lawyer. There are two big issues.

First, T&E (especially if you're dealing with wealthy people) is highly technical and takes a while to learn. You can't just hit the ground running. To be honest, it would be unethical to try.

Second, T&E lawyers need lots of clients -- it's a high-volume practice. It'll be very difficult to parachute in, as someone with no experience and no T&E connections, and find enough clients to survive.

You either need to lateral to a firm and do T&E for a few years before going solo or you should just be a solo litigator/corporate lawyer.

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Re: Anyone Considering Going SOLO right now?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:31 pm

Anon so my current firm doesn't see this, but yes, I am a senior lit associate looking to start a solo practice. I'm working on the logistics already now. Anyone else in that position in NY to bounce ideas off of (corporate form, business plan)?

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Re: Anyone Considering Going SOLO right now?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:49 pm

I would love to do this but I honestly feel like I don't have any legal skills that were transferable so I would be starting from scratch. Did 2.5 years in big law leveraged finance - so essentially nothing I did was really relevant to solo practice. What does a solo corporate lawyer even do? Set up corporations, vendor/customer agreements, NDAs?

s1m4

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Re: Anyone Considering Going SOLO right now?

Post by s1m4 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I would love to do this but I honestly feel like I don't have any legal skills that were transferable so I would be starting from scratch. Did 2.5 years in big law leveraged finance - so essentially nothing I did was really relevant to solo practice. What does a solo corporate lawyer even do? Set up corporations, vendor/customer agreements, NDAs?
Solo corporate does lots of incorporations, lots of EC/VC work (venture financings, note financings), tech transactions, customer/vendor agreements, mediating disputes, fund formation, some m&a at which point they lead the deal but bring in contractors for diligence/ancillaries.

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Re: Anyone Considering Going SOLO right now?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:06 am

I'm a mid-level in a very niche area and know I am fully capable of handling most cases in my not-so-complicated niche.

My hours have been through the roof lately (courtesy of being thrown onto a toxic matter unrelated to my practice), so much to the point it's got me thinking about leaving just because hourly pay rate has been terrible. Going solo and charging $500/hr (less than the firm charged for my time as a first-year) has crossed my mind a few times. Just trying to figure out if I could land a good 20 hours of paying work a week!

loveyer

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Re: Anyone Considering Going SOLO right now?

Post by loveyer » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:54 pm

Solo practitioners feel good with a "branded name" only. Going solo means that you need hardly market yourself or spend money on it.

gekko

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Re: Anyone Considering Going SOLO right now?

Post by gekko » Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:10 am

As someone who hopes to do this as soon as possible after law school, (I was solo when building and then selling a financial services practice) I'd be curious to hear what everyone's plans are as far as delegation goes. Selling cases? Bringing on a 2nd chair for certain things? I'm in a state where pure referrals are possible even if the referring attorney does no additional work and doesn't remain on the case. I think if I used my marketing skills from my prior field, I could do a lot more volume at a lower payout and have a decent quality of life. Curious is this is in anyone's plan for being independent.

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