Any solo lawyers?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by RTenenbaum, May 25, 2011.

  1. RTenenbaum

    RTenenbaum Active Member

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    I know there are a lot of lawyers on SF. Has anyone gone solo or started their own small firm? I'm a 1L (now that it's summer, 2L I guess [​IMG] ) with a real interest in starting my own practice eventually. My school is pretty well ranked and, therefore, really focuses on placing students into big firms. Unfortunately, that means there's little guidance for students like me who want to build their own practices. Ideally, I'd like to get 2-3 years of experience in a smaller firm or as a public defender before heading out solo. Interested in a few different practice areas, but most strongly criminal defense. If anyone here is a lawyer who has started their own firm, would you mind providing some general insight to a law student who wishes to do the same? What practice areas do you work in? In the beginning, how did you find clients? My biggest concern is really marketing/finding clients.
     
  2. RTenenbaum

    RTenenbaum Active Member

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    One quick bump before I let this thread die.
     
  3. Kyoung05

    Kyoung05 Senior member

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  4. dragon8

    dragon8 Senior member

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    Law school is very different than actually practicing law. I'd get as much experience as possible writing briefs, motions, attending depos, etc. and get copies of motions, briefs, etc.

    Trust me, they will come in handy later on.
     
  5. WestIndianArchie

    WestIndianArchie Senior member

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    I know there are a lot of lawyers on SF. Has anyone gone solo or started their own small firm?

    I'm a 1L (now that it's summer, 2L I guess [​IMG] ) with a real interest in starting my own practice eventually. My school is pretty well ranked and, therefore, really focuses on placing students into big firms. Unfortunately, that means there's little guidance for students like me who want to build their own practices. Ideally, I'd like to get 2-3 years of experience in a smaller firm or as a public defender before heading out solo. Interested in a few different practice areas, but most strongly criminal defense.

    If anyone here is a lawyer who has started their own firm, would you mind providing some general insight to a law student who wishes to do the same? What practice areas do you work in? In the beginning, how did you find clients? My biggest concern is really marketing/finding clients.


    Your best bet is to subscribe to the ABA list serv, "Solosez". I've learned more there than I have ever learned @ SF.
     
  6. luftvier

    luftvier Senior member

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    To the OP:

    My 2¢.

    1) If you want to open a solo practice, don't waste your time on nonsense classes like "Animal Law" and "Theories of Jurisprudence." Instead, take practical classes like "Local Practice," "Opening Your Own Firm," Evidence, and Trial Ad.

    2) If you want to do trial work, get out into the field, fast. Do a clinic with the local DA or Public Defender's office. My second year summer I worked for the DA and litigated violation of parole hearings. During my 3L year, I was a clinic student at the local PD's office and litigated motions to suppress, preliminary hearings, and municipal court (misdemeanor) trials.

    3) Join Solosez.

    4) Buy Jay Foonberg's "How to Start and Manage a Law Practice." You can get it for about $25 if you're an ABA student member and you buy it from the ABA (normal price of ~$80).

    5) Go to all local bar events and meet people. Get cards printed. Lawyers are narcissists and love to talk about themselves. I have gotten more help from other, more experienced attorneys simply by asking them.

    6) Realize that you will not know what you are doing much of the time. Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.

    7) Have money saved up. Figure about 6-12 months' worth of living expenses. It takes some time to get clients and get the cash rolling in.
     
  7. PrimusPilus

    PrimusPilus Well-Known Member

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    I'm kind of in the same boat as the OP, except I'm taking over for my boss, who's about to become a judge. In some ways I'm starting from scratch, as far as bank accounts, etc. I know I'll need a firm credit card, does anyone have a suggestion as one to get, as far as offering useful rewards (I won't be flying much).
     

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