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Opening a law office

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by munchausen, May 5, 2011.

  1. VaderDave

    VaderDave Senior member

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    Just fed up working for other people. I'm not too sure how much longer I can continue dealing with employers before I start to hate what I do for a living.

    Clients can be every bit as bad as bosses. [​IMG]
     


  2. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

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    What sort of practice? My experience is in PI, and that is mainly what I want to do, but I know a solo firm typically needs to take whatever comes in the door. Other than trial and error, whats a good way to get quickly acquainted with things like uncontested divorce, bankruptcy, misdemeanor defense, tickets, wills, etc? Are there good books that will give your a step by step, nuts and bolts rundown of those kind of practices?

    What is your jurisdiction? If it's PA I know of at least one very good book that can help you out.

    http://www.amazon.com/Preliminary-He...4699159&sr=8-1

    [​IMG]

    Criminal law is definitely what I have in mind, as wills and divorces aren't as prevalent in my social circle as DWIs. Where does one obtain criminal cases in large volume?

    About half my work is criminal defense. The vast majority are personal referrals. Get on boards, attend meetings, do whatever you can to get your name out in people's minds for when they get in trouble. If you are in PA, many counties hire local counsel to act as "conflict counsel" for criminal defense when the public defender's office is conflicted out of a case but the person still qualifies for an attorney on the public dime. The position isn't great pay, but it's a regular paycheck and a fantastic way to get experience.

    Best of luck.
     


  3. VaderDave

    VaderDave Senior member

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    About half my work is criminal defense. The vast majority are personal referrals. Get on boards, attend meetings, do whatever you can to get your name out in people's minds for when they get in trouble. If you are in PA, many counties hire local counsel to act as "conflict counsel" for criminal defense when the public defender's office is conflicted out of a case but the person still qualifies for an attorney on the public dime. The position isn't great pay, but it's a regular paycheck and a fantastic way to get experience.

    Best of luck.


    I know that they do this out here in CA as well. I would imagine that they do that just about everywhere.
     


  4. VaderDave

    VaderDave Senior member

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    What sort of practice? My experience is in PI, and that is mainly what I want to do, but I know a solo firm typically needs to take whatever comes in the door. Other than trial and error, whats a good way to get quickly acquainted with things like uncontested divorce, bankruptcy, misdemeanor defense, tickets, wills, etc? Are there good books that will give your a step by step, nuts and bolts rundown of those kind of practices?

    You can also read the Jay Foonberg books. I have the one about starting and building a law practice and it offers some good advice.

    http://foonberglaw.com/
     


  5. CouttsClient

    CouttsClient Senior member

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    Just fed up working for other people. I'm not too sure how much longer I can continue dealing with employers before I start to hate what I do for a living.

    You will still have people employing your services but you will be responsible for the management and marketing of the business which adds another level of stress.

    At this stage if you are sure you want to do it I suggest you have more money and go from there...
     


  6. munchausen

    munchausen Senior member

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    Whats frustrating is that I have someone who wants to invest in me, but they aren't a lawyer. I'm looking into loopholes but there don't seem to be any.
     


  7. Carlisle Blues

    Carlisle Blues Senior member

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    Make yourself visible. I gave short seminars at real estate broker meetings. people got to know me and while my specialty was in something else, I hired a full time paralegal to handle all the work i was getting. I even was a member of a prepaid legal plan.....That sort of stuff keeps the lights on.
     


  8. yerfdog

    yerfdog Senior member

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    I know that they do this out here in CA as well. I would imagine that they do that just about everywhere.

    Depending on the size of the county, they may not have any civil servant public defenders, but instead actually contract out all of their public defender work.
     


  9. yerfdog

    yerfdog Senior member

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    Whats frustrating is that I have someone who wants to invest in me, but they aren't a lawyer. I'm looking into loopholes but there don't seem to be any.

    You can structure it as debt. You're basically doing the opposite of Islamic finance where they make everything some type of equity investment. You may not be able to get the deal you want, but it's definitely doable, and in fact this is the only way that many plaintiff-side firms can survive.
     


  10. munchausen

    munchausen Senior member

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    You can structure it as debt. You're basically doing the opposite of Islamic finance where they make everything some type of equity investment. You may not be able to get the deal you want, but it's definitely doable, and in fact this is the only way that many plaintiff-side firms can survive.

    Yes, I'm looking into this.
     


  11. GreenFrog

    GreenFrog Senior member

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    sorry to post an unrelated topic, but what were your career paths like before you became lawyers?

    i'm about to graduate as an econ and psych double major and im mainly looking at consulting gigs. unfortunately i don't have anything lined up yet, despite several final round interviews.

    this is just a thought i literally came up with, and quite fascinating because i never really thought about law, but somehow it's kind of interesting to me now. i know for a fact that the law market SUCKS MAJOR DONKEY COCK right now, so it's just an idea i may entertain for a couple years until i actually act on it. but yeah, my immediate plans are to land a job first in my area of study and see if i actually enjoy it.

    if not, i may entertain the notion of law school. the chances of me acting on this idea are probably very, very low, and it's just a stupid passing thought i literally came up with.

    any thoughts/input?
     


  12. austinite

    austinite Well-Known Member

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    sorry to post an unrelated topic, but what were your career paths like before you became lawyers? i'm about to graduate as an econ and psych double major and im mainly looking at consulting gigs. unfortunately i don't have anything lined up yet, despite several final round interviews. this is just a thought i literally came up with, and quite fascinating because i never really thought about law, but somehow it's kind of interesting to me now. i know for a fact that the law market SUCKS MAJOR DONKEY COCK right now, so it's just an idea i may entertain for a couple years until i actually act on it. but yeah, my immediate plans are to land a job first in my area of study and see if i actually enjoy it. if not, i may entertain the notion of law school. the chances of me acting on this idea are probably very, very low, and it's just a stupid passing thought i literally came up with. any thoughts/input?
    You should start by looking at the "Legal Jobs" thread on the front page of this forum. Considering the job market, I suspect that your passion for becoming a lawyer is not sufficient.
     


  13. munchausen

    munchausen Senior member

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    Update on this thread:

    My life has been a real whirlwind since I started this thread, but I've already secured a loan and a flexible, part time paying gig, signed up a couple of clients, and gotten yet another local practice to promise me some of their referrals. I think this thing is going to happen a lot faster than I thought and I think I will be turning in my notice sooner than I expected. It's amazing how fast things can happen when you focus entirely on them.
     


  14. VaderDave

    VaderDave Senior member

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  15. Eponym

    Eponym Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear you've got some momentum. Best of luck with this!
     


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