Law School Discussion

Are you thinking about opening your own practice right out of school?

Re: Are you thinking about opening your own practice right out of school?
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2007, 07:00:55 PM »
Professor Crump at the University of Houston has given us advice on what to do if we wanted to open our own practice. Including:

How much $ we would need to do it(approximate)
What kinds of things we should want to put in our office(Plants stuff like that etc.)

He has started a new pratical skills course where we talk about client relations, how to bill a client, how to interact with clients. and other info on practice management.

Re: Are you thinking about opening your own practice right out of school?
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2007, 07:09:15 PM »
Thank you for that information.  It is much appreciated.  If anyone knows more....please let me know.  And I will still field questions if asked.  I want there to be change in law school and the best chance there is for that; law students need to speak up.

Thank you.

Re: Are you thinking about opening your own practice right out of school?
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2007, 09:31:30 PM »
the more i read your posts, the more i feel like i'm reading Marx... like i seriously want to take down my career services office... the least we could do is turn it into a student lounge or maybe a new on-campus restaurant..

a waste of space.. if i ever donate a dime to my school, i will specifically ask that it go to the career services with the caveat that everyone is retrained or fired.. and they really get their act together..

it's too bad b/c they really don't report to anyone.. fill in 3/4s of the class with whatever and they're doing their job..

just after my first semester, i have started to think about what happens to the bottom 25% of my school.. where do they go?  what do they do?  they've paid just as much as i have, yet they're shunned by a community that they have just joined.. i heard stories about the career advisers telling students to drop out if their grades are too low..

when i finish my first year.. that will be one of my goals.. to change my school in that way.. i don't even know where to start...i'm just pissed off..

Re: Are you thinking about opening your own practice right out of school?
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2007, 10:46:18 PM »
The legal profession is broad enough for everyone to find their respective niche.  I got into law so I would never have to work for anyone else.  That said you still trade your time for dollars.  I suppose one could argue you work 'for' your clients, but as you progress in your career from attracting clients to selecting them the balance of autonomy shifts back to you. 

I will either work solo or in a small firm where a name and overhead are shared--nothing more.  No bosses, no hierarchy, no splitting my income with partners.  God willing I will never have to utter the words "yes sir" ever again in my life.

Re: Are you thinking about opening your own practice right out of school?
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2007, 04:18:15 AM »
The last two posts are why I do what I do...one shouldn't be in law school feeling like they are being dismissed or fighting against their Career Counseling Offices and the other isn't that someone who wants to go solo and be their own boss should have to feel as if they are in the minority and as such defend what they want against the naysayers.

In the law school all career paths should be met with equal respect and students provided both educational and counseling opportunities within the very environment that trains them to be lawyers.  Everyone should go to their career counseling offices and demand resources be provided in sufficient quantity to show they acknowledge their office has responsibilities to all students, not just the top five percent they can easily place.

I've always considered being my own boss my loftiest goal and my legal degree the ticket to personal and professional freedom.  If that is your desire or your desire is to use your professional degree in any other way that makes you proud to be a lawyer, the guidance you get from your educational institution should provide you the assistance you require. But they won't if you don't ask.  You all are becoming advocates for others....time to start advocating for yourselves!

Re: Are you thinking about opening your own practice right out of school?
« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2007, 08:37:19 AM »
Susan,

I want to start my own practice right after law school. I agree with you that a person's experience determines their opinion about whether starting a practice right after law school is possible. Those who went to work for a firm, and then started their practice think that is the only way. Those who opened their practice without working for a firm first will tell you not to waste time at a firm.

Since you asked, my law school, Ohio Northern University, offers a class about every other year entitled "Law Office Economics & Management". The professor is Bruce French. He teaches it with the premise that we will be starting our own practices. 

I've enjoyed perusing your blog. Let us know if you put out any books or do any seminars that can be accessed online.

Thanks,
Kyle

Re: Are you thinking about opening your own practice right out of school?
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2007, 12:03:03 PM »
Kyle,

Thank you for your comments.  It is my intention to come out with a book on "hanging a shingle right out of law school."  Although there have been other books on solo practice and I'm sure more to follow, the psychology of the student who wants to go right from law school versus someone who has been out a while and gotten to some experience "on someone else's dime" is very different.  And it is from this perspective that my book will be written.  There is also the whole concept and prejudices of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th tier schools which is about establishing a caste system and not applicable to the solo. People select the schools they select for a myriad of reasons and this should in no way inhibit the entrepreneur.
I promise to keep this list posted about any writings I may do, teleseminars and the like.  I've lived the experience and I know the challenges the newly minted lawyer faces...and how to overcome them. :)

Thanks for your continued readership.

Re: Are you thinking about opening your own practice right out of school?
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2007, 11:31:45 AM »
hey Susan,
Are some areas better suited to opening your own office?

some markets?

i believe you get a few electives after yr one, what would give you the most bang for the buck?

should clinics be something you def try for?

I have ZERO desire to work for even a medium firm, small or solo is my goal...

thanks!  :)

and yeah, he was right, cuuuuuuuutie  ;)

Re: Are you thinking about opening your own practice right out of school?
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2007, 12:42:48 PM »
Thanks for the question:  If you are interested in solo practice then your trajectory through law school should be one of as much 'hands on' experience as possible.  Get as much clinical work as you can handle which will expose you to working a file, possible court time, forms, actual court room practice and procedure.  Depending upon where you go to school there are family, tax, health care, appellate clinics....whatever gets you with real clients, real legal problems and actual work.  If you start developing some comfort level testing out your skills this will give you greater confidence.  In addition, if you are considering solo practice take courses that mimic the real world experience.  You will be exposed initially to more issues involving the drafting of wills, setting up small business, tax, worker's compensation, family, bankruptcy, real estate.  Understand it is more likely you will get every day people with every day issues coming to you first before the high profile med mal case or Shakira needing negotiation for a new contract.  Keep your experience in law school as real as your experience out of law school will be and this is the smarted move, I believe, you can make.

Re: Are you thinking about opening your own practice right out of school?
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2007, 05:11:31 PM »
hmmm, so, the new solo practitioner has to be a jack(jane) of all trades?