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Author Topic: Starting my second year...want to go solo. What should I be doing/taking?  (Read 1458 times)

Monarch

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First time posting. After my first year realize I don't want to work for anyone. What classes should I be taking?  Anthing in particular I should be doing?  Career Services is a waste.  Working for a small firm now and like all the hands on work because they need the manpower.

Been told different things so thought I'd toss it out.

Gwiz

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Tag.
I wanna be a gunner when I grow up.

vaplaugh

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I've read most of this book and found some great advice.
http://www.amazon.com/Start-Practice-Career-American-Association/dp/1590312473/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/105-7416174-3030013?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186711745&sr=8-1

It's published by the ABA and you can get a discount if you purchase it through them.

I'm just starting 1L, so I have no real advice other than things I'm sure you're already aware of, like limit debt, take practical skills courses and clinics (over secondary journal or student clubs), etc.

StevePirates

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As an experienced paralegal, I can share some advice on what works for a lot of solo attorneys.

Pick two or three areas to be good at.  Family law is how a lot of solo lawyers pay the bills.  Estate planning is another area that goes well with Family Law.  And then either PI or criminal defense makes a good third branch.

Negotiation classes can be helpful if you don't have a solid background in it already.  Many law schools offer "marketing for lawyers" or management classes.  One or two of those should be helpful.  Remember that being a sole practitioner combines being an entrepreneur with being a counselor at law, so don't neglect the business aspects.

From a practical standpoint, if you can narrow down which areas you're most interested in practicing, try to build up a network of contacts now so that when you hang up your shingle you can benefit from referrals right away.

Hope that helps mate, good luck!

Eva Destruction

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Tag, as well.

Looks as if it's best to figure out early that you want to go solo, and plan accordingly.
Hermione Granger is a gunner.

gershonw

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evidence (some schools dont require in depth study of the rules of evidence...its a must for solo practice though)

Susan Cartier Liebel

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I would recommend you start learning how to blog, take as many 'dead president' courses as possible, those courses which cater to the majority of practice areas you are most likely to serve, bankruptcy, family, T & E, real estate transactions.  Concurrently, take CLE courses...that is where you will get the most practical functional information on practicing law. Spend off time in the court house watching how things are done even if it is not your jurisdiction.  Get comfortable there.  Concentrate on all 'practical' skills like negotiation, mediation and more.  If you know this is what you want to do, see if your school offers a Law Practice Management Course even if it is not-for-credit, a seminar offered through CLE. If they don't see if another law school nearby does and take it over the summer. Start your networking now letting people know this is your ambition.  There is so much you can do if you've made your mind up to do it.
Susan Cartier Liebel, Esq.
Build A Solo Practice, LLC
Newly Minted or Well Seasoned, Teaching You How to Create and Grow Your Legal Practice
http://buildasolopractice.com

Follow the Construction of Solo Practice University
http://solopracticeuniversity.com

tacojohn

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If your school has business courses, or you're on a campus with a business school, take a class or two if they offer some sort of small business/entrepreneur accounting, finance, or general business courses.  All the law in the world won't help you if you don't know how to run the business.  Of course, if you have experience or have taken these courses in undergrad, never mind then.