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Author Topic: Private practice right out of law school?  (Read 4121 times)

new2law

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Private practice right out of law school?
« on: June 24, 2009, 01:51:02 AM »
I start law school in january and was wondering how many people start private practice right out of law school? I know that medical doctors have to intern under other doctors for awhile, but aren't lawyers exempt from that? Has anyone done it, if so what was it like? Do you feel that you make better pay that way or working for someone else?

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Re: Private practice right out of law school?
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2009, 08:15:54 AM »
I can imagine that it would be very difficult.  Think about it- most solo practitioners charge a percentage of settlement/ winnings, as opposed to an hourly rate.  This means that Person A, who has a large claim, has two options: take the case to a less experienced attorney with a smaller chance of making bank, or take the case to a more experienced attorney.  Since costs are tied to performance, it will, theoretically, Person A will still net more money with a more experienced attorney (assuming experience and skill are correlated).  Therefore, Person A has absolutely zero incentive to go to a new attorney who has just completely law school.

Furthermore, most (all?) successful solo practitioners are successful because of their extensive networks.  Not only do they bring clients in who they have dealt with in the past, but they also have fellow attorneys recommending clients to come to them.  Fresh out of law school, this network would be pretty much non-existent.

I think it would be awesome to have a law firm (essentially your own business) straight out of law school.  Realistically, though, the system still encourages gaining experience under someone else before going out on your own.
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Matthies

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Re: Private practice right out of law school?
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2009, 10:04:10 AM »
I can imagine that it would be very difficult.  Think about it- most solo practitioners charge a percentage of settlement/ winnings, as opposed to an hourly rate. 

FYI the above is NOT true. There are only certain types of cases that your allowed to charge a contigancy fee on at all, most soloís charge by the hour or case. But the networking part is true. Although if you do it right and network during law school you can have a good network of mentors and advisors by the time you graduate. I know a few people who started their own practice right after law school and have done very well, but each of them had a network of lawyers and judges to turn to referrals and advice. If you want to start your own practice network a lot during school.
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

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Re: Private practice right out of law school?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2009, 10:55:32 AM »
I can imagine that it would be very difficult.  Think about it- most solo practitioners charge a percentage of settlement/ winnings, as opposed to an hourly rate. 

FYI the above is NOT true. There are only certain types of cases that your allowed to charge a contigancy fee on at all, most soloís charge by the hour or case. But the networking part is true. Although if you do it right and network during law school you can have a good network of mentors and advisors by the time you graduate. I know a few people who started their own practice right after law school and have done very well, but each of them had a network of lawyers and judges to turn to referrals and advice. If you want to start your own practice network a lot during school.

This is probably correct... Matthies tends to be right on.  I was just drawing on my personal experience with attorneys I have worked with. 

Still seems like it would be very difficult... networking would be essential.
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Matthies

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Re: Private practice right out of law school?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2009, 11:09:42 AM »
Personal injury is where you see the most contingency fee action, its almost always a percentage of the winnings/settlement. For many types of cases though its forbidden under the rules of professional responsibility to charge a contingency fee: like criminal law, wills/trust, family law, business transactions, domestic relations etc so in most cases a solo will have an hourly rate or fixed fee for cases that canít be done on contingency or donít lend themselves to contingency fees schedules.
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

Susan B. Anthony

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Re: Private practice right out of law school?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2009, 03:17:10 PM »
I start law school in january and was wondering how many people start private practice right out of law school? I know that medical doctors have to intern under other doctors for awhile, but aren't lawyers exempt from that? Has anyone done it, if so what was it like? Do you feel that you make better pay that way or working for someone else?

Matthies gives good info, and I am not qualified to add anything else, but for future reference, "private practice" refers to any employment in a law firm, not just to starting your own solo practice/small firm (which seems to be what you are referring to). You will probably find more helpful information if your terminology is more specific/accurate.


new2law

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Re: Private practice right out of law school?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2009, 11:46:15 PM »
Thanks for the terminology update, it is good to know. I also did find the responces what I was asking about without much confusion, but I dont want to look like a newb forever so thanks for the fillin.  ;D

You did catch the part where I said that I wouldn't even start untill january though right? Thats why I dont know.



I start law school in january and was wondering how many people start private practice right out of law school? I know that medical doctors have to intern under other doctors for awhile, but aren't lawyers exempt from that? Has anyone done it, if so what was it like? Do you feel that you make better pay that way or working for someone else?

Matthies gives good info, and I am not qualified to add anything else, but for future reference, "private practice" refers to any employment in a law firm, not just to starting your own solo practice/small firm (which seems to be what you are referring to). You will probably find more helpful information if your terminology is more specific/accurate.