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Author Topic: Sole Practitioner  (Read 1224 times)

mason123

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Sole Practitioner
« on: August 14, 2009, 03:07:48 AM »
Hello there folks:

A. Do any of you graduates have any experience with going out into the legal world alone, working for yourself, your own practice? If so, was it a good choice? Is there a lot of success to be had, and by success, I mean financially... or is it a steep slide to failure from which it is difficult to recover?

B. Are there any articles, support materials or blogs that are favorable towards the idea of building a practice from the ground up?

*** I just entered my 2nd full-time year at school. I believe it is important to start creating a long-term strategy. I was thinking of going into either criminal defense or personal injury. Criminal defense because the work seems to interest me or personal injury because the financial rewards are potentially great. Please let me know if I am incorrect --- looking for your guidance. Thanks!

EdinTally

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Re: Sole Practitioner
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2009, 09:24:57 AM »
I hope you were just being brief in describing your desire to do criminal defense work.  If not, there are certainly other areas of the law that are "interesting".

Matthies

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Re: Sole Practitioner
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2009, 10:56:38 AM »
I clerked for a solo criminal defense lawyer, he nets over $800k most years, works 4 days a week takes a vacation every month but he is really, really good at what he does. He’s as flashy as you would expect too, 10k suits, drives a Maserartti etc. I have a classmate who started her own criminal practice right out of law school, she was the guy above’s paralegal. She’s doing great, averaging 12k or so a month in collected fees and has not even been practicing for a full year yet. There is money to be made in criminal defense, lots of money, both in volume and in individual fees. Its not all street thugs and gangbangers with no cash. And you would be surprised how many of even those people have families willing to pay for they to stay out of jail.

The thing about going solo right out of law school is you MUST have good mentors and friends to feed you work. You need to be able to turn to your network and ask for help, advice, ect. So you should start now by joining your cities bar association as a student member, join the criminal section too, go to meetings, be active, join an Inn of the Court. You need to have a large networking of established lawyers supporting you when you first start out. That is key to a successful practice right out the door. 
*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.

mason123

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Re: Sole Practitioner
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2009, 12:41:25 PM »
EdinTally, sorry, I was absolutely being brief. To further clarify, I find that criminal law is PERSONALLY interesting to me. I am sure that there are other interesting areas of law, but I have not yet had the opportunity to explore many other fields.

Matthies, I really like those stories you've shared. My big fear is that those may be merely isolated occurrences. As of yet, I have worked out of a prosecutor's office and have not established any real connections to the criminal defense world. Also, the advice sounds very logical. I have heard a couple of success stories where the success stems from having a mentor.
Is it good that I am thinking about this so early, or am I not doing things in order?

***
Any other words of advice, words of motivation or helpful materials is APPRECIATED.

Matthies

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Re: Sole Practitioner
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2009, 01:21:28 PM »
EdinTally, sorry, I was absolutely being brief. To further clarify, I find that criminal law is PERSONALLY interesting to me. I am sure that there are other interesting areas of law, but I have not yet had the opportunity to explore many other fields.

Matthies, I really like those stories you've shared. My big fear is that those may be merely isolated occurrences. As of yet, I have worked out of a prosecutor's office and have not established any real connections to the criminal defense world. Also, the advice sounds very logical. I have heard a couple of success stories where the success stems from having a mentor.
Is it good that I am thinking about this so early, or am I not doing things in order?

***
Any other words of advice, words of motivation or helpful materials is APPRECIATED.

You need to start making conncations now, of all the freinds I have who started right of of law school all had a good dset of mentors, this should be your primary goal. Go to the America INN of Courts webiste and look for a local chapter then apply to join. Join the local bar and start going to meetings, next to grades meeting lawyers and judges should be your number 1 priority over the next two years. You need to do this alot so you have good friends by the time you graduate. This has to be a weekly thing for you from now on, going to CLEs, lunches, Inns asking criminal lawyer out to lunch. The people who make it on thier own right after law school are the ones that are proacvtive, you have to be come proactvie, do that while in law school where its easy to apporach people and ask for advice and help.
*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.

mason123

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Re: Sole Practitioner
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2009, 02:14:00 PM »
Matthies, are you in the criminal law sector?

And, I just joined the bar association, but the American INN website is a bit quirky with the individual chapter pages (can't seem to figure out how to join). I do appreciate that info and will surely explore that further.

Matthies

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Re: Sole Practitioner
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2009, 02:25:07 PM »
Matthies, are you in the criminal law sector?

And, I just joined the bar association, but the American INN website is a bit quirky with the individual chapter pages (can't seem to figure out how to join). I do appreciate that info and will surely explore that further.

No, I just worked for a ciminal lawyer in law school for a 2 semsters, had him as a mentor so I met a buch of his frined who were also criminal lawyers. It was a great place  to clerk during law school becuase most of the stguff I could do from home with online filings and such. I work in envriomental law now, that's what I want to do. The Inns you will have to conatct them yourselves, there is no way to join from the main page. E-mail the conact person or ask your carear services office, Inns are freaking great becuase your aggisnged to a group with usually one judges, 2-3 lawyer w/ 15 years experince, 2-3 with 5-10, 2 with five or less and a studnts who you sit with at each meeting. You meet once a month for dinner, it forces you to make freinds mentors. Its GREAT networking.
*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.

mason123

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Re: Sole Practitioner
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2009, 02:38:42 PM »
Sounds excellent. I will definitely try that out.

mason123

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Re: Sole Practitioner
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2009, 03:50:31 PM »
Any others with opinions or advice, feel free to add on!