Law School Discussion

Follow a new Solo

Follow a new Solo
« on: September 14, 2009, 09:59:42 AM »
Hello all.

My name is Michael McLees, and I am a recent graduate of St. Mary's Law School in San Antonio.  After graduation and bar exam, I found a job at a large local personal injury firm.  The catch?  I would be supervising the intake department, not actually performing attorney work... for a while.  How long would I be answering phones instead of settling cases?  No one knows.

Months went by and I have since resigned, deciding instead to go solo.

Follow me as I work through the issues anyone who is going to hang a shingle will face.

Re: Follow a new Solo
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2009, 06:31:30 AM »
Are there any law students here thinking that they would like to go solo?

When I was applying to law schools, I thought that I had two options.  Go solo or go with a large law firm.  Is this mindset common among students and applicants now?  Has the job market changed so drastically from 4 years ago that people are looking more to state work or small law firms?


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Re: Follow a new Solo
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2009, 09:49:57 PM »
I considered going solo before law school.  I read Foonberg's book and followed the Build a Solo blog.  I haven't ruled it out, but I'm clerking for (at least) a few years first.  Law school has also made me more cautious about solo practice.  It would be so easy to screw up a case because of inexperience when there's no "safety net" of the other attorneys in the office.  I understand, though, that most lawyers will take the time to help new solos.

I have some questions, too:

How much do adult misdemeanor "list" cases pay and how often will you get them (for non-Spanish speaker, if you know the answer)?

What are your start-up and first-year budgets looking like?

Re: Follow a new Solo
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2009, 01:49:50 PM »
I am on the adult misdemeanor list for Bexar County and I have yet to be assigned anything.  If I don't get anything soon, I'm going to start breaking down the door to the courthouse.  If you speak Spanish, you'll have an advantage as many of the indigent defendants, especially here in San Antonio, only speak Spanish.

Everyone's budget will be different, but I'll likely incur about $7,000 in debt for startup costs (equipment) and close to $8,000 for monthly expenses.  I've got a schedule that has me paying off the loan in about 9 months.  This is either optimistic or very conservative.  Only time will tell.

Re: Follow a new Solo
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2009, 01:56:40 PM »
You claim you chose solo over Biglaw.... Newsflash, working at a PI ambulance chasing firm (no matter how large) is not Biglaw.

You didn't chose your path, you were thrown there.