Good to hear from an actual attorney. The guys over at top-law-schools.com don't seem to think I have a good plan. Then again, they're the deluded types who think that once they go to a T14 they're going to be at the top 10% of their class, and the big law firms will flock to them. That may happen to some, but there are too many ifs involved.
I remember reading somewhere that the bigger law firms are usually started by C students who went to less than prestigious schools, because those guys are willing to take risks, where the A students from the top schools either end up in academia, or at a big firm too scared to leave their 6 figure jobs to do something bigger. Do I think I'll build the next big law firm in Manhattan? No, but if some C students from lower end schools can build those firms I can certainly build a business to support myself with a similar background.
As to pararaph one, exactly right. Do NOT think that your scores (high or low) will be more than slightly predictive of success in law school. This is, to a large degree, because most law students are doing the wrong things, and when (if) they figure it out, it's too late.
As to new firms, you'd be surprised. Nearly everyone in a firm has done *very* well. It's also misleading to discuss risks, as that is not the driving force of law practice; quite the opposite. Many forced into solo and small-practice work are exactly that, forced. Moreover, the value of a firm is not just in the collective expertise, but also in the on-going revenues, based on long-term client contacts. This is very, very hard to duplicate, even with a large dose of chutzpah. Community connections are very nice, of course, but there you might parlay that into work in a firm, even if a smallish one.