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Author Topic: Tier 2 law students on the American dream  (Read 7191 times)

qmmm

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Re: Tier 2 law students on the American dream
« Reply #110 on: July 20, 2007, 05:19:11 PM »
First, it's a business and any revenue will also have to cover his operating expenses such as rent, support staff, supplies and so forth.

Secondly, I don't know how much his fees are.

Third, I haven't talked to him in a while, but the last time that we talked about his practice he, personally, had about 50 open cases at that time.  That was approximately a year out of law school.

m1ke

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Re: Tier 2 law students on the American dream
« Reply #111 on: July 20, 2007, 06:00:00 PM »
That's a lot of open cases for one attorney. Though you get the same experience that a public defender would, but probably twice the money, plus tax benefits by being a independent contractor. I mean you can always get creative with staff, and office space etc, and save money that way. With enough professionalism, smarts, and ambition, you can play with those corporate law boys.

umass22

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Re: Tier 2 law students on the American dream
« Reply #112 on: July 20, 2007, 06:04:33 PM »
I really don't think I'll have a problem liek this at my Tier 2 (Miami). For whatever reason, my school actually gets more jobs in Miami then U of Florida and FSU from what I hear, and it sounds like the only competition I have is from T14 students, but that is a concern for everyone practicing in a major city. I hope my school is as locally strong in miami as I have heard.

queencruella

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Re: Tier 2 law students on the American dream
« Reply #113 on: July 20, 2007, 06:04:48 PM »
But don't some contract attorney's work with Public Defender's offices. If there is a conflict of interest or heavy workload, the case is delegated to a contractual attorney who takes the case for maybe like $500.00-1000.00 per case for low class felonies, and misdemeanors. 10-15 cases a month can add up. Also you aren't as over extended as PD's and can provide better quality for your defendants, which means better pleas, plus you're still getting good experience and if you're good, you could probably get recommendations. Am I naive for assuming you'll be able to get enough work, I mean the county jails are pretty much filled to capacity. I'm wondering though can a person straight out of law school do this kind of work, I mean PD's are straight out of law school a lot of times, I don't see why one couldn't do this starting with misdemeanors etc, and working their way up.

The more and more I think about it, being an independent contractor seems like the way to go. You're pretty much self-employed. With all the benefits and drawbacks, but with less risk than starting a practice. 

I am doing an internship at the federal courthouse and there's a fairly lengthy process you have to go through to be a CJA attorney. I think you have to watch a certain amount of trials, take a course, and then cochair a case with another CJA attorney. With any federal trial, only one defendant may have a public defender and the rest either have to be privately hired by the defendant or assigned through CJA. The courthouse pays them hourly- usually at different rates for trial and trial preparation. People who do this seem to get quite a bit of work because I seem the same defense attorneys in the courthouse over and over again.

m1ke

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Re: Tier 2 law students on the American dream
« Reply #114 on: July 20, 2007, 06:26:31 PM »
You can do it at the state level also. CJA stands for "Criminal Justice Agency"? Also at the state level I'd rarely be doing trials, because something like 95% are pleaded out. I'd rather do it at the state level.

queencruella

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Re: Tier 2 law students on the American dream
« Reply #115 on: July 20, 2007, 06:46:17 PM »
You can do it at the state level also. CJA stands for "Criminal Justice Agency"? Also at the state level I'd rarely be doing trials, because something like 95% are pleaded out. I'd rather do it at the state level.

Most defendants plead out at any level, so you won't be going to trial all that often regardless. I think you'll probably want to choose based on how much work is available. My federal courthouse gets a ton of multiple-defendant drug smuggling cases so it probably gets a bit dull after a while, but there's enough work to go around. I don't actually know what CJA stands for- everyone just uses the abbreviation.

m1ke

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Re: Tier 2 law students on the American dream
« Reply #116 on: July 20, 2007, 06:48:54 PM »
You can do it at the state level also. CJA stands for "Criminal Justice Agency"? Also at the state level I'd rarely be doing trials, because something like 95% are pleaded out. I'd rather do it at the state level.

Most defendants plead out at any level, so you won't be going to trial all that often regardless. I think you'll probably want to choose based on how much work is available. My federal courthouse gets a ton of multiple-defendant drug smuggling cases so it probably gets a bit dull after a while, but there's enough work to go around. I don't actually know what CJA stands for- everyone just uses the abbreviation.

Here is some more info also

"Pay for attorneys varies across states, counties, and other jurisdictional districts. Attorneys may be paid on an hourly basis; for example, $30 an hour for work out of court and $40 an hour for work in court. In some states, attorneys are provided a flat fee per case.

 

In a contract attorney program the state, county, or other jurisdictional district enters into contracts with private attorneys, law firms, bar associations, or nonprofit organizations to provide representation to indigent defendants. Such arrangements may pay attorneys in different ways. In a fixed-price contract program, the lawyer, firm, or bar association agrees to accept an undetermined number of cases within an certain period of time, frequently one year, for a single flat fee. In a fixed-fee-per-case contract program, a private lawyer, firm, or organization provides representation for a predetermined number of cases for a fixed fee per case. Frequently, funds for support services, investigation, secretarial services, and expert witnesses are included in the contract. Many jurisdictions have adopted the fixed-price contract model solely as a means to cut costs and to predict the cost of litigation going into the fiscal year. "


myconfessions

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Re: Tier 2 law students on the American dream
« Reply #117 on: July 20, 2007, 07:50:59 PM »
You can hurl insults if you like, but I did graduate from the top half of a tier 2 school, and I am a former model, so take my advice for what it is worth. 

What the @#!* does being a lawyer have to do with being a former model? The stupidity of that argument hurts my brain.

Don't get me wrong, nobody is saying tier two schools do just as well as Harvard; not at all. But everyone uses that f-ing reject at life blogger as an example of how life will be if you go to anything but a T14  school. There's thousands of very successful lawyers coming out from both BLS and other T2/T3 schools.

If there's one thing you can always spot a winner versus a loser on, it's what people they associate and relate to. If you pick the number one law school loser that is temporaryattorney-idiot, chances are you've picked the highway to hell for your career.

Look for successful people and learn from them. Don't look for failures and listen to their cries. People fail at life every single day, best thing you can do is take two steps to the side and let them fail on their own.

I love your attitude and perspective.  It's so much more refreshing than someone screaming, "Look!  someone went to a tier 2/3 and they're unhappy with their job and life.  Obviously you will be too."  Sounds like a flawed argument to me.
GW Law Class of 2010

frnkln_smth

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Re: Tier 2 law students on the American dream
« Reply #118 on: July 20, 2007, 08:47:58 PM »
You wouldn't opt for a $50/month payment to pay down the loans, you would do so to keep them "on hold" until you make more money (assuming you will). That's pretty obvious. Either way, if you can't deal with a $150k loan on $50k/year, you will probably fail at every aspect of life beyond breathing, eating and taking a piss.

excellent strategy...i just don't see how anyone could be stuck