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The Lawyer Thread Where We Stop Ruining Other Threads

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I think certain traits are probably found more often in lawyers due to the nature of the job and what it takes to become a lawyer. But that can be either good or bad.

Some of my absolute favorite people here are lawyers because they are well spoken, reasonable people that can see both sides, intelligent and yet still have compassion for others.

The flipside is that some of my least favorite people here are lawyers and they're condescending, obnoxious sticklers who would rather fight to the death over a technicality rather than show some compassion to a fellow FBG or concede that it's possible yo view something from a different angle.

To be fair, I absolutely concede that on our bad days all the lawyers I know, including yours truly, do this. And it's shameful.

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Of course, you might have been talking about me, in which case, we also obliviously assume everyone else is the problem at times, too.

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Of course, you might have been talking about me, in which case, we also obliviously assume everyone else is the problem at times, too.

I'm imagining an iMexican standoff with all of the lawyers pointing in this thread at each other.

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I think certain traits are probably found more often in lawyers due to the nature of the job and what it takes to become a lawyer. But that can be either good or bad.

Some of my absolute favorite people here are lawyers because they are well spoken, reasonable people that can see both sides, intelligent and yet still have compassion for others.

The flipside is that some of my least favorite people here are lawyers and they're condescending, obnoxious sticklers who would rather fight to the death over a technicality rather than show some compassion to a fellow FBG or concede that it's possible yo view something from a different angle.

:lmao:

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I think certain traits are probably found more often in lawyers due to the nature of the job and what it takes to become a lawyer. But that can be either good or bad.

Some of my absolute favorite people here are lawyers because they are well spoken, reasonable people that can see both sides, intelligent and yet still have compassion for others.

The flipside is that some of my least favorite people here are lawyers and they're condescending, obnoxious sticklers who would rather fight to the death over a technicality rather than show some compassion to a fellow FBG or concede that it's possible yo view something from a different angle.

But enough about Christo!

:lmao:

I didn't name names. There are several posters that fit one or more of those descriptors.

:scared:

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Would lawyers be considered the least liked or maybe least respected professionals? Maybe scummiest?

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For those feeling self conscious about my descriptions, I figure you have one of three options:

1) do some soul searching to figure out why you may come across poorly to others and resolve to be better people

2) realize that the act of being self conscious itself is probably a good indicator that you are already self-aware and a decent person

3) try to figure out why you care what some moron on a message board thinks

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Would lawyers be considered the least liked or maybe least respected professionals? Maybe scummiest?

Every profession has its negative stereotypes which are inevitably overstated, even teachers (lazy). I'd say that people in the financial industry and real estate professionals are viewed as being pretty willing to sell out their clients for their own interests.

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Hey lawyers, who is your favorite fictional lawyer?

Most lawyers either break down into one of two camps, whether they know it or not:

1. Spencer Tracey as Clarence Darrow in "Inherit The Wind"; or

2. Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird."

What about Jose Ferrer as Lt. Barney Greenwald in the Caine Mutiny?

What about Paul Newman as Judge Roy Bean?

What about Wilfred Brimley in Absence of Malice?

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Would lawyers be considered the least liked or maybe least respected professionals? Maybe scummiest?

Every profession has its negative stereotypes which are inevitably overstated, even teachers (lazy). I'd say that people in the financial industry and real estate professionals are viewed as being pretty willing to sell out their clients for their own interests.

Was going to say both of those. Sports and entertainment agents?

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Did you giggle when she said "t-boned'?

I was already giggling about her getting side-swiped by a semi.

That could be how her diaphragm got torn. Best then to have settled for the t-boning because the staight sex might have got her pregnant, her with failing protection and all.

Edited by Ditkaless Wonders

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Would lawyers be considered the least liked or maybe least respected professionals? Maybe scummiest?

Are you asking lawyers if they are scummy and actually expecting an answer?

Edited by Zow

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Would lawyers be considered the least liked or maybe least respected professionals? Maybe scummiest?

probably. people in business that interact with lawyers regularly just see them as other business professionals

people that don't interact with lawyers on a regular basis may only encounter them when something has gone wrong. at that point, the stakes are generally relatively high, the costs may be high, and the outcome uncertain. it's easy to find yourself in a situation where "the only ones that will win are the lawyers."

some areas of the law are pretty scummy. I think the worst of the family law attorneys are pretty much the lowest form of life. some personal injury attorneys are pretty disreputable. like everything, there's no blanket rule. the good, ethical ones rise to the top, but some of the sleazy ones can achieve a pretty high level of success.

overall, lawyers are supposed to provide zealous advocacy to their clients. that often means that the opposing party may feel screwed. lawyers aren't paid to be fair. they're paid to provide a service to their client. if that client wants to push the advantage within the lawyer's ability to ethically accomplish that goal, they will.

personally, I think real estate agents are the most detestable.

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Would lawyers be considered the least liked or maybe least respected professionals? Maybe scummiest?

Are you asking lawyers if they are scummy and actually expecting an answer?

In my experience, which is far more than I'd prefer, I always expect an answer from an attorney. Even if it has to get back to me later.

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For those feeling self conscious about my descriptions, I figure you have one of three options:

1) do some soul searching to figure out why you may come across poorly to others and resolve to be better people

2) realize that the act of being self conscious itself is probably a good indicator that you are already self-aware and a decent person

3) try to figure out why you care what some moron on a message board thinks

4) scotch

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Would lawyers be considered the least liked or maybe least respected professionals? Maybe scummiest?

I'd guess you'd find them on both the "least respected" list and "most respected" list. Doctors are probably on the "most respected" list but less likely to be on the "least respected" list. Just my guess.

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For those feeling self conscious about my descriptions, I figure you have one of three options:

1) do some soul searching to figure out why you may come across poorly to others and resolve to be better people

2) realize that the act of being self conscious itself is probably a good indicator that you are already self-aware and a decent person

3) try to figure out why you care what some moron on a message board thinks

4) scotch

There's a reason alcoholism is rampant in the profession.

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Would lawyers be considered the least liked or maybe least respected professionals? Maybe scummiest?

Are you asking lawyers if they are scummy and actually expecting an answer?

In my experience, which is far more than I'd prefer, I always expect an answer from an attorney. Even if it has to get back to me later.

:lol:

It.

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For those feeling self conscious about my descriptions, I figure you have one of three options:

1) do some soul searching to figure out why you may come across poorly to others and resolve to be better people

2) realize that the act of being self conscious itself is probably a good indicator that you are already self-aware and a decent person

3) try to figure out why you care what some moron on a message board thinks

4) scotch

There's a reason alcoholism is rampant in the profession.

And suicide. Lawyers are generally pretty self-conscious. Mostly in the wrong ways.

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For those feeling self conscious about my descriptions, I figure you have one of three options:

1) do some soul searching to figure out why you may come across poorly to others and resolve to be better people

2) realize that the act of being self conscious itself is probably a good indicator that you are already self-aware and a decent person

3) try to figure out why you care what some moron on a message board thinks

:lmao:

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I recently acquired a Credit Card in a different name than my own. Is there any negative implications to this? I'm using the same Social Security number but am I actually working under a different identity now? Would a credit history under this misspelling actually work to create credit?


I'm not looking to get into any type of fraud. I could claim ignorance, not knowing that I was getting these cards at such cheap rates.


Some of these cards are multiple months INTEREST FREE though. So it's a luxury to charge college to them, should I run with it and see if I could acquire more Credit Cards by simply misspelling my name? I recently went on a binge trying to get more credit cards to pay for school. I make $23,000 a year so any minor amount isn't much. I've got over $2,000 in my stock portfolio so that covers over 75% of my actual debt.



All thoughts appreciated. I'm not an idiot, I'm just a smart guy scrapping by until he can make a decent living. I get my Associates later this year (assuming I KLEP out of a few classes.

...




Go Cardinals. :)

#LAWANDSTEEL

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What possible purpose will it be to get a card under a different name? It all goes to your credit report based on your social security number and it will show you used a phony name. This could raise flags. Glad to see you were able to finance your college and gambling debts with credit cards. What could possibly go wrong. After all you are pulling in 23 big ones. That might not be bad when you are living at home. But when you are on your own it will feel like poverty.

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How many felonies has Eminence committed BTW? I am sure the Eminence Fund constituted securities fraud. And obtaining credit under a false name probably makes a second felony. Any others?

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How many felonies has Eminence committed BTW? I am sure the Eminence Fund constituted securities fraud. And obtaining credit under a false name probably makes a second felony. Any others?

Fishing without a license?

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Can this double as the complaining lawyers thread??

I am being paid for full-time work yet haven't had any work to do since Wednesday and <10 hours this week in total. Pay your dues, grasshopper. ;)

Wtf?!

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There aren't going to be any additional bar dues in here are there? I'm not sure I can handle any further bar tabs dues.

No, but there will be some bull#### waste of time CLE.

Ethics credits?

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This is like hell on earth.

You just described the careers of all the posters in here.

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Hooper, I am not a lawyer but I work closely with them and I can tell you straight out that most lawyers absolutely prefer to settle rather than go to court. That doesn't mean that either side will capitulate just to avoid trial but if there's a settlement to be had they'll take it with pleasure. Doesn't mean there aren't evil, money hungry, jackholes out there but most are out to help their client more than to aggrandize themselves

Most "litigators" rarely go to trial...mostly because it's hard, and it cuts into profits.

Well that's not true. Trial is profitable. And it's stressful but many litigators look forward to it. Usually you don't go to trial a whole lot because the cases in your particular practice area settle often.

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Can this double as the complaining lawyers thread??

In the sense that I anticipated that you would come here and that you would complain when you did, it was assumed that this would be a complaining lawyers thread.

I will also repeatedly discuss how much I hate discovery, undoubtedly.

In the civil litigation I referenced above one of the defense lawyers involved keeps put "discovery" into quotes every time the word is needed in an e-mail. For example, his e-mail response to mine updating him on when he could expect certain pieces of discovery may/likely read as follows:

"I too am looking forward to getting 'discovery.' Once I get your 'discovery' I would your your claims off to my adjuster and respond to your settlement offer."

I can't tell if the dude just loves quotations or is totally ####### with me because he searched my background and realized I'm like 95% criminal defense.

I think he's probably hoping you'll refer to the discovery in question by its specific type. Interrogatories, RFP, RFA, depositions, etc. So, yes, probably screwing with you.

Actually now that I think about it I may or may not have been referencing the police and medical reports as "discovery" and he was probably poking fun at my lack of knowledge of the distinction between "disclosure" and "discovery." :bag:
Owned.

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Any other lawyers watch Justin Bieber's deposition and just salivate? That kid is going to get destroyed.

From the small excerpt I saw, it seemed the lawyer taking the dep was having difficulty framing decent questions. I don't know a thing about the case so won't judge him, but he seemed unprepared or inexperienced.

I'm guessing you aren't getting the highest quality lawyer representing some gossip mag paparazzi.

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Really looking forward to paying my dues for about the next decade do that I can pay off the house, sock away a cushion, and then open up my own small practice out of my home. WIN

Can the folks who went out on their own chime in? I spoke to a guy recently who was working at a big firm in DC and finally had it. He joined one of those virtual firms and moved his family down to Palm beach. He said life is wonderful and he works when and where he wants and spends all the time he wants with his kids. Sounds like he is making pretty solid money too. I feel I am doing something wrong.

Edited by Otis

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I recently acquired a Credit Card in a different name than my own. Is there any negative implications to this? I'm using the same Social Security number but am I actually working under a different identity now? Would a credit history under this misspelling actually work to create credit?

I'm not looking to get into any type of fraud. I could claim ignorance, not knowing that I was getting these cards at such cheap rates.

Some of these cards are multiple months INTEREST FREE though. So it's a luxury to charge college to them, should I run with it and see if I could acquire more Credit Cards by simply misspelling my name? I recently went on a binge trying to get more credit cards to pay for school. I make $23,000 a year so any minor amount isn't much. I've got over $2,000 in my stock portfolio so that covers over 75% of my actual debt.

All thoughts appreciated. I'm not an idiot, I'm just a smart guy scrapping by until he can make a decent living. I get my Associates later this year (assuming I KLEP out of a few classes.

...

Go Cardinals. :)

#LAWANDSTEEL

How different are we talking, here?

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I recently acquired a Credit Card in a different name than my own. Is there any negative implications to this? I'm using the same Social Security number but am I actually working under a different identity now? Would a credit history under this misspelling actually work to create credit?

I'm not looking to get into any type of fraud. I could claim ignorance, not knowing that I was getting these cards at such cheap rates.

Some of these cards are multiple months INTEREST FREE though. So it's a luxury to charge college to them, should I run with it and see if I could acquire more Credit Cards by simply misspelling my name? I recently went on a binge trying to get more credit cards to pay for school. I make $23,000 a year so any minor amount isn't much. I've got over $2,000 in my stock portfolio so that covers over 75% of my actual debt.

All thoughts appreciated. I'm not an idiot, I'm just a smart guy scrapping by until he can make a decent living. I get my Associates later this year (assuming I KLEP out of a few classes.

...

Go Cardinals. :)

#LAWANDSTEEL

How different are we talking, here?

Apparently different enough to try to trick the company in extending another line of credit with an introductory rate for a new customer.

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No one is getting fooled in all likelihood, assuming his actual ss# is being used. In which case I'd call and have the name fixed.

Of more concern is if the name is seriously different. If that's the case, there's a real chance identity theft is going on - someone's using his ss# to work, quite possibly an illegal immigrant. Sounds like no big deal until you realize there are dozens of lines of credit and/or a house in your name, that person defaults, and you have a hard time claiming it's B.S. because you opened some of those lines of credit in that name yourself.

I'd call the credit card company and tell them you just realized the name is off on your account and want it corrected. I wouldn't use a fake name to get a credit card under any circumstances.

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I recently acquired a Credit Card in a different name than my own. Is there any negative implications to this? I'm using the same Social Security number but am I actually working under a different identity now? Would a credit history under this misspelling actually work to create credit?

I'm not looking to get into any type of fraud. I could claim ignorance, not knowing that I was getting these cards at such cheap rates.

Some of these cards are multiple months INTEREST FREE though. So it's a luxury to charge college to them, should I run with it and see if I could acquire more Credit Cards by simply misspelling my name? I recently went on a binge trying to get more credit cards to pay for school. I make $23,000 a year so any minor amount isn't much. I've got over $2,000 in my stock portfolio so that covers over 75% of my actual debt.

All thoughts appreciated. I'm not an idiot, I'm just a smart guy scrapping by until he can make a decent living. I get my Associates later this year (assuming I KLEP out of a few classes.

...

Go Cardinals. :)

#LAWANDSTEEL

How different are we talking, here?

Barack Obama

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Really looking forward to paying my dues for about the next decade do that I can pay off the house, sock away a cushion, and then open up my own small practice out of my home. WIN

Can the folks who went out on their own chime in? I spoke to a guy recently who was working at a big firm in DC and finally had it. He joined one of those virtual firms and moved his family down to Palm beach. He said life is wonderful and he works when and where he wants and spends all the time he wants with his kids. Sounds like he is making pretty solid money too. I feel I am doing something wrong.

I never did BigLaw but I can give you some insight into the transition to working for myself.

Out of law school I worked for a solo and did a little bit of everything but mostly real estate and transactional stuff. Rarely went to court. For the most part I hated it but it paid the bills a little. I have a background in government and politics and when I got my law degree it was for that arena and not to be a trial attorney. But things changed and it was a good thing I had the law degree. A small firm local to my neighborhood started hiring for a replacement associate and I gave them a call because I knew one of the partners through real estate deals. It was pretty much a match almost instantly. The interview was more about picking my office then seeing if I was a fit for the job. Again, though, it was a small firm. My salary almost doubled but I still wasn't making 6 figures like many of the BigLaw associates seem to do.

The day I started the partners dropped dozens of files on my desk and pretty much told me to get them done. Much of the stuff I had really no clue about, but I pushed through and managed to get a few wins for the partners on summary judgment motions and settled a few PI cases with little out of pocket turmoil and I managed to make almost triple my salary without too much fanfare for them. All that did was have them drop basically the entire civil case load of the firm on my desk. So I was swamped constantly while they showed up late left early and played around in the office all day.

Now, small caveat there, one of the partners had a young son and he never, and I mean never, missed his kids games or school stuff. And because of that, he told me flat out that they will never expect me to be there if my kid had a game and as long as my work got done when it was supposed to and I was making the money I could go whenever I had to. So I am already in a different spot than most big law guys. I never missed a game or show. But after a few years of being the main business generator on the civil files and working my butt off I wasn't getting anywhere on partner track. I had to fight with them twice for a raise that both times still made me vastly underpaid for the norm in New Jersey, but I always was ok with that to an extent because I was still able to leave whenever I wanted to see a game or show. Vacations were tough and I had to give a crap ton of notice, but they let me have time so that we could do our Disney trips.

3 years ago it all came to boiling point. I was getting a lot of clients telling me, unprompted, that if I ever left the firm they would come with me (and these were clients that were with that firm for years before I got there). I also had almost universal respect from the local legal community and almost all of them were flabergasted that I hadn't gone out on my own given my reputation and what they knew I was making (it's a small community). This was the only point in my marriage where my wife and I couldn't stand each other. I was miserable, gained 40 pounds, smoked and drank like I was living the last days of my life and didn't care, and just generally a mess up and down. The stress of not moving ahead in the firm and knowing that there was at least one other firm that would hire me in a heart beat coupled with thinking maybe it was time to go out on my own was really too much to deal with. My marriage almost ended. I still remember a 3 day stretch where I literally did not sleep. I was researching opening a firm, dealing with a few cases going to trial, coming up with budget after budget on the house in case I did go out on my own and failed. Finally it was my wife who gave me the ultimatum - pick something or else.

And just as a really quick aside, my faith helped and I prayed a lot and I felt like every sign and signal and gut feeling was telling me to go out on my own. But that's another thread.

So, one night, I called a friend from church who owns a construction company and I asked him how much it would cost to retrofit a small office inside another firms office that offered me space. I took him over, he looked at what I needed and told me that he would do it for free if I bought breakfast. For whatever reason it was the sign I needed to know I should just do it. So I spent the next three days building an office inside an office and writing an exit memo that ended up being 50 pages long on every case I had active. I gave my notice and told them I would stay for a month so that I could train the new associate they would have to hire. They were pissed and after two days told me not to come back.

Which threw me and my plans a lot because I wasn't expecting that. I figured I had a month. But then, nothing. I wasn't ready logistically for the move, but they forced me so on a Thursday in August I didn't have a job and went to my new "office" with nothing to do but wonder what an awful thing I did to my family. That afternoon I got a call on my cell phone from a friend from church who said they had a friend who needed to talk to a lawyer immediately. I told them to come over to my new place. Client came in told me that they had a spouse who they just found out was cheating, hiding money, the whole most awful possible divorce scenario possible and said they wanted me to help. My first chance to name my own retainer, deal with my own client, intake it the way I want. I have to admit...... I was scared to death in that moment. I knew how much the case would cost in my firm. I knew how much they would take as a retainer. I figured there was no way that they would ever pay me that when it was obvious I was in gypsy mode office wise. For whatever reason I just figured what the hell and told the client that I would need a $10,000.00 retainer to take the case. Wrote me a check on the spot.

What happened after that is still amazing to me (and again, I will leave my faith part out of it). Within a week 70 clients from the old firm transfered their files to me. A handful of new clients found me. OVerall within a month I had more work then I could handle. And it just never stopped and hasn't to this day. There are peaks and valleys. I have had to deal with a 3 month stretch where no money came in at all. Some accounts have gone to collection and back at times. But every bill personal and business is paid up to date. I set my own rules, I screen my own clients, I answer to no one. I have fired clients that I just don't want to deal with, money or not, and I have taken cases pro bono that my firm never would have let me. I just left my office last Thursday with a tablet and a cell phone, bought a car (that thread is around somewhere.... I went with the Acadia by the way) and took the car to DC with the kids for a getaway. We still do our vacations. My marriage has never been better. The legal community I work in still holds me in high regard and it's now gotten where the titans of certain fields in my area actually refer me their overflow work now which is an amazing confirmation that they trust me to handle their clients in the stuff they specialize in. I have days in my office where I really just putz around on this website and do a few letters and keep everything running smoothly. I have days where I don't make it home until everyone is in bed because I'm swamped. But I still never miss a game or show. If not for the court appearance I have today I could just go play golf if I wanted to (although the snow kinda sucks). All in all I really wouldn't trade it for the world.

Our savings were destroyed in some of those valleys of no money coming in. It happens. But after three years I have blown away my salary at the firm working on my own terms. There is still stress. But it's a much different kind of stress. I've been approached by two very large firms who want me to come work for them on an accelerated partner track. At this moment they would have to pay me so much money to consider that that it would bankrupt them. I have it just way way too good. It's one of the many reasons why I am in awe of some of the guys and gals here that post that work in big firms or did, like you. I could never do that. I enjoy family time and down time just way too much to even consider doing that to myself. I could probably make a crap ton more money than I do now, but I'm not starving and the time I get with my family is worth more to me than a billable hour.

So that's my going out on my own story. I highly recommend it. It's liberating and scary as hell and good for all the right reasons if you have a head on your shoulders and do things the right way. It isn't easy, but nothing worth anything really is.

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Any former clerks in here? I have a bunch of clerkship interviews coming up, and I guess I'm looking for general feedback. Did you enjoy the experience? Has it helped you with 2nd or 3rd (or beyond) jobs? Is it worth taking if I'm offered?

What career do you plan to pursue after your clerkship? (I assume you're talking about a judicial clerkship)

Yeah. Sorry for not clarifying. I have an interest in softer IP but I'm really just interested in general litigation, at least for now. Obviously, if I want to focus on copyright or trademark I'd need a federal clerkship, but beyond that, any info would be great.

The vast majority of federal district courts rarely get copyright and trademark cases unless they are in metropolitan areas (obviously the SDNY gets a lot). I had a copyright case in the US District Court for one of the Dakotas and the civil clerk's office loved dealing with me because they said they never saw those "neat" cases. So you will get general litigation experience clerking for a federal judge, but depending on the court, probably not much copyright or trademark experience. Of course, there is no copyright in state courts, so a clerkship there would be even less soft IP experience.

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This is like hell on earth.

You just described the careers of all the posters in here.

If I could keep doing what I'm doing and getting paid what I get paid for the foreseeable future, that would suit me just fine. No need for me to work harder so I can earn more and more year over year. Pretty content with things as they are.

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This is like hell on earth.

You just described the careers of all the posters in here.

If I could keep doing what I'm doing and getting paid what I get paid for the foreseeable future, that would suit me just fine. No need for me to work harder so I can earn more and more year over year. Pretty content with things as they are.

I'd prefer to make what I make as a bartender on a beach in the Keys to be honest. I could so pull off the beach bum with a heart of gold and hidden trust account life style.

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Really looking forward to paying my dues for about the next decade do that I can pay off the house, sock away a cushion, and then open up my own small practice out of my home. WIN

Can the folks who went out on their own chime in? I spoke to a guy recently who was working at a big firm in DC and finally had it. He joined one of those virtual firms and moved his family down to Palm beach. He said life is wonderful and he works when and where he wants and spends all the time he wants with his kids. Sounds like he is making pretty solid money too. I feel I am doing something wrong.

You arent doing anything wrong, you just took the traditional route almost all lawyers feel they must take and now you feel stuck because that is a pretty regimented route.

I have my own specialized practice out of my home/virtual-small office address in big prestigious building, teach adjunct at a big university, lecture all the time at various interesting events, Im incoming board president of a great non-profit providing pro bono services in my area of law, and I spend a ton of time with my two young daughters and pretty much love my life. But I took a very non-traditional route with a detour to a 75 lawyer firm (interesting five years but definitely not for me). And my practice area is very different from what most lawyers do: art and entertainment/copyright-trademark/literary agent.

Edited by Todd Andrews

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Yeah, when I told my first firm I was interested in soft IP (I had never clerked), I got thrown in the patent shop immediately. Which is not really where you want to be (IMO) if you don't have a technical degree.

More generally, I like legal analysis, but hate lawyering. And not coincidentally, I'm a very good legal analyst and a pretty crappy lawyer.

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Really looking forward to paying my dues for about the next decade do that I can pay off the house, sock away a cushion, and then open up my own small practice out of my home. WIN

Can the folks who went out on their own chime in? I spoke to a guy recently who was working at a big firm in DC and finally had it. He joined one of those virtual firms and moved his family down to Palm beach. He said life is wonderful and he works when and where he wants and spends all the time he wants with his kids. Sounds like he is making pretty solid money too. I feel I am doing something wrong.

I never did BigLaw but I can give you some insight into the transition to working for myself.

Out of law school I worked for a solo and did a little bit of everything but mostly real estate and transactional stuff. Rarely went to court. For the most part I hated it but it paid the bills a little. I have a background in government and politics and when I got my law degree it was for that arena and not to be a trial attorney. But things changed and it was a good thing I had the law degree. A small firm local to my neighborhood started hiring for a replacement associate and I gave them a call because I knew one of the partners through real estate deals. It was pretty much a match almost instantly. The interview was more about picking my office then seeing if I was a fit for the job. Again, though, it was a small firm. My salary almost doubled but I still wasn't making 6 figures like many of the BigLaw associates seem to do.

The day I started the partners dropped dozens of files on my desk and pretty much told me to get them done. Much of the stuff I had really no clue about, but I pushed through and managed to get a few wins for the partners on summary judgment motions and settled a few PI cases with little out of pocket turmoil and I managed to make almost triple my salary without too much fanfare for them. All that did was have them drop basically the entire civil case load of the firm on my desk. So I was swamped constantly while they showed up late left early and played around in the office all day.

Now, small caveat there, one of the partners had a young son and he never, and I mean never, missed his kids games or school stuff. And because of that, he told me flat out that they will never expect me to be there if my kid had a game and as long as my work got done when it was supposed to and I was making the money I could go whenever I had to. So I am already in a different spot than most big law guys. I never missed a game or show. But after a few years of being the main business generator on the civil files and working my butt off I wasn't getting anywhere on partner track. I had to fight with them twice for a raise that both times still made me vastly underpaid for the norm in New Jersey, but I always was ok with that to an extent because I was still able to leave whenever I wanted to see a game or show. Vacations were tough and I had to give a crap ton of notice, but they let me have time so that we could do our Disney trips.

3 years ago it all came to boiling point. I was getting a lot of clients telling me, unprompted, that if I ever left the firm they would come with me (and these were clients that were with that firm for years before I got there). I also had almost universal respect from the local legal community and almost all of them were flabergasted that I hadn't gone out on my own given my reputation and what they knew I was making (it's a small community). This was the only point in my marriage where my wife and I couldn't stand each other. I was miserable, gained 40 pounds, smoked and drank like I was living the last days of my life and didn't care, and just generally a mess up and down. The stress of not moving ahead in the firm and knowing that there was at least one other firm that would hire me in a heart beat coupled with thinking maybe it was time to go out on my own was really too much to deal with. My marriage almost ended. I still remember a 3 day stretch where I literally did not sleep. I was researching opening a firm, dealing with a few cases going to trial, coming up with budget after budget on the house in case I did go out on my own and failed. Finally it was my wife who gave me the ultimatum - pick something or else.

And just as a really quick aside, my faith helped and I prayed a lot and I felt like every sign and signal and gut feeling was telling me to go out on my own. But that's another thread.

So, one night, I called a friend from church who owns a construction company and I asked him how much it would cost to retrofit a small office inside another firms office that offered me space. I took him over, he looked at what I needed and told me that he would do it for free if I bought breakfast. For whatever reason it was the sign I needed to know I should just do it. So I spent the next three days building an office inside an office and writing an exit memo that ended up being 50 pages long on every case I had active. I gave my notice and told them I would stay for a month so that I could train the new associate they would have to hire. They were pissed and after two days told me not to come back.

Which threw me and my plans a lot because I wasn't expecting that. I figured I had a month. But then, nothing. I wasn't ready logistically for the move, but they forced me so on a Thursday in August I didn't have a job and went to my new "office" with nothing to do but wonder what an awful thing I did to my family. That afternoon I got a call on my cell phone from a friend from church who said they had a friend who needed to talk to a lawyer immediately. I told them to come over to my new place. Client came in told me that they had a spouse who they just found out was cheating, hiding money, the whole most awful possible divorce scenario possible and said they wanted me to help. My first chance to name my own retainer, deal with my own client, intake it the way I want. I have to admit...... I was scared to death in that moment. I knew how much the case would cost in my firm. I knew how much they would take as a retainer. I figured there was no way that they would ever pay me that when it was obvious I was in gypsy mode office wise. For whatever reason I just figured what the hell and told the client that I would need a $10,000.00 retainer to take the case. Wrote me a check on the spot.

What happened after that is still amazing to me (and again, I will leave my faith part out of it). Within a week 70 clients from the old firm transfered their files to me. A handful of new clients found me. OVerall within a month I had more work then I could handle. And it just never stopped and hasn't to this day. There are peaks and valleys. I have had to deal with a 3 month stretch where no money came in at all. Some accounts have gone to collection and back at times. But every bill personal and business is paid up to date. I set my own rules, I screen my own clients, I answer to no one. I have fired clients that I just don't want to deal with, money or not, and I have taken cases pro bono that my firm never would have let me. I just left my office last Thursday with a tablet and a cell phone, bought a car (that thread is around somewhere.... I went with the Acadia by the way) and took the car to DC with the kids for a getaway. We still do our vacations. My marriage has never been better. The legal community I work in still holds me in high regard and it's now gotten where the titans of certain fields in my area actually refer me their overflow work now which is an amazing confirmation that they trust me to handle their clients in the stuff they specialize in. I have days in my office where I really just putz around on this website and do a few letters and keep everything running smoothly. I have days where I don't make it home until everyone is in bed because I'm swamped. But I still never miss a game or show. If not for the court appearance I have today I could just go play golf if I wanted to (although the snow kinda sucks). All in all I really wouldn't trade it for the world.

Our savings were destroyed in some of those valleys of no money coming in. It happens. But after three years I have blown away my salary at the firm working on my own terms. There is still stress. But it's a much different kind of stress. I've been approached by two very large firms who want me to come work for them on an accelerated partner track. At this moment they would have to pay me so much money to consider that that it would bankrupt them. I have it just way way too good. It's one of the many reasons why I am in awe of some of the guys and gals here that post that work in big firms or did, like you. I could never do that. I enjoy family time and down time just way too much to even consider doing that to myself. I could probably make a crap ton more money than I do now, but I'm not starving and the time I get with my family is worth more to me than a billable hour.

So that's my going out on my own story. I highly recommend it. It's liberating and scary as hell and good for all the right reasons if you have a head on your shoulders and do things the right way. It isn't easy, but nothing worth anything really is.

Awesome.

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Really looking forward to paying my dues for about the next decade do that I can pay off the house, sock away a cushion, and then open up my own small practice out of my home. WIN

Can the folks who went out on their own chime in? I spoke to a guy recently who was working at a big firm in DC and finally had it. He joined one of those virtual firms and moved his family down to Palm beach. He said life is wonderful and he works when and where he wants and spends all the time he wants with his kids. Sounds like he is making pretty solid money too. I feel I am doing something wrong.

I did 13 years with a boutique firm. got cut loose and went solo.

within 6 months, I was viable and looking at making more than I was before within another 6 months. I was working about 25 hours a week.

after nearly a year I ended up taking the safety of a series of six month contracts as of counsel to another firm, but at this point I have generated enough clients to fill the pipe. I'm probably going to partner up with one other guy that complements my practice, and we'll start up by this time next year.

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Really looking forward to paying my dues for about the next decade do that I can pay off the house, sock away a cushion, and then open up my own small practice out of my home. WIN

Can the folks who went out on their own chime in? I spoke to a guy recently who was working at a big firm in DC and finally had it. He joined one of those virtual firms and moved his family down to Palm beach. He said life is wonderful and he works when and where he wants and spends all the time he wants with his kids. Sounds like he is making pretty solid money too. I feel I am doing something wrong.

I did 13 years with a boutique firm. got cut loose and went solo.

within 6 months, I was viable and looking at making more than I was before within another 6 months. I was working about 25 hours a week.

after nearly a year I ended up taking the safety of a series of six month contracts as of counsel to another firm, but at this point I have generated enough clients to fill the pipe. I'm probably going to partner up with one other guy that complements my practice, and we'll start up by this time next year.

:kicksrock:

When you spell it right, I don't get to use my joke.

"You have a very nice practice."

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Hooper, I am not a lawyer but I work closely with them and I can tell you straight out that most lawyers absolutely prefer to settle rather than go to court. That doesn't mean that either side will capitulate just to avoid trial but if there's a settlement to be had they'll take it with pleasure. Doesn't mean there aren't evil, money hungry, jackholes out there but most are out to help their client more than to aggrandize themselves

Most "litigators" rarely go to trial...mostly because it's hard, and it cuts into profits.

Well that's not true. Trial is profitable. And it's stressful but many litigators look forward to it. Usually you don't go to trial a whole lot because the cases in your particular practice area settle often.

sorry, I'm a plaintiff so I never think about that. trial is less profitable for contingent fee lawyers, since it cuts into your effective hourly rate.

for defense guys and people getting paid hourly, I guess it just piles on the billable hours.

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Really looking forward to paying my dues for about the next decade do that I can pay off the house, sock away a cushion, and then open up my own small practice out of my home. WIN

Can the folks who went out on their own chime in? I spoke to a guy recently who was working at a big firm in DC and finally had it. He joined one of those virtual firms and moved his family down to Palm beach. He said life is wonderful and he works when and where he wants and spends all the time he wants with his kids. Sounds like he is making pretty solid money too. I feel I am doing something wrong.

I never did BigLaw but I can give you some insight into the transition to working for myself.

Out of law school I worked for a solo and did a little bit of everything but mostly real estate and transactional stuff. Rarely went to court. For the most part I hated it but it paid the bills a little. I have a background in government and politics and when I got my law degree it was for that arena and not to be a trial attorney. But things changed and it was a good thing I had the law degree. A small firm local to my neighborhood started hiring for a replacement associate and I gave them a call because I knew one of the partners through real estate deals. It was pretty much a match almost instantly. The interview was more about picking my office then seeing if I was a fit for the job. Again, though, it was a small firm. My salary almost doubled but I still wasn't making 6 figures like many of the BigLaw associates seem to do.

The day I started the partners dropped dozens of files on my desk and pretty much told me to get them done. Much of the stuff I had really no clue about, but I pushed through and managed to get a few wins for the partners on summary judgment motions and settled a few PI cases with little out of pocket turmoil and I managed to make almost triple my salary without too much fanfare for them. All that did was have them drop basically the entire civil case load of the firm on my desk. So I was swamped constantly while they showed up late left early and played around in the office all day.

Now, small caveat there, one of the partners had a young son and he never, and I mean never, missed his kids games or school stuff. And because of that, he told me flat out that they will never expect me to be there if my kid had a game and as long as my work got done when it was supposed to and I was making the money I could go whenever I had to. So I am already in a different spot than most big law guys. I never missed a game or show. But after a few years of being the main business generator on the civil files and working my butt off I wasn't getting anywhere on partner track. I had to fight with them twice for a raise that both times still made me vastly underpaid for the norm in New Jersey, but I always was ok with that to an extent because I was still able to leave whenever I wanted to see a game or show. Vacations were tough and I had to give a crap ton of notice, but they let me have time so that we could do our Disney trips.

3 years ago it all came to boiling point. I was getting a lot of clients telling me, unprompted, that if I ever left the firm they would come with me (and these were clients that were with that firm for years before I got there). I also had almost universal respect from the local legal community and almost all of them were flabergasted that I hadn't gone out on my own given my reputation and what they knew I was making (it's a small community). This was the only point in my marriage where my wife and I couldn't stand each other. I was miserable, gained 40 pounds, smoked and drank like I was living the last days of my life and didn't care, and just generally a mess up and down. The stress of not moving ahead in the firm and knowing that there was at least one other firm that would hire me in a heart beat coupled with thinking maybe it was time to go out on my own was really too much to deal with. My marriage almost ended. I still remember a 3 day stretch where I literally did not sleep. I was researching opening a firm, dealing with a few cases going to trial, coming up with budget after budget on the house in case I did go out on my own and failed. Finally it was my wife who gave me the ultimatum - pick something or else.

And just as a really quick aside, my faith helped and I prayed a lot and I felt like every sign and signal and gut feeling was telling me to go out on my own. But that's another thread.

So, one night, I called a friend from church who owns a construction company and I asked him how much it would cost to retrofit a small office inside another firms office that offered me space. I took him over, he looked at what I needed and told me that he would do it for free if I bought breakfast. For whatever reason it was the sign I needed to know I should just do it. So I spent the next three days building an office inside an office and writing an exit memo that ended up being 50 pages long on every case I had active. I gave my notice and told them I would stay for a month so that I could train the new associate they would have to hire. They were pissed and after two days told me not to come back.

Which threw me and my plans a lot because I wasn't expecting that. I figured I had a month. But then, nothing. I wasn't ready logistically for the move, but they forced me so on a Thursday in August I didn't have a job and went to my new "office" with nothing to do but wonder what an awful thing I did to my family. That afternoon I got a call on my cell phone from a friend from church who said they had a friend who needed to talk to a lawyer immediately. I told them to come over to my new place. Client came in told me that they had a spouse who they just found out was cheating, hiding money, the whole most awful possible divorce scenario possible and said they wanted me to help. My first chance to name my own retainer, deal with my own client, intake it the way I want. I have to admit...... I was scared to death in that moment. I knew how much the case would cost in my firm. I knew how much they would take as a retainer. I figured there was no way that they would ever pay me that when it was obvious I was in gypsy mode office wise. For whatever reason I just figured what the hell and told the client that I would need a $10,000.00 retainer to take the case. Wrote me a check on the spot.

What happened after that is still amazing to me (and again, I will leave my faith part out of it). Within a week 70 clients from the old firm transfered their files to me. A handful of new clients found me. OVerall within a month I had more work then I could handle. And it just never stopped and hasn't to this day. There are peaks and valleys. I have had to deal with a 3 month stretch where no money came in at all. Some accounts have gone to collection and back at times. But every bill personal and business is paid up to date. I set my own rules, I screen my own clients, I answer to no one. I have fired clients that I just don't want to deal with, money or not, and I have taken cases pro bono that my firm never would have let me. I just left my office last Thursday with a tablet and a cell phone, bought a car (that thread is around somewhere.... I went with the Acadia by the way) and took the car to DC with the kids for a getaway. We still do our vacations. My marriage has never been better. The legal community I work in still holds me in high regard and it's now gotten where the titans of certain fields in my area actually refer me their overflow work now which is an amazing confirmation that they trust me to handle their clients in the stuff they specialize in. I have days in my office where I really just putz around on this website and do a few letters and keep everything running smoothly. I have days where I don't make it home until everyone is in bed because I'm swamped. But I still never miss a game or show. If not for the court appearance I have today I could just go play golf if I wanted to (although the snow kinda sucks). All in all I really wouldn't trade it for the world.

Our savings were destroyed in some of those valleys of no money coming in. It happens. But after three years I have blown away my salary at the firm working on my own terms. There is still stress. But it's a much different kind of stress. I've been approached by two very large firms who want me to come work for them on an accelerated partner track. At this moment they would have to pay me so much money to consider that that it would bankrupt them. I have it just way way too good. It's one of the many reasons why I am in awe of some of the guys and gals here that post that work in big firms or did, like you. I could never do that. I enjoy family time and down time just way too much to even consider doing that to myself. I could probably make a crap ton more money than I do now, but I'm not starving and the time I get with my family is worth more to me than a billable hour.

So that's my going out on my own story. I highly recommend it. It's liberating and scary as hell and good for all the right reasons if you have a head on your shoulders and do things the right way. It isn't easy, but nothing worth anything really is.

This is a great story. It does indeed sound like the grass is greenest right where you stand. As for the two large firms that want you to come work for them on an accelerated partner track? F that. You are profitable and have your own book of business. No reason for them not to bring you on as a full partner (not that you'd want to anyway).

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