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I don't know if there's a real pinnacle to this profession. Some times it really seems like there isn't one. But I do now know that when you're standing there waiting and hoping for two words instead

Made partner today. 

Big news for The_Son - just found out he got the Rubenstein Scholarship from Chicago! Full tuition + a $20,000 per year stipend. Last week he was fortunate enough to be offered a full-tuition scholars

What did yall do for summer jobs in law school? I'm going through the process of applying/interviewing/choosing right now and thought some of you would like to share stories of what you did.

After reading the Turning 40 Girls trip to Mexico thread I highly recommend a summer job at a Club Med.

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What did yall do for summer jobs in law school? I'm going through the process of applying/interviewing/choosing right now and thought some of you would like to share stories of what you did.

Law firms.

What happened to your sports-related internship (sorry, have forgotten the details)?

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What did yall do for summer jobs in law school? I'm going through the process of applying/interviewing/choosing right now and thought some of you would like to share stories of what you did.

Law firms.

What happened to your sports-related internship (sorry, have forgotten the details)?

I can't do anything for operations. NBA teams are only allowed unpaid interns if the interns are receiving academic credit. Law school won't give credit for a non-legal job, so I have to look for legal work this year.

I have some in-house apps out (already to second round at one I'd really like), a couple of Texas firms (because they'll hire 1Ls from Texas), and some applications into the league offices for the major sports leagues that were accepting them after Dec 1st. We'll see how it goes, but right now it looks like I'll get to do something that's either in the field I really want to be, or pays obscenely well. Either of those things would be fine by me.

ETA: It seems that 1L summers at firms are much much harder to come by these days than they were 6-10 years ago.

Edited by Instinctive
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What did yall do for summer jobs in law school? I'm going through the process of applying/interviewing/choosing right now and thought some of you would like to share stories of what you did.

Student attorney with public defender's office. Got to actually make court appearances, meet with client, and do contested hearings.

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First year I installed fire alarms for a school district. Crawled around in attics that were 120 degrees. I'd recommend something different (although I did surprise a fire safety guy at a deposition with my knowledge of installation standards)

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So. Looks like I'm at a crossroads again.

I have two sizeable cases coming down the pike right now, one of which will result in a payout to the client of mid-high six figures and low six figures to me personally. This will pay off all of my debt except my mortgage and the remains of my student loans, and leave me enough to set up the infrastructure for a firm for about a year. That debt was partially the result of striking out too early in my career, with the wrong partners.

When this money comes through, I will be faced with the decision:

1. Strike out on my own and start taking home a huge chunk of the cases I take;

2. Continue on in my low salary, low percentage, high responsibility gig until the owners of my firm basically die. Which may be a while.

My previous experience has me pretty gun shy, but I feel good about the potential setup in the firm I'd be starting up. I'd be setting my own hours, days, work time, etc and the quality of life issue would be insanely better. Still, there's something about a steady paycheck. Nice to have.

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A quick question for Krista or other securities lawyers -- One small task I have at my company is to work with a paralegal to monitor public filings for references to my company. We do this because our clients will sometimes reference our work in a filing without our consent or control, and some of our foreign subs allow their clients to refer to their work in public filings on US exchanges, and we need to monitor and control that for risk management and other reasons. Yesterday we found a company referencing us in a fairly significant way in an 8k ("We consulted with [CM's company] to determine XXX"). However, this company never retained us. We had a pitch meeting and they declined to hire us, so this is a false statement. I want to protect us, respect any affirmative obligations we have, but not create work unnecessarily for anyone outside my office in dealing with this. tia !

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So. Looks like I'm at a crossroads again.

I have two sizeable cases coming down the pike right now, one of which will result in a payout to the client of mid-high six figures and low six figures to me personally. This will pay off all of my debt except my mortgage and the remains of my student loans, and leave me enough to set up the infrastructure for a firm for about a year. That debt was partially the result of striking out too early in my career, with the wrong partners.

When this money comes through, I will be faced with the decision:

1. Strike out on my own and start taking home a huge chunk of the cases I take;

2. Continue on in my low salary, low percentage, high responsibility gig until the owners of my firm basically die. Which may be a while.

My previous experience has me pretty gun shy, but I feel good about the potential setup in the firm I'd be starting up. I'd be setting my own hours, days, work time, etc and the quality of life issue would be insanely better. Still, there's something about a steady paycheck. Nice to have.

What happened with the fellow who offered to bring you in as a partner and offered you a two year draw?

That seemed like a good opportunity from the little you shared.

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So. Looks like I'm at a crossroads again.

I have two sizeable cases coming down the pike right now, one of which will result in a payout to the client of mid-high six figures and low six figures to me personally. This will pay off all of my debt except my mortgage and the remains of my student loans, and leave me enough to set up the infrastructure for a firm for about a year. That debt was partially the result of striking out too early in my career, with the wrong partners.

When this money comes through, I will be faced with the decision:

1. Strike out on my own and start taking home a huge chunk of the cases I take;

2. Continue on in my low salary, low percentage, high responsibility gig until the owners of my firm basically die. Which may be a while.

My previous experience has me pretty gun shy, but I feel good about the potential setup in the firm I'd be starting up. I'd be setting my own hours, days, work time, etc and the quality of life issue would be insanely better. Still, there's something about a steady paycheck. Nice to have.

What happened with the fellow who offered to bring you in as a partner and offered you a two year draw?

That seemed like a good opportunity from the little you shared.

One year, and that's the "striking out on my own" that I'm referring to.

I also noted in that discussion that it would take me awhile to get things together for a litigation operating account - these cases would make that happen immediately.

Edited by Henry Ford
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4:15 call from client yesterday, panicked. "We are closing tomorrow and the bank says our LLC is not in good standing OMG!"

Me: "that's correct. I fronted one year of filing fees, didn't hear from you, and wrote you no less than three times that I would not be fronting a second year. That was in 2012."

"What can we do to close tomorrow?!?!?"

"You can hand deliver me a check for the past years filing fees, current filing fees, and all my fees, past and present."

"I'll put it in the mail today!"

"That won't work for a closing tomorrow. I will only perform this work after I have a check in hand under these circumstances."

"You're kidding me!@#!"

"I'm not."

Hand-delivered check arrived 20 minutes ago. Ain't people great?

Edited by Thorn
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So. Looks like I'm at a crossroads again.

I have two sizeable cases coming down the pike right now, one of which will result in a payout to the client of mid-high six figures and low six figures to me personally. This will pay off all of my debt except my mortgage and the remains of my student loans, and leave me enough to set up the infrastructure for a firm for about a year. That debt was partially the result of striking out too early in my career, with the wrong partners.

When this money comes through, I will be faced with the decision:

1. Strike out on my own and start taking home a huge chunk of the cases I take;

2. Continue on in my low salary, low percentage, high responsibility gig until the owners of my firm basically die. Which may be a while.

My previous experience has me pretty gun shy, but I feel good about the potential setup in the firm I'd be starting up. I'd be setting my own hours, days, work time, etc and the quality of life issue would be insanely better. Still, there's something about a steady paycheck. Nice to have.

What happened with the fellow who offered to bring you in as a partner and offered you a two year draw?

That seemed like a good opportunity from the little you shared.

One year, and that's the "striking out on my own" that I'm referring to.

I also noted in that discussion that it would take me awhile to get things together for a litigation operating account - these cases would make that happen immediately.

Seems like #1 is the obvious choice. Especially since you have no partners to help mess things up for you this go round.

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4:15 call from client yesterday, panicked. "We are closing tomorrow and the bank says our LLC is not in good standing OMG!"

Me: "that's correct. I fronted one year of filing fees, didn't hear from you, and wrote you no less than three times that I would not be fronting a second year. That was in 2012."

"What can we do to close tomorrow?!?!?"

"You can hand deliver me a check for the past years filing fees, current filing fees, and all my fees, past and present."

"I'll put it in the mail today!"

"That won't work for a closing tomorrow. I will only perform this work after I have a check in hand under these circumstances."

"You're kidding me!@#!"

"I'm not."

Hand-delivered check arrived 20 minutes ago. Ain't people great?

What? You wouldn't continue to work for free and pay their two years of filing fees? Outrageous!

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So. Looks like I'm at a crossroads again.

I have two sizeable cases coming down the pike right now, one of which will result in a payout to the client of mid-high six figures and low six figures to me personally. This will pay off all of my debt except my mortgage and the remains of my student loans, and leave me enough to set up the infrastructure for a firm for about a year. That debt was partially the result of striking out too early in my career, with the wrong partners.

When this money comes through, I will be faced with the decision:

1. Strike out on my own and start taking home a huge chunk of the cases I take;

2. Continue on in my low salary, low percentage, high responsibility gig until the owners of my firm basically die. Which may be a while.

My previous experience has me pretty gun shy, but I feel good about the potential setup in the firm I'd be starting up. I'd be setting my own hours, days, work time, etc and the quality of life issue would be insanely better. Still, there's something about a steady paycheck. Nice to have.

What happened with the fellow who offered to bring you in as a partner and offered you a two year draw?

That seemed like a good opportunity from the little you shared.

One year, and that's the "striking out on my own" that I'm referring to.

I also noted in that discussion that it would take me awhile to get things together for a litigation operating account - these cases would make that happen immediately.

Seems like #1 is the obvious choice. Especially since you have no partners to help mess things up for you this go round.

One partner. But I'll never be in a situation where I can be outvoted like that again. Partnership agreement will have a tiebreaker of a reasonable person of my choosing.

Edited by Henry Ford
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So. Looks like I'm at a crossroads again.

I have two sizeable cases coming down the pike right now, one of which will result in a payout to the client of mid-high six figures and low six figures to me personally. This will pay off all of my debt except my mortgage and the remains of my student loans, and leave me enough to set up the infrastructure for a firm for about a year. That debt was partially the result of striking out too early in my career, with the wrong partners.

When this money comes through, I will be faced with the decision:

1. Strike out on my own and start taking home a huge chunk of the cases I take;

2. Continue on in my low salary, low percentage, high responsibility gig until the owners of my firm basically die. Which may be a while.

My previous experience has me pretty gun shy, but I feel good about the potential setup in the firm I'd be starting up. I'd be setting my own hours, days, work time, etc and the quality of life issue would be insanely better. Still, there's something about a steady paycheck. Nice to have.

What happened with the fellow who offered to bring you in as a partner and offered you a two year draw?

That seemed like a good opportunity from the little you shared.

One year, and that's the "striking out on my own" that I'm referring to.

I also noted in that discussion that it would take me awhile to get things together for a litigation operating account - these cases would make that happen immediately.

Seems like #1 is the obvious choice. Especially since you have no partners to help mess things up for you this go round.

One partner. But I'll never be in a situation where I can be outvoted like that again. Partnership agreement will have a tiebreaker of a reasonable person of my choosing.

I say go for it, though I'm probably biased, having just started my own firm. :shrug:

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A quick question for Krista or other securities lawyers -- One small task I have at my company is to work with a paralegal to monitor public filings for references to my company. We do this because our clients will sometimes reference our work in a filing without our consent or control, and some of our foreign subs allow their clients to refer to their work in public filings on US exchanges, and we need to monitor and control that for risk management and other reasons. Yesterday we found a company referencing us in a fairly significant way in an 8k ("We consulted with [CM's company] to determine XXX"). However, this company never retained us. We had a pitch meeting and they declined to hire us, so this is a false statement. I want to protect us, respect any affirmative obligations we have, but not create work unnecessarily for anyone outside my office in dealing with this. tia !

Had a similar problem once with a company that was on the LSE and repeatedly would issues press releases or mention us in filings without our permission. Slightly different situation in that my business folks couldn't agree on whether we cared (the business unit people didn't, but the corporate communications people did)! From a legal POV, of course, you have no duty to correct what they've said, and you could reasonably ignore it without putting your company at legal risk. On the other hand, I'm sure you don't want this to become a pattern. My suggestion is to have the lead business person in your company that had the relationship reach out to them to say "What the hell?" I don't see a reason to bring out the legal guns or be aggressive at this point, though depending upon your appetite for it you could do so in the future.

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So. Looks like I'm at a crossroads again.

I have two sizeable cases coming down the pike right now, one of which will result in a payout to the client of mid-high six figures and low six figures to me personally. This will pay off all of my debt except my mortgage and the remains of my student loans, and leave me enough to set up the infrastructure for a firm for about a year. That debt was partially the result of striking out too early in my career, with the wrong partners.

When this money comes through, I will be faced with the decision:

1. Strike out on my own and start taking home a huge chunk of the cases I take;

2. Continue on in my low salary, low percentage, high responsibility gig until the owners of my firm basically die. Which may be a while.

My previous experience has me pretty gun shy, but I feel good about the potential setup in the firm I'd be starting up. I'd be setting my own hours, days, work time, etc and the quality of life issue would be insanely better. Still, there's something about a steady paycheck. Nice to have.

What happened with the fellow who offered to bring you in as a partner and offered you a two year draw?

That seemed like a good opportunity from the little you shared.

One year, and that's the "striking out on my own" that I'm referring to.

I also noted in that discussion that it would take me awhile to get things together for a litigation operating account - these cases would make that happen immediately.

Seems like #1 is the obvious choice. Especially since you have no partners to help mess things up for you this go round.

One partner. But I'll never be in a situation where I can be outvoted like that again. Partnership agreement will have a tiebreaker of a reasonable person of my choosing.

I say go for it, though I'm probably biased, having just started my own firm. :shrug:

It's just scary as hell. But my wife's income can pay our mortgage. I'm just weird about money these days.

My current employers, who have made no secret of the fact that they will eventually want to hand this firm over to me when they bail out of the industry, will lose their minds.

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So. Looks like I'm at a crossroads again.

I have two sizeable cases coming down the pike right now, one of which will result in a payout to the client of mid-high six figures and low six figures to me personally. This will pay off all of my debt except my mortgage and the remains of my student loans, and leave me enough to set up the infrastructure for a firm for about a year. That debt was partially the result of striking out too early in my career, with the wrong partners.

When this money comes through, I will be faced with the decision:

1. Strike out on my own and start taking home a huge chunk of the cases I take;

2. Continue on in my low salary, low percentage, high responsibility gig until the owners of my firm basically die. Which may be a while.

My previous experience has me pretty gun shy, but I feel good about the potential setup in the firm I'd be starting up. I'd be setting my own hours, days, work time, etc and the quality of life issue would be insanely better. Still, there's something about a steady paycheck. Nice to have.

What happened with the fellow who offered to bring you in as a partner and offered you a two year draw?

That seemed like a good opportunity from the little you shared.

One year, and that's the "striking out on my own" that I'm referring to.

I also noted in that discussion that it would take me awhile to get things together for a litigation operating account - these cases would make that happen immediately.

Seems like #1 is the obvious choice. Especially since you have no partners to help mess things up for you this go round.

One partner. But I'll never be in a situation where I can be outvoted like that again. Partnership agreement will have a tiebreaker of a reasonable person of my choosing.

I say go for it, though I'm probably biased, having just started my own firm. :shrug:

It's just scary as hell. But my wife's income can pay our mortgage. I'm just weird about money these days.

My current employers, who have made no secret of the fact that they will eventually want to hand this firm over to me when they bail out of the industry, will lose their minds.

Are you happy with your current situation? If so, can you put their feet to the fire and talk about equity now, instead of when they want to become emeritus?

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So. Looks like I'm at a crossroads again.

I have two sizeable cases coming down the pike right now, one of which will result in a payout to the client of mid-high six figures and low six figures to me personally. This will pay off all of my debt except my mortgage and the remains of my student loans, and leave me enough to set up the infrastructure for a firm for about a year. That debt was partially the result of striking out too early in my career, with the wrong partners.

When this money comes through, I will be faced with the decision:

1. Strike out on my own and start taking home a huge chunk of the cases I take;

2. Continue on in my low salary, low percentage, high responsibility gig until the owners of my firm basically die. Which may be a while.

My previous experience has me pretty gun shy, but I feel good about the potential setup in the firm I'd be starting up. I'd be setting my own hours, days, work time, etc and the quality of life issue would be insanely better. Still, there's something about a steady paycheck. Nice to have.

What happened with the fellow who offered to bring you in as a partner and offered you a two year draw?

That seemed like a good opportunity from the little you shared.

One year, and that's the "striking out on my own" that I'm referring to.

I also noted in that discussion that it would take me awhile to get things together for a litigation operating account - these cases would make that happen immediately.

Seems like #1 is the obvious choice. Especially since you have no partners to help mess things up for you this go round.

One partner. But I'll never be in a situation where I can be outvoted like that again. Partnership agreement will have a tiebreaker of a reasonable person of my choosing.

I say go for it, though I'm probably biased, having just started my own firm. :shrug:

It's just scary as hell. But my wife's income can pay our mortgage. I'm just weird about money these days.

My current employers, who have made no secret of the fact that they will eventually want to hand this firm over to me when they bail out of the industry, will lose their minds.

FWIW, the biggest impetus for starting my firm was the fact that getting control in my old firm job was going to take a very long time, and I was not/am not a youngster. Making their salary for another decade vs. earning the net of my revenue less expenses for the next decade made it an easy choice. I'm sure the other path would be more secure and would eventually provide an excellent income, but I couldn't justify waiting that long. Do you have a solid idea of how long it would be before they turned over the keys? And, incidentally, do you know what they expect to be paid after they exit?

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Are you happy with your current situation? If so, can you put their feet to the fire and talk about equity now, instead of when they want to become emeritus?

I have no intention of ever being financial partners with my current employers. They don't make financial decisions so much as make decisions that impact the firm financially.

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FWIW, the biggest impetus for starting my firm was the fact that getting control in my old firm job was going to take a very long time, and I was not/am not a youngster. Making their salary for another decade vs. earning the net of my revenue less expenses for the next decade made it an easy choice. I'm sure the other path would be more secure and would eventually provide an excellent income, but I couldn't justify waiting that long. Do you have a solid idea of how long it would be before they turned over the keys? And, incidentally, do you know what they expect to be paid after they exit?

It's only over the last year or two that it's become clear to me that they intend to have me take over when they bail. Could be five years, could be ten - I'm also no spring chicken.

The problem is client development. I'm terrible at it, particularly with one-off clients like I get in my business. Sure, I do a really good job for my clients, but very few people fracture multiple vertebrae on a bluewater vessel twice or have their kids improperly taken by social services twice. Every client I've sent out of the office after representation would recommend me to people, and most cry and hug me on the way out while thanking me. People warm up to me. But most of them are horribly disabled or crazy, so they don't come into contact with huge numbers of people who may need my services. My current situation gives me percentages of the cases I actually bring in, but other than than I'm working for my awful salary.

The potential partner is a very good, mostly transactional lawyer who is amazing at getting clients in the door. I'm a very, very good litigator who is abysmal at getting clients in the door.

No idea what they'd expect to get paid, but it would be based on a diminishing percentage of revenue from cases left behind or I wouldn't accept it.

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Do your billable hours include time you are posting here in the FFA?

I'm no longer in private practice, but when I was I made some effort to guess my time low (which is why I never came close to the type of hours that some are humble bragging about in this thread). And yes, I generally estimated my time. I've known associates who used timers for every matter religiously, but most people I knew just kept notes, if that.

As a firm washout, I'm maybe a bad example.

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Do your billable hours include time you are posting here in the FFA?

I'm no longer in private practice, but when I was I made some effort to guess my time low (which is why I never came close to the type of hours that some are humble bragging about in this thread). And yes, I generally estimated my time. I've known associates who used timers for every matter religiously, but most people I knew just kept notes, if that.

As a firm washout, I'm maybe a bad example.

Cool. Just wondering. When I was in public accounting, most projects had budgets and the majority of the time, the time budgeted was too low or too high. It was very hard to plan internet/ffa time, you know?

So glad I don't need to worry about my hours now.

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Do your billable hours include time you are posting here in the FFA?

I'm no longer in private practice, but when I was I made some effort to guess my time low (which is why I never came close to the type of hours that some are humble bragging about in this thread). And yes, I generally estimated my time. I've known associates who used timers for every matter religiously, but most people I knew just kept notes, if that.

As a firm washout, I'm maybe a bad example.

Cool. Just wondering. When I was in public accounting, most projects had budgets and the majority of the time, the time budgeted was too low or too high. It was very hard to plan internet/ffa time, you know?

So glad I don't need to worry about my hours now.

Lawyers are notoriously bad managers. And for a long time, I am told, that didn't matter. The firm would submit a bill and the clients would pay it. I've heard tell of managing partners taking a stack of paper time chits, looking at the stack, and then saying "five thousand dollars."

I've also heard tell of times when clients almost never pushed back on how many hours it took to accomplish a task. Those days are also gone. Clients have the bills audited. They'll raise holy hell is you bill 60 hours to draft a summary judgment brief (or at the very least, you better have a great reason why it took so long). Many now require task billing. Which is to say that I think that in some ways, the era of pride in the highest billables is kind of over. With that said, any associate falling under 1950 or so isn't profitable for the firm. So there's still hours pressure.

Firms and even practice areas can differ. I think transactional types tend to bill more than litigators. When I was at Covington (who didn't no offer their class even in the great law firm recession) the average junior associate billed 1600 hours according to one presentation I attended. The firm was taking a bath on us in the hope that it would help them ramp up quicker when more work came around.

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Firms and even practice areas can differ. I think transactional types tend to bill more than litigators. When I was at Covington (who didn't no offer their class even in the great law firm recession) the average junior associate billed 1600 hours according to one presentation I attended. The firm was taking a bath on us in the hope that it would help them ramp up quicker when more work came around.

:no:

From what I've seen, it's always been easier for litigators to pile up more hours than transactional attorneys. Just the fact that you can slap on all of that travel time is a huge advantage.

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So. Looks like I'm at a crossroads again.

I have two sizeable cases coming down the pike right now, one of which will result in a payout to the client of mid-high six figures and low six figures to me personally. This will pay off all of my debt except my mortgage and the remains of my student loans, and leave me enough to set up the infrastructure for a firm for about a year. That debt was partially the result of striking out too early in my career, with the wrong partners.

When this money comes through, I will be faced with the decision:

1. Strike out on my own and start taking home a huge chunk of the cases I take;

2. Continue on in my low salary, low percentage, high responsibility gig until the owners of my firm basically die. Which may be a while.

My previous experience has me pretty gun shy, but I feel good about the potential setup in the firm I'd be starting up. I'd be setting my own hours, days, work time, etc and the quality of life issue would be insanely better. Still, there's something about a steady paycheck. Nice to have.

Screw the particulars. The best thing I ever did was go out on my own.

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So. Looks like I'm at a crossroads again.

I have two sizeable cases coming down the pike right now, one of which will result in a payout to the client of mid-high six figures and low six figures to me personally. This will pay off all of my debt except my mortgage and the remains of my student loans, and leave me enough to set up the infrastructure for a firm for about a year. That debt was partially the result of striking out too early in my career, with the wrong partners.

When this money comes through, I will be faced with the decision:

1. Strike out on my own and start taking home a huge chunk of the cases I take;

2. Continue on in my low salary, low percentage, high responsibility gig until the owners of my firm basically die. Which may be a while.

My previous experience has me pretty gun shy, but I feel good about the potential setup in the firm I'd be starting up. I'd be setting my own hours, days, work time, etc and the quality of life issue would be insanely better. Still, there's something about a steady paycheck. Nice to have.

Screw the particulars. The best thing I ever did was go out on my own.
Yeah. Got a wife who makes very little and a lifestyle to maintain, but I still think I have to. Thanks.
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I admire you guys that have the balls to hang your own shingle. It seems to have worked out great for Christo and for Thorn. Go for it, Henry. I have 100% confidence that you could be wildly successful with it.

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I play remarkably well with others. Friends with everyone at the old firm except for one wingnut who took it personally. Just came down to a numbers game and the old firm's outdated model. You worked as an associate for seven years. If the last five of those years, you brought in at least three times your salary, and you were likeable, you made partner. Fine.

But you made junior partner with a twelve-year track to full partner. I graduated law school at 34. Once the twelve-year thing was revealed to me, partnership made no sense. It's not like I was going to get more connected once I was 52 or whatever. Plus I was bringing in more like four to five times my salary.

They asked if there was anything they could do to get me to stay, I said you need to ramp up partnership for someone like me who comes in older, more connected, and has made their own book. They met and said the consensus was we all had to wait, so do you. Aloha on the steel guitar...

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Firms and even practice areas can differ. I think transactional types tend to bill more than litigators. When I was at Covington (who didn't no offer their class even in the great law firm recession) the average junior associate billed 1600 hours according to one presentation I attended. The firm was taking a bath on us in the hope that it would help them ramp up quicker when more work came around.

:no:

From what I've seen, it's always been easier for litigators to pile up more hours than transactional attorneys. Just the fact that you can slap on all of that travel time is a huge advantage.

Finalizing an Offering Memo or Prospectus is an hours bonanza. In my shop transaction attorneys usually average about 300 more hours per year. Of course I work at a very transactional focussed shop. Lastly, M&A is the suck.

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FWIW, the biggest impetus for starting my firm was the fact that getting control in my old firm job was going to take a very long time, and I was not/am not a youngster. Making their salary for another decade vs. earning the net of my revenue less expenses for the next decade made it an easy choice. I'm sure the other path would be more secure and would eventually provide an excellent income, but I couldn't justify waiting that long. Do you have a solid idea of how long it would be before they turned over the keys? And, incidentally, do you know what they expect to be paid after they exit?

It's only over the last year or two that it's become clear to me that they intend to have me take over when they bail. Could be five years, could be ten - I'm also no spring chicken.

The problem is client development. I'm terrible at it, particularly with one-off clients like I get in my business. Sure, I do a really good job for my clients, but very few people fracture multiple vertebrae on a bluewater vessel twice or have their kids improperly taken by social services twice. Every client I've sent out of the office after representation would recommend me to people, and most cry and hug me on the way out while thanking me. People warm up to me. But most of them are horribly disabled or crazy, so they don't come into contact with huge numbers of people who may need my services. My current situation gives me percentages of the cases I actually bring in, but other than than I'm working for my awful salary.

The potential partner is a very good, mostly transactional lawyer who is amazing at getting clients in the door. I'm a very, very good litigator who is abysmal at getting clients in the door.

No idea what they'd expect to get paid, but it would be based on a diminishing percentage of revenue from cases left behind or I wouldn't accept it.

This seems like an odd thing to treat as a permanent trait. I'm sure that getting contingent fee clients is tougher than transactional clients, but are you saying you're bad at it, even among others who do your type of work? How are others getting these clients? Shouldn't you spend some time and effort figuring out how to improve, especially if this is one of your major hang-ups to going out on your own?

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