Three years ago, before the bottom fell out of big law, I offered one of my most successful free teleseminars ever, From Big Law to Your Law. Back at the end of 2008, most folks thought that the downturn (just 1742 layoffs) was just another market correction of the variety we’d seen in the early ’90s. So most of those at Big Law were interested in solo practice more as a lifestyle change than anything else.
But flash forward to the end of 2011, and now, we know that 2008 was just the tip of the iceberg. A few months later, mass layoffs would start, firms deferred associate start dates and cut back hiring for summer programs. That hasn’t changed.
Nor, has Big Law changed its ways significantly. Sure, it’s corrected salaries, but firms continue to bill by the hour and raised rates the second the market showed recovery. Apparently, firms still don’t get that the economy wasn’t the reason that big corporate clients balked about fees; it was merely a catalyst for the discontent that had been brewing all along.
At the same time, the economy also focused more law firm associates and junior partners on business development. Many large firm lawyers who before the downturn might not have thought to start building business (I know, sounds crazy) are doing so now – but finding that the types of clients they’re attracting don’t have the budget for firms with a $200,000 cover charge. It’s this group of lawyers who are now looking to go solo.
The growing big-law to your law trend is corroborate by mainstream news stories like this one. I’ve heard the same story from conversations with LPM advisors who identify the big firm partners – and not unemployed grads – as the largest demographic of lawyers coming to them for advice on starting a practice.
So with this as backstory, plus, with the release of the second edition of Solo by Choice and the Solo By Choice Companion Guide, now seemed like a great time to reprise my 2008 seminar. Because I’m expecting a big turn out, I’ve set up the event as a teleconference. I’ll distribute handouts in advance. I’ve also set the call for 9 pm ET for those who would rather not watch at the office. Even if you can’t make it, please sign up so you can receive the recording. By the way, whether you work at big law or not, you’re welcome on the call – but I will discuss some of the considerations unique to starting a firm out of big law such as competing and working with AmLaw 200 firms or attracting larger clients. These points are useful for anyone, but typically are not covered in more general solo start up calls and they do demand different skill sets.
Even if you don’t sign up, you can download my 2008 ebook on BigLaw to Your Law for free here .
Information is below:
From Big Law to Your Law: A Reprisal
Summary of Topics:
- Should I make the move from big law to my own firm? Why?
- How does starting a firm compare to other flexible options like Virtual Law Partners, FSB Legal or Axiom Legal?
- Should I start a firm on my own or team up with my big law colleagues?
- Can I solicit my former firm’s clients?
- What if I want to handle consumer-based matters? How do I generate the skill set?
- My former firm had expensive office space, marketing staff and tech? How can I afford those amenities?
- Can I have a 100 percent virtual law firm?
- What are some niche markets for a big firm lawyer to develop?
- What about the “outsourced in house counsel arrangements?” Are those viable?
- My firm billed by the hour. How do I get away from that?
- How can I find clients?
- Can it really be done? Or do you just want to promote your website and book?
If you have other questions you’d like addressed, please email them to me or post them in the comments below.
DATE: Thursday, December 15, 2011
TIME: 9 pm Eastern Time (6 pm Pacific Time)
Register Here (note – You don’t have to include your name but PLEASE use a valid email so that we can provide you with information about the call or changes)