Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceCareers & EmploymentLaw & Legal · 1 decade ago

How difficult would it be to start a law firm?

I will be graduating in the spring of 2011 with two degrees in International Business and Finance/Economics; also, I will have a minor in Spanish. I have always had the intention of going to law school; however, I have found myself questioning what I would like to do after, God-willing, I graduate from law school and pass the bar. I plan to move back home which is a town of nearly 40,000 people to start my own law firm. I have held different internships and made multiple connections with different lawyers/judges in that area. Furthermore, I have been wondering if it would be wiser to simply work for one of these lawyers, with whom I have already built a relationship or try to hop on board with a larger law firm in a nearby city. While I prefer to fancy myself as an entrepreneur, I have been questioning myself as to whether or not the benefits outweigh the difficulties. While boasting is not exactly my forte, I do understand the concept of "busting ***" and I have maintained a 3.93 GPA throughout my Undergraduate career, thus far. Another obstacle I have found myself unable to hurdle is the fact l will most likely not be well-capitalized after law school--and this may present a problem considering there is a significant amount of overhead involved in starting any business.

Another concern I have been having, which may seem, chronologically, backwards, is whether or not attending an elite law school is absolutely essential. Now, don't get me wrong, but I just do not see the purpose of drowning myself in tens-of-thousands of dollars of debt just to get out of law school and hang my own shingle. I could, potentially, attend my home state university's law school for a considerable amount less than, say, a nearby private school. Also, if I were to attend my state school, I would still be a viable candidate for one of the law firms in which I have previously interned--or any other law firm in my hometown, for that matter.

And, lastly, I have been mulling another option over in my mind for a few weeks now, and I would like to get some feedback. I have been considering working full-time, since both of my degrees and minor are very marketable in the general workforce, and taking law school part-time. This would allow me to earn some sort of capital which I could invest in a 2-3 year CD while I was in school, and then invest in my law firm after I pass the bar. However, I would be finishing an entire semester behind my fellow peers. Also, I fully understand the stress involved with such a heavy workload, but, once again, I fully understand the concept of "busting ***." You get no where in life by idling lethargically.

I understand that this is hardly a question, and I apologize for that. However, any feedback would be greatly appreciated, as I am sincerely torn at this juncture in my life. Thanks, and cheers!

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You obviously haven't been keeping up with the current trends in the field of Law. There are no jobs in this vocational field. Reread previous-poster "CatLaw" - she knows what she is talking about.

    Choosing a career is one of life's most important decisions.

    The legal profession is dramatically changing and is in CRISIS!!! Every year, more and more people graduate from law school, but there are fewer and fewer jobs. Even the largest and most reputable law firms are experiencing unprecedented cutbacks. I don't expect the situation to improve in the coming years.....

    Be aware of what you are proposing on getting yourself into. Please do more research first. Reminder: We are in a World-wide Recession. Consider career paths that have available JOBS.<<<<<

    Warning> Jobs in the field of Law are drying up fast!! >>>This is just not a good field to invest time and/or money into.<<< This is a SHRINKING, crumbling, and dying vocational field. Many reasons. We now have computers. So, many people today (mistakenly) think they can do their own legal work, thanks to the Internet. Also, there are a lot of companies out there making very efficient legal software for the field of Law. Today's graduating lawyers tend to be very computer savvy, so they just do the work themselves to save themselves the cost of overhead. Also, the "Public" buys this legal software in order to get legal work done without the cost of an Attorney. Also, we simply already have way too many Legal Professionals - we have an absolute glut!! ("Legal Professionals" includes, but is not limited to: Attorneys/Lawyers, Paralegals, Legal Assistants, Legal Secretaries, Bailiffs, Court Reporters, etc, etc)

    Sites like have taken away work that many small-time attorneys/lawyers would do.

    The field of Law has a mystique that actually exceeds reality. The field of Law is an overrated career - mostly by television. There are many myths regarding the field of Law: working as a Lawyer is mentally challenging (Actually, most work as an attorney involves routine paperwork: research, cite checking, drafting documents, and document review. Attorneys need to write down and track every activity they do, all day long [in 6 to 15 minutes increments, depending on the billing system] - a painstaking but necessary task), being an attorney is thrilling, high-powered, and glamorous (remember: television is fiction - the fictional lawyers on TV are ACTORS - the majority of work that an attorney does, does not happen in a courtroom), law students think that because they are good at arguing they will become great attorneys (actually being a great attorney is more in one's ability to mediate between differing sides and bringing them to agreement), as a lawyer I can correct injustices (actually legal decisions are more about reaching compromises than about right vs. wrong), guaranteed financial success (actually when salaries are compared, you also need to account for cost-of living expenses [most large law firms are in large cities - the bigger the city, the more cost-of-living expenses will be], payment of debts accrued while attending law school, and time needed to build a client base. Many large law firms require lawyers to work 60-80 hours per week.).

    Cost of law school to be lawyer, approx $150,000+.

    Be prepared to take on a LOT of debt, if becoming an attorney is your ultimate goal.<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    There are no jobs in this vocational field. My family, coworkers, friends, acqaintances, etc. have been laid off left and right in this vocational field.

    Employers (usually law firms) in the field of Law today want employees with degrees from traditional colleges/universities. Those "certificates" you see advertised aren't worth the paper they are printed on - they are generally scams. (I found this out the hard way.) Also, the law school's program needs to be accredited by the American Bar Association - if it isn't, you are just wasting your time/money.

    Even if you finish law school, you won't be able to find a job when you are done. Since this vocational field is shrinking, many new attorneys/lawyers are, themselves, having to work "down" as Paralegals, Legal Assistants, Legal Secretaries, Bailiffs, Court Reporters, etc, etc, to simply try to keep some of their bills paid <<this would be your competition. And the competition is fierce!!

    Now... the law schools know this, but they won't tell you the truth >that the job market/economy is just SATURATED with way too many Legal Professionals. Instead the schools will feed you a fairytale and will LIE to you. The root of the problem is we have too many law schools. We are in a recession, and the schools are fighting for their own survival - they will tell students anything to get to the students' money. (Which is why they won't tell you the truth about the job market for the field of Law.) And these schools continue to recruit and churn out even more graduates.............Remember: law schools are BUSINESSES - their top concern is making money for themselves.

    >>>>>I cannot warn you about this enough!!>>>You especially have to beware of the bogus, inflated law school salary/job stats given out by law schools!!!*****<<<<<

    If you don't believe me, then just do a SEARCH here on Yahoo Answers to see what other posters are saying about the current status of the field of Law. Call some local law firms - ask to speak to the Manager of Human Resources - ask them if they are hiring; ask them what they think about job availability in the field of Law..................

    In the book "So You Want to be a Lawyer?" by Marianne Calabrese and Susanne Calabrese (ISBN 0-88391-136-1): "The United States has more lawyers than any other country in the world. About 38,000 students graduate >each year< from the 200+ law schools in the United States. The competition is very keen for jobs and clients." - Even Associate Justice Antonin Scalia (who served on the U.s. Supreme Court for more than 20 years) says there are too many lawyers. (9/14/2008)

    Check out these websites:

    (A link to a website does not constitute endorsement.)

    If you want a job when you are done with your studies, consider and look into the fields of: >>>Healthcare, Information Technology, Law ENFORCEMENT, environmentalism, emergency planning, accounting, education, entertainment, utilities, home-car-commercial-industrial repairs, vice industries, clergy, and/or debt collection! I spoke to a career counselor from Jobs and Family Services, and HE told me that these areas are where the jobs are, and future job opportunities/availability! and scholarships!

    Good luck.

    (This is based on my current knowledge, information, belief, and life experiences. This was intended as personal opinion, and not intended to be used as legal advice. Please be careful and do your research.)

    Source(s): life have actually worked in the field of Law for twelve years also actually am an employee of a law school, so I KNOW and see (too much?!?) don't have time to watch those TV law shows - the couple that I did watch weren't realistic, at all TV glamorizes the field of Law - do your research first! - the field of Law is actually a lot of paperwork and politics - and law school is VERY expensive, so know what you are getting into wish someone would have warned ME sooner so now I TRY to warn and help others (that actually want to know, will listen and not get defensive) I am simply tired of watching students getting ripped off by law schools so many students have come to me- upset because they could not find employment- I am just trying to warn as many as I can, and trying to fulfill a promise
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  • CatLaw
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    In most US states a person who does not hold a law license cannot own a law firm. So, until you go to law school, take and pass the bar exam in that state you cannot own the firm. For many law school graduates, opening up their own firm or solo practice is the ONLY way to work as an attorney because jobs are so scarce.

    Right now the legal community is having major lay offs, salaries are dropping, and many recent law school grads are stuck with 6-figure student loans but no job. The American Bar Assoc did a survey last year and found that the average attorney salary is in the $40,000. For many years law schools have accepted and graduated many, many more people that the profession needed -- so now the legal profession is full.

    If you are able to get a good job with your current education and skills, good for you. In this recession it is tough for everyone to get work, no matter how well educated or experienced. As for going to law school part time, most law firms consider a student who works hard 8 hours a day, then goes to law school for 4 hours, then stays up for another 4 hours studying as "not dedicated to the legal profession".

    Source(s): Illinois attorney
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

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  • Cindy
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Just make sure you have the capital to venture out on your own.

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