Monday, March 18, 2013

Trial and Error

Been working on a side project and also have been helping my dad out with his business. In the meantime I've been listening to the calls to "go solo." I know there is a terrible attorney glut out there but I am a member of an extensive ethnic community so there may be some potential. You never know right? At this point I'm open to giving it a shot. One thing is for sure I'm not going back to law firm employment.

I went to the bank the other day and the manager told me that her friend needed an attorney to review a lease agreement. This was late friday afternoon. My dumbass decided to wait to call this lady on Monday as I didn't want to disturb her on the weekend.

Monday morning I call this lady and we set an appointment for 6:00 p.m at a local coffee shop. A few minutes after I get there she informs me that she contacted another attorney because I never got to her over the weekend oops! She provides me a copy of the lease agreement (10 pages long, pretty standard form) and I review it. Mind you I have no experience with commercial leases so I spent a few hours researching the key points beforehand. Lo and behold I caught something that was weak (very little language on the security deposit section). I informed her of this and she looked concerned. At that point I again reiterated that my rate is usually $150 but that I'd charge her my friends and family $125 hourly rate (LOL). She told me that she would contact me after her subsequent meeting (never did boohoo).

So I lost the lead due to my inaction. Lesson learned: get to the leads ASAP. However, I am happy that I attempted to take on the case. Three years ago I would have been so intimidated to take on even a simply commercial lease review and client advisory letter. Now, that it's basically do or die for me in the legal profession I'm like "fuck it, I'll give it my best." Interestingly enough, just a few hours of online research led me to sufficient tools to spot a few deficiencies in the lease.

I'll be passing out business cards to friends, family and the random people I meet. I also have a marketing plan I'm going to launch in the coming weeks. I'll keep everyone updated on the situation. At this point it's either solo practice or entering another field completely. At this point I really have nothing else to lose but time. I'm sure a year will be sufficient to determine whether or not it's worth it to pursue solo practice.

 

9 comments:

  1. C-. The lesson is always sign the viable client. Ecverything else can be subcontracted to cannon-fodder.

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  2. Finders, Minders, and Grinders. I think you know who takes home the cake, the scraps, and the crumbs.

    ReplyDelete
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kZg_ALxEz0

    "Get them to sign on the line which dotted".

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  4. It's great that you learned that lesson early about following up on leads right away. That's probably half the battle as a solo. I'm glad you're exploring it. Good luck and let us know how it goes, please!

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  5. You will find that many clients don't want to actually pay you. Getting people to pay for legal services is like pulling teeth.

    That is why I think your efforts are always better placed in running any other business. Once you have that client base in any business outside of law it's easy to provide them other related services. Since in other businesses you also have repeatable services you also become more efficient over time.

    Also no ethics board, CLEs, etc. In order to be a successful solo you need to be a great businessman. But most lawyers are terrible businessmen. And good businessmen generally understand why law is a poor business model, so they don't do it.

    So for now I think it's fine to run your solo practice, but just try and look for other opportunities at the same time. And when something else starts taking time away from the legal practice? Just close up shop and go all in on the other opportunities.

    ReplyDelete
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  7. You're dumb. You should charge $30/hour, not $125/hour.

    More than 85% of all attorneys out there are copy-paste types.

    ReplyDelete
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