Question: I am trying to help my husband make the right decision. He was let go from his firm last week. Come to find out he was pretty much brought in to "back up" (turned out to be more like undermine) a partner who didn't want to be backed up.

Anyway, he's in tax and T&E, small firm background (two firms with top lawyers), 15 years of experience and only $70,000 in portables. As you can imagine, the firms either want someone with a lot less experience or a lot more business.

This past weekend, we talked about his options. I asked him where he wants to be in 5 years and he said he wants to be in a small firm bringing in about $200,000. I then asked how does he get there from here and his answer was to go out on his own. He is confident that he can make it work. He is developing a good referral base – accountants, other lawyers, and financial planners.

In your opinion, is this a smart move?

Making a big change like starting your own practice requires careful consideration.


I don't think my opinion really matters at this point. He doesn't have a job right now and based on what you have told us, it doesn't sound like he has any offers in the making. What matters is how your husband keeps his practice going and manages to hang on to his current business, meager though it may be. $70,000 in portable business is not enough to make your husband an attractive candidate to other law firms but if he stays unemployed for a period of time, he will probably lose those clients, and then where will he be?