[00:00:00] Depending on where you are. People, really do consider starting running law firms. And, and there's a lot of good reasons to do a lot of good reasons to not to. and it's actually done successfully or something. Absolutely. uniquely positioned to talk about it.
[00:00:17] And also I speak with the fraternities almost on a daily basis. I can hopefully provide you.
[00:00:25]no one of the things that a lot of people don't understand it, and it is very important to put it into context. when you get
[00:00:33]it's a professionalized, it gives you the right to practice spot, which only . So it's almost like in a business, some businesses required licenses and pricing, and it gives you the right to, practice. and it almost gives you a little bit of an anomaly. certain people can't practice that business in the area.
[00:00:56] and, and so understand that is very [00:01:00] important because you don't necessarily have so you can work for a walk. You go there. open the, business practices. I can open them up. You know that we're getting licenses. Another thing is, believe that, I've had businesses is a real kind of browse success. And I agree. some people, believe that they're going to be happiest when they have their own businesses, their own destiny, and that's something that, have your own, You mean a law firm canoe.
[00:01:31]and then it's starting to release, going to doubt if you choose to do a major impact on your career and it could lead in the direction where you're going to need successful, very happy, or actually could destroy your career and hold you back. so what I'm going to do today is I'm going to talk about the pros and cons.
[00:01:55]And give you some instructions about, the [00:02:00] idea, but also, Y you, mean, You may not want to do it because, the odds are, most small businesses that the people that open them actually fail. And you need to see if I have a skill set, or if you have that.
[00:02:14] of course it's out there and there are tens of thousands, great law firms. they all started somewhere and you can start your own law firm as well. There's nothing really it's and, the only thing understand whether or not, it's a good decision.
[00:02:33]The largest law firm in Los Angeles, which no longer exists, but, and I'll just shoot. and, I really didn't like working in a law firm, at least, I, saw politics, I believe to be very hard to get ahead. I didn't, understand, how things really worked. I just didn't feel like that would be, a good long-term decision. And I had some of my clients at a time. I was [00:03:00] practicing law and, the late nineties, there was a lot of new businesses starting in Silicon Valley, had friends that had done that.
[00:03:09] And, and they were giving me business. So I was busy. and then with my work, and I realized very quickly that the Atlanta law firm, just as much money as, working for
[00:03:21]And I figured that probably give you more figure out new ways to bring in different types of work and so forth. So back then it was so long ago, it was kinda funny, but the way to get business. For law firms was not lying. It was actually by putting ads in the yellow pages. So I thought through kind of ads, I wonder Brian and I, I came up with the name of the law firm, and I pre ordered some ads for the law firm, in the internet for 750, maybe even the yellow pages.
[00:03:57] And, and I picked a date for when I was [00:04:00] leaving a law firm and, set up an office at an office. I purchased a copy or figured that out. We needed a Dell computer set to go, it was ready to start our offer. And, I already like minded the clients. I was more than confident that I could bring me in, at least $200,000 a year for these clients.
[00:04:21]and I figured that not being enough money to sustain a law firm, I also understood it that, even without that I would need additional sources of business. I wanted to have, clients coming in all the time and that's why I put the yellow pages. And, this is so long ago, it was actually more important to have a yellow, and, this little, these two ideas, I want you to start thinking like a business person I had make money. But then in addition to having business, I understood that I would need continued sources of new business to refresh. So every business needs to have. Yeah, [00:05:00] hopefully doing business, but then also a new source.
[00:05:04] So an example would be, a store that sells locally, maybe a clothing store, but then it also has a mail or component or an online site, two sources of revenue. You always need to have multiple sources of revenue coming into any business. So this is something that I understood. I had a business before, and I saw the business.
[00:05:26]some of the business understanding that it was the way I thought, so he knows my firm, I went home and I decided that I started this in January, early January. And, and so I came back to my law firm in early January after Christmas break. And I. I said, I sent around, an email telling everyone that I was leaving and, and no one responded, for two weeks notice and everyone acted nothing had, it was really happy.
[00:05:57] And, and then the Thursday [00:06:00] before the Friday, so one day four, o'clock the managing partner. the first office team, my office, and he said something other than that, never forget that you should also remember. He said, if you leave here and start your own practice, you're gonna have a next to impossible time getting a job in a large law firm I've ever been.
[00:06:17] And if you're not happy here, you should speak to some other law firms and then take few months to decide if this is really what you want to do. That's what he said. so incredibly, the law firm, said, to try to take few months to figure out what I want to do and, and to continue to develop, working.
[00:06:37]and the first thing that they did, the legal recruiters are calling who I hired, which was pretty funny, but six months later, but, they had a recruiter call me and I started going out on 'em. In your interviews, while it was also doing the work. And, and I started speaking, with clients that were calling up, and having questions, legal services [00:07:00] side, call them, meet with them in my other office after hours.
[00:07:04] And I get off work at six or so, and I drive me to keep eating at the office. And then I had new clients very quickly. Got I got it. law school Dean of a major university Angeles, he had, gave me a $10,000 retainer. and he had an unusual circumstance where he could only at the black ones and then had a baby together.
[00:07:27] And I just, they lived together and the daughters to kind of seven or eight. I had, a guy that was local in the city I was living in, who was 18, was pulled over. I switched the math and, can I ask you to refer me to another tape, another attorney, if you can believe it in the other attorneys, 75 and their dollars.
[00:07:47]I had a married woman with multiple boyfriends, three children. I wanted a divorce. I had a man who was fired job. I'm a veterinarian hospital, and, for sexual harasser who sued [00:08:00] the hospital for sexual harassment and then the hospital accused him of sexually abusing animals. And then, I had another woman claimed that he chose four, her four-year-old child to punish him, and then the teacher admitted to doing it.
[00:08:12] And, it was just shut up. somebody takes a walk in and the people that I met it was. It was, I was much younger at the time and it was ashamed to admit that it was, it was entertaining, but, some case, sad and, I thought these matters are interesting.
[00:08:29] I just, I didn't really, it wasn't something I felt like that I wanted to participate in the longterm. but the reality, running a law firm like that, though, it was, these things just walked in, from the LPs and, and a lot of the
[00:08:45] for the law school Dean,
[00:08:47]the kid who's, the Cardinal, but I just thought that a lot of people, I didn't like the. the side that like people have seen, and so during this period of contemplation and while I was interviewing [00:09:00] with the clients so forth and pushing these cases along, I, I became more and more interested in, doing something else.
[00:09:06] I would go out and interview law firms. And then I was seeing kind of one aspect, which was the attorneys inside of the law firms. And then I was also seeing, what would it be like to have my own practice and. and it's just, none of that other stuff was appealed to me. It didn't appeal to me to have these kind of small clients and within the mix of large clients, it just wasn't, it wasn't interesting enough to me.
[00:09:29] It didn't, it wasn't something that was appealing to me. And during the same time, I was talking to recruiters who were sending out all these interviews and it was, I wanted to be clear with you that I was getting a lot of interviews just because it was very good at leading the market at the time.
[00:09:43] It wasn't. it was just the world was booming and it was prior to the.com explosion. it's doing very well. So that was going on interviews like almost every day, talking to the recruiters and they seem to be the ones that are having the most fun enjoying themselves. they just seem very happy.
[00:09:59] I enjoy [00:10:00] talking to them about the business. they, I was talking to, they didn't seem happy that the matters I was dealing with it, they didn't seem happy. and I just, I, I just, for some reason I just started gravitating towards, the sleep pruning placement, and it just seemed much more interesting to me.
[00:10:16]then it happened in my own law practice and I, I started researching it and myself and seeing what was being done wrong. And I became very interested in that. And I want to say too, that a lot of attorneys, ended up. In, joining businesses or starting businesses when the things that they're exposed to with their clients.
[00:10:38] And that's something that might've happened to me in the long run too. this is hot topic. it just comes, all the time, about people also want them to start, there are law firms and, and and work out. And in my case,
[00:10:51]I'm a hundred percent positive. It wouldn't have worked out, but it often does work out and I'm going to talk to you about why it doesn't [00:11:00] and I'm not going to talk to you about, whether or not you should do it. And that's something that, you really want to think about. the big thing I think, is that, I actually, Never have left the practice.
[00:11:13] So off for the most part, any time after, starting my, legal placement from you CG and some other companies, but related to that placement, I actually, did start a law firm to handle matters with the companies. And, and then, and then sometimes I would handle matters.
[00:11:29] I would say people in businesses just cause I was interested in it to see what was going on. I wouldn't be too bothered the working for me, they did it, but at the same time, it was something that I worked on and, the law firm, it was always been moderately successful, because the clients, are, the company.
[00:11:48] So there's captive clients. they honestly, the legal fees are paid or not, a lot or anything like that. I know, I live in a fairly small town, where there are only my law firms, so there's a lot about people [00:12:00] in the town and, and, and I also know how to recruit, attorneys to do the work.
[00:12:04]but the idea is, building a client base, knew how to recruit attorneys and was in a market with a lot of, without a lot of competition. Wouldn't the law firm wouldn't really. Being offered around at all. and I personally don't put any time into it, but I should. So it's not what I would say.
[00:12:23]a successful law firm by any stretch of imagination, but I know what it would take to make it a successful. And, and one thing that you also need to think about if you're starting a business, any type of this, every business needs, some special advantage and selling points to succeed, what do you do that you're.
[00:12:40]your clients need that your clients can't. Do you have any set of special skills or special? it's not enough to have a bond. We'll go to law school. It's not enough to, be good at one thing or not another, you need to have something, that you can Mark it, then it makes you unique because it could be that you're from a small town or you're from a certain area, or, [00:13:00] your parents are, very involved in the government and it could be all sorts of things, but you need to have some sort of special selling point.
[00:13:07] And then the other thing is you need to have a pipeline of matters consistently coming into your firms. So you need to have, the ability to, constantly have, new matters coming in. and that's very important because if you don't have, work coming in, then you don't have anything.
[00:13:23] And, you can't just expect people to come to you. And because you're an attorney, it used to be that way. maybe, a long time ago, but for the most part, you need to have. lots of things, coming in, all the time and it's very important. so here are the top 10 reasons, that that I believe, you should start your own law firms, some of the advantages of doing so.
[00:13:44] And, and I'll go through these and then after I've gone through these reasons, Also talk about, the reasons you probably, you might not want to, so you can evaluate things, based on that. but the first reason to start your own offer would be, if you [00:14:00] have a group of clients who will go with you and trust and you trust them to give you the work, or you believe that your former.
[00:14:07] A law firm or corporation or wherever you've worked in the past, we'll give you work. And, many law attorneys leave law firms, bleeding, that they have very close relationships with certain clients. And, if they leave the law firm, those clients will continue to give them work. And, in some cases you may have worked for a client for a long time.
[00:14:28] And, and so you may believe that the client will follow you. And, and there's some truth to that. I know many patent attorneys who ha who do work for large clients and various industries and, they do, they're very good at what they do. It could be a special skill, molecular biology or something.
[00:14:46]and, if the attorney leaves the firm and they've been doing all the patents for that attorney for that company and the companies are happy with them, then the company is likely to continue to give them work. And, the client may like the attorney and [00:15:00] appreciate their sophistication and be interested in, continuing to work, whether or not the person who's a solo practitioner.
[00:15:05]and so that happens, and I know blossom attorneys that have left, that are patent attorneys and real estate attorneys and other practice areas. corporate is another one. one case I saw, it was funny. the law firm no longer in existence, but I saw the general concept of healthcare company leave.
[00:15:21]The company. And then he started his own law firm and, built it up to over 50 attorneys. I do more for the healthcare company and it actually, it was very successful for him for awhile. And then, and then the health care company decided that the attorney was over a billing number or something. the firm, and then the entire law firm went out of business, almost overnight.
[00:15:41] Because this was the only decline. So you need to be very careful if you're going to leave the law firm, decide whether or not I follow you and give you work. you need to be really make sure you have good relationship with that attorney client. And then really you have to deal with multiple clients.
[00:15:59][00:16:00] a large law firm clients. keep in mind. you may be able to do that some mine, but it's not going to be easy. really with the work done, it's not necessarily sustaining, the can happen. Another thing that happens is. and , so there's just a lot of barriers out there that when people leave and set up practices to send, those attorneys work consistently. if you're a performer, time, you can be in very good shape and, and happens a lot. if you have a good relationship with your firm, when you leave that and, they may send you a lot of work and I've seen firms in Los Angeles that are pretty much, started dying, 100 people from and from
[00:16:48]of course. So if you can maintain a good relationship with your firm, And the people there and they really liked
[00:16:55]or, they couldn't give you a big
[00:16:58]That can be [00:17:00] very helpful. So I just, attorneys, I left, larger blockers and, he did some good and, sometimes . because they just don't have room for more markers or, the it's very difficult. So you have good terms, then they often feed them in the
[00:17:19]build up a large law firm
[00:17:22]and a lot of the major American law firms, got started, by. one or two attorneys that were associates here,
[00:17:30]of client that, that, you know, the only thing that, law firms work, they feel like in a bad experience from river and stuff, a lot of times. New law firms to follow into, give your clients a bad experience and that kind of corporate charge and all sorts of things, which we'll talk a little bit about, and be able to get their former company to feed him the work, and that can happen in, the company [00:18:00] may want to know. keep giving me the attorney because they understand the company and, and that can be extremely helpful. the company extremely expensive, but the problem that often happens though, is, the company will, offend them, attorneys out the room practice, and they're paying their rent.
[00:18:18]They may not continue to send anymore, but you know that if it does happen and, you can make money, but this is type of stuff. council, can change very quickly because especially the companies that can vary in terms of, so there's another thing that could be helpful is if you have support from a group, You know of other attorneys that, trust.
[00:18:41]many attorneys, lots of legal law firms with, I had several offers from people that leave even after they started doing and worked together for any length of time. they often come up with squeezes and then it's, it can [00:19:00] be a very good thing to have a bath, which I'll talk about later, but, various skills. one attorney, maybe sessional businesses and, managing financial matters. And then, another group attorneys may have a reputation for, doing very good work, and they may be focused on that. And then another attorney may have good interpersonal skills that are you using for recruiting. I know lots of firms and other attorneys where
[00:19:28]and then they have a group of workers get the work done, How, recruited other
[00:19:34]that's often a good way because you can get together and, work together. And, and this can actually work much better than a solo practitioner, many times, because the ideas are coming together, to grow a business. And each one has well-defined. Our responsibility to make it through efficiently now, per shift, by the way, often break up and there's
[00:19:59][00:20:00] they can very difficult, but, if you want to scale something a lot or people, and, and when you leave firms, they. if they, partners with work together for a long while when they're leaving, an, leading, they love to have, to succeed. And that can be very useful because it's going to be much more comfortable to sending work to a group of four, 10 attorneys inside of the law firm. They previously. they may have been in
[00:20:31]or and, much bigger clients. another thing is, that, if you have a range, or really something that I've seen, drove many of the most successful. from the country that started is going to help people like that. that could be, very talkative as well.
[00:20:52]And another thing, that can be a good reason to start your own law firm is if you're in your specialty, [00:21:00] meaning, you have a very rare skill or something that's fairly rare. And, you're confident that. you get this, you're gonna keep getting businesses from various types of clients.
[00:21:12] So some of the practices are Pat real estate, some types of corporate benefits, and maybe if you're a pallet, for example, you may be an expert in certain types of microwave frequencies, you'd have certain classes, drugs, or some kind of exotic. electronic device. a lot of people that have that experience and mean there's some patents or, there's just very few people in the country that work, other than, may know how to do a search for example, or set up certain types of corporations or do other corporate transactions or no.
[00:21:52]different types of clients may do certain types of and, so if an attorney has several years of experience or practice area, [00:22:00] in certain clients where the odds are always good at, one or more of those clients may follow the attorney if they leave, because it's just too difficult to find people that do the work and. I've seen lots of attorneys, succeed women, when they have this kind of very specific, narrow skillsets and, and, many times someone's do succeed.
[00:22:22] The most are non-contentious practices. I don't know why it is tends to be, transactional type of work. And then it's very difficult to find people to do it. but that's been my experience, but that's not always. the case. and then, for liquidation many times to people that do well, or, I've seen her people that do employment related work, but regardless of what the work you do, you need to have a very well-defined skill and, and this work, you need to be specialized in a way that, work is going to constantly send away and you're going to be the absolute best, [00:23:00] alternative for the company.
[00:23:01] And, usually it's just something that, you know, and, and the idea is from the company standpoint is having you work on stuff that you will understand very well, saves them a lot of work in terms of, getting someone else up to speed. they may have other problems too, for different types of attorneys to doing the work in the past.
[00:23:21] And that can really relate as well. trusting, what you're doing that can help. another thing is, and this was one reason that, that I think I was able to be so confident to turnaround practices. If you have substantial experience and you're receiving this to make something else, you you understand the business and, you'll know what it is going to take to succeed. You can, you'll be very confident, will succeed. some people just have natural skills or have learned this at a very young age tonight. from the time I was nine years old, I was saying I was 11.
[00:23:56] So I got a paper route, and, not a lot of [00:24:00] business skills, but, but I learned business from a very young age. I was always doing training things, get any clients, whether it was when I was younger, selling Christmas cards, all sorts of things that I did to make myself, much more to learn how to, and, and then when I was younger most, in the spare time and it just had an overall drive to succeed, it was something that.
[00:24:28] You don't appeal to me. You have to look at what appeals to you. if this is cute, any one of you have, no, a law firm, if you understand business, it definitely helped you quite a bit. And, a lot of times women attorneys succeed when they start their own business, they really look at it as a business.
[00:24:47] And, and if you can look at your business as a business, you might do very well. and I hate to say this and I really dislike saying this, but your business skills may actually be more [00:25:00] effective. and in terms of how you see then your leaked skills or where you went to law school, or, your legal training, sometimes getting businesses.
[00:25:08] Isn't the most important fact, my, Career. I run across people all the time. I ran across someone, not to even a couple of weeks ago that had a giant personal injury firm. just a huge thing. And, with their own firm and then as a person, did it right out of law school.
[00:25:24]so they even, you can start to see practicing law very easily. you can, if you. you can start out a very good business. And, and the reason is because most attorneys don't have my time and, an officer for the wrong reasons. most attorneys believe that, practicing law, and when you run your own practice, it's really about understanding how to get business, how to keep business and how to keep clients happy, all that sort of thing.
[00:25:50]the attorneys start from . they may want to have the freedom and independence and that's much different than, or they may want to. I don't know. [00:26:00] they just, having a good leading lines, not make you a good person. So you have to think about how do I get clients?
[00:26:07] How do I do this? How do we do that? Most of the attorneys, by the way, regardless of the stage you're in, you should be reading a lot of business books, learning how to bring in business and customer service books and things like that, because that's going to make you get more work and it's going to make you make clients happier.
[00:26:25] It'll make you much tighter. if you want to start your own practice, you're basically saying I want to start a business. If you want to start a business, you need to learn how to run a business, just because you're an attorney and you're not a business person. The most successful attorneys are the ones that we know, things like business practices, the next thing, another small town and you'll be one of the only attorneys in the town.
[00:26:49] And when I say small town, the first, a nice turn in a town of maybe 10, 12,000 people, outside of Los Angeles town called San Marino, California. which actually, [00:27:00] because I lived in the town, people like their town, they would come do work with me. So you can be in a major market. you can be even a part of Brooklyn, probably, and have your own law firm.
[00:27:12]and the law firm that I have and, Malibu became moderately successful just because. there, weren't a lot of options for people that want to know a local. The people would just walk in and, with various types of work and, and people would, you don't have money to spend on legal services.
[00:27:27] And but in reality, the people that are that have, yeah, they're going to drive to LA or what, West Los Angeles legal issues, and they're not, I'm gonna use a small law firm, but. nevertheless, you have a geographic advantage if you work in a small market in terms of bringing the business and, so you should always, think about, where you're going to bring them to set up your practice and the better off you're going to be much better off if you set up your practice and, and a smaller market, where, people are going to need you where you're going to start.
[00:27:59][00:28:00] relationships, local business people and, local, families and, and really settling in that way, because we knew that we were going to be, you're going to, there's not going to be a lot of people like you, and that's going to be, very helpful, to, for you as well.
[00:28:13]so if you can do that, it's really one of the smartest things you can do. if you're the only doctor in town, people need to use someone and, it's the same thing. It would be in a liar. I've had instances, a couple actually, I've had attorneys call me from small remote towns around the country.
[00:28:30]and I'm thinking right now, someone that was going to touch the community. like when I see desert Palm Springs and talking about any of the desert somewhere, where they were the only attorney in their town and the closest attorney, he was like 45 minutes away or an hour away, other attorneys.
[00:28:44]and this person had a practice. It was consistently January, couple of hundred thousand or more per year. And, And they would actually call and ask me if I could find them, someone to take over their practice. They just wanted to, they wanted to retire and, and there's people like that all over the country.
[00:28:58]if you really want to [00:29:00] practice law, then you know, you can go to small towns and small markets where the time a lot of attorneys, you can often make a very good living there as well. And, and and. you may not be able to charge as much, but you can definitely, bring in work. if you're the only option, think about it just from a business standpoint and, you can be proud and you can be very successful.
[00:29:20]one of the things is that if you're from a smaller market where people know you're going to be successful and, in larger cities, or. Aren't competitive. it's just, it can be much more difficult, because there's just a lot of attorneys competing for work. So there's certainly a lot more money and a lot more people running around, but it's also much more difficult to form relationships and all sorts of things.
[00:29:40] So if I was trying to start a practice, and, and I wanted to guarantee that I would be fairly successful and have work, I probably would have tried to go to a small town and then I would try to develop really good relationships there. And yeah. and and the nice thing about being an attorney in a smaller market is you're actually respected for being an attorney, whereas, [00:30:00] in a big market it's, no one really cares that you're an attorney or not, and, not helpful.
[00:30:04] and the other thing that I've seen people succeed, and do very well is when they have a wealthy family or friends, and they're just confident they're going to continually send them work. I've seen lots of attorneys. succeed, but I had a friends or family members that could work.
[00:30:20] So I, and in one instance that I always think about when I think about this is I received a call, a few years ago from, an attorney and, he called me and he bet he was 15 years out of law school. He was a partner in a good size firm in, Virginia or something. And, and he'd been fired and had no idea, what he was going to do.
[00:30:41] It was just basically told him that, couldn't work there anymore, even though it was his partner because he didn't have enough work. And, and he was looking for a position and, another law firm and, when I asked him if he had any work, he said, no. but he, yeah.
[00:30:53] Brother-in-law Mike has to be to accompany my son work. And, so I just watched just call your brother-in-law [00:31:00] to speak with them about that. And a few days later, he called me and told me that he didn't need any help. You might help find your job after all, because the brother-in-law was basically said, I was waiting for you to call me and ask me for, when you were going to call me and asked me if he could do work for me.
[00:31:18] So he never actually. asked him, and, and so the brother-in-law, said even sending in a million dollars a year and litigation in a law firm, and, and, his, brother-in-law should stop screwing around working for law firms instead of its own law firm.
[00:31:30] So that's what he did. And, he became very successful. and, he was bringing in more clients after a few years because he had a good client and he was just very happy. And it was his competence. if you have a wealthy family or a family with a business, or a very wealthy friends, you grew up with or something or people that can help you, then those are people that, you know, and you believe will continue to work with them off and you'll keep that mindset.
[00:31:57]if you have someone . You [00:32:00] know that's great. it's very new news. And especially with family members, close friends, now, things can go horribly wrong. Mean when you get bored, working parents and friends and stuff. But at the same time, I can be very helpful. And again, all of this stuff, just because the most important thing in law firms, having lots of work constantly and.
[00:32:23] No, it works with lifeline. no close family member or friend is going to give you work. I cannot often ensure, that you'll do well at your law firm. And, you should always try to, expand your practice beyond a client. You should have as many clients as you can. Another thing that, I think this is number seven, making sure, people , if you're a hustler and you don't really care what others think of you, you're not afraid to do in any type of work, whether they're first injury, firefighting
[00:32:54]if you're happy to that. there's nothing really to, you can do well and [00:33:00] there's people that may make lots of money to do all these things. if you really want to succeed, meaning you shouldn't really have any fear about what kind of interaction you shouldn't have, like class distinctions and distinctions about, the faculty that have work.
[00:33:17]you should, your pride, really the issue when you're building a business and you should care about what
[00:33:24] status started, for example, when, doing, and merging that position, which didn't used to be, a very prestigious practice, this area, it used to be considered or something, the only battery's dead and, And actually, and so the people that start doing were, they were Jewish and it was not, that those users would hire
[00:33:47] same with bankruptcy
[00:33:50] and then people that were hired were not. Traditionally, now that's all changed with the course, but, a lot of big law firms we've become very successful by [00:34:00] doing the sorts of work that, other people won't do. you should be thinking for yourself.
[00:34:05] you'd have to, you have, you're running a business and you're getting a business off the ground, so you shouldn't care as long as you're doing well. that's great. you should just start out, aspiring to advertise on the radio television and should have had a problem with making the videos and shorter term you need.
[00:34:22] If you want them to be successful, you're going to need to, you're going to need to do on, and you're going to need to hustle. We're going to want to get word out energy and you really should care what others think about you. if you're building a business, that's great.
[00:34:35] The best marketers out there showing that salesman and they're able, to build businesses and get stuck on the side about their business and you just have services and, you need to be, you need to be a marketer. Even the big firms have, marketing. you just need to learn how to be a marketer, get out there and do what you can to get people excited.
[00:34:56] And yeah. in my business, right now [00:35:00] I send out marketing emails and you have to do that any business, especially, , a lot of the attorneys are very a conscious others don't want to stick out. It's really something that they're passionate with.
[00:35:14] All the attorneys, it's a lot of attorneys and the majority of them, they don't want to criticize. They want to keep it low and that sort of thing. So
[00:35:23]being out there and, attracting attention course and, do I care about that? When I was younger, I did. I was a bother to people.
[00:35:33] and if you look at most successful people out there, generally we see it as they're really never afraid at all, put themselves out there and think about, all the showman comprises in United States that they're showing. you can be, you can be a very successful person.
[00:35:50] You're mean, even, jobs and other people, Steve jobs was a showman. All the most successful business people, Warren Buffett's, yeah. And anybody that [00:36:00] becomes a successful, most of the time it's the shoulders. And so they get out their cell phones and stuff, and that makes sense, very successful.
[00:36:10] So think about that. if you are nervous about doing any of that stuff, You could also change. I certainly changed. I became a much different person. I learned broad shots about a thought process and you just need to get out there and do what you can to be successful and to get people's attention.
[00:36:29] Okay. And then there's other reasons to, start going on from, and this is actually very important. psychologically for a variety of reasons, Many people just can't get along working with other groups and they may hate working with other people. many people, work out, mom.
[00:36:46]that's just how I made it up. And there's nothing wrong with that. you, maybe, some people are
[00:36:50]do extremely well, a lot of different things. there's nothing wrong with us. you may be uncomfortable taking orders, maybe uncomfortable, working in a structured [00:37:00] environment or getting along with people. that's okay. these are skills you can try to learn, but if they didn't come naturally to you and you don't think you're going to change, then who cares.
[00:37:09]If you're comfortable doing it, you don't have to like work in law. You don't have to like people, you don't have to. whatever, working in instruction environment, you don't have to like taking orders from other people. You can do whatever you want. And that's one of the benefits of practice.
[00:37:24]Law attorneys are more comfortable doing that. And that's why, initial practitioners, just don't like working with other people, but sometimes . or they get nervous or, do something in the wrong, or they're more comfortable working in a home or they're just, socially awkward. It doesn't matter whether they're
[00:37:47] there's just every possible thing. And so if you just can't handle it, there's nothing wrong with that. maybe there was a point in time when you can yeah. But, maybe you just don't like it and then that's perfectly fine. I personally used to [00:38:00] work at a huge office. I worked, when I was actually not practicing law, when I was doing legal business, I managed to have a hundred people that I was working in an office, in our company, that union.
[00:38:12] And I didn't like it. I really did. I didn't like having to be in an environment like that because there was always. drama, actually seen him much more harder to get work done under concentrate than it was, without that. and then another reason is to start your own firms is, if you just can't find a job and I, personally, there's, I've done lots of, it's a presentation about finding jobs, and an initiative to find a job, but many times people.
[00:38:39]do you want to have, don't have a gap on the resume, put down in the day, had, that they have a job and then that's perfectly fine. That's something, you can do, if you feel like you're doing a little bit, there's nothing wrong. Put it down here. have a sole practitioner or a small law firm, as long as you really do have some work to do.
[00:38:59][00:39:00] Speaking something. and it's better to have something than nothing. if you're operating solo practitioner, as a solo practitioner, it's better to look like someone is paying you for your work and then it's better to have something regimented. So I don't think there's anything wrong with, anyone, putting down their sole practitioner.
[00:39:19] That's something. to kinda, take care of a gap and as long as you're engaged and doing some work perfectly fine, but you, the idea is that know most large law firms will expect you to, or at least have, something, be doing something if they're going to hire you, so you need to have something.
[00:39:38] and then the final reason, Is if you honestly just don't care about how much money you make, you're not concerned about necessarily respect because you can get with a solo practitioner. You just, you just want to do your own firm. And, a lot of people would never consider not working in a law firm with their practicing law associated with it.
[00:39:59] And a lot of [00:40:00] people, would never, a lot of money. If you don't care about these things, then you know, then that's perfectly fine. Meaning, and then this is a great reason, to open your own practice. many attorneys just reached the conclusion. I want you to think of Corona.
[00:40:14] Why do you do things? And sometimes that can work out extremely well and they can be very successful. these are all things that you think about. and then if you just want it to have it grown from you, can, I wouldn't recommend doing that. going into things kind of half cock, but I definitely, think it can be, a great idea.
[00:40:34]Okay. So let me go into the top 10 reasons, not start your own from after, a quick break, which should be about probably one to two seven minutes.
[00:40:45]Oh, my God.
[00:40:47]Okay. Okay. So welcome back. so this next part is the top 10 reasons not to start your own offer and, while there's good reasons to start your own law firm, there's also, a lot of [00:41:00] reasons that, you really need to consider. first of all, most attorneys are very risk averse, the majority of attorneys will not start their own law firm because of that risk averse. And you have to, if you're going to start your own law firm, you really need to ask yourself if that is something you know, that you believe you can do or not. And, it's just, without being too pessimistic, you need to realize too that the majority of new businesses and law firms are businesses will fail.
[00:41:27]And, when you're as an attorney working in a law firm, you're working inside of this and it's a completely different thing to operate a business. just being in a coach, isn't the same as being a professional basketball player. there's just different things. they're different.
[00:41:45]different types of skills. So the coach has a different skill than being a basketball player. they've helped me understand the game, but they just don't, they can't do each other's jobs. So there's certain people that can run businesses and there's other people that can't run businesses.
[00:42:00] [00:41:59] And, sometimes it works and other times it doesn't, and it's just, it's an important thing to understand. so here are the reasons that, most of the practitioners and law firms, but have found that when I see most of them, I don't think that they, I, family is relevant, relative.
[00:42:14]you feel we don't have enough work and, and you fail when, you're not happy and you fail when, there's all sorts of failure. But, these are the reasons, that, that I see people fail most of the time. So the first they fail because they don't understand that, operating the business is much different than practicing law.
[00:42:32]when you start your own business, there's lots and lots of, things to understand. one of the things I asked the attorneys, when they told me they want to open their own law firm is, how much money they're making and it was stolen. It's making $200,000 a year and they may think that, if they can bill $400 an hour and just go 500 hours a year, they're going to make as much money.
[00:42:54] And to some extent, that may be true, but, the problem is, that this is really, [00:43:00] a flawed logic and the reason of the slots, because, in addition to the $200,000 a year of the attorney's office and you get a nice office, in a really nice, totally close to other day, every day, they're going to get other attorneys that they can bounce ideas off of.
[00:43:14]they're going to get. phone system, internet, computer, I T people, secretaries, paralegals, other attorneys that are going to go out and bring your cases. but the, the brand of the firm, reviews to keep the work quality up, and the brand that for me is a big difference.
[00:43:32]law firm companies want to hire, people with, But it didn't, they want to hire a big brand law firms and that can help. mostly get paid vacation, bonuses and health insurance and all those sorts of things. that goes along with that, management.
[00:43:46] Yeah. We'll make decisions for them in terms of the people who work in this fire, where to get the office space, how to review your different people, How many people, when did open and close offices, all these things, [00:44:00] different rooms for copiers libraries, I T staff payment of taxes and salaries and all of that.
[00:44:10] and the thing is if an attorney doesn't have. That's the specific, business expenses of a business. If you don't quickly get it out at a law firm and all sorts of law firms, it's very calm. I'll put the time and, operate the businesses are it's difficult.
[00:44:27]it's not easy. And you continually form, you need to hit recognize of gold. Don't succeed and stay stick around more than a few years. Most of them fail within the first year and a majority of them. And, gross more than a million dollars a year. So it's important to understand that, it's very difficult to turn visits and then, , I had cruises working seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
[00:44:55] I had all sorts of trucks and equipment and insurance and so forth. I had, [00:45:00] and, I figured I brought on a hundred thousand dollars a month. to clear 10 or 15,000, so a profit margin, 10 to 15%. That's pretty good. And that was
[00:45:12]solo practitioner gross 2 million hours. you still need to pay for all these different things.
[00:45:20] the hell. It was expensive and they do not understand how to control them. And, and then they went on it, nice offices furniture does not work. And, a lot of people, think that, the , but, practicing law is different than running a business. Running a business requires you to, watch the money to make daily strategic decisions.
[00:45:45] You know how to deploy my money, resources, making sure that the people are working, we don't need them. And then, customer service and how I'm going to ask her, to have all sorts of problems, and, a few years or so I had, a guy [00:46:00] entering a large law firm and he had a huge book of business.
[00:46:03]he was generating, a few million dollars a year in fees and. and, he went to, all those clients and he told them that they gave him a retainer, that he would, do all the work that they needed for them. And then he got up on the million dollars retainers. Very well. but I'm after here, he'd lost
[00:46:23]they weren't as happy. and then the clients, they have, a larger footprint behind him, so he wasn't able to pay bills and he'd be being a financial advisor, basically selling stocks and so forth. and so he, then he came, basically the same clients they used to pay him, I don't know, a hundred dollars an hour.
[00:46:44]So if he didn't not understand how to run a business, and this is something that even the best attorneys law firms have problems with is much different than running a business. and I had a lot of cautionary [00:47:00] tales like this. I certainly could talk about them for a long time, but, what I'm trying to show you is that, running a business is much different than, working inside a law firm.
[00:47:11] And, it's just, there's so much more to it. when you need to, not just work and when you're, But you need to keep people motivated and you need to make sure the work is constantly coming in. You need to keep your expenses down. You want to make sure your clients are always happy.
[00:47:28]I don't have really bad customer service and, you need to make sure your clients pay the bills, which is actually a very difficult thing for a lot of small lotteries. You need the crew to it, employees, you need, you have to fire employees that are not doing a good job. you need to speak with editors, all day.
[00:47:45] So instead of, you need to be, ordering toner and, run any copiers by computers. You need to advertise to promote a business. And this is just a huge number of things all to track from [00:48:00] you, billing hours. and none of them, stuff's easy. It's not to say it is possible, but the issue is that, these are concluded different skills than someone practicing law, different type of thing.
[00:48:15] And if you don't feel like you have those skills, that's something they should think about. one of the things that I really would caution anybody, that is interested in opening their own, law firm is getting clients that's very difficult. And I can tell you about that firsthand experience because, most of the practitioners and clients with small firm will tell you that they rarely.
[00:48:37] Collect 80% of the bill. And I noticed when I was operating these businesses, Malibu dealing with a lot of these very, aggressive, business people that have a lot of money and stuff. they are very careful and they will look to get this house in any way they possibly can. And if you don't know that they need you, [00:49:00] and then they feel like they can go elsewhere, then it's going to be very difficult to get people to pay a bill.
[00:49:05] A lot of times people just don't have the money. people will try to get attorneys to do more work for free all the time and they walk in off the street for free, or they'll tell if you can give them a lot of the free now, if you do something, they'll help you in the future, we'll try to get them to do all sorts of things, to try to get out of pain and, attorneys on the risk of getting hit all the time.
[00:49:27] So it's very difficult. when you have your own firm, to give you pay consistently and, and you just need to be very careful
[00:49:35]about what you're doing. getting any hay, but it's difficult. It's very difficult. And many times we'll take a small matter because they. alternative payment arrangements was always going to be a lot better down on your books. And so what I would say is, that, if you want people to have a replenish entertainer at all times so forth, that may work.
[00:49:58]that's what, a lot of times when people [00:50:00] say, when they're talking about starting a practice, but, it just doesn't always work. you need to bring your money. And, and then people, Hey, it's just a very difficult thing. And, even in the best clients are, the biggest clients are often going to be the hardest.
[00:50:16]So if you believe that you're going to be able to build 500 hours a year, 500 hours a year, that can be very DePaul and. and especially for little farmers, one thing I will say about practitioners as well is, I did a study of, and it's a long time ago when I was in law school, but I signed it as a minister.
[00:50:39]talking to them all over the country. I was always interested in traveling around or this kind of book about Ashley, but what I discovered after doing that was that, the majority of them. Can they just make most of their money, in small town trust in the state, we did corporate law a little bit.
[00:50:57] This is the majority, and we need eight, Katie [00:51:00] from a personal interest.
[00:51:02]so rather than paying clients, it was always personally. Okay. and then a lot of times, solo practitioners, another reason to think about starting your own, to start their own firm because they didn't really have any options. So it is very common for attorneys, to become solo practitioner because they can't get jobs. So maybe law school, sometimes you just graduate from . you may have gone into the wrong practice or the wrong time laid off.
[00:51:31]corporate, those are already well and good at economies are horribly bad economies. maybe senior, the geographic area you're in, not being other jobs, you may have it in house. and, another practice that, the government and, law firms hire them.
[00:51:45]you may have issues, practice, suit, legal problems, ethical problems, suspensions, and support employment. where the mainstream offer difficult to possible. so there's all sorts of things that can happen. and, [00:52:00] make people do that. It's kind the only option.
[00:52:02] And that happens. It's just something to think about. and, you needed to realize why a lot of people are doing it. many times it is common in big cities. That means attorneys have substance abuse problems. It could be drugs, alcohol, or they, maybe they have serious problems in the past, that affect their performance, and, availability, the ability to do work.
[00:52:26]they can't make it to work on time or they're, they're difficult and they miss things and they, their mind's slower or faster or whatever there's not working out. So the point is a lot, I say, when I say most, I don't know that's accurate, I would say close to a minute.
[00:52:44] Many of them hired them, when you're hiring an attorney, most of the attorneys, people don't realize that. So if you're getting divorced, personal injury attorney, you may not be aware of the fact that the person you hired is a sole practitioner, other law firms and stuff are. [00:53:00]
[00:53:00]larger clients are aware of that.
[00:53:02]and, I certainly don't think there's anything wrong with own practice. I did it as well, and I had a beliefs working to do, but many people do it because, there's some sort of weakness or problems. The problem is when you do start your solo practice, you're gonna lose access to having access.
[00:53:23] So the largest clients, you're not gonna be able to be given any time for most challenging work. clients are going to be much, you're not going to have as a support systems. the train, working around the sophisticated attorneys go down. getting any work, bring it in and get into other attorneys in the law firm is going to go away.
[00:53:41] And, you're also not going to have access to a steady paycheck as much either. and so the point is, most, people that do practice practices because they have to do that because they want to, that's not safe. But I think it's a bad idea, but, the idea, is [00:54:00] that it's for many attorneys, it's not something, that's a good thing.
[00:54:03] There is there's a stigma attached to it. And a lot of times me doing this because no one else wants to me. And, there's two sides to every story. many practitioners, Judy become very successful, that you take on. extremely important cases. and sometimes, coming at things from a position of weakness, can make them even more insightful because I see things way.
[00:54:25]and they just take on a giant personal injury cases and have success far beyond what they may have a law firm. And, and this is just for the positive. many that happens to practitioners. Ended up building large law firms. And there's nothing wrong with this. I honestly don't think that there is, but, the point is that, you do need to understand that there's stigma associated with it for some people, not for all, but for some people.
[00:54:49] And it's just something to be aware of. the other thing to understand is, once you become a solo practitioner, it, and it's very difficult for most people, unless you have [00:55:00] existing clients. To get hired by a large law firm and by and large, by, large clients and, most companies, if they can afford to pay legal fees, largely the fees are always going to choose large law firms.
[00:55:15]they believe that any of the law firms are important. it just shows the posting side, the claims business, and, the law firm has a brand and people that have back it up. a lot of strength, if you're a solo practitioner, your odds of working on matters that are just as far as you were working on the large law firm, even a mid-sized law firm are, fairly, most clients, if a good size company, sole practitioner.
[00:55:41]th the other side is gonna, think that they look weak and then it's just, and they'll take advantage of that. games. And, it just sends a message to maybe the other side doesn't have a lot of money and that sort of thing. And, it's just not a lot of incentive for most large clients, sole practitioners too, because, the [00:56:00] larger clients typically want the resources of the larger firm.
[00:56:03] And, even, very wealthy clients, so use, large law firms in divorces for costings tastes or Arkansas stuff. the biggest people, typically the most important clients are going to use, larger client, larger firms. No. And then there's some exceptions.
[00:56:18]I've seen a lot of real estate developers. trusted relationships, for example, with, solo practitioners that I've seen, a lot of, wealthy people, that have used solo practitioners for different types of work. And, and that can work as well. it's not to say that, people, don't use solo practitioners, just something that, it's rare.
[00:56:37] and the other thing that I mentioned to you earlier is a lot of sole practitioners, make a large portion of their money from continuing to see related to work. especially personal injury and a majority of them are doing some of this work. even ones that are doing transactional work many times are doing, personal injury related work.
[00:56:56] And this is more of a true. in smaller markets, a [00:57:00] lot of times they'll take an interest in things that are happening. a real estate attorney might take a small amount of equity in a deal or something, or, a corporate attorney might take a small amount of equity. So they're doing like the side type deals for things.
[00:57:12] And, and these are things that most large law firms don't do. there's certainly exceptions, I understand a few other firms that. Yeah, a bit famous for, just another clients, but for the most part, a lot of law firms, I believe it's much safer than pay now or pay later.
[00:57:27] So less souls will come up with economies, alternative fee agreements. And, and the other thing is, there, th the solo practitioners, spend a lot of their time negotiating things. Negotiating their fees. And so they, they just don't have enough clients that are willing to pay them by the hour.
[00:57:45] So they, they take things, as they come in and, and they do a lot of it's continue to see or interesting things. And, and that's just how, Yeah, thanks Tom. The other thing that I hesitate to bring up, because it [00:58:00] doesn't happen for all attorneys, but you're still often deteriorate if you're a solo practitioner.
[00:58:04] And the reason for this is that solo practitioners have very difficult time attracting large clients. they spend their time typically working on a lot of smaller matters, not all of them, but a lot of them do, smaller clients will run the money faster and they negotiate. Rates aggressively.
[00:58:21] They don't pay their bills on time or don't pay them at all. and they aren't necessarily looking for the sort of thoroughness and in-depth research and so forth that people get when they go to a large law firms. So they develop ways of doing work quickly. I'm going to pushing it out the door, and, and so they can do work as quickly as possible and get paid the minimum amount they're to get pay.
[00:58:43] And if you're doing work for a lot of clients that don't have. Deep pockets. the quality of the work is going to hear me and I'm not going to spend as much time in each matter. And you're going to, limit, the model, the work you do when you're going to develop bad habits.
[00:58:56] And so eventually, yeah. that's gonna affect, your ability, [00:59:00] what kind of attorney you are, I've hired lots of solo practitioners, who formerly worked in large law firms, and to work in, I locked from over the past couple of decades and, in some cases, these attorneys work for the very top of their class, from top law