Author Topic: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?  (Read 126502 times)

TrulyStashin

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #200 on: May 04, 2015, 10:11:10 AM »
Bump. Waiting to hear about TrulyStashin's outcome.

+1  Me too!

I heard from the recruiter last Thursday.  She said they're hoping to have a decision this week (week of May 4).   

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, since the interview on March 25th there have been many interesting developments.  I have three partners actively pushing for me to be promoted to 3d year associate.  Two of those three are strong advocates for me and they both know that I am being courted and may leave (unfortunately, they're both in a different department).  I requested and got my Q1 profitability report and I'm generating more than enough profit to support 3d year associate status (and $170k pay!).  I shared that data with the partners here and said "it's time that I have a more equitable distribution of the profits I'm generating."  There are still some internal political barriers that may or may not be overcome.   

Maybe I'll have two offers this week???  We'll see.  If neither firm pans out then I am going to drop back to part-time billable hours and throw all my extra energy into client development.   A book of business is portable.   No matter what, I won't be a staff attorney for much longer.
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ZiziPB

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #201 on: May 04, 2015, 11:20:28 AM »
Thanks for the update TrulyStashin.  Keeping my fingers crossed for you.



JessEsq

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #202 on: May 04, 2015, 01:42:49 PM »
Oh... here are my people! Glad to find this thread.

Graduated law school 2010 and spent some time in finance
Took the bar a year later - July 2011
Started "real lawyering" May 2012 - so 3 years in practice

SMALL Law (3 attorneys, 2 staff - there's one "owner" and 2 associates. I am on salary, the other associate is paid a % of his billings and has been for 15 years - that's the arrangement he wants)
Mid-West area
General Practice: estate planning, trust/probate administration, real estate, general civil litigation, probate litigation, small biz stuff, some personal injury

Gross pay is approx. $60k/year + bonuses (last year's were $13k) + 401(k) contributions (min. is match up to 6%), I contribute 20% of my health insurance premium and the boss puts $750/year into my health savings account. All told I think I am well compensated, but it is hard to compare. It's a small firm. I know I contribute to the bottom line here.

All that said, I am stressed the fuck out all the time. I get good experience here (more so than I might at a big firm) but there is less time for mentoring. Everything is fast. I know I provide good counsel and good service to my clients, but I always think I could be doing better, doing more, etc... Part of it is the nature of law in general and part of it is the nature of being a GP firm... jack of all trades, master of none. I'm also fairly Type A personality so I worry a lot - wake up in the middle of the night - etc...

Oh, and $60k in loans (that doesn't include hubby's undergrad). Just paid of an $8.5k at $8.25% though of hubby's and now we start on my loans b/c they have the next highest interest.

We want FIRE because I know I can't keep this up. Sometimes I consider a move to bigger law - I think it might be the same stress, but more money and thus sooner FIRE.

Thalassa

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #203 on: May 08, 2015, 11:14:01 AM »
Anyone who uses CLIO have a reference code they'd like me to use?

totoro

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #204 on: May 08, 2015, 08:11:27 PM »
I use Clio but there is no rewards/reference program I am aware of.

Rpesek6904

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #205 on: May 09, 2015, 07:36:10 PM »
Hey TrulyStashin, you said it: "it's time that I have a more equitable distribution of the profits I'm generating." This is the ONLY thing that matters. This is the way to negotiate for your fair value.

I wrote once before, but deleted it because what I wrote was unduly negative to non-entrepreneurial lawyers. So, I am going to re-submit my brief with significant revisions!

I'm a 2010 grad. Today, I'm 30 years old. I got my license in two Midwestern states in 2011. I started at firm of five attorneys. By the time I left four years later it had grown to 13 attorneys. By choice, I was always in an "eat what you kill" position. If they referred me a case it was a 50/50 split. If I generated and worked the case it was 75/25. My practice grew quickly from 50k (net) in 2011 to 300k (net) in 2014.

I left the firm and went solo in late 2014 because I had been paying an average of 11k to the firm monthly in "overhead" over the previous 24 months and 99% of the money came from clients I had generated (99% is literal). I'll say office politics in small law ain't so great either. I wish I could have stayed, but business is business.

My practice is as far from a "salary" type stability as one can get. I do criminal defense, accident and injury and immigration. The practice took off when I realized accident and injury cases can pay huge money if done right. In a few years, I will be exclusively accident and injury. Being mustachian means I can work a case for a couple of years, invest a few thousand dollars into doctors opinions, depositions or whatever and then get paid. Almost all my clients are Spanish speaking immigrants.

I know most people are not entrepreneurs but I always wonder why my friends in big law work so much for someone else and don't work for themselves. When you work for yourself, you always get the "most equitable distribution of profits" and your boss is unusually understanding when you leave early or screw something up. I'm just saying.

As for law school, I went to a big ten law school. Decent, not fancy. I got a full scholarship with an LSAT score lower than Cathy. I finished top 10% of my class. I'm pretty proud of rejecting an invitation to law review. I also left law school after the first year to bum around in Mexico and become bi-lingual.  I finished with 20k in debt for all school (wife's undergrad included) and we paid that off once the income went up. 


Thalassa

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #206 on: May 09, 2015, 08:32:42 PM »
Hey Rpesek6904.  Thanks for sharing your story.  If you were top 10% of your class at a top 10 law school, why did you settle for netting 50k instead of going biglaw?  Just to get the experience of being responsible for your own income, with a view to being solo in a few years?

Totoro: when I signed up they asked if anyone referred me.  I am also looking into smokeball and they have a cash referral program, so I assumed it was similar.  It turns out with Clio, if you refer 3 firms that sign up for 60 days, you get an ipad mini. 

Rpesek6904

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #207 on: May 09, 2015, 10:08:07 PM »
"Big Ten" not "Top Ten" :)

I worked at the regional version of big law as summer associate. Big law, just wasn't for me for lots of reasons.

I took the other job because my income was based on my ability to generate clients/money. There was no limit on what I could make (which, the firm owners later came to regret). If I brought in a case, I kept 75% of the fee. Plus, I got total autonomy. I got to choose my own clients and causes on day 1. I set my own fees and hours. I did business as I saw fit.  Sure, I had mentors in the firm and they were very valuable but, ultimately, replaceable when I went solo. At the end of the day, my earnings, my cases, my schedule, everything was determined by me and no one else.  My standard line over the years has been: "I had the option of Job A with a 90k salary, benefits, pension and lock-step partnership track or Job B where they paid me no salary or benefits and I had to pay them for the privilege of being in the office." When I took Job B, I had no idea how much money I would make. I took the Job B because it was an opportunity to be an autonomous decision maker and create my own practice. Fortunately, time has proven Job B was the more profitable opportunity.

I didn't really plan on going solo. I enjoyed being in the small office for the most part. But, working with other people meant they all felt entitled to some part of my practice/money. It definitely had to do with my age. Eventually I will create a small firm 2-10 attorneys. But that will take time. First,  I will become financially independent then I will start spreading the wealth.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2015, 06:41:47 AM by Rpesek6904 »

dragoncar

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #208 on: May 11, 2015, 03:01:39 PM »
I just got a spam w/ subject: "New Tinder-Style App for Jobs in Law."  Literally laughed out loud.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #209 on: May 12, 2015, 02:38:42 PM »
It's week 7 and radio silence from down the street.  Ahhhhh!!!!!

Today, my boss told me that the best I could hope for right now is full time staff attorney because they want to see a longer track record of profitability.  If I (maybe) get FT/ SA now, then maybe next year.... Basically, I have to make gangbuster profits for the firm this year because I wasn't sufficiently profitable in 2014, but I should be grateful because they didn't fire me.

He followed that comment with several stories of former colleagues who left the firm and ended up living in a van down by the river (metaphor).

It was very inspiring.





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sweetkerryline

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #210 on: May 12, 2015, 04:38:39 PM »
It's week 7 and radio silence from down the street.  Ahhhhh!!!!!

Today, my boss told me that the best I could hope for right now is full time staff attorney because they want to see a longer track record of profitability.  If I (maybe) get FT/ SA now, then maybe next year.... Basically, I have to make gangbuster profits for the firm this year because I wasn't sufficiently profitable in 2014, but I should be grateful because they didn't fire me.

He followed that comment with several stories of former colleagues who left the firm and ended up living in a van down by the river (metaphor).

It was very inspiring.

Lawyers simply cannot resist the allure of scare tactics. Bless their hearts.
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YTProphet

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #211 on: May 13, 2015, 06:27:17 AM »
It's week 7 and radio silence from down the street.  Ahhhhh!!!!!

Today, my boss told me that the best I could hope for right now is full time staff attorney because they want to see a longer track record of profitability.  If I (maybe) get FT/ SA now, then maybe next year.... Basically, I have to make gangbuster profits for the firm this year because I wasn't sufficiently profitable in 2014, but I should be grateful because they didn't fire me.

He followed that comment with several stories of former colleagues who left the firm and ended up living in a van down by the river (metaphor).

It was very inspiring.
No word back from the firm(s) with whom you interviewed?

TrulyStashin

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #212 on: May 13, 2015, 06:52:07 AM »
It's week 7 and radio silence from down the street.  Ahhhhh!!!!!

Today, my boss told me that the best I could hope for right now is full time staff attorney because they want to see a longer track record of profitability.  If I (maybe) get FT/ SA now, then maybe next year.... Basically, I have to make gangbuster profits for the firm this year because I wasn't sufficiently profitable in 2014, but I should be grateful because they didn't fire me.

He followed that comment with several stories of former colleagues who left the firm and ended up living in a van down by the river (metaphor).

It was very inspiring.
No word back from the firm(s) with whom you interviewed?

Nope.  This whole process moves so slowly.  My firm started talking about hiring in early January.  They interviewed people in February.  The new associate got her offer sometime in April and starts this week.  So, using that chronology as a rough template, I may have another month to wait for news. 
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CommonCents

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #213 on: May 13, 2015, 07:36:33 AM »
A coworker just sent this around to our (low paid, govt) legal department with the tagline "No argument here"

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/05/12/lawyers-with-lowest-pay-report-more-happiness/?emc=edit_dlbkam_20150513&nl=business&nlid=46397879&_r=1
« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 07:42:59 AM by CommonCents »

Trifele

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #214 on: May 13, 2015, 02:44:56 PM »
Oh yeah -- 2 friends emailed me that NYT article today.  :) No argument here -- I'm part time, of counsel and love it. 
« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 03:53:31 AM by Trifele »

dragoncar

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #215 on: May 13, 2015, 03:05:34 PM »
No argument from the low-paid side.  Any argument from the high-paid side?  Anyone highly paid and happy?

Me=part time and definitely happier.  Of course part time here is really just more like regular person hours.

YTProphet

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #216 on: May 13, 2015, 03:14:24 PM »
No argument from the low-paid side.  Any argument from the high-paid side?  Anyone highly paid and happy?

Me=part time and definitely happier.  Of course part time here is really just more like regular person hours.
I know many people in-house who are highly paid and happy. Less stress, but still a good payout.

bermudasq

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #217 on: May 13, 2015, 03:53:55 PM »
No argument from the low-paid side.  Any argument from the high-paid side?  Anyone highly paid and happy?


Relatively highly paid and happy, but partly because I don't drink to excess (a problem mentioned in the article) and I have my sights set on FIRE.

sweetkerryline

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #218 on: May 13, 2015, 04:07:57 PM »
No argument from the low-paid side.  Any argument from the high-paid side?  Anyone highly paid and happy?

Me=part time and definitely happier.  Of course part time here is really just more like regular person hours.

I have fairly crazy hours but also consider myself highly happy, even in my old job when I disliked my practice group. I think going home to see family (even if I have to bill from the bleachers of sporting events) have been a crucial part of this. I am also highly compensated.
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dragoncar

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #219 on: May 13, 2015, 08:26:31 PM »
So it sounds like everyone's happy, high paid or no.  Anyone miserable?

Rpesek6904

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #220 on: May 13, 2015, 08:48:15 PM »
Highly paid and happy :) But, I'm not at a big firm.

ZiziPB

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #221 on: May 14, 2015, 03:59:13 AM »
Highly paid and happy, but I do drink too much ;-)



Trifele

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #222 on: May 14, 2015, 05:58:29 AM »
Just thinking -- I bet that the highly paid lawyer folks on this forum are going to be happier than highly paid lawyers in general.  ("highly paid lawyer" and "happy" are definitely not concepts I usually associate with one another.)   I think the mustachian mindset contributes greatly to happiness.

totoro

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #223 on: May 14, 2015, 07:27:40 AM »
Highly paid and happy too.  Was pt for a lot of years though when the kids needed me at home more.

FiguringItOut

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #224 on: May 14, 2015, 09:06:44 AM »

Hi.  I have general question for legal folks here.

I have called few family practice lawyers in my area looking for someone to review my mediation separation/divorce agreement before we go final and have it filed.  I ran into a situation where they are asking for $5K+ retainer and trying to talk me into basically doing what Ive tried to avoid pay high fees for unnecessary work, one even went as far as to say they fully expect that her $5,500 retainer will not cover all costs.  On the case where we agree on 99% of items.  I find this simply insane.   STBX and I have agreed on mostly everything in terms of custody and dividing our very scarce assets.  But there has been a twist in that he got layed off two months ago, so there are new questions regarding child support and the house that Id like to run past someone. 

Am I being unreasonable expecting to speak with a lawyer for an hour or so and pay their hourly rate (not trying to get a free ride here) just to make sure all ts are crossed and all is are dotted? How should I go about finding this if everyone I called is trying to take me to the cleaners?

YTProphet

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #225 on: May 14, 2015, 11:20:02 AM »

Hi.  I have general question for legal folks here.

I have called few family practice lawyers in my area looking for someone to review my mediation separation/divorce agreement before we go final and have it filed.  I ran into a situation where they are asking for $5K+ retainer and trying to talk me into basically doing what Ive tried to avoid pay high fees for unnecessary work, one even went as far as to say they fully expect that her $5,500 retainer will not cover all costs.  On the case where we agree on 99% of items.  I find this simply insane.   STBX and I have agreed on mostly everything in terms of custody and dividing our very scarce assets.  But there has been a twist in that he got layed off two months ago, so there are new questions regarding child support and the house that Id like to run past someone. 

Am I being unreasonable expecting to speak with a lawyer for an hour or so and pay their hourly rate (not trying to get a free ride here) just to make sure all ts are crossed and all is are dotted? How should I go about finding this if everyone I called is trying to take me to the cleaners?

Billing rates for smaller firms (divorce lawyers are generally at smaller firms) should be in the $200-$300 range per hour. Reviewing and revising a separation agreement shouldn't take them more than a few hours. Then, they can let you know of any issues. After that, of course, you may have to negotiate with your ex's attorney. That could be painless and easy or long and drawn out. That's where the variable is and there's no way to pin point it. However, if it's a contentious divorce, expect it to take longer. If it's an amicable divorce, it shouldn't take more than a few hours for your attorney's to have a call, negotiate the relevant issues, and make the changes.

If I were you, I'd find a friend who works for a big law firm with a good reputation and ask them to get you a few recommendations. You need to be careful dealing with small firms and general practice attorneys. While there are loads of good small firm or solo attorneys, there are many who will tell you that "they do divorce work". What they're not telling you is that, by "they do divorce work", they mean they've done it once and just want your business. It's helpful to have a good attorney help you find another attorney since (a) they won't have a stake in the game and (b) they know how to look for someone good in that specialty area.

FiguringItOut

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #226 on: May 14, 2015, 12:27:47 PM »

Hi.  I have general question for legal folks here.

I have called few family practice lawyers in my area looking for someone to review my mediation separation/divorce agreement before we go final and have it filed.  I ran into a situation where they are asking for $5K+ retainer and trying to talk me into basically doing what Ive tried to avoid pay high fees for unnecessary work, one even went as far as to say they fully expect that her $5,500 retainer will not cover all costs.  On the case where we agree on 99% of items.  I find this simply insane.   STBX and I have agreed on mostly everything in terms of custody and dividing our very scarce assets.  But there has been a twist in that he got layed off two months ago, so there are new questions regarding child support and the house that Id like to run past someone. 

Am I being unreasonable expecting to speak with a lawyer for an hour or so and pay their hourly rate (not trying to get a free ride here) just to make sure all ts are crossed and all is are dotted? How should I go about finding this if everyone I called is trying to take me to the cleaners?

Billing rates for smaller firms (divorce lawyers are generally at smaller firms) should be in the $200-$300 range per hour. Reviewing and revising a separation agreement shouldn't take them more than a few hours. Then, they can let you know of any issues. After that, of course, you may have to negotiate with your ex's attorney. That could be painless and easy or long and drawn out. That's where the variable is and there's no way to pin point it. However, if it's a contentious divorce, expect it to take longer. If it's an amicable divorce, it shouldn't take more than a few hours for your attorney's to have a call, negotiate the relevant issues, and make the changes.

If I were you, I'd find a friend who works for a big law firm with a good reputation and ask them to get you a few recommendations. You need to be careful dealing with small firms and general practice attorneys. While there are loads of good small firm or solo attorneys, there are many who will tell you that "they do divorce work". What they're not telling you is that, by "they do divorce work", they mean they've done it once and just want your business. It's helpful to have a good attorney help you find another attorney since (a) they won't have a stake in the game and (b) they know how to look for someone good in that specialty area.

YTProphet, thank you for response.
What you said in terms of time needed to review document is what I expected.  The billing rates in my area are between $350 and $500 per hour though.  I wish I could pay $200 or $250 per hour for this, but no such luck.   Right now I do not anticipate my ex hiring his own attorney as we have been very amicable on all issues.  The reasons I want to consult an attorney is because he has no job right now, so I want to make sure I am protected as much as possible. 

Also, I don't know anybody at Big Law.  I've been calling around to various family law firms.  I have one other attorney I want to call.  I've done free consult with her about a year ago and really liked her.  She is in the 4 person practice and has 20 years of family law and divorce cases experience (or so she says lol).  If I can get her to take hourly rate and not require a retainer that would be great.  Otherwise, I'm back at zero in my search.


dragoncar

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #227 on: May 14, 2015, 12:35:20 PM »
No specific advice, but I imagine (not sure) you both should be represented by independent counsel so he can't claim he got railroaded by your fancy lawyer

FiguringItOut

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #228 on: May 14, 2015, 01:08:40 PM »
No specific advice, but I imagine (not sure) you both should be represented by independent counsel so he can't claim he got railroaded by your fancy lawyer

We are jointly represented by a legal mediator, which means that we are jointly advised on the legal statue and what each of us is entitled to in the eye of a legal court trial.  We are able to mutually and amicably agree to different terms as long as we were advised of the law.  In fact, the agreement explicitly states what the law is and what we agreed to if different. 

We each are able to retain individual attorney to review our mediated separation agreement if one of us or both of us chooses to do so.

I am not stopping him from getting his own lawyer, it's his choice and his decision. .  And I resent the implication here about my 'fancy lawyer'.

sweetkerryline

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #229 on: May 14, 2015, 01:45:56 PM »
No specific advice, but I imagine (not sure) you both should be represented by independent counsel so he can't claim he got railroaded by your fancy lawyer

We are jointly represented by a legal mediator, which means that we are jointly advised on the legal statue and what each of us is entitled to in the eye of a legal court trial.  We are able to mutually and amicably agree to different terms as long as we were advised of the law.  In fact, the agreement explicitly states what the law is and what we agreed to if different. 

We each are able to retain individual attorney to review our mediated separation agreement if one of us or both of us chooses to do so.

I am not stopping him from getting his own lawyer, it's his choice and his decision. .  And I resent the implication here about my 'fancy lawyer'.

I can guarantee that the tone you "heard" is not how the previous poster intended the comment. As attorney's we know that when one party hires a "large firm" or "heavy hitter" you have to be cognizant of the optics of such a retention. If the party without a lawyer later claims he didn't understand some specified provision, some courts may take into consideration how savvy both parties are and can construe a contract in favor of the less knowledgeable party. He or she was just trying to make you aware of this.
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TrulyStashin

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #230 on: May 14, 2015, 02:16:00 PM »
No specific advice, but I imagine (not sure) you both should be represented by independent counsel so he can't claim he got railroaded by your fancy lawyer

We are jointly represented by a legal mediator, which means that we are jointly advised on the legal statue and what each of us is entitled to in the eye of a legal court trial.  We are able to mutually and amicably agree to different terms as long as we were advised of the law.  In fact, the agreement explicitly states what the law is and what we agreed to if different. 

We each are able to retain individual attorney to review our mediated separation agreement if one of us or both of us chooses to do so.

I am not stopping him from getting his own lawyer, it's his choice and his decision. .  And I resent the implication here about my 'fancy lawyer'.

I can guarantee that the tone you "heard" is not how the previous poster intended the comment. As attorney's we know that when one party hires a "large firm" or "heavy hitter" you have to be cognizant of the optics of such a retention. If the party without a lawyer later claims he didn't understand some specified provision, some courts may take into consideration how savvy both parties are and can construe a contract in favor of the less knowledgeable party. He or she was just trying to make you aware of this.

+1   "Fancy lawyer" is what your STBX might claim you had six months or a year from now when everything settles down and he emerges unhappy (for whatever reason).   That's how the comment was intended.  It wasn't a slam at you but to allow you to protect yourself from future slams by STBX.   Family law is volatile.  It's great that your divorce is amicable and hopefully it will stay that way.  But it wouldn't be the first divorce that started that way and went down a rabbit hole at some point.  If he has a lawyer review and advise him on what your lawyer produces, you're protected from such a claim.
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TrulyStashin

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #231 on: May 14, 2015, 02:23:06 PM »
FiguringItOut -- You might try researching whether there is a family law bar association in your area (Google, for instance "bar association and mycity and family law".  Local bar associations are voluntary professional bodies and they usually make referrals.  Members of local bar associations are usually pretty committed to professionalism in their area of practice (enough so that they dedicate time to bar association activities). 

You might also check law schools -- if they have a family law clinic that might be a resource, either for help from the clinic or for referrals to practicing lawyers. 

Finally, if you keep calling and getting lawyers who demand retainers, then ask them for a referral to a lawyer who is unlikely to charge a retainer.  We want to refer people to our professional contacts -- even if we're in the same practice area -- and you might find someone this way.

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FiguringItOut

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #232 on: May 14, 2015, 08:07:51 PM »
OK, thank you for pointing out what "fancy lawyer" may be referred to.  I didn't think about the other side of this.  Thank you.

Also, thank you for pointing me to the bar association.  That may be a good place to try. No local law schools around here. 

TrulyStashin

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #233 on: May 15, 2015, 02:52:20 PM »
Hi friends --

I didn't get the job.  I'm really grateful that it's Friday.

~ TS
I refinanced my student loans with SoFi and dropped my interest rate from over 7% to 3.9%.

sweetkerryline

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #234 on: May 15, 2015, 03:14:12 PM »
Hi friends --

I didn't get the job.  I'm really grateful that it's Friday.

~ TS

Ugh. I'm sorry to hear that!
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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #235 on: May 16, 2015, 12:54:51 AM »
Hi friends --

I didn't get the job.  I'm really grateful that it's Friday.

~ TS

Ugh. I'm sorry to hear that!

+1 I really had my fingers crossed for you.

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #236 on: May 16, 2015, 03:54:33 AM »
Hi friends --

I didn't get the job.  I'm really grateful that it's Friday.

~ TS
I'm sorry TS!  I was really hoping you would.



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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #237 on: May 16, 2015, 07:50:38 AM »
Hey TS - Keep your head up. I've read your writing, I think you are obviously intelligent and capable. Keep thinking of ways to get your true value. I have no doubt you will do great in the long run.

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #238 on: May 16, 2015, 10:02:18 AM »
TS, adding my voice to the chorus of disappointment.  I randomly read this thread a couple of weeks ago, and have been checking back on it regularly only to see what happened with your job situation.  So sorry that your efforts so far haven't worked out.  But I'm confident that if you keep trying, you'll achieve your goals in no time at all!  As others have said, your value is obvious to all of us, and will surely be recognized by those around you too, eventually.
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TrulyStashin

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #239 on: May 16, 2015, 12:33:22 PM »
Thanks everyone.  I'm old enough to know that sometimes NOT getting what you want turns out to be the best thing, in the long run.

The recruiter told me that it was a very hard decision and that they want to stay in touch with me for future opportunities.  So, I guess I finished 2d.  Sigh.

The silver lining is that thanks to my hard work these past 5 months, one of the partners has brought me into his book of business and begun treating me as if I'm his associate.  He introduces me to his contacts, takes me on client meetings, gives me important projects, gives me not just the billable work but also credit for the $ generated by the client (i.e. he makes me "Matter Supervising" attorney), and advocates for me within the firm.  In return, I prioritize his work (even unbillable) above all other projects, introduce him to my contacts, and make him "Matter Billing" attorney for every file that I have the authority to do that with.  We're planning to co-author some articles.  He is a really fine human being -- generous, patient, kind, and affirming.  He knew I expected an offer (even told me to take it, if it comes) and jokingly told me not to go work for Partner at Other firm because "he's about to be indicted." 

When I got the news yesterday, I told him right away.  He said he was very sorry for my disappointment but also very grateful for entirely selfish reasons.  He said he needs me and that what we've got to do now is position me within the firm so that I move to his group (out of Real Estate) as an associate.  We discussed a strategy for that.  As the conversation wrapped up and I rose to leave, he looked me in the eyes and said "You're smart, talented, and very likeable.  I believe in you."

Well, I'll be damned.  Let's just see what the next six months brings....
« Last Edit: May 17, 2015, 08:29:57 AM by TrulyStashin »
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ZiziPB

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #240 on: May 16, 2015, 05:45:47 PM »
Thanks everyone.  I'm old enough to know that sometimes NOT getting what you want turns out to be the best thing, in the long run.

The recruiter told me that it was a very hard decision and that they want to stay in touch with me for future opportunities.  So, I guess I finished 2d.  Sigh.

The silver lining is that thanks to my hard work these past 5 months, one of the partners has brought me into his book of business and begun treating me as if I'm his associate.  He introduces me to his contacts, takes me on client meetings, gives me important projects, gives me not just for the billable work but also credit for the $ generated by the client (e.g he makes me "Matter Supervising" attorney), and advocates for me within the firm.  In return, I prioritize his work (even unbillable) above all other projects, introduce him to my contacts, and make him "Matter Billing" attorney for every file that I have the authority to do that with.  We're planning to co-author some articles.  He is a really fine human being -- generous, patient, kind, and affirming.  He knew I expected an offer (even told me to take it, if it comes) and jokingly told me not to go work for Partner at Other firm because "he's about to be indicted." 

When I got the news yesterday, I told him right away.  He said he was very sorry for my disappointment but also very grateful for entirely selfish reasons.  He said he needs me and that what we've got to do now is position me within the firm so that I move to his group (out of Real Estate) as an associate.  We discussed a strategy for that.  As the conversation wrapped up and I rose to leave, he looked me in the eyes and said "You're smart, talented, and very likeable.  I believe in you."

Well, I'll be damned.  Let's just see what the next six months brings....

Good for you TS. It sounds like things are falling into place where you are currently so hopefully you will be a full fledged associate!



Suit

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #241 on: May 17, 2015, 09:03:18 PM »
TS-so sorry to hear that you didn't get the job. Definitely keep in touch with them though, I've had friends who get jobs that come up after the one they are turned down for because it's easier than doing a lot of re-interviewing! And best of luck switching groups!


I have a question that I wanted to put out to all you other lawyer mustachians: if you're planning on working after RE, are you panning on starting your own firm so you can set your own hours, going part time where you already work, expanding a non-law related side gig or something else?

FiguringItOut

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #242 on: May 19, 2015, 10:22:13 AM »
Thank you all.

I found a lawyer who can review my divorce mediation agreement without demanding thousands of dollars in retainer upfront.

The attorney I found charges $400/hr.  This is average rate for my area.  Does not require a retainer.  And said she usually takes about an hour to an hour and half to review the agreement and discuss it with me. 

This is so much better than what I heard from others who claimed that it can take upwards of four hours, more if there are any unsettled points. 

I also like this attorney.  She has 17 years of family law and divorce experience, it's a two person firm, so very personable, doesn't feel corporate or as if I am just another snowflake in the middle of the snow storm.

I feel so much better now.

MsGuided

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #243 on: May 19, 2015, 02:10:46 PM »
Another attorney here. My work history is not nearly as impressive as many posted here, but I may elaborate at another time, for the benefit of other lurking lawyers who may have had similar experiences. 

TrulyStashin--sorry to hear about the job, but incredibly impressed by your attitude. The partner you are working with sounds great and I hope the position in his group materializes. Your determination will produce good things no matter what.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #244 on: May 20, 2015, 07:03:10 AM »
Thank you all.

I found a lawyer who can review my divorce mediation agreement without demanding thousands of dollars in retainer upfront.

The attorney I found charges $400/hr.  This is average rate for my area.  Does not require a retainer.  And said she usually takes about an hour to an hour and half to review the agreement and discuss it with me. 

This is so much better than what I heard from others who claimed that it can take upwards of four hours, more if there are any unsettled points. 

I also like this attorney.  She has 17 years of family law and divorce experience, it's a two person firm, so very personable, doesn't feel corporate or as if I am just another snowflake in the middle of the snow storm.

I feel so much better now.

Good news!   How did you find her?
I refinanced my student loans with SoFi and dropped my interest rate from over 7% to 3.9%.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #245 on: May 20, 2015, 09:19:44 AM »
Hey TrulyStashin, you said it: "it's time that I have a more equitable distribution of the profits I'm generating." This is the ONLY thing that matters. This is the way to negotiate for your fair value.

I wrote once before, but deleted it because what I wrote was unduly negative to non-entrepreneurial lawyers. So, I am going to re-submit my brief with significant revisions!

I'm a 2010 grad. Today, I'm 30 years old. I got my license in two Midwestern states in 2011. I started at firm of five attorneys. By the time I left four years later it had grown to 13 attorneys. By choice, I was always in an "eat what you kill" position. If they referred me a case it was a 50/50 split. If I generated and worked the case it was 75/25. My practice grew quickly from 50k (net) in 2011 to 300k (net) in 2014.

I left the firm and went solo in late 2014 because I had been paying an average of 11k to the firm monthly in "overhead" over the previous 24 months and 99% of the money came from clients I had generated (99% is literal). I'll say office politics in small law ain't so great either. I wish I could have stayed, but business is business.

My practice is as far from a "salary" type stability as one can get. I do criminal defense, accident and injury and immigration. The practice took off when I realized accident and injury cases can pay huge money if done right. In a few years, I will be exclusively accident and injury. Being mustachian means I can work a case for a couple of years, invest a few thousand dollars into doctors opinions, depositions or whatever and then get paid. Almost all my clients are Spanish speaking immigrants.

I know most people are not entrepreneurs but I always wonder why my friends in big law work so much for someone else and don't work for themselves. When you work for yourself, you always get the "most equitable distribution of profits" and your boss is unusually understanding when you leave early or screw something up. I'm just saying.

As for law school, I went to a big ten law school. Decent, not fancy. I got a full scholarship with an LSAT score lower than Cathy. I finished top 10% of my class. I'm pretty proud of rejecting an invitation to law review. I also left law school after the first year to bum around in Mexico and become bi-lingual.  I finished with 20k in debt for all school (wife's undergrad included) and we paid that off once the income went up.
First, sorry TS. Still hoping things work out for you.

Second, I read the above-quoted post and couldn't help but think of my firm. I'm on pace to bill about 1600 hours this year. My billing rate is $200, so assuming 50% receivables (a lot of contingency work, clients not paying, etc.), I'm generating about $160,000 in revenue this year.

Problem is that I'm making only $47,500 this year. I'm hoping for a bonus but I'm not expecting one, mostly because I've been hearing rumblings that the firm isn't doing well. My firm (previously a 16 attorney firm) merged with a smaller firm (6 attorney firm) about 1.5 years ago. From what I hear, costs and overhead are through the roof and things have not been going well in terms of profits.

I actually know of one partner who is retiring at the end of the year. He probably only bills about 50-75 hours per month and he told me at a wedding that, by the end of March, he's only been paid about $1800 total through the year.

I know there's a lot of unknowns here, but that scared the shit out of me. I'm now starting to worry about my job security and wondering if there's room for me to grow here.

Anybody have similar experiences from the beginning of their careers? I'm guessing I should just keep my head down and just bill more and make myself invaluable, but I can't help but think that the grass might just be greener elsewhere (eventually). And just the thought of having that feeling less than a year into my career is bothering me.
No more zero days. Promise yourself that you will do one thing every day that takes you one step closer to your goal.

sweetkerryline

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #246 on: May 20, 2015, 10:08:06 AM »
Hey TrulyStashin, you said it: "it's time that I have a more equitable distribution of the profits I'm generating." This is the ONLY thing that matters. This is the way to negotiate for your fair value.

I wrote once before, but deleted it because what I wrote was unduly negative to non-entrepreneurial lawyers. So, I am going to re-submit my brief with significant revisions!

I'm a 2010 grad. Today, I'm 30 years old. I got my license in two Midwestern states in 2011. I started at firm of five attorneys. By the time I left four years later it had grown to 13 attorneys. By choice, I was always in an "eat what you kill" position. If they referred me a case it was a 50/50 split. If I generated and worked the case it was 75/25. My practice grew quickly from 50k (net) in 2011 to 300k (net) in 2014.

I left the firm and went solo in late 2014 because I had been paying an average of 11k to the firm monthly in "overhead" over the previous 24 months and 99% of the money came from clients I had generated (99% is literal). I'll say office politics in small law ain't so great either. I wish I could have stayed, but business is business.

My practice is as far from a "salary" type stability as one can get. I do criminal defense, accident and injury and immigration. The practice took off when I realized accident and injury cases can pay huge money if done right. In a few years, I will be exclusively accident and injury. Being mustachian means I can work a case for a couple of years, invest a few thousand dollars into doctors opinions, depositions or whatever and then get paid. Almost all my clients are Spanish speaking immigrants.

I know most people are not entrepreneurs but I always wonder why my friends in big law work so much for someone else and don't work for themselves. When you work for yourself, you always get the "most equitable distribution of profits" and your boss is unusually understanding when you leave early or screw something up. I'm just saying.

As for law school, I went to a big ten law school. Decent, not fancy. I got a full scholarship with an LSAT score lower than Cathy. I finished top 10% of my class. I'm pretty proud of rejecting an invitation to law review. I also left law school after the first year to bum around in Mexico and become bi-lingual.  I finished with 20k in debt for all school (wife's undergrad included) and we paid that off once the income went up.
First, sorry TS. Still hoping things work out for you.

Second, I read the above-quoted post and couldn't help but think of my firm. I'm on pace to bill about 1600 hours this year. My billing rate is $200, so assuming 50% receivables (a lot of contingency work, clients not paying, etc.), I'm generating about $160,000 in revenue this year.

Problem is that I'm making only $47,500 this year. I'm hoping for a bonus but I'm not expecting one, mostly because I've been hearing rumblings that the firm isn't doing well. My firm (previously a 16 attorney firm) merged with a smaller firm (6 attorney firm) about 1.5 years ago. From what I hear, costs and overhead are through the roof and things have not been going well in terms of profits.

I actually know of one partner who is retiring at the end of the year. He probably only bills about 50-75 hours per month and he told me at a wedding that, by the end of March, he's only been paid about $1800 total through the year.

I know there's a lot of unknowns here, but that scared the shit out of me. I'm now starting to worry about my job security and wondering if there's room for me to grow here.

Anybody have similar experiences from the beginning of their careers? I'm guessing I should just keep my head down and just bill more and make myself invaluable, but I can't help but think that the grass might just be greener elsewhere (eventually). And just the thought of having that feeling less than a year into my career is bothering me.

I couldn't disagree more with your conclusion; don't keep your head down and 'keep billing' for a firm if they are going to let you go sometime down the line. If the writing is on the wall (and it appears that it is) that the firm is not doing well and/or is non sustainable, then you should be proactively looking elsewhere. I would reach out to some recruiters, find out what is available and be ready to make a quick move.
If you have questions about refinancing through sofi, please ask. Here's a referral link: https://www.sofi.com/refer/91/4207

YTProphet

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #247 on: May 20, 2015, 10:23:12 AM »
Hey TrulyStashin, you said it: "it's time that I have a more equitable distribution of the profits I'm generating." This is the ONLY thing that matters. This is the way to negotiate for your fair value.

I wrote once before, but deleted it because what I wrote was unduly negative to non-entrepreneurial lawyers. So, I am going to re-submit my brief with significant revisions!

I'm a 2010 grad. Today, I'm 30 years old. I got my license in two Midwestern states in 2011. I started at firm of five attorneys. By the time I left four years later it had grown to 13 attorneys. By choice, I was always in an "eat what you kill" position. If they referred me a case it was a 50/50 split. If I generated and worked the case it was 75/25. My practice grew quickly from 50k (net) in 2011 to 300k (net) in 2014.

I left the firm and went solo in late 2014 because I had been paying an average of 11k to the firm monthly in "overhead" over the previous 24 months and 99% of the money came from clients I had generated (99% is literal). I'll say office politics in small law ain't so great either. I wish I could have stayed, but business is business.

My practice is as far from a "salary" type stability as one can get. I do criminal defense, accident and injury and immigration. The practice took off when I realized accident and injury cases can pay huge money if done right. In a few years, I will be exclusively accident and injury. Being mustachian means I can work a case for a couple of years, invest a few thousand dollars into doctors opinions, depositions or whatever and then get paid. Almost all my clients are Spanish speaking immigrants.

I know most people are not entrepreneurs but I always wonder why my friends in big law work so much for someone else and don't work for themselves. When you work for yourself, you always get the "most equitable distribution of profits" and your boss is unusually understanding when you leave early or screw something up. I'm just saying.

As for law school, I went to a big ten law school. Decent, not fancy. I got a full scholarship with an LSAT score lower than Cathy. I finished top 10% of my class. I'm pretty proud of rejecting an invitation to law review. I also left law school after the first year to bum around in Mexico and become bi-lingual.  I finished with 20k in debt for all school (wife's undergrad included) and we paid that off once the income went up.
First, sorry TS. Still hoping things work out for you.

Second, I read the above-quoted post and couldn't help but think of my firm. I'm on pace to bill about 1600 hours this year. My billing rate is $200, so assuming 50% receivables (a lot of contingency work, clients not paying, etc.), I'm generating about $160,000 in revenue this year.

Problem is that I'm making only $47,500 this year. I'm hoping for a bonus but I'm not expecting one, mostly because I've been hearing rumblings that the firm isn't doing well. My firm (previously a 16 attorney firm) merged with a smaller firm (6 attorney firm) about 1.5 years ago. From what I hear, costs and overhead are through the roof and things have not been going well in terms of profits.

I actually know of one partner who is retiring at the end of the year. He probably only bills about 50-75 hours per month and he told me at a wedding that, by the end of March, he's only been paid about $1800 total through the year.

I know there's a lot of unknowns here, but that scared the shit out of me. I'm now starting to worry about my job security and wondering if there's room for me to grow here.

Anybody have similar experiences from the beginning of their careers? I'm guessing I should just keep my head down and just bill more and make myself invaluable, but I can't help but think that the grass might just be greener elsewhere (eventually). And just the thought of having that feeling less than a year into my career is bothering me.

I would leave ASAP. For one, they're paying you a pittance. You should be making double your current salary. Two, with that salary, you'd better have rock solid job security (which you clearly don't).

You don't owe them anything and they don't owe you anything. Cut bait and get into a big firm where you'll make more. It'll be a sacrifice for a few years, since you'll have to bill closer to 1900 hours, but it'll be worth it in the long run.  Having a big firm on your resume opens many, many more doors and sets you up well for the rest of your career. Short term "sacrifice" (even though you'll be getting paid wayyy more) for long term gain.

I worked more hours than I would've liked at a bigger firm for 2 years, then left, and now I work 9-5 making around $130,000/year. It's awesome.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #248 on: May 20, 2015, 10:38:39 AM »
I couldn't disagree more with your conclusion; don't keep your head down and 'keep billing' for a firm if they are going to let you go sometime down the line. If the writing is on the wall (and it appears that it is) that the firm is not doing well and/or is non sustainable, then you should be proactively looking elsewhere. I would reach out to some recruiters, find out what is available and be ready to make a quick move.

I would leave ASAP. For one, they're paying you a pittance. You should be making double your current salary. Two, with that salary, you'd better have rock solid job security (which you clearly don't).

You don't owe them anything and they don't owe you anything. Cut bait and get into a big firm where you'll make more. It'll be a sacrifice for a few years, since you'll have to bill closer to 1900 hours, but it'll be worth it in the long run.  Having a big firm on your resume opens many, many more doors and sets you up well for the rest of your career. Short term "sacrifice" (even though you'll be getting paid wayyy more) for long term gain.

I worked more hours than I would've liked at a bigger firm for 2 years, then left, and now I work 9-5 making around $130,000/year. It's awesome.

I understand your points, but again, I just graduated last May. I don't think I've quite built up enough experience to have leverage to lateral somewhere.

Also, the two most experienced labor and employment guys are retiring in three years. I was brought on to basically learn from them and inherit their books (eventually), and the prospect of that has always been very promising to me.

Furthermore, I'm in Youngstown (close to me and my GF's family). Extremely low COL so my salary allows me to live comfortably.

Last point I'll make: my firm has been around since 1872. It's the biggest law firm in Youngstown and represents all the "institutions" in town. I can't imagine that it will fold entirely, but I guess I can foresee the two recently merged firms splitting.

I guess I just don't know. Should I be making a push for Cleveland or Pittsburgh sooner or later? If so, when?
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YTProphet

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #249 on: May 20, 2015, 10:44:59 AM »
Well, if you're specializing in L&E from the corporate side, you may not need to go to a big firm. L&E is one of the best areas to be in for a jump to an in-house counsel role.  Do any of the clients have in-house attorneys?

Also, as to inheriting a book, I would be extremely skeptical of that happening. You may end up servicing that book, but you're a bit delusional if you think that the existing partners are just going to let you take the equity that comes along with those clients when the two old guys retire. They may tell you that you'll inherit it, but from experience I can tell you that's highly unlikely. What they mean is that you'll handle all the work associated with it, not necessarily reap the benefits in the fullest financial sense.