Author Topic: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?  (Read 82610 times)

Axecleaver

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #600 on: December 27, 2016, 02:59:56 PM »
All things being equal, the market generally trends upwards. Therefore, you're better off investing a lump sum immediately, as opposed to DCA'ing it in over time. I believe there was a big thread on this in the investing forum, with backtesting that demonstrated this as true more often than not.

The counterpoint to this is, know thyself. If you're consumed with fear and trembling, then DCA it in and be OK with the fact that you didn't use the most mathematically optimal approach.

CloserToFree

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #601 on: December 27, 2016, 03:04:03 PM »
All things being equal, the market generally trends upwards. Therefore, you're better off investing a lump sum immediately, as opposed to DCA'ing it in over time. I believe there was a big thread on this in the investing forum, with backtesting that demonstrated this as true more often than not.

The counterpoint to this is, know thyself. If you're consumed with fear and trembling, then DCA it in and be OK with the fact that you didn't use the most mathematically optimal approach.

Yup I think DCAing it is best for us right now- feeling a little antsy about the inauguration and would rather not dump everything in before that, even though I know rationally that you can always point to some specific market anxiety and use it as an excuse that now "isn't the right time."  Thx, will try to find that thread anyway.

dragoncar

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #602 on: December 27, 2016, 03:51:27 PM »
All things being equal, the market generally trends upwards. Therefore, you're better off investing a lump sum immediately, as opposed to DCA'ing it in over time. I believe there was a big thread on this in the investing forum, with backtesting that demonstrated this as true more often than not.

The counterpoint to this is, know thyself. If you're consumed with fear and trembling, then DCA it in and be OK with the fact that you didn't use the most mathematically optimal approach.

Yup I think DCAing it is best for us right now- feeling a little antsy about the inauguration and would rather not dump everything in before that, even though I know rationally that you can always point to some specific market anxiety and use it as an excuse that now "isn't the right time."  Thx, will try to find that thread anyway.

It sounds like you want to DCA, so just DCA.  It's mathematically sub-optimal, but that doesn't mean it's certain to be a losing strategy, and I believe the historical differences are fairly small.  In other words, if it gives you peace of mind then it's worth it.  For me, I'd be kicking myself for following the non-optimal strategy even if I ended up coming out ahead.  So I lump sum invest.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2016, 03:53:15 PM by dragoncar »

bridget

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #603 on: December 29, 2016, 02:57:24 PM »
I'm going to lump-sum invest mine, but because I was only at my firm for 20% of the year, it's only $10k or so pretax.  That makes the lump sum plan easier to swallow psychologically.  Next year when it's $65k it might be a smidgen harder. 

crimwell

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #604 on: December 31, 2016, 11:44:01 AM »
I'm a government lawyer, class of 2008. I've been in the same job for 6 years now (only lawyer job I've had, it took me 2.5 years after graduation to get one). Mostly transactional/ contract review although I have a little administrative forum litigation experience.

I'm not nearly as mustachian as I could be, although I'm naturally/raised to be that way to an extent. I discovered this site last year through a co-worker. If I had been able to go the BigLaw route like I wanted I'm pretty sure I'd be FI or well on my way to it by now.  I'm NOT sure if my marriage would have survived or if I'd be as happy in my day-to-day life. Due to a family tragedy a few years ago I put a lot more value on spending time with my family than I would have before.




TrulyStashin's story is super inspirational! Wow! I read through the whole thread pretty much just to follow it. What a fearless go-getter.

Also I've never seen such an encouraging and supportive group of lawyers on an internet group. That made a big difference in my choosing to share that I'm a lawyer here.

RobinAZ

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #605 on: December 31, 2016, 12:20:28 PM »
I was BigLaw here in Phoenix. Combo of recession and having a special needs kid = went solo in Dec 2010.  Miss the money, no doubt. And the health insurance!  But being a SAHM that practices law in her free time has made the world of difference for my son, who is now mainstreamed for all his academic subjects, skipped 4th grade, and is moving into the gifted program next year.  With that, I can easily double my working hours and not turn so much work away!!

2017, I should be able to eliminate all debt except the student loans-- $214k.  After that, my plan is $5k/mo for 24 months to take out the first $115k that is at 7.99%. Then, saving for FI while knocking out the remaining $115k at 1.99%. I won't hit $5k every month but some months will be more. And even if it is 4 years instead of 17 more years... that loan at 7.99% needs to GO!

Lawyers who are mustachian aren't soulless money- and power-driven a$$holes :-) There really is a huge difference between the attorneys on this board and those IRL, lol

TrulyStashin

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #606 on: January 19, 2017, 05:33:41 PM »
With 2016 in the books, it seems like a good time to celebrate a significant improvement in my net worth.  Like many of us, I'm buried in student loans.  When this thread began in early 2015 (almost two year ago, really?) here's what it looked like:

Feb, 2015:

Total Assets - $107k
Total Debt -- $201,523
Net Worth -- NEGATIVE $94,066

Left BigLaw, went solo on 9/1/2015

Jan, 2015:

Total Assets -- $140k
Total Debt -- $205,438
Net Worth -- NEGATIVE $64,422

Jan, 2016:

Total assets -- $161,861
Total debt -- $178,391
Net Worth -- NEGATIVE $16,530

I project that sometime around April or May, I will cross over into positive net worth territory for the first time in my life.  Yeah, I mean EVER.

In its first full year, my baby firm grossed almost exactly what I grossed at BigLaw -- low 6-figures.  My net is about $65k.  Not bad! 

My goal this year is to focus and build a niche.  Last year, I took whatever came in the door and that's not a good strategy for the long run.  Thanks to some recent developments, I have some big opportunities in trademarks/ copyrights/ licensing.  I think this is a strong platform for future growth with aligned matters also welcome.  I need to refine this plan but the vision is coming together.

RSM and OCC, how are things with you guys?  RSM are you working on mediation?  OCC, how's the new gig?

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

Laura33

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #607 on: January 20, 2017, 11:57:52 AM »
Hi guys -- been reading for a long time, just started posting, so figured I'd join in here.  Professionally:  chose a top-whatever public law school over private (at the time, $3K vs. $17K -- best decision ever).  Law Review, etc., yada yada; biglaw summer associate jobs and tight budgets allowed me to pay my own way after my first year, so I graduated with only $2K in additional debt (had $7500 from undergrad).  Graduated in early '90s; started at a big regional firm in my hometown, because I didn't know what I wanted to specialize in but knew I didn't want to do it for 2200 hrs/yr; got my loans/car paid off in @2 years.  Jumped ship to a smaller firm to do environmental after a few years for what was at the time a pretty awesome raise (from @$63K(?) to @$86K).  Went in-house for a few years when I married DH and he got caught in the tech crash (see the epic FU stories thread for more detail on that 2.5-years-of-hell), took a @1/3 paycut.  Ended up telecommuting back to my old firm for a few years (hourly/part time as we had our first kid), worked less than half-time for maybe $15K less than I had been making.  Moved back to my hometown and the office about 12-13 years ago, elected partner a year later, added another kid and stayed part-time for a few more years, went full-time a few years ago. 

My primary professional goals have been (i) not to be poor, and (ii) not to be bored, and I've generally done decently on both.  I don't get the big bucks like everyone expects from the "partner in a law firm" title (i.e., have never even gotten close to $500K), but, come on, it's all ridiculous in comparison to normal salaries, and I have a pretty awesome quality of life on a $/hr worked basis, and lots of freedom to do what I want (today, for ex., I am sitting in my recliner with my laptop, though I guess I should change out of my bathrobe before DD gets home from HS).  My favorite thing is all the extra perks -- the profit-sharing lets me add another @$35K/yr to the 401(k), my medical and dental are fully paid-for, we have a small gym and shower room at the office, my office is fantastic, my assistant totally spoils me by making sure they have the kind of tea I like, etc.  [To be clear, we are not a luxury/fancy office at all -- no marble and fancy paintings, small kitchen with no room for tables, etc. -- but the things we have I appreciate more than visible luxury.  E.g., adding the shower room has allowed me to go to Crossfit at 6, drive in early enough to beat traffic, and be ready to go by 8 -- to me, that is a huge, huge quality-of-life perk]. 

I am sort of at a point of boredom, though, and just tired of the up and down and marketing chase.  Last year, my months ranged from 200 hrs (billable only) to 65 hrs, and I still overall managed to bill 100 hrs more than I had in probably a decade (not counting the "creditable" hours I get for a firm management role).  And then it all fell off a cliff and I have had nothing to do since before Christmas, so I need to get off my ass and on airplanes again, and, just, ugh.  So now I am doing what I always do when I get in a rut:  reworking Quicken and evaluating options.  :-)  We are FI but we have no plans to RE for another 7-8 years for a variety of reasons, which unfortunately is a dangerous place to be, as it is tempting to say, you know, I don't need this any more. But realistically, I like the people I work with a *lot*, the work can be really interesting, DH and I can't implement our full RE plans until the kids are out anyway, and I've discovered I am fond of having a firehose of cash coming in. :-)  So I am more likely to tweak around the corners instead of making huge changes, because this is really pretty sweet when I think about it objectively, and I'm pretty sure the grass is not greener.
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

Iplawyer

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #608 on: January 20, 2017, 01:41:55 PM »
I agree that law, especially BigLaw, is highly ego-driven.  It's probably a leading driver of why most people think lawyers are assholes.

Seriously, I've been in a room with dozens of BigLaw partners from "V10" and "V100" firms, and the first thing they do is quickly establish a pecking order amongst themselves. Socially, too. The ones from "top" firms will trip over themselves to denigrate the slightly lesser firms to each other. Of course the more marginal the top firm the lawyer is from the more they will denigrate the even lesser firms, when those people are out of earshot.

It was extremely sickening.

I just say "I won a bet-the-company SCOTUS case 9-0) and leave it at that - it stops all of that discussion dead.  I do have excellent credentials - but who cares about that given the former?

crimwell

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #609 on: January 20, 2017, 05:18:21 PM »
I agree that law, especially BigLaw, is highly ego-driven.  It's probably a leading driver of why most people think lawyers are assholes.

Seriously, I've been in a room with dozens of BigLaw partners from "V10" and "V100" firms, and the first thing they do is quickly establish a pecking order amongst themselves. Socially, too. The ones from "top" firms will trip over themselves to denigrate the slightly lesser firms to each other. Of course the more marginal the top firm the lawyer is from the more they will denigrate the even lesser firms, when those people are out of earshot.

It was extremely sickening.

I just say "I won a bet-the-company SCOTUS case 9-0) and leave it at that - it stops all of that discussion dead.  I do have excellent credentials - but who cares about that given the former?

Good tactic, I hadn't thought of saying that before but I'm definitely going to implement this myself

Iplawyer

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #610 on: January 21, 2017, 07:00:23 AM »
I agree that law, especially BigLaw, is highly ego-driven.  It's probably a leading driver of why most people think lawyers are assholes.

Seriously, I've been in a room with dozens of BigLaw partners from "V10" and "V100" firms, and the first thing they do is quickly establish a pecking order amongst themselves. Socially, too. The ones from "top" firms will trip over themselves to denigrate the slightly lesser firms to each other. Of course the more marginal the top firm the lawyer is from the more they will denigrate the even lesser firms, when those people are out of earshot.

It was extremely sickening.

I just say "I won a bet-the-company SCOTUS case 9-0) and leave it at that - it stops all of that discussion dead.  I do have excellent credentials - but who cares about that given the former?

Good tactic, I hadn't thought of saying that before but I'm definitely going to implement this myself

I'm assuming you won one?  If so - welcome to that very small club.

dragoncar

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #611 on: January 21, 2017, 04:37:04 PM »
If we really have two lawyers here who can honestly say that, holy shit

I'd just say "oh yeah? Well I stayed at a holiday inn express last night"

Trifele

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #612 on: January 21, 2017, 05:10:09 PM »
If we really have two lawyers here who can honestly say that, holy shit

I'd just say "oh yeah? Well I stayed at a holiday inn express last night"

:)

crimwell

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #613 on: January 21, 2017, 05:45:48 PM »
Lol, def have not

crimwell

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #614 on: January 21, 2017, 05:48:20 PM »
Just seems like a different version of the same status seeking

LeRainDrop

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #615 on: January 21, 2017, 11:21:28 PM »
Is one of you two Chief Justice John Roberts?  ;-)

Iplawyer

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #616 on: January 22, 2017, 07:09:49 AM »
Just seems like a different version of the same status seeking

Nope - it is a way of snubbing those standing around talking about their top 10 school and top 10 law firm. 

FIREby35

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #617 on: January 22, 2017, 12:30:30 PM »
Just seems like a different version of the same status seeking

Nope - it is a way of snubbing those standing around talking about their top 10 school and top 10 law firm.

"Snubbing" is very obviously your own form of status seeking. A person truly secure in their qualifications and competence would respond with silence.

Iplawyer

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #618 on: January 23, 2017, 09:33:31 AM »
No - it is simply a way to insure that the rest of the evening isn't spent on the top 10 shit.  I simply get rather tired of it and so does my non-lawyer spouse.  So it puts an end to it and we can get on with meaningful discourse.  Staying silent means we have to listen to it ad nauseum. 

shawndoggy

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #619 on: January 23, 2017, 02:51:40 PM »
And then it all fell off a cliff and I have had nothing to do since before Christmas, so I need to get off my ass and on airplanes again, and, just, ugh.  So now I am doing what I always do when I get in a rut:  reworking Quicken and evaluating options.  :-)  We are FI but we have no plans to RE for another 7-8 years for a variety of reasons, which unfortunately is a dangerous place to be, as it is tempting to say, you know, I don't need this any more. But realistically, I like the people I work with a *lot*, the work can be really interesting, DH and I can't implement our full RE plans until the kids are out anyway, and I've discovered I am fond of having a firehose of cash coming in. :-)  So I am more likely to tweak around the corners instead of making huge changes, because this is really pretty sweet when I think about it objectively, and I'm pretty sure the grass is not greener.

So good to hear that others face this same challenge.  Nothing is worse than taking a vacation at your desk, staring at the phone and willing it to ring.  2010-11 were definitely scary for me in that regard.

Nice to see a partner's perspective on this thread as most of it is written from the perspective of the associate in the trenches.  Keeping the lights on from the partners' side of things isn't all friday afternoons at the golf course and three martini lunches. 

Stash padawan

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #620 on: February 10, 2017, 04:21:20 PM »
Hello my fellow lawyers,

I'm in need of some career advice. English is my second language so be gentle. So, without getting into much details to avoid raising any potential suspicion from coworkers, here's my story:

I started out as a lawyer in a regional law firm in Canada 7 years ago, having a lot of fun and autonomy, doing corporate/commercial law. After 3 years, although I was quite happy at my regional law firm and was promised a partnership in the future, I saw a job posting for an in-house position in a big international company with a somewhat developed legal department, and I applied as I knew right away at the beginning of my career that going in-house would be an interesting career path for me.

After a couple of interviews with the team (senior lawyers) and VP there, the job sounded quite interesting and varied, and they were looking for someone who would grow quickly in the role, taking more and more autonomy and eventually have his/her own responsibilities/spot on the team. So with all of this in front of me, I ended up taking the job.

Fast forward to today, 4 years later, of course none of what was promised in terms of role and autonomy ended up happening. I was micromanaged by 2 of the senior lawyers there for quite a while, being left out in the shadows, doing all the groundwork (top quality work, of course) and have them take credit for it, not gaining any exposure with internal clients. The only times I was able to shine is when I got to replace them over their vacations, and God did I get golden feedback from their internal clients...these clients would finally get concise, fast and business-oriented solutions to their problems.

All of this was discussed with the VP over the last year, with actual facts and examples, without much results. No structural changes, no work distribution modifications, nothing except conversations with senior lawyers on the fact that I should have more autonomy. Did anything change after these conversations? Nope. Internal clients would like to be able to work more with me and less with them and this was voiced to the VP (by the internal clients themselves), but in practice, nothing seems to be changing. I have a lot of respect for the VP and he's been giving me very good feedback, but man he does not seem to like confrontation...

So here I am, trying to think about my next steps. I've been recently looking for similar/higher positions in-house and am not interested in going back to law firms (love it in-house), but I'm also reaching a point where the built-up frustration is having an effect on my personal life. You can also get from this post that the situation at work is a bit tensed, to say the least. I'm lucky enough to have some FU money on the side (enough to keep me going for a while), and I'm now considering giving the famous 2 weeks notice and go enjoy some time off while looking for another job (fishing season is coming up!).

So here lies my stress: should I make sure to have another job lined up before leaving this one (I'm a bit picky on the work I want to do)? Should I try to fight more (I hate office politics)? Or should I say "fuck it" right after I get my bonus, enjoy a little break from the corporate grinder, and mix job searching with some outdoor activities?

Any feedback would be much appreciated, fellow mustachians!

chesebert

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #621 on: February 10, 2017, 04:46:46 PM »
Keep calm and carry on :) Wait for the right position to open up and then jump ship.

meghan88

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #622 on: February 10, 2017, 04:51:26 PM »
Sounds like a stressful situation if you're being micromanaged and kept in the shadows.  I would look for another in-house posting before jumping, but that's just me.  Have you made a list of other companies in your industry and region?  How's your network in your industry?  In what way are you picky about the work you want to do - are you being too picky?  Feel free to PM me if you like.  I'm in-house in the tech sector in Ontario BTW.

Check2400

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #623 on: February 13, 2017, 09:56:22 AM »
The only times I was able to shine is when I got to replace them over their vacations, and God did I get golden feedback from their internal clients...these clients would finally get concise, fast and business-oriented solutions to their problems.

You say in house, but talk about these clients as if they are under different umbrellas or different businesses completely.  Is there any reason you can't set up a lunch with these clients?  It is amazing what can happen when you have the conversation about appreciating their feedback, enjoying working for them, wish you could do more, here is my direct email or, you know, have they ever considered having your own in house counsel?*   

Even better, if not lunch, take them out fishing.  There's an old Canadian proverb that you miss 100% of the business you don't expense. 

Older lawyers aren't in the positions of power they are in because of their astute and superior legal skills.  They are there because they played the games on top of proficiently serving their clients.  Get in the game yourself and see what comes from it. 

*depending on your employment agreement, you may need to add in a long sigh and a 'if only I could proactively discuss other employment opportunities with current clients, but, you know, they would have to initiate that conversation according to my non solicitation agreement.'  Then wink in a really exaggerated manner.  There is caselaw out there that says this is 100% acceptable.**

**there is not.

ringer707

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #624 on: February 13, 2017, 11:11:20 AM »
Joining in! Law school class of 2014. Clerked in local court for one year and then in state appellate court for nine months before taking a prosecutor position in my hometown. I can honestly say I absolutely love my job and enjoy coming to work here everyday. Salary is 62k, good matching through state retirement system, good benefits. Hours are 8-4:30 and I occasionally take some work home on the weekends. Can't say enough about how much I like it and my office!

Daleth

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #625 on: March 07, 2017, 02:12:29 PM »
depending on your employment agreement, you may need to add in a long sigh and a 'if only I could proactively discuss other employment opportunities with current clients, but, you know, they would have to initiate that conversation according to my non solicitation agreement.' 

Have you seen a law firm employment agreement that restricted such conversations? It would surprise me for two reasons:

(1) law firms typically love having their associates or even partners go in-house at clients, because they think it increases the chance of keeping that client (since the associate/partner knows and presumably likes the firm). And

(2) some states in which noncompetition agreements are enforceable--and of course in some states they're not even enforceable in the first place--have an exception in the statutes or case law for lawyers. (Amazing how that works: the lawyers who in effect write the law, created an exception for themselves. Nice!)

MiserlyMiser

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #626 on: March 20, 2017, 06:15:03 PM »
Hi all!  I've been lurking for a while and thought I'd introduce myself.  I'm a senior associate in BigLaw.  I've been hoarding my money with vague thoughts of "getting out" and "doing something else," but couldn't figure out what other career I wanted to pursue.  I definitely want to get out of private practice, so I've been applying for state/local government jobs, but that could be a step towards getting out of law altogether and retiring early.  Looking forward to following this thread as I figure out my life. 

onlykelsey

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #627 on: March 29, 2017, 06:14:05 AM »
Just seems like a different version of the same status seeking

Nope - it is a way of snubbing those standing around talking about their top 10 school and top 10 law firm.

"Snubbing" is very obviously your own form of status seeking. A person truly secure in their qualifications and competence would respond with silence.

Agreed.

BabyShark

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #628 on: March 29, 2017, 07:12:16 AM »
Jumping in here.  PI attorney at a midsized Plaintiff's firm in Virginia.  Class of 2015 and been here since graduation (did my 2L summer here too).

We've got a bunch of shareholders retiring in the next five or so years so the makeup of the firm is definitely going to change (along with, I hope, the potential for big cases for us younger folk).

FIREby35

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #629 on: March 29, 2017, 07:30:24 AM »
Babyshark - Pay attention to the business side of your firm. PI work can be extremely profitable. It has been for me.

BabyShark

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #630 on: March 29, 2017, 07:35:50 AM »
Babyshark - Pay attention to the business side of your firm. PI work can be extremely profitable. It has been for me.

I'm definitely trying to. We've got some weird politics going on here that I'm still learning to work through but my partner is super supportive of me and I've done my best to be known as passionate, ambitious and reliable.

Axecleaver

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Re: Any Lawyer Mustachians on here?
« Reply #631 on: March 29, 2017, 04:06:42 PM »
Business development idea: market "addict recovery trusts" to parents with kids who have addiction problems. The trust provides for certain basic expenses, but the payment is direct to the provider, and no cash. You could charge a higher fee to manage the trust, or farm it out to a financial services firm and take a commission.

I don't think this is terribly different from any other restricted trust, you just put together some basic rules and market it aggressively.