Should I just go solo after graduation? (Part I)

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Nov 27, 2011 in The 3L Life | Subscribe

Good evening folks! Hope all of you had a very festive and delicious Thanksgiving holiday! :D

On my end I made the (academically questionable) decision to go visit Nan & Pops for a few days, followed by lunch with 雅雅 on Saturday and dinner with one of my former colleagues/employees from UNCASG on Saturday night. The times in between have been spent steadily working on law school homework1 but I haven’t gotten nearly as much done as I needed to get done.

But frankly I also needed the mental break so I’ll accept the scholastic consequences :beatup:

Part of the holiday conversations included the $700.00 I have to shell out to the NC Board of Law Examiners on the 1st of this coming year,2 my current lack of paid employment for the Christmas break, and figuring out what I’m going to do after I’m graduated and licensed. Long-time readers of law:/dev/null might recall I was hoping to join the USMC JAG Corps before breaking my leg and failing the physical fitness test, with backup plans to go to Officer Candidate School during 2L summer getting shelved when I immersed myself in activities like SBA, trial team, and earning a decent GPA. I still like CrimLaw and could make a decent living as an ADA, but North Carolina’s finances are a mess and because of it there’s a glut of qualified applicants for few ADA openings.

So while I still plan on looking into the criminal prosecution route, I’ve recently found myself seriously marinating on something I had never seriously entertained before this year (seriously): should I just go solo after graduation?

The seed for that idea got planted in the week before the phenomenally successful (and first-ever) Speed Networking event that EIC and the SBA put together here at NCCU Law. Prof Ks asked when I was going to run for Governor because he was impressed with the stuff SBA had been doing; Prof PILO thought becoming a politician would be a waste of potential, and instead suggested I should “go be a CEO for one of these big corporations and make a ton of money” then become a philanthropist.

Both perfectly acceptable options… but neither involved being an ADA :crack:

Then about 3 weeks ago came the water, when over the course of that week I ended up getting 7 different requests for legal help that I had to forward to our legal clinic (2 drug arrests, a speeding ticket, a landlord/tenant dispute, a juvenile issue, a car contract / lemon law question, and patent/business idea inquiry). That’s on top of roughly a dozen or so various other requests I’ve referred to the Clinic over the past 2 years, along with the true oddities like getting calls for legal help from Mexico.

Granted, I know I wouldn’t have been competent to handle all of those issues even if I was licensed. But after years of meeting people through Student Government, UNCASG, and now the SBA, it reminded me that there are a lot of people with legal problems on any given day who need someone competent to advise them.

I’ve gotta get back to studying so I’ll clip the entry here, but I’ve designated it as “Part I” because I’ll be looking for feedback over the next couple months. Part II is in the queue, outlining some of the pros and cons I’ve already scribbled out when it comes to me potentially hanging a shingle after graduation.

Have a great night y’all, and good luck with the week ahead! :)

  1. Even foregoing watching the biggest comeback in NCSU football history  :cry: []
  2. And the extra +$125.00 to take the essay portion on the bar exam on a computer :roll:   []

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4 Comments

Richard D.
Nov 28, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Been where you are but didn’t happen for me either (TX). There’s alot of good info on going solo online. Did you see Solo Practice U solopracticeuniversity.com or myshingle myshnigle.com?


 
Va
Nov 28, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Have you thought of working with NCCU to develop an in-house incubator for solo practitioners?
I.e.: http://www.law.com/jsp/tx/PubArticleTX.jsp?id=1202513553104

It seems like a great movement in law schools focusing on smaller firms or solos. Also, don’t know if NCCU offers it, but partnering with a B-school prof to hold a course in small firm economics, marketing, accounting could also be helpful to future students and a good first step.


 
TDot
Nov 29, 2011 at 2:29 PM

I had pondered the concept itself (in the sense of “I really wish I had an option like we use for the tech incubator at NC State”) but never really thought about trying to implement it at NCCU; my hunch is that it would raise hackles with the law clinic folks, since many of the clinical professors have private practices on the side. I’ll def look into though, thanks for the idea! :)

@Richard: I haven’t gone through the websites yet, but have tweeted w/ Ms. Elefant and Ms. Liebel in the past — I’ll add those to my reading list for the Christmas break, thanks!


 

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