Starting a Law Firm Is Not For Everyone

Daily thoughts on law firm success.

Starting a Law Firm Is Not For Everyone

This post is from the first blog I started, called “How to Start a Law Firm.” Over the years I’ve moved to different sites a few times and wanted to catalog all of my content in one place. If an article refers to a link and there is no link, sorry, that’s consequence of the move. Enjoy!

There, I said it. Someone had to. Starting a law firm is not for everyone. And the going thought out there these days is “If I can’t find a job I’ll just start a law firm and everything will be fine.” No, it won’t. It can and it just may get worse. Much worse.

I was at a happy hour this week sponsored by my state bar association. It was geared specifically toward young lawyers. Now, usually I really like going to these things. I’m not from Washington State, have only been here for a year and a half, and like to take the opportunity to meet as many new people as I can. But this wasn’t that kind of happy hour.

Turns out at least half of the people there didn’t have jobs and had come to this thing to “network” which to them means to either find a job or to complain about not having a job. I’m find with people doing that, I’m just not that into it. It’s not productive, and it’s a time when you see people at their worst (there is no one I want to hire less than someone groveling for a job, know what I mean? Have some confidence, like your skills are actually worth something!).

And then I met this one guy, whose name I won’t mention. He introduced himself and asked me if I was looking for a job too. “No,” I said, “I own my own firm.”

“Me too,” he said, “though I’m kind of looking at other options.”

And he lost me at “looking at other options.” That is what I mean by starting a law firm is not for everyone. If you aren’t ready to jump in and go for it, it will never be successful (here’s one of my first posts on why I started a law firm). There is just too much time to invest, too many things you have to do for the first time that take big, huge, brass balls (in the figurative sense) that you just won’t do if you aren’t fully committed.

“I have something set up on Monday,” he told me. “That might work into something.”

You, my friend, will probably never own a successful law firm. You just don’t have the stomach for it. And that’s okay, not everyone does…

On a lighter note, all of you out there starting a firm have anything you want to know specifically? Leave a comment and I’ll give you my two cents. You can even tell me what you thought of this post (and, it’s okay to disagree, I’ll still like you!).

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