Monday, November 28, 2011

From the NYT: "Can Lawyers be Entrepeneurial?"

Part of an ongoing blog series called "You're the Boss: The Art of Running a Small Business."

To some, the phrase entrepreneurial lawyer may sound like an oxymoron, but we’ve just published an article by Eileen Zimmerman, reporting that more and more lawyers are choosing entrepreneurship over the partner track.

Margie R. Grossberg, a partner at the legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa, said she saw an increasing number of associates choosing to start their own firms. “In the past, associates found if they worked really hard and did the right things, they made partner,” she said. “That’s not necessarily the case anymore — the odds are a lot slimmer and it’s also not as coveted as it once was.” These lawyers want more control over their futures, Ms. Grossberg said, and do not want to wait until they become partner to have meaningful relationships with clients.

The economy is another factor. “There have been thousands of associates laid off because of the recession,” said Eric A. Seeger, a principal at Altman Weil, a legal consultant. “We’re seeing more lawyers out there now taking risks, and that includes going out on their own.”

The paper then asks "what advice would you give a lawyer starting a firm?"  Although readers have responded with the advice you might expect - create a "brand,"  keep overhead as low as possible, outsource all non-essential tasks, and hire a great paralegal - it's still worth scrolling through the suggestions here.


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