Friday, November 30, 2007

Preliminary Considerations: Why I chose to go solo.

People really don't understand the profession of Law. We spend years in school learning concepts that are ambiguous at best, write a three-day exam at the end of our studies and then are thrust into the legal world to practice as attorneys. Many of us end up in large firms with equally large salaries, only to work 70 hour work weeks performing riguourous research tasks. Others find themselves in public practice, working for government agencies or for Legal Aid Societies.

At the beginning, I always second guessed my decision to go solo. I had some experience behind me as a law clerk and I had firms who were willing to take me upon passing the bar exam. I suppose it really came down to the kind of practitioner I wanted to be. I've been an independant person from Day One. I was always able to take care of myself and often enjoyed being alone. I craved independence as a child and constantly questioned authority.

I was nine months pregnant when I wrote the California bar exam and I was a new mom when I was sworn in to bar. When my daughter was 5 months old, I decided that I wanted to go back to work. I just wanted flexibility. At the time, I had a few clients approach me to draft their wills. So, I decided to go into estate planning, thinking that it would be a simple area where I would draft wills from a template.

Was I ever wrong!

I accepted my first client and took her to the owner of a firm where I had clerked. Although I had worked at that firm previously, I had never worked in estate planning and I sat through the client meeting, trying to absorb everything that took place at that meeting. At that time, I knew nothing about revocable living trusts.

Two months later, I had drafted and funded my first revocable living trust entirely on my own and had already held a seminar on revocable trusts for financial planners.

Two months after starting, I not only broke even but I had profit.

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