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Should Laid Off Lawyers Strike Out On Their Own?

By Kevin Fayle on April 15, 2009 2:50 PM

Anyone thinking of starting their own firm after being laid off from a position in BigLaw should read this post in Above the Law

In it, Roxana St. Thomas, a laid-off New York lawyer, lists the reasons why she does not, no way, no how, under any circumstances whatsoever want to start her own firm.

Roxana has come up with several compelling (and amusing) justifications for continuing to look for work with a firm rather than hanging out her own shingle..  As always, though, there are counterpoints to every point, and in the end it really comes down to individual goals and abilities.
Roxana talks a lot about the costs of starting a firm, which can definitely be prohibitive - especially for someone who's staying up nights trying to figure out a way to make student loan payments, pay the rent and buy stacks of resume paper all in the same month.

It's also not the best time to get a loan.  Banks aren't exactly eager to give money away right now, and the current state of the legal industry won't inspire them to get loose with their checkbooks.

But if you can get past the money issue - maybe by starting small, working out of your house and building from there, who knows - what remains lies largely with who you are and what you know you can do.

Roxana knows she would be lousy at organizing a firm and managing a firm.  But she also knows that there are people out there who would be great at it. 

Ultimately, the question is . . . which type are you?

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