The following is an excerpt from "Solo Out of Law School--A How Can Guide to Starting a Law Firm as a New Attorney"
There are endless reasons not to start a law firm. Think about it.
After all, you have no experience, no paying clients, stiff competition from alternative legal service providers with massive marketing budgets and worst of all, a very real fear that people may actually know that you feel like you don't have the slightest clue what you are doing.
Overtime protections were first put into place by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, and established the general standard that workers be paid time-and-a-half for any hours worked over 40 hours in a week. In general, all hourly employees are guaranteed overtime, and salaried employees are presumed to have the same guarantee unless they both: (1) make more than a salary threshold set by the Department of Labor, and (2) pass a test demonstrating that they primarily perform executive, administrative, or professional duties.
The prospect of hiring workers, while exciting, can be intimidating to new business owners, Employment law can be a confusing and time-consuming minefield, and the consequences of making a mistake can range from costly to financially devastating. Generally, employers must consider a number of new responsibilities, including withholding income taxes, paying Social Security and Medicare taxes,unemployment tax and insurance not to mention the bevy of registration and compliance requirements at the local, state and federal level.
As most know, I’ve been a solo attorney for some time now, and building my own practice has no doubt been immensely challenging but also tremendously rewarding. I’ve learned more about myself through this journey than I ever envisioned. And, going into business for myself has really opened my eyes to what it takes to succeed in building something sustainable from the ground up.
There are plenty of books out there about the technical aspects of opening a law practice. But, it was always a challenge for me to find resources that took a more pragmatic approach to building one.
As any estate planning attorney will attest to, financial planners are some of our strongest allies when we work to help clients ensure that their futures and families are well taken care of. But, not all advisors are alike. Some charge flat fees, like an attorney, for ongoing involvement with your financial affairs, while others don’t charge anything, but rather make a living off of commissions paid to them by the institutions with which they place policies.
As an estate planning attorney, I find myself working with clients to protect certain aspects of their financial life at a very high level, meaning, that while we work together to establish the framework that ensures the client and his or her family will be taken care of should something happen, I don't specifically deal with the financial vehicles involved in helping folks grow their assets during life. That's where the financial advisor comes in and why guys like Brian Plain are great to have on your team.
As I write this, Brittany Maynard is living the last few weeks of her young life. She’s 29 years old- just a year younger than me, so reading about her story has hit close to home for me. I don’t pretend that my words on this blog are profound, so for those that haven’t read about Brittany or seen her story on the news; you can read a wonderful piece on her journey about it here.
I advise a number of businesses that are just starting out and looking to establish themselves in some competitive markets. While they come to me to help them sort out legal issues associated with starting a business, as a small business owner myself, I always enjoy sharing my story and what I've learned operating my still-very-young business from a business standpoint as well.