Preface

It is ever more challenging for lawyers to find a secure source of income. Fewer and fewer law school graduates obtain employment within the first nine months after graduating. For those who manage to find employment, after a year or two on the job, they come to realize that having a boss is either too stressful or financially oppressive (sometimes both). The vast number of lawyers will be confronted at some point with the need to build their own practice. Some lawyers, indeed most people, still believe in the myth that starting one's own business is risky. "At least with a job, you get a guaranteed check." The opposite couldn't be more true. If you have 20 clients, and 2 fire you (maybe they ran out of money and couldn't afford you anymore), you still have 18 others and enough work to get you by. But if you have one job at one firm and you lose it (for any reason or no reason at all), you are in a jam! As hard as it is to get over the "It's risky" myth, you need to. Once you are established and see how this works, there is no turning back... provided you learn and obey the skills shared in this short book.

This book is not aimed toward making the process sound easy, although it is not all that difficult. Instead, the aim is to impart upon young attorneys information concerning what it takes to succeed, where the risks are, how to minimize those risks, and how to recognize and adapt to current trends in the practice of law which are driven by technology. Many people chose law to make a lot of money. When you decided to become a lawyer, what, in your mind, did the "future you" look like? Part of this book's purpose is to dispel the myth that the legal profession is overflowing with easy money and opulence. In fact, you probably have already experienced the "law school let-down." Surely, you don't need advice which heaps despair onto disappointment. Do not worry. This book does not do that. The fact is this: Despite growing feelings of despair and anxiety over whether your choice of law was worth it, building a successful law practice is not all that hard to do. Law school teaches young people how to think like lawyers. It does not teach you how to think like business people. The despair most young lawyers feel is because they spent $150,000 to get an education and do not have a clue on how to use that education and turn it into a source of income.

This book contains a mix of advice. Some of the advice applies to all forms of business, while some is specific to the practice of law. You should take special care when reading the advice that is not specific to the law. Here is the deal: You spent three years learning how to think like a lawyer and apply legal principles. If this book was more of that, it would be an utter waste. Obviously, three years of education to think like a lawyer is sufficient to think like a lawyer, notwithstanding that most young lawyers might have their doubts. Maybe one of those law school years, or even a semester, should have been dedicated to survival in the marketplace. Because law school gave no attention to this subject, it cannot be over-emphasized: You should take special care when reading the advice that is not specific to the law. This is a key ingredient to everyone's success - not just the success of lawyers.

What this book is not: This book is not a "proof." It is designed to be concise and one which can be read in a single session. Citations to proof and recitals of statistics cannot be found here. If you need confirmation of any claim made herein, you can do your own homework. This book promises only one thing. It contains the information you need to get a solid start. With this foundation in place and in practice, you will find, through experience and hindsight, that it is not that difficult to earn $100,000 or more per year while working only a few hours a day. From there, you are on your own, and you can steer your practice in the direction that best suits you - whether you want an easy life, or whether you are obsessed with making vastly more money and want to do what it takes to become rich.


2015, Jeff M