Blog Network

  • An Affiliate of the Network

    From the Newswire

    Sign up to receive Legal Blog Watch by email
    View a Sample

« New York State Bar Report Finds Work-life Balance Still Eludes Most Attorneys | Main | Four Successful Attorneys Who Pursue Their Personal Passions in Their Professional Practices »

Ex-"Big Law" Attorneys From Wilson Elser and Other Firms Overcome Obstacles and Start Their Own Practices

Starting up a new law firm is not for the faint-hearted.  For most lawyers leaving large firms to begin new small firms, the major challenge is covering high startup costs such as rents, employee salaries, insurance, and office supplies until the first clients are billed and start sending in checks. The lucky lawyers are those who have already built up a portfolio of clients who are willing to move their business to the new firm.

Often, lawyers striking out on their own need to get up and running under tight time constraints if their firms ask them to leave immediately once they announce their decision to leave.  The current economy creates some challenges, too.  Depending on the nature of a small firm's practice, it may have more or less business during a slower economic time.  Some areas of practice, such as commercial litigation and immigration, will remain strong during an economic downturn. 

Despite the challenges, Jim Kaplan and Bill Zeena, formerly of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, report that their move to "small law" has been "rewarding" and is "working out very well". Specifically, the repositioned attorneys are enjoying the ability to grow their practices the way they want and to have more influence over which clients to represent and the areas of law in which to concentrate their practices, as well as the billing structures they use with their clients.  Their new firm's smaller size allows them to avoid many of the client conflicts of interests that were common during their large firm days.  However, along with the greater flexibility has come more management and administrative work.

Back at Wilson Elser, the managing partners said they were happy about how the transitions worked.  They said they wished their former partners well and understood why they left.  One partner emphasized that the departures had been amicable and that his firm continues to work with the new, smaller firm on various matters.

Other lawyer transition stories can be read in an article recently appearing on Lawyers contemplating starting up on their own should read the article to learn more about the potential pitfalls and rewards.

As we recently observed, leaving a large law firm to start a small one is not for everyone.  However, while lawyers departing from large firms to start smaller firms will certainly face challenges, they can also find great rewards in the small firm setting and make a successful transition, even in a relatively slow economy.

By Steve Imparl, guest blogger

Submit Comments to This Post


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Ex-"Big Law" Attorneys From Wilson Elser and Other Firms Overcome Obstacles and Start Their Own Practices:


The comments to this entry are closed.

Search This Blog



ABA Top 100 Blawg

Subscribe By Email

  • Join the over 30,000 attorneys who receive either daily or bimonthly email updates of the latest posts added to the JD Bliss blog. You can unsubscribe at any time and your information will be kept strictly confidential

    Option #1: Daily Updates

    Enter your email address:

    Option #2: Bimonthly Updates

    Enter you email Address:

Questions? Get Answers!