Large firm lawyers say they don’t want to go solo

See the post on August 17th by Dennis Kennedy discussing an article about large firm lawyers converting to sole practitioners. The article, to Dennis’ surprise, suggests that 93% of large firm lawyers wouldn’t go solo, even if they were guaranteed the capital to do so.

I’m not sure what “guaranteed capital” means. To me, it means you’ve got enough to start; it doesn’t mean you’ve got enough to live the life style you want for 12 months or 36 months (or whatever) even if you’re not a great rainmaker. The uncertainty of bringing in new business may be more scary to today’s youth than we think. And, if you’re a great rainmaker, the AmLaw 200 numbers recently released seem to suggest that you will earn more in a large firm context than in your own firm.

Thee are exceptions to every rule, and this is no exception. (Pun not intended, but I like it anyway.)

Asked why I became a lawyer instead of a doctor, my response was because that was in the nature of my personality. I think the same is true for the question as to why you stay in a large firm rather than go solo. It’s the nature of our personality that governs what environment we choose in which to practice law…coupled with circumstances (such as being taken off the partnership track, etc.)

I’m not sure the result is so surprising as Dennis suggests, other than that this number varies from the statistic published in an earlier survey.


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