Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

million dollar solos

Hey, everyone. incoming 2L here. I've wanted to do PI lit fm147705/28/18
If this is your expectation upon graduation, you’re going esquirewalletsmatter05/28/18
By no means was this my expectation upon graduation. I shoul fm147705/28/18
Until then, do everything in your power to become practice r esquirewalletsmatter05/28/18
The difficult part about PI is getting the cases. Without go gaelorian06/05/18
You're asking how big a % of the PI pie you need to carve fo isthisit05/28/18
It's not impossible, but it's a top 1% proposition. Similarl guyingorillasuit05/28/18
Thank you. That's very valuable insight. As you'll see above fm147705/28/18
I know two guys who have become very wealthy men running the cacrimdefense05/28/18
Bizarre as it sounds this is what you have to do, and it inv midlaw05/28/18
The early 90s are a different era in PI litigation. It has g guyingorillasuit05/28/18
I was saying the same thing as the OP in law school. My advi physicssezno05/28/18
It's possible, but not probable, to be a heavy-hitting solo. dingbat05/28/18
The only thing that matters for a PI attorney in a market li wearyattorney05/28/18
What do the partner salaries look like at those heavy hittin fm147705/28/18
For seven figures, the only thing that matters is originatin wearyattorney05/28/18
You don't earn a salary when you're the boss of a small firm guyingorillasuit05/28/18
This. midlaw05/29/18
The low end is 0 (or negative since partners sometimes need midlaw05/29/18
Medical malpractice is where the big money is - and major wo orgdonor05/29/18
I would suggest you read Scott Bullock's infamous posts on T anothernjlawyer05/29/18
As others have mentioned, PI is all about generating clients mtbislife05/29/18
On the subject of "capital", that is the costs that a contin caj11105/29/18
As others here have mentioned, profitable low-end PI is all flharfh05/29/18
There's a million dollar guy in the SA/CC TX area, he advert whipster05/29/18
The parties he is throwing are for advertising purposes, thi wearyattorney05/29/18
OP, are you clerking in state court or federal? I clerked i blackholelaw05/29/18
I'm trying to get to the same spot. I was extremely lucky a jd4hire05/30/18
Thank you so much for your insight! Can you DM on this thing fm147705/30/18
There are a lot of good comments in this thread. I would ju dnabrams06/03/18
I'm actually thinking about starting my own plaintiffs' side bostonlawyer.206/04/18
Do you know anything about those companies that finance laws caj11106/04/18
Keches??? Defense experience is helpful, but if you do plai jd4hire06/05/18
I know Keches. But I wouldn't want to work for anyone else. bostonlawyer.206/06/18
P side PI is fun if you're a risk taker. But you've got to h jmoney06/05/18
That case ruined that guy's life. At least he kept the Corve esquirewalletsmatter06/06/18
No he lost that too. Didn't you read the part about when he caj11106/06/18
Damnit, you're right. Lol. esquirewalletsmatter06/06/18
Nonsense. I have had a couple of cases with Jan Schlichtmann bostonlawyer.206/07/18
And remember he had a unicorn... jmoney06/06/18
http://www.milliondollaradvocates.c om website has attorne mera8806/06/18
That website is not accurate nor all-inclusive. Not sure if jd4hire06/08/18
It is pay to play. It says right on the first page of the w caj11106/08/18
I looked at it hoping to see the lawyers I know who have won jmoney06/08/18
The best Plaintiff's attorneys in Boston are not on the list bostonlawyer.206/08/18

fm1477 (May 28, 2018 - 9:29 am)

Hey, everyone. incoming 2L here.

I've wanted to do PI litigation from the very beginning. I love it. I live in Philadelphia, a pretty decent legal market with several big players in PI and at least one firm has serious cash for name partners and other experienced partners (a prominent local attorney recently donated $50 million to a local law school). I'm open to practicing in PA, NJ, or DE.

It's my understand that, in general, there tend to be a few solo practitioners in bigger legal markets (PHL, Dallas, Phoenix, etc.) that make seven figures (or very close) annually doing PI litigation and keeping overhead minimal.

I'm not really setting out with the intention of building a practice that becomes nationwide with several offices. But what size of the PI pie, so to speak, would I need to have a stable practice that brings in seven figures for me in personal income annually?

I plan to clerk after graduation and then work as an associate for at least some time. Currently top 5% of my class...if that matters.

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esquirewalletsmatter (May 28, 2018 - 10:13 am)

If this is your expectation upon graduation, you’re going to be in for a rough go. Can it happen, perhaps. Is it likely, no. Why do I want you to represent me for an Amtrak crash case with fatalities? What skills do you bring to the table? What’s your track record? Who’s your experts? What relationships you have with the doctors and adjusters? Which judges do you hang out with socially? With all the competition in this market, why am I coming to you in two years with no experience? That should be your focus. Not a hypo 1MM.

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fm1477 (May 28, 2018 - 2:29 pm)

By no means was this my expectation upon graduation. I should've been more clear in my original post. I was hoping to hit the 1MM mark by the 15 year mark after graduation. Upon graduation, I plan to clerk and then work at a good PI shop and learn how to be a great PI lawyer and build a client base.

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esquirewalletsmatter (May 28, 2018 - 2:58 pm)

Until then, do everything in your power to become practice ready out of the gate. I was actually in Court far more in law school than when I practiced. Experience can propel one lightyears ahead in certain aspects.

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gaelorian (Jun 5, 2018 - 11:01 am)

The difficult part about PI is getting the cases. Without good cases you can't make good money. Good lawyers can get OK money from lousy cases but even great lawyers can't routinely make good money with lousy cases. Or with too few cases.

So, how do you get them? Marketing and networking. Marketing is expensive. Networking is time-consuming.

Marketing - you'll need a VERY big budget if you're going to compete with top PI firms. Many small or even medium-sized firms spend in the 100's of thousands on marketing and I'm guessing few of them make a million a year. (side note - what's wrong with 300k per year?). The big PI firms have million dollar budgets. It's a difficult market.

Networking - you're still competing with the big established PI firms that have established networks. In addition to their marketing budgets most PI firms have networks of referring lawyers, doctors, nurses, police offers, etc. that may or may not be getting some kind of incentive (ethically questionable, obviously). You'll need to find people that aren't loyal to existing PI powerhouses.

Be careful not to step on any toes of your employer PI firm. Stealing their network contacts is a surefire way to get yourself a bad name. And, obviously, don't steal their cases. PI lawyers are a small market. Don't give yourself a bad name because you see dollar signs in stealing cases.

The issue is it takes a lot of time to market and network and meanwhile you have to handle your cases.

My advice is to work your butt off in school in class and networking to get yourself in with a large, well-known PI firm. Generally, the salary is not great - you'll be nowhere near the biglaw folks pulling 160k. But you'll learn how to handle big cases (hopefully).

From there, save enough money to give yourself a large nest egg and marketing budget for when you go on your own. Then work your butt off again. Wishing you the best of luck.

Me. I'm 9 years into a PI career. I moved around a little. I have very good friends in the high end PI firms. I'm with a 7 lawyer smaller firm. I make low 6 figures but rarely work more than 40 hours per week. No law school debt. Enjoyable trials. Lots of kids I like to spend time with. It works for me. I'll probably top out around 180-200k in my late 40's if I continue on current trajectory with current firm. I started out making 50k. Went to local firm and graduated top half. Nothing bragworthy at all so it was a grind to get where I'm at (but my definition of grind didn't involve 70 hour weeks). So a light grind.

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isthisit (May 28, 2018 - 9:42 am)

You're asking how big a % of the PI pie you need to carve for yourself as a solo to make at least 1 million a year?

You may as well ask how many scratch offs you need to buy in order to win a 1 million dollar prize. There is an actual answer but the chances are so low that you should probably just focus on doing as much good work as you can and building the practice up over time.

You may hit a big case right from the start (happened to a friend also doing PI in Philly, it was high 6 figures) or you may end up just grinding out soft tissue auto cases. This is the fate of almost all the PI dudes I know in Philly/Jersey. Most end up grinding out a decent living after a couple years of building up their practice.

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guyingorillasuit (May 28, 2018 - 10:29 am)

It's not impossible, but it's a top 1% proposition. Similarly, the top 1% of clowns, chefs, and custom tailors also likely make a million dollars. It's all about being a successful business owner, marketing well, and leveraging the labor of employees.

You will need to start out working for a reputable PI shop which takes cases to trial regularly. These types of practices do not always hire straight out of law school. It will take a few years to understand the life cycle of different types of PI cases, the way different carriers approach litigation, which cases to avoid, how to take a high-value case to trial, etc. Anyone who tells you all of this can be learned in a year probably has not taken the types of cases to trial that you need to have the level of income you desire.

You will need to acquire a reputation as a trial lawyer. Without that reputation, no one will write you a large check. This kind of reputation, especially in the world of catastrophic cases, is built over 20-25 years or so. Remember, you will be going up against senior adjusters and senior defense attorneys.

When you leave the firm to go out on your own, you will need to have a name, a client stream, and a substantial line of credit. You will also need to have figured out how to market yourself, how to be an employer, and how to make smart financial decisions about your cases. All of this knowledge and experience takes years to build.

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fm1477 (May 28, 2018 - 2:37 pm)

Thank you. That's very valuable insight. As you'll see above...I forgot to include in my original post my goal for the 1MM mark was for about 15 years out of law school. I understand it takes a tremendous amount of time build up the reputation, contacts, and skill set needed to achieve such a goal. I planned on working at a firm like the one you've mentioned for at least 6 years after clerking.

I did intend to seem ignorant to the amount of time and work that needs to be invested in order to make 1MM a year. Through my early thirties I have no problem working for a MedMal mill, so to speak, around here the salaries are very generous all in for 3rd years and up

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cacrimdefense (May 28, 2018 - 2:50 pm)

I know two guys who have become very wealthy men running their own PI firms. One in Los Angeles (a dude I went to HS with), and the second in a well known city w/ a population well under 1 million (a fellow student at the LS I attended). Both guys are smart Jews who attended top notch universities as undergrads (not Ivies, however).

Lawyer #2 did it w/ advertising. A "beloved character" on afternoon and late night local television, via his commercials. Also, his billboards saturate the metroscape he occupies. Like most PI mills, his firm deals in volume. He largely represents working class folks lacking much education or sophistication. People who choose from lawyers who advertise on TV.

A little over a decade ago, he started to branch out. He opened up offices in other parts of his state, and in major cities in neighboring states. He must employ dozens of attorneys. His bar record has been dinged up a bit due to non-lawyers negotiating settlements, and lawyers practicing in one state, giving advice to clients situated in states where these lawyers weren't licensed.

This guy is, obviously, not the practitioner you're seeking to emulate. Maybe Lawyer #1, however, is.

After graduating from a second tier LS, Lawyer #2 immediately opened up his own solo shop, upon passing the bar. He had clerked for a pair of PI firms during LS. I really barely knew the guy, but several of my friends were quite familiar with him. His reputation was one of an aggressive, hungry go-getter.

In his second year of practice he caught a big case w/ a party that was gravely injured, and the corporate pockets responsible were deep. From what I've been told, he worked up the case like crazy, and then associated a big hitter firm after several months. When the case settled, his end was around 1.2 million. The following year he picked up multiple clients who were claiming long-term damage from breast implants or some such sh--. Again, after doing lots of work on the case, he brought in a (different) big firm, that would get 60% of the legal fees/winning. This time, when the matter resolved, he made more money than he did with the first case I described.

Since that time (early 90's), he's handled lots of financially enviable cases. Further, associating large, well known PI firms is now a strategy of the past. I looked at his firm website about a year ago. It's now him and two well-seasoned associates. It seems that he greases a lot of political palms or at least ingratiates himself w/ "progressive" politicians. His website features photos of him at dinner/political functions w/ presidents Clinton and Obama, along w/ a whole series of elected Democrats who labor away in Los Angeles and Sacramento.

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midlaw (May 28, 2018 - 3:00 pm)

Bizarre as it sounds this is what you have to do, and it involves getting “lucky” early. Luck isn’t enough, you also have to work your a** off, and be smart (e.g. bringing in the heavy hitter when necessary), but many, many, many PI lawyers never even get the chance to be hard working and smart, because the potentially big case never walks through the door.

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guyingorillasuit (May 28, 2018 - 11:50 pm)

The early 90s are a different era in PI litigation. It has gotten considerably tougher in the last 15 years, according to people who made a lot of money in the 80s and 90s in the PI business. Carriers were a lot more generous, and were not throwing $50,000 in defense costs at a $10,000 case. They also did not have captive defense firms.

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physicssezno (May 28, 2018 - 3:49 pm)

I was saying the same thing as the OP in law school. My advice:

Get real world experience in a busy firm that tries cases a lot AND study in books, dvds, cles and however you can how to be a great Lawyer by learning how excellent trial lawyers work their cases (eg books by Gerry Spence). Learn to represent people well, build cases, take good depositions, write strong motions, build cases that can be tried and learn to try cases.

Of course acquiring clients is crucial but if you get a case and don’t know how to help that Client get their just compensation then you aren’t really a great Lawyer. In fact, never have I felt so helpless as when I had a big case and felt out of my depth.

So my advice is invest in yourself by learning and practicing so people trust you and you trust yourself (not blind trust either, ask yourself if you can represent someone you truly care about). There is a wealth of amazing info out there and the world needs good trial lawyers for people who do well by doing right. We need more than that in fact since the trial bar is on the ropes against big business. But that’s another grave issue.

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dingbat (May 28, 2018 - 4:05 pm)

It's possible, but not probable, to be a heavy-hitting solo.

There are two routes:
1) start at a firm, get good experience and build an awesome client base. Depart instead of making partner, and take clients with you.
Note: A good number of your clients may follow you if you go to another firm, but very few will stick with you if you go solo

2) start solo, work your tail off, and get very, very, lucky.

But, keep in mind that a one-man shop can rarely handle the workload required for a big payday. You either need to bring in big hitters, or you need to hire minions to handle the workload, possibly both.

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wearyattorney (May 28, 2018 - 4:15 pm)

The only thing that matters for a PI attorney in a market like Philly is capital. Capital to bribe doctors for referrals, capital to advertise and capital to show success.

The common person doesn’t know what a good attorney is. They know this lawyer has a nice office. They know this lawyer drives a nice car. They know the doctor that they went to for their injuries told them to go to XYZ lawyer. They know the advertisements they see on TV with your name, even if you never litigated a case in your life and refer the stuff out. Most importantly, they know good lawyers have the money to fully finance their case from womb to tomb, including expert fees and court filing fees (which can add up to a fortune).

Do you have access to capital? Your skills don’t matter because your customers don’t know whether you have them or not, and your employers can find another guy or gal just like you for half the price to do the same job.

That’s my 2 cents. I know a boomer or two are going to show up here and tell you skills matter because XYZ, where XYZ is based on market conditions from 20-40 years ago.

If your parents have some money, go for it. You can hire people to do the work for peanuts, pretend like you know what you are doing, and collect. I hope you don’t wind up being the guy doing the work for peanuts: there’s no value in that.

If you don’t have money, your playing the lottery, pure and simple, except the lottery you are playing involves more work, a lot more risk and a smaller pay out than the real lottery.

I suggest you drop out of law school and pursue municipal employment of the politically protected variety, unless your family has serious money and can bank roll you.

I know you won’t listen. I know your parents told you XYZ, I know you know some guy who does ABC, but the stats for what you are attempting to do are absolutely harrowing.

I wish you the best. If you won’t back down from this ridiculous goal, I suggest you clerk for a small firm that has real trial attorneys and do your best to become a seasoned trial attorney as fast as possible. It will take around 7-10 years. If the federal government gets its act together and stops writing law schools a blank check, that skill ***might*** be worth something in 20 years in a place like Philly.

Your grades mean absolutely nothing for PI, and highlighting them might be a liability. Your customer base has a view of what constitutes a good attorney based on television, and you have to conform to that view and then pay the minions to do the real work. The minions are people who think just like you and they learn how to practice law and realize, when it’s too late, that Shaniqua, Jose, and Mike Mcaslister don’t know what practicing law entails. They know good lawyers scream, yell, threaten, wear expensive suits and drive nice cars because the Television tells them that’s the way it is. The rules of professional responsibility and the actual practice of law say otherwise, good luck resolving the two. There’s several thousand law students a year that have the same goal in mind, and each one of them thinks the other several thousand are idiots and/or somehow otherwise deficient. All of them, regardless of ability, are going to work for the lawyer that has money and their legal abilities, ie researching law, writing, doing a trial, and arguing an appeal won’t mean a thing.

I hope you drop out, I really, really, really do.

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fm1477 (May 28, 2018 - 7:32 pm)

What do the partner salaries look like at those heavy hitting smaller firms? Looking for a low range and high range

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wearyattorney (May 28, 2018 - 8:46 pm)

For seven figures, the only thing that matters is originating the files. Doing the work is irrelevant. It’s also context dependent. In the past, doing the work mattered, so someone could make partner and do well just by being a competent attorney. Those guys might be making seven figures today, but if you follow their path it’s guarnateed you won’t. And I don’t use that term lightly. Your clients don’t care if you are the best attorney if they have to front money. You have to be able to pay for expert fees, court fees, miscellaneous expenses, etc.

If you are purely a trial guy who does the work and doesnt originate, after 10-15 years, in today’s market, you’ll make 150-200k tops. If you originate the files, it’s seven figures and up. Originating the files is 70 percent capital, 20 percent sales ability, and ten percent lawyering.

You have to bake into the cake that things are going to get worse as the market gets more saturated, so you can’t trust those numbers. Eventually we are going to have mills doing 15 percent settlements, instead of the customary 1/3. So someone making 1 million in today’s market because he or she has the capital to generate the files will likely take a huge hit in the next 10-20 years as other well capitalized individuals cut in on cost, eg other firms take a third, we take 15 percent. That’s going to happen.

The market is driving people in based on past results, and as a result of the surplus, past results won’t hold up.

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guyingorillasuit (May 28, 2018 - 11:54 pm)

You don't earn a salary when you're the boss of a small firm. You take a draw, and then a distribution (in the form of a dividend or another form). If the firm made a gazillion dollars that year, you take home half a gazillion. If the firm made little, you take home nothing, and have to pray the bank doesn't call your loan. Even if the firm makes nothing, you still have to pay your rent, your employees, your insurance, and a ton of other overhead.

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midlaw (May 29, 2018 - 12:28 am)

This.

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midlaw (May 29, 2018 - 12:26 am)

The low end is 0 (or negative since partners sometimes need to personally guarantee litigation finance) and the high-end is 10M+. Of course, thinking in terms of “salary” represents a massive misunderstanding of how things work in the real world.

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orgdonor (May 29, 2018 - 12:15 am)

Medical malpractice is where the big money is - and major workplace accidents. In my jdx the med-map bar is very small. I refer one firm a lot of the med mal cases. They take forever. They're hard to win. They're expensive. And the plaintiffs - if it's a good case - usually have massive problems (e.g. They become housing insecure).

You need a lot of things going your way: salesmanship, attention to detail, luck, an aggressive personality. You need to care about the people. If you don't care, don't do it. You won't win as much.

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anothernjlawyer (May 29, 2018 - 12:53 pm)

I would suggest you read Scott Bullock's infamous posts on Top Law Schools under the handle "areyouinsane", some of which can be found here:

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=157855&start=200

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mtbislife (May 29, 2018 - 1:43 pm)

As others have mentioned, PI is all about generating clients. Many of the heavy hitters get to where they are at through underhanded means such as bribing chiros, throwing parties for labor union members, ect. Hell, some even pay people to get i to car accidents. The vast majority end up doing soft tissue cases and hating their lives but simultaneously hoping for that multi-million dollar settlement that never comes. I really hope you rethink this plan.

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caj111 (May 29, 2018 - 1:54 pm)

On the subject of "capital", that is the costs that a contingency fee attorney/law firm typically must front to try a case - expert witnesses, medical reports, studies, court filing fees etc., I have seen a number of companies out there that will "invest" in your lawsuit in exchange for a percentage of the outcome, the settlement or verdict amount. If that amount is $0, they eat the loss. What I do know is that these companies typically require the plaintiff or their attorney to front at least 20% of the cases' costs, they go over every case with a fine tooth comb and only finance the cases with a high chance of winning, and while they might claim they won't pressure you to settle the case for a lower amount than your client might otherwise want to, the pressure is definitely always there.

Obviously, an attorney who uses one of these companies will walk away with a far lower contingency fee than an attorney who doesn't, but then it also means less risk for them and they don't eat the costs if they lose.

Even with all I know about these legal financing companies, what they offer seems too good to be true. Does anyone out there have or know of any real experience using these companies, and if so, is it truly worth the lower contingency fees you end up with?

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flharfh (May 29, 2018 - 5:24 pm)

As others here have mentioned, profitable low-end PI is all about marketing and getting clients. The big PI mills usually spend millions in advertising and often have multiple offices scattered around a state so clients don't have to travel as far. Additionally, they have paralegals do a large amount of the work to minimize costs. As a new solo you can't afford to advertise and since you won't have a word-of-mouth or referral network, your upside is pretty limited. Hoping a big case walks in the door isn't a great business plan. You'll deal with a lot of people with sketchy or marginal cases that have been turned down by firms higher up the food chain.

There are ways that a small firm can succeed in plaintiff's litigation. For example professional malpractice, i.e. med mal/long term care, architect/engineer, real estate, etc. are niches that small firms can excel in. However it takes a lot of experience to properly evaluate those cases and pick out the ones that look like winners before you actually file the lawsuit and get into discovery, and the costs can be immense - in a simple car accident you may compile a few thousand in costs over the life of the case, a med mal or construction case may drag on for years and you could have three plus hired experts, so your costs can easily exceed $50k or more. And if you lose the case, you lose that entire investment, so this sort of work is very risky even with a lot of experience.

Med Mal specifically is notoriously risky and difficult for PI lawyers. Jurys don't like to find doctors negligent, and because an adverse verdict or settlement may have licensure consequences for the physician, the defense often will fight you tooth and nail on every issue.

TLDR - As Gigs said above, we're talking about a top 1% outcome so you shouldn't plan your life as if you're going to succeed in the way you think. Get some trial experience, develop your skills, and take it from there.

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whipster (May 29, 2018 - 9:09 pm)

There's a million dollar guy in the SA/CC TX area, he advertises out the arse, and burns through attorneys like butter. He has an ad every day for new attorneys, and has had that ad out for years. I have known a few people that worked for him...they last about 6-8 months.

Here's the latest: https://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/article/Bodak-Yellow-rapper-Cardi-B-performed-at-San-12831562.php

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wearyattorney (May 29, 2018 - 10:49 pm)

The parties he is throwing are for advertising purposes, this guy is to be admired, he’s an extremely shrewd business man and is having a good time in the process.

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blackholelaw (May 29, 2018 - 10:04 pm)

OP, are you clerking in state court or federal? I clerked in common pleas, and K&S was plaintiff's counsel for all of the gigantic cases. None of them actually went to trial while I was clerking, but a few settled for 7 figures. If you're clerking in state trial court, you'll quickly come to know the big PI players. It may help to reach out to some associates at those firms for informational interviews/coffee.

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jd4hire (May 30, 2018 - 8:50 am)

I'm trying to get to the same spot. I was extremely lucky and managed to get an in with the top PI firm in the area. I'm hopeful to learn the skills to go out on my own some day (the past alumni have had a strong career path after leaving) or stick around long enough that there is a changing of the guard (son take father's place). I'm hopeful that when that occurs, I can get even a small piece of the pie. We litigate and settle cases anywhere from 200k to 50 mil +. I think a ton has to do with luck.

I'd suggest you do the absolute best you can to find a mentor who cares about teaching you how to do things right. Even if defense, learn as much as you can, but work your way to a top-notch PI firm and learn how to handle files from soft tissue cases to TBIs that require 5+ experts. It would be ideal if the mentor you find is at a top-notch PI plaintiff firm.

While being mentored, hoard cash, join community organizations, and try and make your name as recognizable with high-value plaintiff work. Maintain law school friendships and try and create referral sources - a friend that does SSDI work who can refer cases, family law practitioners who have clients come in telling them about a terrible car accident their aunt was in, etc.

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fm1477 (May 30, 2018 - 12:14 pm)

Thank you so much for your insight! Can you DM on this thing? If so, DM me, please, I'd like to talk more. Surely, luck plays a huge role in anyone reaching the pinnacle of their profession. It's impossible to reach such heights without at least something just bouncing your way that gives you an opportunity.

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dnabrams (Jun 3, 2018 - 5:08 pm)

There are a lot of good comments in this thread. I would just add that there is a big difference between having a million dollar year and consistently making a million dollars a year.

FWIW I think it's pretty unusual to consistently make a million dollars a year as a solo with minimal overhead. As a contingent fee attorney, you have a reasonable shot at getting a few big hits in your career. But to consistently make $1m+, I think you need to have a system in place to get (and process) hundreds of calls a month. Which will require staff, advertising expenses, etc. i.e. overhead.

I have been a solo for 15 years now and I know one guy who consistently makes bank with just 1 partner and a couple paralegals, but he has worked himself into an unusual and very profitable niche.

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bostonlawyer.2 (Jun 4, 2018 - 3:20 pm)

I'm actually thinking about starting my own plaintiffs' side I shop.

The difference is that I have 12 years defense experience. So I do think that will be very helpful.

I am amazed at how many sloppy incompetent plaintiffs' lawyers they are who still make bank.

I will probably open it with $250,000 of my money and maybe go in with one other friend.

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caj111 (Jun 4, 2018 - 5:40 pm)

Do you know anything about those companies that finance lawsuits on a contingency basis? They help a plaintiff's attorney cover the various costs associated with a case (i.e. expert witnesses, studies, etc.) and then get a substantial cut of any contingent fee the attorney collects when they win or settle the case? If the attorney loses, they pay nothing. Always wondered about those companies... seems too good to be true.

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jd4hire (Jun 5, 2018 - 11:37 am)

Keches??? Defense experience is helpful, but if you do plaintiff's work right (as I'm learning after 7 years defense experience), there are a lot of things that you would never have thought of as an ID attorney. I'm blown away by the time, effort, energy, and money that my firm puts into every single little aspect of a plaintiff's case. That's also why we have a non-stop stream of attorney's trying to refer us big cases.

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bostonlawyer.2 (Jun 6, 2018 - 10:04 pm)

I know Keches. But I wouldn't want to work for anyone else.

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jmoney (Jun 5, 2018 - 10:24 pm)

P side PI is fun if you're a risk taker. But you've got to have brass cajones, amigo. And you've got to have more than that.

You might never get paid. Or you might get paid 30 cents an hour. Or you might make 6 figures from 10 hours work. Or you might put 100k into a case to get 500k. But don't do PI thinking you'll be the one to get a 10 MM case by yourself 10 years after law school. Solos rarely get those cases. The smart and lucky ones that do will find a heavy hitting PI firm in the state to share the labor and bounty with. You're gonna have to know more about medicine than you ever wanted to know.

The whole game is getting cases and picking cases once you've got them. Duds are duds and are everywhere, and unicorns are rare. It takes a lot of institutional effort to be able to even handle the unicorns. It takes a lot of reputation to even look a unicorn in the eye.

This is something you do because you like it. Read A Civil Action and cringe at the end.

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esquirewalletsmatter (Jun 6, 2018 - 3:03 pm)

That case ruined that guy's life. At least he kept the Corvette though.

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caj111 (Jun 6, 2018 - 4:15 pm)

No he lost that too. Didn't you read the part about when he went to bankruptcy court where his assets consisted of a few nice suites, a radio and $14 in his bank account? However, he eventually got back on his feet. Married a woman from a well-to-do family, had a few good cases that he won or settled after that, and got a nice chunk of change for the book and movie rights to his story, with which he bought his current home. He also brings in a few bucks from speaking fees now and then where he tells people not to make the same mistakes he did. He appears to be listed as Of Counsel to some personal injury firm called Morgan & Morgan now. He was lucky to be still young when he made the mistakes he did. But I'm sure his retirement has been delayed somewhat because of it.

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esquirewalletsmatter (Jun 6, 2018 - 4:32 pm)

Damnit, you're right. Lol.

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bostonlawyer.2 (Jun 7, 2018 - 10:05 pm)

Nonsense. I have had a couple of cases with Jan Schlichtmann. He is loaded.

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jmoney (Jun 6, 2018 - 7:19 pm)

And remember he had a unicorn...

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mera88 (Jun 6, 2018 - 10:37 pm)

http://www.milliondollaradvocates.com

website has attorneys who have won million dollar cases.

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jd4hire (Jun 8, 2018 - 7:40 am)

That website is not accurate nor all-inclusive. Not sure if Million Dollar Advocates is one of those pay to play services either.

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caj111 (Jun 8, 2018 - 10:59 am)

It is pay to play. It says right on the first page of the website that you must pay $1200 to join as a "million dollar advocate" or $1700 to join as a "multi-million dollar advocate" in addition to that. You have to have had a case that settled or had a judgement for $1 million or more for the former and $2 million or more for the latter.

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jmoney (Jun 8, 2018 - 8:31 pm)

I looked at it hoping to see the lawyers I know who have won (in some cases, multiple) MM cases. Only one was there.

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bostonlawyer.2 (Jun 8, 2018 - 8:34 pm)

The best Plaintiff's attorneys in Boston are not on the list.

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