Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Any trusts and estates attorneys here?

Does anyone here work in trusts and estates or knows someone lightandsweetcoffee09/30/18
If you give me a way to contact you offlist i’d be happy t dingbat09/30/18
Thank you for the exhaustive reply! Do you happen to know lightandsweetcoffee09/30/18
New York prohibits such an arrangement. Check out ethics op dingbat09/30/18
Thanks for the information! I will keep that in mind regardi lightandsweetcoffee09/30/18
1) where on earth did you get the BA in Jurisprudence and th dingbat09/30/18
Without outing myself, I went to a school on the east coast. lightandsweetcoffee10/01/18
Nor will there be any practical classes in law school except isthisit10/01/18
In other words you got conned into a bullsht degree. You’ dingbat10/01/18
Agreed. Stay away from the money pit called Seton Hall. isthisit10/01/18
... lightandsweetcoffee10/01/18
Why would you say I got conned into a bullsht degree? I have lightandsweetcoffee10/01/18
I think she means they may be BS degrees from the standpoint wutwutwut10/01/18
a BA in Jurisprudence and an MSC in law are about as useful dingbat10/01/18
I don't mean to be mean, and i apologize if my words come ou dingbat10/01/18
I truly fail to see the need for the rudeness. I came here t lightandsweetcoffee10/01/18
Curious, and at the risk of again setting off an apparently wutwutwut10/01/18
... lightandsweetcoffee10/01/18
Good for you that you've built a business that is qiute succ dingbat10/01/18
... lightandsweetcoffee10/01/18
I'll be fair. There are a handful of niche specialty areas dingbat10/01/18
Looks like I missed out on all the temporary answers... sig wutwutwut10/01/18
oddly, there was nothing particularly interesting, and you c dingbat10/01/18
great that you got a masters at the same time a your bachelo dingbat10/01/18
... lightandsweetcoffee10/01/18
your mistake. My offer to talk about Estate Planning sti dingbat10/01/18
dalocummelioribus? jd4hire10/01/18
Don't think so. He doesn't have a business, at least not th wutwutwut10/01/18
You still have time to save yourself. Avoid going to law sc caj11110/01/18
The OP was an obvious troll to begin with. professionalloser10/05/18
Trolls usually don't get mad and go back and delete a bunch wutwutwut10/05/18
If not a troll, what a sad, delusional person. professionalloser10/05/18
plenty of those around dingbat10/05/18

lightandsweetcoffee (Sep 30, 2018 - 5:45 pm)

Does anyone here work in trusts and estates or knows someone who does? I am really interested in this kind of work and have been for quite some time but it is very hard to find someone to speak to who works in the field. That's why I'm trying here :D It seems to be a field of law with a lot of client contact (I like this) and where you can follow clients from birth to death. It's seemingly got more of a counseling role and the need for interpersonal skills, but I also appreciate.

I've been doing a lot of reading on fora and someone said this:

"Similar to tax practice, this is a complex, statutory practice. The law evolves very quickly and there is a wide variety of authority, including case law, revenue rulings, statutes, etc. This is mostly a non-adversarial practice. The day-to-day work involves drafting of estate plans and sub-documents, counseling clients, and administering estates both in and out of court. This practice does not have many deadlines. People who fail in this practice sometimes have problems discussing the complex law in plain English, don’t like the complexity, or get pigeon-holed into one small section of the practice, which can be boring."

I love all of this! The minutiae of statutes, having to deal with taxes, drafting tons of documents, counseling clients, possibly going into court but not being adversarial all the time. Yes, I am fun at parties, I promise.

Do trust and estate attorneys work in large firms? Or do they set up shop on their own right away? Could a trusts and estates attorney be employed not just by a law firm but also by a wealth management firm? I am not money or prestige-oriented but it’s good to know if one can make a comfortable living doing this. I own a consulting firm in a legal-adjacent industry, so I am no familiar to opening up my own company. My end goal would be to do a few years in a firm to gain experience and contacts and then open my own boutique trusts and estates practice.

Thanks, all.

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dingbat (Sep 30, 2018 - 6:57 pm)

If you give me a way to contact you offlist i’d be happy to discuss with you.

T&E is practiced at all levels, from country bumpkin general practice, to high level boutique solos, from small firms with one T&E partner to the biggest of biglaw firms.

It can be incredibly complex, or surprisingly simple.

It’s mostly collegial but can get adversarial (and that’s not including T&E litigation).

There are attorneys employed by wealth management firms BUT a wealth management firm can’t privyde legal advice to clients and attorneys can’t sgare fees with such firms. Sometimes there’s separate legal entities for wealth management and for legal services (which is prohibited in some states) but that’s quite rare. The rules of professional conduct are quite restrictive here.

Deadlines are self-imposed, though there is the occasional rush job.

People who fail in this field are the ones who can’t attract clients. You can know nothing of the law and be a complete screwup and still do well if your clients aren’t too smart

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lightandsweetcoffee (Sep 30, 2018 - 8:40 pm)

Thank you for the exhaustive reply!

Do you happen to know if New York is a state which allows for separate legal entities for wealth management and for legal services under the same roof? I understand about lawyers not sharing fees with firms, but what would stop an attorney from owning such a firm and not sharing his or her legal fees? So many questions, so little time!

This feels like a very good fit for me. I'm finishing up my MSc in law and public policy (BA in jurisprudence) and am starting studying for my LSAT very soon. Crossing my fingers. :) While going through my classes, I always found trusts and estates the most interesting. I love the law for the law's sake and I love dealing with clients and doing the "boring work" that perhaps a straight litigator wouldn't like. I'm a very detail-oriented person and I love drafting documents (I built up my company in a similar field).

How can I give you my private contact info?

Are you a T & E attorney? Do you like your job? What are your hours like? A typical day? Do you work in close contact with clients or are you part of a team? Would a Tax LLM benefit a T & E attorney? I'm also really interested in tax, too.

Thanks again for the reply, much appreciated.

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dingbat (Sep 30, 2018 - 9:29 pm)

New York prohibits such an arrangement. Check out ethics opinions 619, 682 and 1086.
It's not just about sharing fees, it's that there's an inherent conflict of interest because you make more money by steering the client to your financial services firm, or vice versa, and that you may receive fees from the investment companies. As far as NY is concerned, that's a non-waivable conflict.

Having read the next paragraph, I conclude that you're a U.K, lawyer considering getting an LLM and moving to New York (one of the few states where you don't need an ABA accredited J.D.) That's a whole different story altogether, and my first bit of advice is "don't do it".

That being said, just post a throw-away email address that I can contact you at, and we can have a longer discussion.

Yes, I am a T&E attorney. I love my job. My hours are whatever I want them to be - I have my own firm, and the only times I have to be in the office are when I'm meeting clients. I prefer working from the office rather than from home because I'm more efficient there, but if I don't feel like going in, I won't - I think I only went into the office twice last week. Later this week I'm meeting a client at 6 pm, and as I don't have a heavy workload, I'll probably stroll into the office in the late afternoon that day. But there are times where I am very busy and don't have the luxury of being lazy. I've done my best to arrange my work life in a way that I enjoy, and I don't mind making less money in return.

When it comes to T&E, classes only teach you so much. I've taken tax classes which didn't prepare me for the tax issues related to T&E, which I learned on my own. I didn't even bother taking T&E in law school, and having talked to T&E professors, I feel such a class would have wasted my time. Most of the appropriate knowledge I learned on my own or from other practitioners.

As an aside to the knowledge question, I've come across very successful T&E attorneys who don't know the first thing about tax, or even about Trusts, to be honest. It's a field where mistakes don't get caught until years later, and even then might not become a real issue. I don't know how often a prior estate plan comes across my desk that's just utter garbage. But if you're good at convincing clients, then you'll make a boatload of money. Just retire before the sh-t hits the fan.

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lightandsweetcoffee (Sep 30, 2018 - 9:50 pm)

Thanks for the information! I will keep that in mind regarding New York state. Good to know.

I am not a UK national. I am American (born and raised in NYC!). I have heard that a Tax LLM is good to have at some point down in the road even for T & E attorneys because no doubt the advice you give will touch upon tax issues.

I'll make a throwaway gmail and post it on here soon. :) Thanks for the information again; it's much appreciated. One more thing: is a clerkship necessary in this field? I have done extensive reading and I've read that if baby lawyers want to target large firms exclusively (kind of what I want to do to gain experience the first few years), it's difficult to impossible to get hired as many of them are closing their T and E practices outright. In this case, would a clerkship get my foot in the door or is it completely unnecessary? I have the feeling a clerkship is better if you want more general corporate (whether lit or transactional).

I have so many n00b questions so I really appreciate this!

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dingbat (Sep 30, 2018 - 11:25 pm)

1) where on earth did you get the BA in Jurisprudence and the MSC in Law and Public Policy?

2) if you know anything about the American legal world, you'd know that no clerkship is necessary for anything. The only thing that matters for large firms is your law school + class rank. Generally speaking, the only kind of clerkship that matters for large firms (Article III) requires the kind of pedigree that would get you hired by a large firm without any clerkship. And no, I haven't heard of any large firms closing their T and E practices outright.

I made the assumption of you being U.K. because you've listed degrees I didn't know existed in the U.S. and can't imagine anyone in the U.S. studying - combined with a complete lack of knowledge of how the legal industry operates in this country.

I'm happy to help you along,

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lightandsweetcoffee (Oct 1, 2018 - 12:05 am)

Without outing myself, I went to a school on the east coast.

A degree in jurisprudence is more theoretical. We studied the law from a theory standpoint, not from a practical one. We studied con law, trusts and estates, real estate law, administrative law, etc. but there were no classes on the actual practice of lawyering (as there shouldn't be--it's not a JD). So, I could write a kick ass brief but I can't tell you how to be a lawyer, lol. Hence all the questions! I'm throwing them to you because you're an actual practicing lawyer. ;-)

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isthisit (Oct 1, 2018 - 6:47 am)

Nor will there be any practical classes in law school except if you take clinic and the small handful of skills based classes taught by adjuncts.

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dingbat (Oct 1, 2018 - 11:08 am)

In other words you got conned into a bullsht degree. You’re off to a bad start.

Also, Jersey’s legal market is over saturated, Montclair isn’t a good university, and for heaven’s sake don’t get a JD from seton hall

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isthisit (Oct 1, 2018 - 2:50 pm)

Agreed. Stay away from the money pit called Seton Hall.

I got my J.D. from Rutgers but my family paid for it so I got it for free. If I had to pay or take out loans to get my J.D. I would have done something else.

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lightandsweetcoffee (Oct 1, 2018 - 2:59 pm)

...

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lightandsweetcoffee (Oct 1, 2018 - 12:02 pm)

Why would you say I got conned into a bullsht degree? I have an excellent average and I'm not yet in law school. I also worked through school and paid out of pocket and am debt free. I'm studying for the LSAT as we speak. Relax! :)

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wutwutwut (Oct 1, 2018 - 12:25 pm)

I think she means they may be BS degrees from the standpoint that you are now trained to do nothing other* than go to LS. And LS is not the best bet nowadays (and hasn't been for some time).

Please take a very hard look at at any LS you'd like to attend using the website linked below (if you haven't already). You can sort by employment outcomes, cost, admissions criteria, etc.

The sweet spot if you're bound for LS is to find one that has better than average employment outcomes and doesn't cost you an arm and both legs.

https://www.lstreports.com/national/

Good on you for getting through your BA/MS without debt. Hopefully if you rip off a great LSAT you can get a full ride tuition discount or something close to it at a reasonably decent LS. Once you get ready to start applying, look at the ABA mandated disclosures from any school of choice relating to how many people lose their tuition discounts after the first year (some schools will stipulate that you must maintain X standing within your section to keep the discount, then stack everyone with discounts into the same section, making it a sure thing that many will lose their discounts - unlike the kids in Lake Wobegon, all in a given section cannot be above average).

* Unless family connections could get you a job as a legislative aide or something like it.

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dingbat (Oct 1, 2018 - 2:21 pm)

a BA in Jurisprudence and an MSC in law are about as useful as a PhD in basket weaving. Actually, they're less so, with a PhD in basket weaving, you're at least qualified to teach basket weaving.

Just to be honest, if I ever receive a resume with a BA in Jurisprudence, it'd probably go straight into the garbage before I even see what law school he or she attended. The MSc in law would have guaranteed it regardless of other qualifications.

I'm sorry, but, that MSc in law is a complete waste of time and money. The BA in Jurisprudence at least qualifies you to get into a graduate program, and if you knew you were definitely going to get some kind of master's or doctorate, one degree is just as good as another (except that some at least teach practical skills, like accounting or finance)

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dingbat (Oct 1, 2018 - 2:21 pm)

I don't mean to be mean, and i apologize if my words come out as harsh, but the reality is that you got conned.

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lightandsweetcoffee (Oct 1, 2018 - 2:39 pm)

I truly fail to see the need for the rudeness. I came here to ask for questions about what it is like to be a trusts and estates attorney, not a treatise on Why Dingbat's Username is True to Life.

I got the Master's the same time as my Bachelor's (it was an accelerated program). I literally ended up with 60 extra A+ credits thanks to it, bringing my GPA up to an almost 4.3. It most certainly was not a waste of time and has already paid off in dividends in my current job (I own a legal translation and interpreting company and my partner in that is an attorney). It has made me a better businessperson, translator, interpreter, linguistic consultant, and has given me more credentials when interfacing with clients. As I said, I also graduated without a lick of debt.

Sounds like a pretty shrewd decision to me.

I would do the same for law school--work my tail off and go to the highest ranked school I could manage without getting into too much debt.

Forgive me for not knowing the ins and outs of the practical side of actually being an attorney. Forgive me for being interested in the field and wanting to further my education and get a JD. Forgive me for asking questions to which I do not already know the answers (isn't that the point of asking a question?). I thought I could come here to ask questions in a humble way without meeting judgment.

Instead, you turned out to be an absolute d!ck. Congratulate yourself on that. Also congratulate yourself on making snap judgments without knowing the whole picture. Congratulate yourself too on being a shortsighted jerk who would bin an application because of the degree(s) a person obtained before law school. Perhaps you have school loans and are just taking out your frustration on this forum, I don't know.

But for all you know, I could end up with a 178 on my LSAT and that, coupled with my GPA, could allow me to attend Yale. For all you know, I attended this school because it was close to home and I was caring for a sick relative. For all you know, I could have attended this school because I was working full time to put food on the table for my family, or I was raising a younger sibling in an abusive family home and this was cheap enough for me to do it. Or, for all you know, I could have attended this school because I simply wanted to study jurisprudence for my undergraduate education. There could be any number of personal situations that drive someone to do certain things. You do not know what a person is doing or why until you walk in their shoes.

So, in short: not only are you shortsighted and rude, you're also an elitist pr!ck.

Dingbat sounds about right. :)

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wutwutwut (Oct 1, 2018 - 2:57 pm)

Curious, and at the risk of again setting off an apparently rather short fuse, could you explain how a degree in jurisprudence "made me a better businessperson, translator, interpreter, linguistic consultant"? (Edit: I mean, I guess I see that knowledge of the basic theories behind the legal system helps with business, but I don't immediately see the benefits to the other aspects.)

Also out of curiosity, how many languages do you own?

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lightandsweetcoffee (Oct 1, 2018 - 3:07 pm)

...

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dingbat (Oct 1, 2018 - 3:33 pm)

Good for you that you've built a business that is qiute successful. Let me give you some great advice: Don't go to law school. You enjoy what you're doing. Law school and becoming a lawyer won't make you happier, and probably won't make you any wealthier. Better to focus on growing the business.

On a side note, "one of only maybe 3 people" is a load of bull. There are dozens of people doing that in the tri-state area. (in case you think I don't know what I'm talking about, my graduating theses included citations to several Venetian and Genoan edicts; I also have done a lot of cross-border business, and have attorney-friends in more countries than I care to count).

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lightandsweetcoffee (Oct 1, 2018 - 3:36 pm)

...

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dingbat (Oct 1, 2018 - 3:50 pm)

I'll be fair. There are a handful of niche specialty areas that are truly exceptional like that. Perhaps you do work in one of those areas. If that's the case, you really should stay put.

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wutwutwut (Oct 1, 2018 - 3:58 pm)

Looks like I missed out on all the temporary answers... sigh.

Always the bridesmaid.

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dingbat (Oct 1, 2018 - 6:21 pm)

oddly, there was nothing particularly interesting, and you can sorta figure it out by reading the responses

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dingbat (Oct 1, 2018 - 3:18 pm)

great that you got a masters at the same time a your bachelor's. hurray for you. Nobody cares.

I don't know how on earth it makse you a better person, ahem, business person, though I can see how it would make you marginally better at translation and/or interpretation. Not enough to justify an entire degree, but, ok, fair enough.
Especially when dealing with foreigners who aren't familiar with our legal system, such degrees may be useful to create a false sense of competence, but assuming you're actually good at your job, you shouldn't need them.

I don't make snap judgments, it's just that I've had quite some experience, and make statements based on those experiences. It's great that you assume you'll get a 178 on your LSAT, that's truly good for you. Now what do you assume I got on the LSAT, you sanctimonious turrd?
(and I'm not even going to mention how idiotic the rest of your hypothetical is, or how you're assuming that I haven't had any such issues)

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lightandsweetcoffee (Oct 1, 2018 - 3:26 pm)

...

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dingbat (Oct 1, 2018 - 3:33 pm)

your mistake.

My offer to talk about Estate Planning still stands.

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jd4hire (Oct 1, 2018 - 3:33 pm)

dalocummelioribus?

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wutwutwut (Oct 1, 2018 - 3:57 pm)

Don't think so. He doesn't have a business, at least not that he's ever mentioned, and says he just floats from place to place and works here/there as he needs to pick up some cash.

Not a bad life, actually, if one is without dependents and sees no need to gather up acorns for the winters in life.

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caj111 (Oct 1, 2018 - 7:02 pm)

You still have time to save yourself. Avoid going to law school while you still can.

I'll spell it out for you in simple blunt terms - most law school graduates either can't find a legal job, can only find a legal job that pays crap (sometimes less than what they made in between undergrad and law school), or can find a legal job that pays very well but are miserable because they spend nearly every waking hour at the office. The number of happy law school graduates that make decent money are few and far between - they are there but a small minority. Maybe you'll be one of them, just don't lie to yourself.

Really, if you came looking for words of encouragement, this is the wrong board. Try http://www.top-law-schools.com/, it's a lot more upbeat about the legal career world.

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professionalloser (Oct 5, 2018 - 9:37 am)

The OP was an obvious troll to begin with.

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wutwutwut (Oct 5, 2018 - 10:18 am)

Trolls usually don't get mad and go back and delete a bunch of their posts.

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professionalloser (Oct 5, 2018 - 10:25 am)

If not a troll, what a sad, delusional person.

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dingbat (Oct 5, 2018 - 10:59 am)

plenty of those around

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