By Mike McBride
Your career is not at a dead end. It’s at a new beginning. If you choose to go the solo route, be prepared to weather some lean times and plan to live on some savings for a while until you can get established. I recommend J. Foonberg’s HOW TO START AND BUILD A LAW PRACTICE, now in its fourth edition, published by the American Bar Association, Section of Law Practice Management. I also recommend FLYING SOLO (3rd Ed.) by Jeffery A. Simmons—both good resources in planning a solo practice.
Whichever direction you choose, cultivate your existing contacts for both business and job leads. If you choose to go to a firm, your existing contacts may know of openings. Additionally, gracefully exit your existing corporation. Perhaps you could gain spin-off work from your company. A lateral-hire lawyer with a book of business is much more valuable than one without. Your own book of business makes you more attractive and enables you to command a higher salary and other negotiated benefits and status.
I am a middle-aged man looking at switching careers from operations management/human resources to law. I did my time in law school at night. Despite having a J.D., no one (employers) wants to talk to me. Is there an unwritten code against hiring old guys like me in this profession? You would think work ethic, wisdom, experience and talent would mean something! Thanks,
—Disenchanted with a J.D.
|Got a question for Mike?|
E-mail D. Michael McBride III at D.Michael.McBride.III@abanet.org
|D. Michael McBride III is a Council member of the ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division. He also Chairs the Outreach Committee. McBride practices federal Indian law and litigation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he is a Director and Shareholder of Sneed Lang, P.C. He also serves the Kaw Nation as an Associate Justice of their Supreme Court.|