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Four Years Ago In December I Quit My Partnership To Start This Firm.

Over the next few months, I will be re-posting some of my early articles as I launched the Greatest American Lawyer Blog, quit my partnership at my old firm, and started the process of reinventing myself and the practice of law.

2004.12.22 [once upon a time]

The Greatest American Lawyer Goes Live!

My family has decided to quit our cushy hourly law firm job in a very medium sized town and strike out on our own.   We have a $70k line of credit at the bank on our house.  We have some credit cards with some hefty credit available on them.  We are betting the farm, literally. With three kids ages 6, 4 and 2, we have decided it is more important to live life on our own terms, by our own sweat and  principles rather than protect the roof over our head. Our small family is walking away from a $150k income [which is a lot where we live] for the feel of the breeze in my hair and a goal to change the way law is practiced.

Welcome to the show! Don't wish me luck.  I'd rather have someone pick up the mail from the post-office for me in the morning, one of the many luxuries I leave behind [along with the work-out facility, firm Cadillac and end of the day scotches in the big boss' office] in my old life as a in-name-only partner at a firm run by one man [who I shall call "Big Boss"].


Joseph Dang

As I am about to do something similar, I will be following this reposting very closely (I guess I can just go back and read them right now ...)

"Big Boss"
If you were a gamer I'd think this was a Metal Gear reference!


One of the many things I have learned over the last four years is that you don't have to pick up the mail from the post office at 7:30 in the morning. In fact, the mail carrier actually brings it to your office by 11:00.

In retrospect, this was simply one of the schemes devised in order to get at least one associate to the office early every single day. The other justification was to enable lawyers to open mail earlier in the day in order to ensure adequate billing.

The kids are now 11, 9, and 7(almost). Do you want to know what the most amazing consequence of my decision to quit the traditional law firm life? It is the fact that my kids were able to see me take a risk in order to live life on my own terms, answering to no one but myself. The ability to live life by your own principles is the greatest gift of all. Our small family walked away from the low risk life of a bi-weekly paycheck in order to start this firm. But what was received as a result of that risk is worth infinitely more.

And as it turns out, I make way more money now than I did before. When one lawyer is taking sixty to seventy percent of the pie, it doesn’t leave much for the remaining five. It very quickly surprised me how easy it was to make as much money as I was before in virtually half the time when every penny was essentially going to me.

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