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    Thursday
    Nov102011

    The Panel Discussion At Santa Clara Law

    Yesterday, I had the honor of being one of the 4 attorneys participating in a panel discussion hosted by Santa Clara's Law and Business Club. We spoke in front of about 40 students.

    The panel was very diverse: William Russell, a family law attorney who works as a freelancer to other family law attorneys, joining them as co-counsel in litigation. A Santa Clara Law graduate who runs her own estate planning and family law firm; a 2009 graduate with a brand new temporary CFO/accounting/law practice business, and myself. 

    One of the first interesting things we found out that Mr. Russell works as a freelance attorney, but hadn't realized that was the case. He had spent many years in various firms, practicing family law. And then he decided that he's tired of dealing with the family law clients, and wants to deal only with the courts - and began working as co-counsel to other family lawyers who didn't want to tlitigate anything. So, Mr. Russell took over their litigation.

    The four of us had an interesting conversation - and as usual, answered lots of great questions from the audience. At first, the moderators tried to direct all the freelance questions to me specifically. However, after a short while, all the panelists came to an agreement that a freelance practice is truly a better option for a recent graduate.

    A true solo practice is certainly rewarding - but it's also incredibly difficult to build, maintain, and grow. A new attorney without the necessary and wide-ranging skills will not notice any of the rewards of a solo practice as she'll be too busy worrying about not going under, or committing malpractice. A freelance practice, however, is a great way to acquire all those skills, with a much lesser amount of responsibility than as a solo. 

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