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Hurdles Self-Employed Lawyers Face When Seeking a Firm Job

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on
For you self-employed attorneys, going to work at a law firm is more than a job change. It is a life change. Whatever your reason for having been self-employed, you have had the primary benefit of being your own boss. Law firm lawyer, not so much. Of course, there are pluses and minuses on both sides of this employment issue. But this blog is mostly about how to deal with the minuses -- plus a few pointers and some cool music links:

Who Are You? Who? Who?

You gotta know that prospective employers already have stereotypes about self-employed lawyers, especially solo practitioners. These include:
  • They can't handle having a boss
  • They won't adjust to law firm hours
  • Their law practices are not successful
Shannon Achimalbe, a former solo practitioner who successfully went to work for someone else, says those stereotypes are not fair. Even though she is pretty much preaching to the choir, it's nice to hear someone say it. What matters is, how do you deal with that?

A Change Would Do You Good

Knowing that a potential employer may have stereotyped you, here are some points to consider as you deal with each one:
  • Clients have always been your bosses, and a law firm presents advancement opportunities
  • The law firm hours, i.e. working late, is easier than 24/7 self-employment
  • Your practice isn't failing and you will bring clients to the law firm
Bottom line, other than the bottom dollar, is that the employer needs to know that you are ready for a change. Of course, it is also about the dollars. You knew that before you started reading this blog, right? Now if you have been listening to the music links here more than the advice, then maybe you are not ready to give up your freedom to rock -- solo style. Related Resources: FindLaw has an affiliate relationship with Indeed, earning a small amount of money each time someone uses Indeed's services via FindLaw. FindLaw receives no compensation in exchange for editorial coverage.
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