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Euroguy18

The most lucrative legal practices outside of BigLaw?

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2 hours ago, artsydork said:

Family clients tend to not want to pay unless they're getting exactly what they want. It gets difficult to have someone top up a retainer when they're suddenly paying $900 a month in child support or are forced to allow the other parent access when they "feel" that the child is not ready. 

Lawyers are business people. You're not getting rich as an associate. After that, it's all numbers. Whether you run a high volume legal aid practice, high volume real estate transactions, or focus on pure cash clients, you need to establish yourself and get clients. Thats true for any area.

 

Thanks for this :) 

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On 5/3/2019 at 1:50 PM, Diplock said:

 If, however, you are basically asking "assume I simply practice law, and I'm not especially good at it or accomplished at what I do - what area of law will I make the most money?"

That's easy, run a personal injury settlement mill. You can make millions/annum as long as you can sign up massive amounts of clients.

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I'm not sure I agree with picking OP apart for asking this question - why isn't it fair?

I think it's relatively common knowledge that finance jobs in business make more than HR or marketing jobs on aggregate. That's just one example, and I can foresee someone jumping in saying something along the lines of "that's not necessarily true!!!!" The same can be said for @Diplock's analogy of baseball positions. In hockey, for example, centermen get paid a premium for their services, and players who score goals (as opposed to offering other positives for the team such as assists) are also paid a premium. In baseball I'm sure the same question could be answered based on which position is most valuable or sought after defensively (for example, I think 2nd base and left field tend to be positions that are easier to fill). 

Your average run of the mill management consultant will also likely make more than your average accountant as well. I think this is a question that has so many variables attached, which have been pointed out, but it's also a question that can be answered at a high-level. Happy some were able to provide insights rather than criticize. 

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23 minutes ago, IrishStew said:

I'm not sure I agree with picking OP apart for asking this question - why isn't it fair?

I think it's relatively common knowledge that finance jobs in business make more than HR or marketing jobs on aggregate. That's just one example, and I can foresee someone jumping in saying something along the lines of "that's not necessarily true!!!!" The same can be said for @Diplock's analogy of baseball positions. In hockey, for example, centermen get paid a premium for their services, and players who score goals (as opposed to offering other positives for the team such as assists) are also paid a premium. In baseball I'm sure the same question could be answered based on which position is most valuable or sought after defensively (for example, I think 2nd base and left field tend to be positions that are easier to fill). 

Your average run of the mill management consultant will also likely make more than your average accountant as well. I think this is a question that has so many variables attached, which have been pointed out, but it's also a question that can be answered at a high-level. Happy some were able to provide insights rather than criticize. 

My thoughts exactly. Thank you! 

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2 hours ago, thegiggler said:

That's easy, run a personal injury settlement mill. You can make millions/annum as long as you can sign up massive amounts of clients.

The issue for new(ish) lawyers is that because personal injury lawyers work on contingency, there is almost no incentive for a person to not go the most established firms/lawyers in the town. Top personal injury firms also tend to have crazy advertising budgets which means when a person needs a personal injury lawyer they'll probably instantly think of the personal injury firm that has been running ads on the radio every 10 minutes for their entire lives rather than some random nobody

But yes, I imagine after a person is able to establish themselves in that area of law that they can go into auto pilot rather than necessarily having to be a great lawyer 

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9 minutes ago, Euroguy18 said:

My thoughts exactly. Thank you! 

I love it when the students who haven't even started law school yet manage to agree with one another that everyone else on this site doesn't know what we're talking about.

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Its almost as endearing as the lawyers who think that being an asshole on a internet forum is an interesting personality trait

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3 hours ago, Euroguy18 said:

Perhaps this is a silly question, but what exactly do you mean by ‘cash clients’? I’ve never heard of that term before. 

Could a transactional real estate practice fit the bill for an area that attracts such clients? What practice areas tend to attract cash clients more than others? 

Cash clients are those that provide payment for their lawyer's services. Conversely, legal aid clients are those that qualify for legal aid certificates, in which case legal aid pays the lawyer directly, rather than the clients. 

In Ontario, LAO certificates cover some criminal cases and family files. Up until very recently, LAO also issued certificates for certain immigration and refugee cases, but has now limited that to a very small number of refugee matters (the preparation of the basis of claim form).

Other than pro bono work, I would consider everything that's not legal aid to be a cash client (I suppose you could distinguish contingency fee agreements, proceeds from the sale of the matrimonial home, etc., but I still think of them as a private or cash client). 

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1 hour ago, BabyRhinoRainbow said:

Its almost as endearing as the lawyers who think that being an asshole on a internet forum is an interesting personality trait

If it makes you feel better, I think many of us are assholes in person too :)

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Euroguy18 said:

Perhaps this is a silly question, but what exactly do you mean by ‘cash clients’? I’ve never heard of that term before. 

Could a transactional real estate practice fit the bill for an area that attracts such clients? What practice areas tend to attract cash clients more than others? 

Thanks for the feedback btw. It’s greatly appreciated. 

Cash clients = clients who pay cash to their lawyers as opposed to getting legal aid.

You don’t get legal aid for real estate. It’s all cash. Family, some immigration, criminal, some administrative/civil can be cash or legal aid. Some cash clients can pay more cash than others. 

Real estate tends to be more about the volume than getting lots of cash. My understanding, not actually working in the field, is that there’s usually a flat rate for a house sale which doesn’t take a ton of hours and it is relatively rare that things blow up into more complex matters. You’ll make more money when your client can pay a high hourly rate for unlimited hours for a matter that takes a lot of hours.Some cash clients of limited means can’t do this, but can pay a flat rate. 

Edited by providence

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3 hours ago, IrishStew said:

I'm not sure I agree with picking OP apart for asking this question - why isn't it fair?

I think it's relatively common knowledge that finance jobs in business make more than HR or marketing jobs on aggregate. That's just one example, and I can foresee someone jumping in saying something along the lines of "that's not necessarily true!!!!" The same can be said for @Diplock's analogy of baseball positions. In hockey, for example, centermen get paid a premium for their services, and players who score goals (as opposed to offering other positives for the team such as assists) are also paid a premium. In baseball I'm sure the same question could be answered based on which position is most valuable or sought after defensively (for example, I think 2nd base and left field tend to be positions that are easier to fill). 

Your average run of the mill management consultant will also likely make more than your average accountant as well. I think this is a question that has so many variables attached, which have been pointed out, but it's also a question that can be answered at a high-level. Happy some were able to provide insights rather than criticize. 

I think what the lawyers are saying is that it’s an impossible question to answer and therefore pointless to ask, but you can if you want. I don’t know enough about finance, hockey or baseball to comment on what their circumstances are, but in law, there is no one guaranteed area where people make more money than others. Making one of the very highest incomes is more based on talent and work ethic, and various other circumstances like location, and maybe a little luck, than it is on the type of law you practice. I can say that you are going to need to be a business owner/partner. 

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, providence said:

I think what the lawyers are saying is that it’s an impossible question to answer and therefore pointless to ask

What I'm trying to get at is there are more helpful answers than just critiquing the question that was asked. OP has recognized that it's a hard question to answer, and that not every case is the same. They're not looking for a hard and fast rule or get rich quick scheme.

As in my other example- finance jobs pay more than human resources jobs, but at the same time, a talented HR person who has a tremendous work ethic (and maybe a little luck) can make more than someone in finance.

And, to put the cherry on top, having people work for you rather than working for them is bound to make you more money in any industry if you're running a profitable business and scaling accordingly. 

A medical school student asking "which professions make the most money", is almost just as subjective, and I'm sure some doctors would have cookie-cutter answers such as "well that depends on how hard you work and how talented you are", but the principles can be applied to give helpful advice at least. I can tell you, and I'm not a doctor, that a plastic surgeon who owns their own clinic makes more money per year than a general family doctor. Surgeons make more as well, and among surgeons I'd wager that heart and neuro-surgeons make more money on aggregate than ortho. With that said I'll acknowledge your argument that a talented and hardworking ortho surgeon can make more than a heart surgeon (perhaps they're business-oriented and partner with professional sports teams on the side, who knows). 

This conversation gets cyclical real quick. Point is that there's no need to be rude and condescending to someone who is asking a genuine question with less experience than you. Sometimes it feels like a select few lawyers on this site just like to argue and flex their muscles over small details. 

Edited by IrishStew
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26 minutes ago, IrishStew said:

What I'm trying to get at is there are more helpful answers than just critiquing the question that was asked. OP has recognized that it's a hard question to answer, and that not every case is the same. They're not looking for a hard and fast rule or get rich quick scheme.

As in my other example- finance jobs pay more than human resources jobs, but at the same time, a talented HR person who has a tremendous work ethic (and maybe a little luck) can make more than someone in finance.

And, to put the cherry on top, having people work for you rather than working for them is bound to make you more money in any industry is you're running a profitable business and scaling accordingly. 

A medical school student asking "which professions make the most money", is almost just as subjective, and I'm sure some doctors would have cookie-cutter answers such as "well that depends on how hard you work and how talented you are", but the principles can be applied to give helpful advice at least. I can tell you, and I'm not a doctor, that a plastic surgeon who owns their own clinic makes more money per year than a general family doctor. Surgeons make more as well, and among surgeons I'd wager that heart and neuro-surgeons make more money on aggregate than ortho. With that said I'll acknowledge your argument that a talented and hardworking ortho surgeon can make more than a heart surgeon (perhaps they're business-oriented and partner with professional sports teams on the side, who knows). 

This conversation gets cyclical real quick. Point is that there's no need to be rude and condescending to someone who is asking a genuine question with less experience than you. Sometimes it feels like a select few lawyers on this site just like to argue and flex their muscles over small details. 

Couldn’t agree more with your last statement. 

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30 minutes ago, IrishStew said:

What I'm trying to get at is there are more helpful answers than just critiquing the question that was asked. OP has recognized that it's a hard question to answer, and that not every case is the same. They're not looking for a hard and fast rule or get rich quick scheme.

As in my other example- finance jobs pay more than human resources jobs, but at the same time, a talented HR person who has a tremendous work ethic (and maybe a little luck) can make more than someone in finance.

And, to put the cherry on top, having people work for you rather than working for them is bound to make you more money in any industry is you're running a profitable business and scaling accordingly. 

A medical school student asking "which professions make the most money", is almost just as subjective, and I'm sure some doctors would have cookie-cutter answers such as "well that depends on how hard you work and how talented you are", but the principles can be applied to give helpful advice at least. I can tell you, and I'm not a doctor, that a plastic surgeon who owns their own clinic makes more money per year than a general family doctor. Surgeons make more as well, and among surgeons I'd wager that heart and neuro-surgeons make more money on aggregate than ortho. With that said I'll acknowledge your argument that a talented and hardworking ortho surgeon can make more than a heart surgeon (perhaps they're business-oriented and partner with professional sports teams on the side, who knows). 

This conversation gets cyclical real quick. Point is that there's no need to be rude and condescending to someone who is asking a genuine question with less experience than you. Sometimes it feels like a select few lawyers on this site just like to argue and flex their muscles over small details. 

My genuine, not intentionally rude, condescending or argumentative question, is: why does anyone need to know what is the most lucrative area of law, other than trying to figure out how rich they can get? What is the purpose of the question?

If we know what you’re really trying to ask, we can give you better answers. 

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Instead of critiquing the answers and other members,  let's get the discussion back on track. 

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1 hour ago, erinl2 said:

Instead of critiquing the answers and other members,  let's get the discussion back on track. 

I concur. 

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It is really strange to exclude "big law" practices since big firms practice areas are incredibly broad. Take tax for example, it is pretty classicly one area that all large firms have, and yet the issues that large firms face are often the same as small firms. The only difference tends to be dollar amounts mean that you can actually dispute things. 

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3 hours ago, providence said:

My genuine, not intentionally rude, condescending or argumentative question, is: why does anyone need to know what is the most lucrative area of law, other than trying to figure out how rich they can get? What is the purpose of the question?

If we know what you’re really trying to ask, we can give you better answers. 

Presumably so they can target that area of law for a career? That seems pretty straightforward to me from the question.

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3 hours ago, providence said:

My genuine, not intentionally rude, condescending or argumentative question, is: why does anyone need to know what is the most lucrative area of law, other than trying to figure out how rich they can get? What is the purpose of the question?

If we know what you’re really trying to ask, we can give you better answers. 

What other purpose could there really be, I wonder.. 

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