When a lawyer becomes involved your problem becomes an issue. Also remember I am a paralegal not a lawyer.
Okay, picking up from the last lawyer post. As I said your lawyer is tremendously in debt when s/he starts their career. Now begins the task of paying that debt. Unlike the movie ‘The Firm’, I doubt very much that your lawyer will have found law firms that will help your lawyer pay off that debt.
More likely if a new lawyer manages to connect up with a law firm s/he is looking at 80 plus hours per week, for the next 2 to 3 years. More often than not your lawyer will have to pull an extra 6 or 7 hours on Saturdays. Then they’ll spend Sundays reading and or writing legal briefs, or legal memos. This is often referred to as Lawyer’s boot camp.
Side-note: A lot of very happy marriages came to an end during those boot camp years.
Now unless your lawyer has graduated from a high and I do mean high-ranking law school. Plus s/he was in the top 5% of that graduating class. Your lawyer’s salary for the next 2-3 years is going to be $30,000 per year. Just so you know in most law firms for your lawyer to get a sick day during boot camp, s/he or their spouse, or her/his child had better be in intensive care with the mortuary staff standing just outside the room.
Side-note: Being a salaried employee means no matter how many hours you put in you do not get any more money. There is no overtime, no time and a half, no holiday pay, no sick pay, and forget about paid vacations. Your lawyer’s agreed salary is all s/he is going to get until boot camp is over.
The next worry, these new lawyers have are uniforms. These are specific types of cloths s/he will have to have once the start work at a law firm. I am talking about very nice cloths. You see for lawyers in law firms packaging is everything. Even independent’s worry about packaging but they can break a few more dress codes rules then an attorney working for a law firm.
Side-note: Packaging is how a lawyer presents themselves to the world Let’s be honest the average person is more likely to trust and higher a well dressed, successful appearing lawyer and their paralegal than ones that look like they have been on the street for the last 3 months.
Most of the smaller firms will let their lawyers get away with a style that is called business casual. However, going to court still takes a formal suit and those cost.
Next week I will continue with more start up costs your lawyer faces.