Monday, February 16, 2009
Then there are also far too many lawyers in those shiny buildings downtown reviewing documents and wasting space. Most of those people made good grades at law school and were lured into the positions by salaries that were difficult to resist. Now it's become clear that the salaries were far too high to give to lawyers who are basically copy editors. The layoffs are coming and many people used to making 100Ks are going to be looking for new jobs. Out of necessity, a few will soon hang their shingles to become criminal defense attorneys. But before us criminal defense attorneys fly off the handle in fear let's think about this for a few minutes.
1st: We don't earn that much money. This is certainly true compared to what even a first year associate at a shiny big building downtown makes. Those who are laid off are going to be suffering because of their debt. They will have the law school debt, the new car debt, the new house debt, the new dogs debt, the jewelry debt, the country club debt, etc. The lifestyle that went with being a biglaw lawyer is hard to give up. It is certainly not one a criminal defense attorney either cares about or can afford.
2nd: They are biglaw lawyers. They don't know anything about criminal law and probably don't care to know. You are a criminal defense attorney. You know how to communicate with your client, you know what deals to expect from all the prosecutors you deal with day in and day out, you know what the judges will be like, and, perhaps most importantly, you enjoy that. The biglaw lawyer doesn't care and is afraid of the courtroom.
3rd: You have the upperhand. Get out there an educate your clients and potential clients not to be persuaded by someone who is just doing this until the biglaw firms are hiring again. You can always be proactive.
speaking of defense lawyers, how's your murder trial going?