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12/11/2018 1:58:31 AM
11/9/2018 9:21:38 PM
Posted: 4/26/2004 7:36:27 PM EST
I am building my own.

After much thought, research, and consultation, I have come to a firm decision. As soon as I can wind up work at the pawnshop, I will start working for Branson Legal Services LLC. Shocking? Let me give you some background.

A couple of weekends ago a guy walked into the pawn shop and bought an AR15 and a FAL because I said they were the coolest. He paid more than $1500 in cash and didn't bat an eye. You guys know how chatty I am, we talked for about an hour and a half and it turned out that he graduated from UMKC law school but cannot hold a license in Missouri becuase he owns one of the largest bail bonding companies in Kansas City, Freedom Bonding. He has 25 bondsmen working for him in addition to himself, and writes about 100 bonds a month. He makes 4 times the money he ever made as an attorney, but the problem is that he only has two attorneys that he deals with, and they are in North Kansas City and can't be bothered to drive all the way down to Lee's Summit, Lone Jack, Warrensburg, Independence, or Blue Springs anymore. Its not worth their time for the penny-ante, nickel-and-dime municipal bonds that constitute alot of his volume. He basically offered to start sending me work as soon as I was sworn in, if I wanted it. What he gets in return is counter-referrals from me, expanding his operation to Warrensburg, competent (lets hope!) representation for his clientele and his business in this area at a low price, and basically the ability to expand his networking further into rural Missouri. He's been doing this for many years and knows every judge, every prosecutor, every court clerk, every jurisdiction. He can get me any form I want overnight. We agreed to have a business lunch today, the 26th, and talk about it when I wasn't at work with the boss looking over my shoulder.

Fast forward to my swearing in on Friday. I'm bitching with an acquaintance of mine about the job market situation (worst in 40 years, they say) when he mentions another guy I barely knew in law school. This guy moved to St. Louis and couldn't find a job, was getting strung along week after week, waiting for phone calls that never came, blah blah. So he started doing DUIs for some of his college buddies and their buddies, just doing doing them out of his apartment, no office, no overhead, and apparently the guy is making money hand over foot. He charges anywhere from $500 to $5,000 for a DUI (depending on how much trouble you are in, whether you have priors, etc), and each one takes him about 5 hours of work to do.

As you might imagine, sometime during this conversation Friday, a little light clicked on in the back of my head.
Link Posted: 4/26/2004 7:36:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/26/2004 7:42:31 PM EST by -Duke-Nukem-]
I started talking with small business owners, tax people, bankers, family members, and of course, Morgan. Of course there ARE other lawyers in Warrensburg, but they are highly specialized. The one lawyer in Holden is a child custody specialist, unless you have a child custody problem he won't even see you. There's a slip and fall guy in Warrensburg who is worth millions, he's only interested in huge stuff, he'll go 2 or 3 years between paychecks sometimes but when he gets paid its 40% of a multi-million dollar settlement, so $1500 to knock down a public drunkeness/MIP charge for a frat boy isn't worth his time anymore. But it sure is worth my time.

I figure between the college kids getting pulled over in their riced-out Nissans and all their other indescretions, the enlisted men at Whiteman getting arrested on a weekly basis for brawling outside the titty bars in Knobnoster, and the local folk constantly getting divorced, remarried, and filing bankruptcy in between, I should be able to carve out a niche for myself without stepping on anybody else's toes. The other attorneys in town have all been very nice, to the point of offering to help me meet people and get my forms correct, as long as I don't piss in their pool. The prosecuting attorney is a very nice guy who you can work with. There is work to be had here, and that's just on the municipal/state criminal law side. Estate planning (which I was heavily into in law school), uncontested divorces (read: cheap and quick), bankruptcy, and any other consulting stuff I might want to do can come as it will.

I figure I'll hit every frat and sorority house in town with a smile, a business card, and a flyer. Advertising in the local newspapers is cheap, and will come later. I will be running it all from a cell phone number, no office to rent, no secretary to pay, as little overhead as possible. I did get a new cell phone today and spent $300 on an HP laser printer and a fax machine, but those are things any lawyer needs, even when working for someone else. When meeting people in person to sign documents and consult with them I will prefer to use one of the many beautiful new conference rooms at the new justice center they built in Warrensburg (they never get used, they just sit there), or I will even make house calls. I'm the lawyer that will come to you, on your schedule, even at night, I don't care. And I can tell my clients that I'm cheaper because they aren't paying for a fancy building with a big bronze sign out front-- I don't need the pretentiousness of all that.
Link Posted: 4/26/2004 7:37:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/26/2004 7:53:02 PM EST by -Duke-Nukem-]
This morning Mr. Cooper and I had our business lunch. Freedom Bonding estimates it will be handing me between 2 and 5 new cases each week. I will get paid directly from the individuals in those cases, and will not be an employee of the bonding operation (has to work that way whether we want it to or not, but I like it this way anyway). Assuming a worst case scenario, where I get 2 cases a week, and NO other work whatsoever, and only charge $100 each for them, that's $200 a week and I'm no worse off than I would be working 6 days a week at the pawnshop for $6 an hour. Plus, I would be doing what I want to do, what I went to law school to do, instead of working behind a gun counter (which is fun, but a high school dropout could do the same thing and would make the same money).

What's the other alternative? Keep working at the pawn shop and keep sending in those resumes, except that there are only two positions available in my area that I would have even a reasonable chance at, both pay less than $35k a year (before taxes) and would require me to commute an hour each way every day. Both will end up stringing me along and hiring someone "with more experience", just like the last opening that collapsed, at the A.G.'s office. $35k a year is just under $3,000 a month. If I can make $670 a week at this between the bonding referrals and whatever else I can generate, I'll be making as much as I would at a "real job". I wouldn't be doing someone else's shit work, doing research for them so they can show up to court and look good, and handing me the loser cases that the new guy gets because he can't say no. Even if I'm making the same or slightly less money than I could be working for someone else, there are many other reasons why I might quickly find myself in a position where I'll never want to work for another person for the rest of my life.

Furthermore, I'll be paying taxes as a business entity, with all the evils and blessings thereof, but $35,000 worth of business income a year, with expenses deducted, will probably be close to the same amount of total tax paid as $35,000 in pure salary with someone else claiming the deductions for THEIR business. People bitch about how corporations are treated preferentially by the tax code--well then, its time to become a corporation! By the way I'm not stupid enough to try my own taxes with this, Erik Krueger of MODCC infamy is a very competent corporate CPA, when he isn't bayonetting targets with one of his ancient Mausers. He will help me with bookkeeping and will be my tax man.

Finally, Morgan put it this way: we've already proven that we can live, if we have to, on her income alone (from being a school teacher). Its not alot of fun, but we can do it. If this thing is an abject failure and goes tits up in two or three months, I get to put on my resume' that I was once the head of my own law firm, that I represented x number of clients in fields x, y, and z, but gee whiz I'd much rather prefer to work for the public defender's office or for the attorney general's office. Or I can put on my resume' nothing else at all, because I've been working at a pawn shop and checking my voice mail when I come home every day for a phone call that never came.

Everyone is behind me on this. I've been talking with alot of small business owners who are no smarter than I am, who don't have the education I do, and who don't really work any harder than I've ever worked. One thing they did have was the balls to work for themselves instead of for someone else. Morgan is behind me, my family is behind me 100%, and nobody has come up with a reason why I shouldn't roll the dice, work my ass off, and see what happens when I'm in charge of my own destiny.

So, as of today, the dice just got rolled. Anyone need a lawyer?
Link Posted: 4/26/2004 7:38:51 PM EST
wow seems like you given this alot of thought... Good Luck! Think it will turn out well for ya.
Link Posted: 4/26/2004 8:19:02 PM EST
Do it Duke...I'm right behind you.
Link Posted: 4/26/2004 9:23:36 PM EST
Go for it, Mike!

Err ... do you do Immigration law?

oz
Link Posted: 4/27/2004 2:56:59 AM EST
Mike, I can't find any flaw in your reasoning. I think your idea of marketing yourself to the frat houses and such is a great idea. It's amazing the business just a little word of mouth can get you. And hey, you've already got one in with the bond guy. Good for you man!
Link Posted: 4/27/2004 3:23:23 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/27/2004 3:41:18 AM EST by rmdye]
don't forget if you become a corp., your ffl is easier. do what I always wanted to do the perfect redneck store, I know you and oz have heard me speak of this computer shop one end, gun shop other, tell you what we do we will build you that new machine and sell you the gun and we will go out back and blow the old one into little tiny bits. thank of how much fun it could be. you win on both sales. you can do that with your law stuff. you get them divorced then you explain to them how it would be nice to have a gun since SHE wouldn't let them have one and you keep selling them, then wamo you take them into the gun room and tell them they need to treat them self after this horrible deal and you will cut them a heck of a deal on this here ar. see there is logic in my madness. Ronald
ps any way I can help from the networking side or stuff yell , I also know a great place to get you cards done at a cheap rate. plus I might need some stuff form you if I start up redbranch again. [

edit due to the spelling was bad to many late nights.
Link Posted: 4/27/2004 4:02:12 AM EST
LOL, Ron that was hilarious. Hahaha.... sell you a new computer and blow up the old one, hahaha...

Guys, you know how much Morgan is behind me on this? This morning she presented me with 20 business cards she did last night on her printer, along with a little card holder she bought somewhere. She said "these are temporary until you get your LLC set up." I'm a lucky guy.

I'm just going to print of my own business cards from the laser printer. Also, when we get married at the end of July, I'm going to print off my own wedding invitations, probably around 200 of them at least, so between the business cards, the invitations, and the fact that my legal documents need to be super-high-quality, a laser printer was the only way to go. I chose HP because I've always had good luck with their stuff in general and their printers in particular.
Link Posted: 4/27/2004 5:05:51 AM EST
Read sigline. Apply with abandon. Keep fightin' the good fight, Mike. Let me know when you get rich and need a bodyguard
Link Posted: 4/27/2004 5:29:16 AM EST
Good luck to you. Sounds like you've thought it through pretty well, and it sounds like a solid plan.
Link Posted: 4/27/2004 5:32:34 AM EST
I like Ron's idea too ... heheheh .... that was funny !!
Link Posted: 4/27/2004 6:30:51 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/27/2004 1:17:18 PM EST

the enlisted men at Whiteman getting arrested on a weekly basis for brawling outside the titty bars in Knobnoster
? They have titty bars there? really? Damn, where are they and are the chicks hot?


But anyway, sounds like a great idea. I know if anyone can do it you will be the one. You have shown you have the drive and willpower to make a damn good go at it. I really hope it happens for you. Heck, maybe I will have to drive down that way sometime just to get arrested so you can represent me... Ok, maybe not but still I wish you the best of luck.
Link Posted: 4/27/2004 1:36:16 PM EST
GaryM, yes the chicks are hot, at least thats what i heard. ya thats it thats what heard. Ronald
Link Posted: 4/30/2004 3:48:55 PM EST
HOOHAAA!

WTG man! Warrensburg is a GREAT place for you to ply yer trade with all the drinking and stuff that goes on there...I lived there once, I know!

Good luck with all your plans, hope to shoot with you and Morgan soon!

- Beta Out!
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 9:23:51 PM EST
Do they have titty bars???

The Million Dollar Fantasy Ranch!


Hey, if you need some suits, come down to Springfield and see me.

There are plenty of drunken frat boys as SMS who need representation, also the KA's at MU who just blew up thier cannon need some legal advice QUICK. LOL, racist bastages.
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