Local counsel work is one of the best sources of business for any law firm.
I had an idea of my future career when I started as an attorney at an average-sized firm. There are many areas I am familiar in, such as family law, criminal law and estate law. These are Law firm the areas you might work in if your law practice is in private.
The most common way to practise law is to be asked to help a client with a legal problem. A person, entity, or individual will approach you to help them with their legal problem, whether it be in the business, family, or personal area. This is probably the most common method of working as a lawyer.
However, many lawyers are surprised to discover that local hearings can be handled by lawyers hired by other attorneys and firms. This concept is known as local counsel.
There are two types of local counsel work:
(1) You are hired by a firm located in the same jurisdiction as you, but that is far away (like in a distant city).
(2) If a company is located outside your jurisdiction and is hiring you, it will usually be in another state.
In these situations, law firms and attorneys will hire outside lawyers to handle hearings at the courthouse in which the original firm filed its case. By hiring an outside attorney, the hiring firm is able to have an attorney present at a court-house far from its office. It would be very expensive to pay $300.00 per hour to send an attorney from faraway to attend a minor hearing in foreclosure. A simple hearing is handled by an attorney who is often less expensive than the one that was involved in the lawsuit.
Insolvency, foreclosures and debt collection are all examples of legal areas that local counsel is necessary. A hired attorney may appear at a minor hearing like a status conference or file an appearance with a court. The lawyer will inform the court that he/she was hired only to do local counsel work. A judge will understand that the local attorney hired by the law firm will handle the actual procedure filing. However, the local attorney will handle any minor matter that is not in the court’s hands. It is important to remember that the hired lawyer still owes both the court AND his client the duty to be diligent, prepared, and to accept the case regardless of how minor.
Local counsel work is crucial for the start of your own firm. It’s usually very easy and can help you generate cash flow. Your law firm is doomed without cash flow.
Local counsel work also has the advantage of facilitating efficient court operations. An attorney who can attend a minor hearing and assist with the legal process can make it easier for the court to focus on the more important cases.
In summary, local counsel work is often an overlooked and undiscovered aspect of starting or building a legal practice. Local counsel work is often something that attorneys have known about since they started practicing law. But, it is unlikely that someone just out of law school has heard of it. It is an excellent source of revenue-generating work that a person will not want to miss if they decide to start their own company out of law school.
A second reason to choose local counsel work is the fact that lawyers do not tend to sue other lawyers. That is, you can be sure you will get paid when you are hired. Although it may sound straightforward, when you are struggling to survive, earning a living for the work that you do is essential. You may find it the most important thing to understand when you start your own company.