Sick of Billable Hours, Pointless Motions? Become an Entrepreneur

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on October 04, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The economy's down, and your firm may be scaling back. Or, you may just be sick and tired of billable hours. If so, you might want to consider joining the growing ranks of attorney turned entrepreneurs.

Why quit your relatively cushy firm job - if you have one - to start a business?

Working at a firm borders on slave labor. You put in thousands of billable hours a year. And, unless you're enamored with motions to show cause, you may be living an incredibly unsatisfying life.

Sure, starting your own business is no walk in the park either. You will probably be putting in the same number of hours - or more - that you would have at a firm. And, you'll be using up a lot of your savings.

But, if you're starting your own business, you'll at least be pursuing your dreams and passions.

Remember when you were in third grade and your elementary school teacher asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up? How many of you actually raised your hand and proclaimed, "I want to work in antitrust litigation!"


Of course, the business route is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for those who are risk adverse. The success stories, however, can be quite inspiring.

Ali Wing, for example, used to work at the Silicon Valley firm Gunderson Dettmer. She left the firm to found her own business in 2003. Her company, Giggle, provides information, organic clothing, equipment and products targeted at new parents, according to Forbes. Her products are now available in about 15 retail outlets nationwide.

Jessica Eaves Matthews spent 16 years in commercial litigation and business law before she created Grace & Game, making luxurious golf clothing for women, reports Forbes. Her collection is available over the Internet, and she hopes to offer her line to department stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.

However, would-be attorney entrepreneurs should beware. With every success story, there's bound to be a sad, sad story.

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