The "ShitFingers" Chronicles is a new ongoing venture created by L4L's in which he deconstructs the lies put forth by Solo Practice University and the other after law school scammers, in which they try to use false hope and other after-scamming carpet bagger techniques to bilk an additional $500 out of starving, unsuspecting law graduates.
"ShitFingers" refers to certain characters that L4L came across in the bathroom vestibules of the Sullivan & Cromwell basement. "One particular guy nicknamed 'ShitFingers' liked to operate his side practice via cellphone while dropping heat in the restroom stall, giving 'toilet law' a literal dimension. Later, you’d go to wipe and find he’d captioned draft briefs on the Charmin and hidden a stapler under the toilet tank. I often wondered why he didn’t just tape his law degree up in there alongside the stall’s graffiti. No one would’ve cared. This was, of course, in the SullCrom basement, down amid the boxes."
Today, we talk about becoming a bankruptcy solo. For one easy payment of $495, Solo Practice University will teach you about the intricate ins an outs of bankruptcy practice, mystical knowledge which will ultimately redeem you from the cockroach infested boiler rooms of Paul Weiss hell.
"Professor" Fleischman will teach you about cutting edge developments in cut-and-paste Chapter 7 filings, will devote a whole subsection explaining the growth of consumer credit in the United States (no shit), and just in case you were comatose in law school (and throughout the first twenty-five years of your life) will explain to you what a judge, debtor, and attorney is.
Fascinating stuff, but L4L's will have none of it:
No area of law is 'complex.' The complex thing is getting enough steady clients to make a living, as opposed to drips & drabs.
Some BK attorneys buy mailing lists of folks in trouble and do direct-mail marketing (not allowed in all states, check your bar rules). Others do the phone book/newspaper ad method. Of course the big shops use TV & radio commercials.
All of these cost money. A lot of money. A 1/2 page ad in north NJ county yellow pages will set you back $12,500 a year. That's a shitload of 'simple 7s' just to break even on your ad budget. Direct-mail is 44 cents a clip postage plus the cost of the mailing lists, envelopes/stationary, and a 1-800# (which should bounce calls to your cell, b/c if you miss the call they'll move right on to the next bozo). And of course you ad will be buried amongst the 1000s of other clowns in the phone book and lost in the junk-mail shuffle.
Or you could "network" with CPAs and finance guys who might steer you a client who's in trouble, but most of these guys worth their salt already (i.e successful) already have lawyers/firms they deal with regularly and receive mutual referrals from in return. As a new solo you have nothing to offer them, and thus they won't recommend you unless they're a close family member of yours (like your dad, cough cough).
A guy I did doc review with did BK as a solo (hence his doc review gig LOL), and spent 5 K on google ad words in NJ. Didn't score one client out of it. Unless you wanna pay big $$$ per click with a high click limit, the big mills will pwn you. Remember, these are low-ticket cases with flat fees, so you can't go too wild wasting money on ads.
I saw a diner paper-placemat ad for a BK attorney recently at a diner in Green Brook NJ. Those ads are very cheap (i tried them back in 2007 for injury cases), but totally ineffective. I did 150 K placeats total spread among 7 different NJ diners for only $375 bucks. A run of 150 K lasts the diners like 3-4 months. I got no calls at all from these ads. Not one. You'd be surprised at how abysmal the response rate is for print attorney advertising. The big mills don't buy those TV ads for fun. They're the only thing that works and they know it.
I also tried a full-page 'penny-saver' ad, a 1/4 page ad in 4 different condo newsletters, and about 4 different church bulletins. Believe it or not, the church bulletins were by far the most effective (and the cheapest- only $10 a week). I got about 12-15 living will gigs from these Catholic nutjobs who want to stay 'plugged in' like Terry Schiavo even if their brains are a pile of mush. You'd think they'd be 'dying' to meet their buddy Jesus, but at $400 a pop I didn't ask questions. And sadly, it just wasn't enough $$$ to really make it worthwhile. You see, some shyster firm saw my ad in there and decided to buy the whole back cover of the bulletins for like $150 a week. Once that happened my calls dried up. Be aware that if you do find an 'overlooked' place to advertise, some shyster will soon find out and then come in and outspend you 10 to one to 'shout out' your ad. If I'd had a bit bigger 'war chest' I would've bought the back cover (they offered it to me first), but $600 a month is a lot of $$$ for a heavily indebted Seton Hall loser.
You could always spam-bomb craigslists 'legal services' section like 50 X a day and offer to do 7's in return for a cord of firewood or some Ramen noodles. Or better yet, drop out of law school and get into a trade that people will actually pay money for, like plumbing or auto repair."
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