Best Part-Time Jobs While Starting A Law Practice

Just about every attorney that starts their own firm initially keeps a part-time job to pay the bills while they build their practice. Even in a purely transactional law practice, its best to keep your 9-5 pm hours open to meet with clients, return phone calls and run the errands that go along with starting a law office.  So what types of jobs allow you to work nights and weekends? From a very informal and unscientific survey of people I know with their own practice, retail jobs and server/waitress jobs seem to head to the top of the list.

The problem with retail and server/waitress jobs is there is little tie-in with furthering your law career. Sure you meet tons of people, but how many clients are you going to find? Are there advancement opportunities within that career path that lead to a legal opportunity? Not likely.

A part-time gig with United Parcel Service (UPS) is a better idea than retail or waitress.  Are you going to find clients at UPS? Probably not. Advancement to a legal opportunity? Doubtful. However, one big difference is that for part-time work with UPS, you can receive full health benefits. For me, that amounts to $500 savings every year and I get better coverage on top of that.  I can only imagine that the savings would be significantly greater for those with a spouse and children. In addition, you can cancel any gym membership that you have. Moving boxes around, you're going to get a workout and develop functional strength. 

Other than UPS, I've only come up with one other job that I think is better for an attorney building his practice.  Transportation Security Officer (TSO) within the Department of Homeland Security. TSO's are widely known as the people in blue uniforms that bother you at airports. Whats unknown to most people is that there are TSO's working around the clock. Not only do they screen people, they screen packages. So while they may not have any passenger flights coming in late at night or early in the morning, there are planes that come in carrying packages that need to be screened.  Hence, you're able to keep your 9-5 hours open.  On top of that you get full benefits for part-time work. Not just health benefits, but all benefits. Asking around, I'm told federal benefits are the best benefits that people can get.  Finally, while working as a TSO, there is opportunity to transfer into a different federal agency. Most common transfers are within the Department of Homeland Security, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Transfers to the Department of Justice are not unheard of. This is a part-time job that may lead to something law related.

I'm currently in the process of becoming a TSO. UPS and the Department of Homeland Security didn't pay me to write any of that. If any of you have come across any other jobs that would make good part-time jobs for attorneys starting a law firm, let me know. I'd be curious as to what else is out there.


I originally tried to start my firm in Santa Monica. Problem was that I didn't know anyone on that side of town. It really was just me. I've now moved to Arcadia. In the two weeks since I've moved to Arcadia, I've handed out more business cards than I have in the last month in Santa Monica.

I have several more family members in Arcadia than I do anywhere else. My aunt and cousins have done their best to introduce me to all their friends and business associates. Unfortunately, it hasn't produced any clients yet. The majority of what I do is criminal defense and they don't associate with too many criminals. Damn.

Curiosity Killed The Bar Examinee

Its a week after the bar exam and if you were like me, your curiosity has gotten the better of you. You've researched all the questions you remember struggling with and have discussed the essays with your friends. Lot of good that did, right? You likely found out you missed an issue. Or four.

Guess what? Who cares! Everyone misses issues. In 2009, I missed the entire constitutional law essay. I wrote a completely irrelevant and off-topic essay for an entire hour. I still passed.

Here is the best way to think about it. If you turned in a blank essay, you got a 40. If you write anything remotely on-topic, you got a 45. In my opinion, the grading really starts at 50. You only have to score 10 points to pass the essay.  It doesn't sound that difficult now does it? I'm sure you all did fine.

I finally got furniture for my office. I was going to go to IKEA and pick out a few items, but my sister insisted I wait. Her office is going through a huge remodel and is getting rid of several things. I was able to pick up a desk, file cabinet, leather chair, two visitors chairs and an all-in-one printer for the very fair price of helping tape and paint the walls. Getting all those items easily saved me $500.