The New York Times has an interesting article about lawyers forgoing Big Law to start their own small firms. It is worth the read because it demonstrates both the positives and negatives for some attorneys.
One of the points that I take away from the article is that many attorneys are making the change as much for lifestyle choices as for Big Law downsizing and lack of law jobs.
But, it is not for everyone. Some do not wish to, nor can they emotional deal with, the ups and downs involved in "entrepreneurship", as one partner in a legal recruiting firm calls it.
The other is point that entrepreneurship for lawyers should be based upon the strive to obtain and maintain referrals. From my perspective, this is not an impossible task, but it is an unrelenting task. And, the strange part from where I sit are the large number of attorneys who do not mind the strain and stress of spending money, but will just sit around and die before dropping off business cards, CLE, attending parties, and participating in events on any kind of regular or consistent basis.
I personally continue to be a little disheartened with advice, as in this article, that attorneys need six months of earning in the bank before taking the plunge. For most of us that means that we will never take the plunge. I know it feels safe, but I think it is wrongheaded advice. Again, the issue is not how much money you can spend, but how much money you can make and keep. More than money in the bank, what is important is keeping overhead extremely low and having an aggressive plan for obtaining new, paying clients. As stated, attorneys are good at deciding how long they can go on without making money, when little attention is paid for how to bring business and money in the front door.