Interview 7 redux

So about a month ago I seemed a bit upbeat about a potential job prospect at a very small firm and a telephone interview. I never got a call back, so I guess having a more in depth discussion showing you actually know anything about the business side of a law firm is a no-no. The slightly short version was that the small firm wanted to hire a collections attorney. No description beyond that. So knowing a fair amount about collections, I asked a few pointed questions about what type of collections work they were talking about.

For those who don’t know, Business to Business (B2B) collections is a decent business. But the only way you end up with a B2B collections practice is if you practice another type of law which gets you those business clients, who as it happens also need some collections work done on the side. The bigger the firm, the more business clients you have, the more collections work from those clients you can get. This type of work is often limited to medium to small businesses clients. The big ones go to the big firms that specialize in nothing but collections, and they often already have client accounts with those firms. But a smaller law firm can subsist nicely on B2B collections if they can initially pull in the clients from their other work. Smaller firms can NOT survive doing consumer collections work. Having had conversations with the named partners at the big collections firms, the truth is that the return on most collections cases is tiny for a law firm (single digit percentages). The only way you can make money on that is by doing it in bulk.. A lot of bulk. And to be able to handle that much business you need to have an infrastructure that is expensive. Simplistically speaking, the bar for entry is way to high for the consumer side of collections for any but the larger firms to even consider playing the game. Add to that the FDCPA statutory fines for obscure infractions… it could bankrupt small firms who aren’t prepared.

Anyway, I ended up asking questions relating to the type of collections they were looking at etc etc. Basically I wanted to know that if I was moving for the job, there would still be a job in a few months. It almost seemed like knowing about the industry and where the money would be coming from made the interviewer uneasy. Considering I didn’t even ask the big question relating to one of the partners not-so-distant past bar infractions wherein it looked like he attempted to steal a sizable amount of money from his client account and had been suspended from the practice of law for a bit… and it might be that this job just wasn’t meant to be.

It would have been nice to be employed, but maybe it would be better to be employed elsewhere.


In other news, my current count of canceled Doc Review positions is now topping out at 8. Possibly more since I kept getting vague “several irons in the fire” rhetoric. I regret going to law school now more than ever. I am beginning to consider leaving the country to escape my student loans which I have no ability to pay nor seemingly future prospect to be able to do so.

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