University of Pittsburgh
The Pitt Law Academy presents:

Solo Practice & Starting Your Own Law Firm After Law School

November 15, 2012 - 4:30pm
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue Room 107
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

From Professor Burkoff:

On Thursday, Nov. 15 at 4:30 in Room 107 (not the Courtroom!!!), the Law School will present our last Pitt Law Academy program for this semester.  This fifth PLA program is on the topic: “Solo Practice & Starting Your Own Law Firm After Law School.”


              The five panelists who will be speaking on Thursday are amazingly interesting, outspoken, colorful, and often provocative.  And they practice law by themselves or with just one other attorney.  They are:


1. Amy DiBella, solo criminal defense attorney

2. Deborah Maliver, plaintiffs’ medical malpractice attorney, Biancheria & Maliver P.C.

3. Tim O'Brien, civil litigator, Law Offices of Timothy P. O'Brien

4. Peggy Fried Whelan, employment law attorney, Fried Law Offices

5. Gary Zimmerman, solo criminal defense attorney


              This program was added to the Pitt Law Academy lineup this year at the request of some of last year’s 1Ls.  Increasingly, some of our grads have been thinking about practicing law by themselves . . . or with one or two of their friends from Law School.


              Can you really do that?  Well, it’s a pretty daunting thing to do, as you probably suspect. But lots of lawyers do it, and often very successfully.  Our five panelists will give you tips on how to do it, and lots of practical advice.  And I’ve also asked them to be perfectly candid when they are speaking to you, i.e. what’s the solo practice life really like?  What cautions would they offer you?


              This group includes three solo practitioners and two lawyers who work with one other attorney.  Deb Maliver opened an office with her Law School classmate.  Amy DiBella graduated just two years ago and went right into solo practice, although she shares offices (and some work) with two more experienced attorneys.


              Look, you just don’t know what path life is going to take you down.  The key, as I keep stressing, is simply to find a life that makes you happy, personal and professional.  Maybe – one day – that will include solo or very small firm practice.  Why not come to this program and try on this type of life for size?  As usual, I’ve asked these five panelists to tell you some of their stories, how and why they are doing what they are doing today.


              Finally, as usual there will also be a Reception to follow this presentation.  I’ve got Dean Carter hard at work cutting up those little pieces of fruit for you.  Come and network.


              2ls and 3Ls: Hey, 2Ls: some of you are the ones who asked for this program.  Here it is!  3Ls: I’ve talked to a number of you about this kind of possibility.  You should come not only to try on this lifestyle, but to make some professional friends.  Be there or be square.

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