How Vivian Sobers, virtual office NYC attorney, and the Young, Hungry & Committed blog series got their start…
I met Vivian Sobers in the hallways of Law Firm Suites in November 2012. If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Vivian in person, you know first-hand that she’s got a special quality that makes you feel compelled to get to know her. And I did just that.
But as I got to know her better, I learned that Vivian’s professional story and personal perseverance was even more compelling. A young lawyer who, when faced with the worst legal job market in decades and no job offers, was brave enough to start her own solo law practice right out of school.
Because her story was so impressive, and because we knew that other lawyers would be inspired by her confidence, we asked if she would share her story on our Community Counsel Blog. That was nearly one year and 40 posts ago. Today, Vivian has a practice that’s the envy of attorneys 20 years her senior.
I thought it would be fun to reflect on how it all got started.
Here’s the first post of Young, Hungry & Committed by Vivian Sobers.
–Stephen Perih, Community Counsel Blog Editor
Originally posted September 27, 2013
Vivian Sobers, Virtual Office New York Lawyer: Young, Hungry and Committed
My name is Vivian Sobers. I am a 32 year old, self-employed virtual office NYC based commercial litigator in a firm I founded immediately after graduating law school. This is the first in a series of blog posts that will document my journey as I navigate my way through the challenging world of solo law practice.
Here’s a little about me:
When I went to law school I had assumed I would have job offers as soon as I graduated. In fact, like many aspiring (and delusional) lawyers, I thought I would have the luxury of turning down job offers at prestigious law firms. And like most aspiring lawyers, things didn’t pan out that way.
You know the story. The stock market crashed. The economy tightened up. Law schools increased admissions. The result: fewer jobs with more applicants equals little prospects for gainful employment within the profession.
I wasn’t a law review gal and I don’t have a double-Harvard-with-cream-on-top credentials. Being realistic about my employment prospects, I searched for low-paying opportunities with small firms.
I must have sent out 200 resumes that produced no meaningful results.
I got some interviews, but no offers. It starts to wear your confidence down after a while. It gets hard to convince a potential employer that you are the best candidate for the position when you feel like a failure.
For months I waited by the phone thinking every call would be an offer. Instead, it was either a telemarketer or my student loan provider looking for cash.
It is kind of funny. Law school is supposed to teach you “how to be a lawyer.” They should really teach you what to do after your 6-month student loan grace period runs out.
So when your dream of being a lawyer starts to turn into a nightmare, what do you do? I’ll tell you: You start your own firm.
It’s the only option — and that’s just what I did.
Like the many attorneys who have walked this path before me, I believed in my heart that I had to take control of my own future. If a law firm wouldn’t hire me, then why not just do it myself?
I started Sobers Law, PLLC, in October 2012. At times it has been a struggle. I sometimes drive 6 hours for appearance work in different cities. Trust me, it’s no lawyer’s dream to fill a car up with gas and drive to NYS Supreme in Rochester. But I take what I can get now so I can create the career of my dreams in the future.
Since April 2013, my firm has been in the black.
That doesn’t mean that I can go out to dinner every night. I can’t. My husband and I still indulge in that blue box with fluorescent orange cheese powder some evenings.
But what I can do is share with you my story: Who I am. My struggles. The highs and lows of solo law practice. I’ve made mistakes. Maybe, you won’t make the same ones. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to pursue your own professional dreams.
My name is Vivian Sobers. I’m young, I’m hungry, and despite the challenges that may lie ahead, I’m committed to making this law practice a success.
Vivian Sobers is a commercial litigator pursuing a solo law practice right out of law school. She is a client in Law Firm Suites’ Virtual Office Program. Vivian’s weekly blog series “Young, Hungry and Committed” will appear every Friday and will document the trials and tribulations of a young attorney navigating her way through the challenging world of self-employed legal practice.