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Booted from the ‘Money Train,’ Lawyer Happily Hangs Out Shingle

Posted Apr 10, 2009 7:12 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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For years, David Koller had been following what he calls the money train, seeking the best—and highest-paying—jobs to help him advance in his career and pay "the nut" on his student loans.

But his last leap to a new job, in 2007, wasn't entirely a good fit. And, when the recession hit, as the lawyer with the least seniority, he was the one let go with a month's severance pay, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

As he got the bad news, the 31-year-old Pennsylvania attorney tells the newspaper, he was silently thankful. The layoff was a chance to establish his own employment practice, as he had always wanted to do. Koller also sees an opportunity in elder law, an area in which few young practitioners are specializing, he says.

Now, even though the move was financially frightening—he and his wife are now living off their savings, in part, as they struggle to make ends meet on his income from his new firm and her part-time job—he is excited about operating his own firm.

To get a full caseload up and running, he is ready to bargain about legal rates, too. "When you have your own firm, you can make those calls," he says.

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