Solos / Small Firms

Difficult Job Market Not a Problem for 4 Law Grads Who Set Up Their Own Firm

At a time when many law students and recent graduates are having a hard time finding jobs in the legal field, four Willamette University alumni knew what they were doing months before they graduated in 2010.

In a venture that some law professors warned them to reconsider, Richard McBreen, Eric McClendon, Aidan Melia and Michael Owens decided as third-year law students to go into private practice together as soon as they were eligible to do so, the Oregonian reports.

Financing their partnership with credit cards and what they could save from student loan funds, the four rented a house they could convert into a law office before they even passed the Oregon bar exam. Fortunately, all earned their law licenses without delay. They went into business together as McClendon Owens Melia McBreen the same day they were sworn in.

In addition to building their firm and the four niche practices in which they specialize, the fledgling partners handle other work for the firm, which ranges from administrative tasks and setting up a website to building a fourth office; the house they rented had only three rooms large enough to serve the purpose.

“Someday, when we have staff, we’re going to appreciate them a lot,” McClendon told the newspaper.

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