In an article published by The National Law Journal on August 15, 2012, NAFUSA member Kendall Coffey urges recent law graduates to consider the tens of millions of Americans who need attorneys. In Underserved middle class could sustain underemployed law graduates, Coffey argues that a pratice representing the middle class could result in a decent living for young lawyers.
The reality is that with prudent office economics, recent law graduates could earn decent compensation and launch successful practices, with the opportunity to continue to earn more. Rather than work for a law firm at high rates, of which two thirds goes to the employer, new lawyers could charge much lower rates and keep the earnings for themselves. Rates of between $50 and $125 per hour would make new lawyers affordable to the middle class while providing the lawyers with enough income to succeed.
Coffey adds that law schools would have to revise their curricula and more clinics are needed to provide supervision and legal experience.
Coffey is a founding member of Coffey Burlington, PL, concentrating on complex litigation, He serves as the chair of the Southern District Conference, Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission. He served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern Distict of Florida from 1993-1996. He has authored two books and over three dozen articles. He is an adjunct professor of law at the University of Miami School of Law and the Florida International University School of Law.