Have you ever wondered how much a lawyer in Seattle actually makes in a year? Or if their long working hours are generously compensated? Is going to law school a worthy investment in the end? Consistently, people have the impression that lawyers make big bucks as soon as they are hired. They must be rolling in dough to begin with if they could afford law school, right? Let’s find out!
Local Seattle attorney, Alisa Bagirova sheds light on several matters relating to hustling lawyers. Raw and unfiltered, the first female guest of Hundred Hustle didn’t hold back on the details. For those of you who are just tuning in, Hundred Hustle is a program I created under my YouTube channel that headlines incredible entrepreneurs and professionals. I will be engaging with these real-life hustlers to talk about them, their careers, and their companies.
Born in Pyatigorsk, Russia, Alisa came to the United States when she was eight years old. Her education from both countries brought about fluency in the Russian and English languages equally. After being licensed in 2015, she has mostly practiced civil litigation specializing in family law. These includes divorces, child custody cases, and domestic violence. She has also focused on many personal injury cases (car accidents), and a very small percentage of criminal law (DUIs).
I know that one of the biggest struggles lawyers encounter is how they can successfully market themselves to potential clients. Alisa feels that constant presence in her social media channels is a great way to build and advertise, not just for professionals but for those who are thinking of starting up a business as well. Fortunately, she does not have a problem with that being a huge lover of social media! She has a separate personal account and another for Northwest Law Group.
More often than not, Alisa works 15 hours a day: waking up as early as 6AM, and going to bed at 11PM. She is constantly meeting with clients, going from one courthouse to another, drafting the pleadings, and preparing for her abundant cases. It’s a wonder she even finds the time to eat her meals. She, however, makes time to go to social gatherings for the sake of networking and meeting people. Although it can be hard to be energetic on a Friday night when coming straight from the office, Alisa has her people skills to fall back on to get her through the occasion.
Including the ten-year time invested in schooling, and the hundred thousand tuition fees spent, Alisa explained that lawyers are not being paid as well as they should be. An attorney such as herself is only salaried at $ 65, 000.00 a year – that’s just roughly $ 5, 000.00 a month! With this unrealistic compensation, in a one of most expensive cities in the country, she is actually expected to pay off student loans AND make a living from it. On the other hand, Alisa compared starting up a business to someone jumping off of a cliff because this was one of the many things that was not taught in law school.
Alisa is quick to dispute that a free lawyer is a bad lawyer since she herself has done a lot of pro bono (free of charge) work especially for domestic violence cases. She specified that many organizations that offer free legal services get overwhelmed with the amount of clients seeking their help, which in turn prevent the lawyers from allotting sufficient time on each individual case.
Even with her impeccable time management skills, Alisa never takes more than she can handle. She refers cases out to contract attorneys if her load is already full unless she feels a certain connection to a particular case, or have someone in desperate need of her assistance. It’s seeing her clients’ happy faces when she produces the results they want that keeps Alisa going even when she’s ready to give up.
“What do you like the most in the profession of being an attorney?” I asked.
“Personally, I enjoy how the system works. I think it’s a great benefit – intellectual challenge. You keep learning – every day you learn something new. You can be in practice for 20, 30, 40 years, and someone can come through the door with an issue that you’ve never seen before.” – Alisa Bagirova
Confidently dismissing the notion that a lawyer knows ALL the laws, Alisa made clear that no one does. It is for this reason that massive research tools and search engines are readily available for people practicing law. She pointed out that even law schools only ever teach their students how to locate a particular law along with civil procedures and the actual set of rules.
As the signature part of the show, it is time again for Blunt Blitz! This is when I ask several, sometimes very straightforward, questions that have to be answered as quickly as possible. Undaunted, Alisa was more than happy to give us her most honest responses.
“There’s no such thing as losing a case.”, “I win all the time!” – these are some bold declarations! Do you want to hear more? Then be sure to watch the full version of the video here.
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