How to start a law firm is, oddly enough, not a subject often covered in law school, so many lawyers who are eager to go into business for themselves have no real idea what it entails or where to begin. It is important to remember that starting your own firm is not easy and will require a lot of hard work. If you’re not prepared to sign on for that, then you might want to go a different route.
If you are determined to start your own firm, then there are some important tips that you might want to consider. These apply to any kind of startup company and will help you to make the most out of your business:
- Plan and execute – before you hang out that shingle you need to be sure that you outline your goals and equip yourself to fulfill them. But gathering all of these resources is just one thing to consider about how to start a law firm. You also need to take action and implement them. The longer you delay, the bigger the advantage you give your competition, so get out there and get working as soon as possible!
- Market wisely – again, as with any startup company, the key to success is making sure you bring in customers and that means marketing your business properly. In this day and age, you must have a web presence. Print advertising still exists, but it doesn’t have anywhere near the impact it once did. With the vast majority of potential customers using mobile devices, you need to make sure you get their attention. Put together a web page, a blog, a social media page, anything you can do to reach the most people.
- Watch your overhead – too often, when considering how to start a law firm, people tend to think in terms of the big, established firms. But what works for a large law office may not be feasible for a small or independent practice. You don’t need the kind of office space, staff or other resources that a big firm does and paying for them will just put you in the red unnecessarily. So start small and build up as you need and you’ll find your budget is much more manageable.
- Don’t be afraid of technology – These days, not only is marketing done online, but most of those big, expensive legal reference books are available in eBook form at much more affordable prices. Also, you no longer need to spend an arm and a leg on expensive copiers and fax machines when you can do everything you need much more reasonably with a good scanner and the right software. This can be extremely important for a startup company, where the budget is often very tight.
- Remember to flex your creative muscles – one of the biggest advantages of having your own practice is that you don’t have to follow the company rules…because you’re making them! When thinking about how to start a law firm, this is one thing that gets overlooked but it can make a big difference. Don’t be afraid to listen to your clients and tailor your business to their needs or implement innovations as you see fit. It can all go a long way toward making your firm a success!
The author of this blog is not an attorney and the information contained in these blogs should not be considered legal advice. The information provided here is based on the experience of the author and some of her clients whose actual names are not mentioned. Do not hesitate to seek the advice of an attorney if you have any legal questions.