Starting your own law practice is a dream most of us had that got us through the long hours of law school. But doing it right after you graduate?
If you can pull it off, awesome. Maybe you got scholarships and you have no student debt, making you a great potential borrower for a business loan.
But for most people, they have to work at a firm to save up money before they can open their own. Whether you’re fresh out of law school or you’ve worked in another firm for a few years, here’s how to start a law firm.
How to Start a Law Firm
Before you go renting out an office space, you’ll need to do some before-operation considerations. Like…
What Niche Will You Practice?
Everyone has a different aspect of law they like the most. What we see in the movies (criminal law) isn’t what most of us end up doing. Maybe you like real estate law, or want to help families process their divorces peacefully.
Make sure you pick a niche that isn’t oversaturated wherever you’re going to start up a practice. There will always be competition around town, but two divorce firms in town are reasonable.
Six divorce firms? Maybe in a city, but you want to have enough clients and traffic to pay the bills.
If you know people that work in that niche in town, try to get a feel for how busy they are. If they have a great caseload, that’s a good sign.
But if their lobby is like the wild west with tumbleweeds blowing through it, that might not be the right law topic to build your practice on.
Invest in the Right Materials
When we say materials, we mean office space, tools, and people. A lot of lawyers try to cut costs when establishing their own firm and don’t get up-to-date computers, printers or whatever else they need.
Not only is that unreliable, but it makes you look unprofessional. Take the costs and get what you need.
When it comes to hiring people, hire slow, fire fast. Take your time deciding who’s a good fit for your team.
Do not poach employees from another firm, unless they’re expressing interest first. You don’t want to burn bridges with other lawyers. A good amount of business comes from niche lawyers referring clients to a more appropriate niche lawyer.
If you burn those bridges, you lose out on that source of income. And – you need to have those contacts too. If you don’t do accidents but people come to you, you need to have an accident lawyer you know that they can call.
Don’t Forget Marketing
Too many small businesses spend too much on set up and hiring and forget to leave themselves a marketing budget.
Marketing is an essential part of how to start a law firm. If you don’t market- you don’t have clients, and your law firm will fail.
Don’t let that happen. Use the business resources on our site and don’t be afraid to ask questions.