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What You Didn’t Learn in Law School: The Truth About Starting a Law Firm

Do you dream of one day becoming your own boss and starting your own law firm?

Starting a law firm is the dream of many law school graduates. However, few really have a deep understanding of what really goes into starting one. 

Just because you did excellent in law school does not mean you will automatically have a successful law firm. After all, being a skilled lawyer and being a skilled businessperson are two very different things. 

Therefore, it is very important to think long and hard before you decide to take the leap and start your own law firm. Interested in learning more?

Check out this guide to learn the truth about starting your own law firm.

You’ll Need to Put Your Business Hat On 

As we said in the intro, being a good lawyer does not mean you’ll be a good businessperson. 

Many lawyers who start their own firm are rather shocked when they realize how much hard work and dedication it takes to start a business. You may be thinking, “I passed the bar exam, how hard can starting a business really be?”

Well, the truth is, starting a successful business is one of the toughest endeavors you could ever undertake.

When starting a business, you have to deal with forming a corporation, retaining an accountant and hiring other staff members, building a website, creating a logo, securing a phone number, finding an ideal space, marketing and advertising your business, and the list goes on and on…

If all of this sounds like a huge pain to you, then starting your own law firm may not be the best choice for you. 

Location Matters…A Lot 

No matter how great your skills are compared to other lawyers in the area, you won’t get any clients if your law firm doesn’t have a great location. 

Being successful as a lawyer is all about having a great reputation, and that reputation starts with the location of your law firm.

Think about it: who is someone going to trust more: a lawyer with a law firm in a rundown building, or one who works on the top floor of a skyscraper with views of downtown? 

Even though paying a huge rent bill can be a tough pill to swallow in the beginning, a better location will help you attract more clients. 

Get Ready to Expand Your Expertise

Sure, you may pride yourself as being an expert estate probate lawyer now, but if you are opening your own firm, you will likely need to expand your area of expertise. 

The same client who wanted to deal with their will on Wednesday may decide a week later they want a divorce. Or, they may get in some sort of a fender bender. If they trust you, they will turn to you for help in these areas as well. 

So, be ready to expand your expertise so you can gain and retain more clients. 

Starting Your Own Law Firm: Are You Ready? 

As you can see, starting your own law firm is more than meets the eye. 

If you have any questions about starting your own law firm, please drop us a comment below. 

If this information hasn’t scared you off, be sure to check out our free business planning worksheet