The Brief Guide That Makes Starting a New Law Firm Simple
Did you know that there are 446,887 law firms operating in America as of 2022? It’s a lucrative industry and starting a new law firm is easier than you might think.
Are you a legal practitioner interested in becoming a small business owner? There are several factors you must know before entering the legal industry.
The following guide will help you develop a solid plan and make the process simple. Read on and learn how to go from being the best lawyer to owning the best firm.
Create an Identity and Plan
Form a mission statement and determine your firm’s competitive advantages. Develop a marketing strategy that represents your firm’s identity.
Set goals and standards for your law firm. All of this early planning helps create a clear vision for your business and gives direction for the future.
Choose an Area of Practice
Decide on the areas of law you want to practice after setting a basic business plan. Consider your strengths and weaknesses as a lawyer to select the right fit.
It’s better for lawyers to select a defined area rather than a generic practice nowadays. Consider specific areas like bankruptcy or family law. It will help you gain credibility quickly and benefit your networking.
Pick a Name for Your New Law Firm
You might want to name your firm after yourself or after your expertise. But make sure the name isn’t misleading if you go the expertise route.
For example, don’t use “and Associates” or “group” if there aren’t any associates in your firm. Doing so would violate the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Form Your Own Entity
Next, you should decide on the organizational structure of your firm. The structure you choose depends on how you intend to manage your firm.
Solopreneurs can be sole practitioners, professional corporations, and single-member businesses. Multi-member firms can be professional corporations, partnerships, LLC, or LLP.
Find a Location
The best location has a lot to do with your area of practice. Be sure to evaluate several locations and office spaces before making a decision.
You might also consider renting a space, sharing office space, or even working from home. Sharing an office space allows you to save money and pool resources when starting out.
Furniture, Equipment, and Supplies
You’ll need to buy quality printers, computers, phones, and other equipment. Also, you’ll need furniture for reception areas and staff areas. Keep in mind that furnishing can make a big impression on clients.
Start building a strong referral network to gain clients. Work hard to create relationships with other lawyers in the area.
Joining a lawyer association in your area is another great way to network. They usually provide a list of email addresses of other members.
Create a Website
People mostly use Google instead of searching for law firms in phone books. Create a website as the first point of reference for new clients.
You’ll need a separate bank account for your law firm. You’ll use it to deposit payments from clients and pay and track your expenses. You can choose an operating account, trust account, or IOLTA account.
Remember to set aside enough money for taxes, registration fees, and other licensing fees. Also budget for lawyer marketing campaigns like business cards, the website, and brochures.
Ready To Start Your Firm?
Now you know the basics of starting a new law firm. Identify your practice area, pick a location, plan for expenses, and never stop networking. Remember this guide and get your firm up and running seamlessly.
Check out our blog for more great business and finance tips.