Starting Your Own Law Firm? 6 Tips for Success

by Startups Published on: 28 April 2018 Last Updated on: 05 May 2023

own law firm

With the legal services industry worth well over $437 billion, now is a potentially lucrative time to start a law firm.

Everyone from presidents and business people to newscasters and even lawyers needs legal representation or advice from time to time.

What’s more, it’s not the large law firms that are the go-to service providers for most businesses and individuals. It’s the small firms with 1-29 attorneys taking home the larger piece of the pie!

But for every successful law firm out there, there is a handful that is struggling. So, what

does it take to build a sought-after firm from the ground up?

In this article, we’re giving you top tips for starting your own law firm and making it big.

1. Be a Lawyer:

Like many businesses in the professional services industry (think medical practices and accounting and auditing firms), one needs to be a lawyer to establish and run a law firm.

As such, the first step to starting your own law firm is to join a law school and earn your Juris Doctor (JD) degree. You can even apply for an online JD program that is already ABA-approved. To gain admission into a law school, you must be a holder of a bachelor’s degree and you must also ace the Law School Admission Test.

While in law school, it’s advisable to specialize in a legal field that not only piques your interest but is also in demand.

After law school, obtain admission to the bar in your state. It’s only after bar admission that you can provide legal services.

2. Learn the Ropes in an Established Law Firm:

If you’re an ardent fan of the popular TV show Suits, then you certainly know the role Harvey – a big-time corporate lawyer – played in shaping Mike – a novice without a law degree – into a competent and accomplished lawyer.

You ought to follow a similar path.

Finding a job – even as a law clerk or legal assistant – in an established law firm will enable you to work under distinguished lawyers who have been in the game for years; experienced pros who have won hundreds of cases.

Gradually, you’ll work your way up. You’ll have your days in court, opportunities that’ll help you learn how to defend your clients and throw legal punches that leave the other side defeated.

You’ll develop strong interpersonal skills, which are crucial for quickly developing a positive rapport with clients.

The gist of this all is the success of a law firm depends on the reputation of the founders. If you’re a trial lawyer with a reputation for getting clients off the hook, be rest assured clients will come knocking on your door the day you decide to start your own firm.

3. Learn the Business of Law:

Unfortunately, it takes more than years of legal experience and a solid reputation to launch and run a successful law. If these were the only requirements, every other lawyer in town would be running a law firm and raking in millions.

You must have a fine grasp of the business of law, else you’ll be counting your losses.

Do you know how to price your services competitively? How do you determine when to charge a flat rate and when to charge an hourly rate?

Know how to choose a location for your firm and negotiate office leases? How do you identify the challenges law firms are facing (from a business perspective) and adapt your business model accordingly? Alex Gotch started as a lawyer and now owns his own law recruitment and career consultancy business because he was able to identify a challenge in the market.

To find answers to such questions and enhance your commercial awareness, it’s advisable to pursue short courses that teach law firm management. This will supplement what you learned in law school.

4. Going Solo or Bringing in a Partner?

When starting your own law firm, you can choose to establish a one-man show or join forces with a partner. Both models have their own upsides and downsides.

Going solo, for instance, will give you complete control over the firm. You’ll call the shots. On the downside, you might be unable to raise the capital required to put the firm on its feet and keep it running till it achieves self-sustainability.

Going in with a partner means raising capital becomes 50 percent easier. Plus, a partner potentially brings professional diversity to the firm.

This means if you specialize in criminal defense like this law firm, and your partner specializes in corporate law, your firm will be offering more areas of practice.

However, choosing the wrong partner could mean frequent disagreements on the management of the firm.

5. Your Law Firm’s Name Says a lot:

Traditionally, law firms are named after the names of the founders/partners.

Today though, things are changing. Savvy lawyers are adopting names that not only make their firms unique but also help potential clients to easily identify their areas of legal practice.

This is crucial because the modern consumer typically searches for legal services online. If your law firm is named after your name, a potential client can quickly ignore it when it comes up in search engine results and settle on one with a name that readily identifies the area of practice.

6. Embrace Digital Marketing:

Now that we are on internet use, let’s touch on digital marketing as an essential tip for success when starting your own law firm.

The numbers don’t lie. Over 81 percent of customers begin their search for a local business online. These people also research the online reviews of a business before making a purchase decision.

Clearly, if your young law firm has no solid online presence, it’s going nowhere.

You have to embrace digital marketing. Bring on board an SEO specialist to implement strategies that will ensure your website ranks high on search engine result pages. It also pays to run PPC ads and advertise your services on social networks like Facebook.

Starting Your Own Law Firm: Success Awaits:

For as long as the constitution exists, legal services will always be required.

Starting your own law firm enables you to play a role in meeting this demand, and also gives you a prime opportunity to make a good living doing what you love.

Even better, we’ve gone a step further to give you the tips you need to improve your chances of establishing a successful legal outfit.

And we’re not stopping there. Keep tabs on our blog for new pieces of business advice.

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Ariana Smith is a blogger who loves to write about anything that is related to business and marketing, She also has interest in entrepreneurship & Digital marketing world including social media & advertising.

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