The thought of starting a law practice all by oneself may be scarring to some lawyers. They want to play it safe in order to avoid the risks involved. When you start a solo law practice, you are completely on your own. This means that you will run your law practice more or less on the principles of running a business. Like a business owner, you will be advertising your services, expertise, and you will put a lot of effort for making contacts with potential clients. You will also market your services just as a company does. This surely seems a daunting task for many lawyers and is the reason they prefer working as an employee in some company.
But do not be scared by the thought of operating your law practice as a business. The fact is that increasing number of law practitioners are going solo to make more money. According to the stats provided by American Bar Association, of all the private practitioners in the U.S, 49% were solo practitioners in 2005.
So, do not be overwhelmed by the very thought of starting a solo law practice all by yourself. Like many successful solo entrepreneurs, you will gradually learn the tricks.
Here Are 5 Tips To Start A Solo Law Practice
1. Understand Its Benefits
As an attorney you are aware of the benefits of operating your own law firm rather than working as an employee in a company. The company requiring your law services may hire you at a certain payment and it will keep a major portion of the fees you earn. So, if you are determined to make more money, leave your current job and start a solo law practice. Then, you will not be sharing your fees with anyone and you will be the captain of your own ship.
You should talk to fellow lawyers who also want to make money. Find out a possibility of starting a new law firm on partnership. To start a professional partnership, you can form a corporation. You should think of hiring an accountant. Office equipment, get a phone number and ensure other such basic things.
But partnership firm is not an essential condition. You can always go solo and start a law firm of solely yours. Make sure that your solo law firm has a nice logo design and a registered domain name for a dedicated website, for promoting your services as a lawyer. You also will be looking for an ideal location for office of your law firm.
2. Find A Great Location
Can you find a location with a nice view for your law firm’s office? If you can, then it will add value to your business. Your clients will get good impression of your law practice. In legal profession, an image of your law firm is a key to win the clients. You would surely like to impress those who visit your office.
If you locate such a view for your law firm office, take it immediately even if the rent is a bit costly. You will make an impression on the potential clients to win them easily.
3. Keep Aside A Nice Budget
Let us admit it. Starting a solo law practice is going to be somewhat costly in the initial phase. After all, you will be hiring office space, buying office equipment’s such as commercial copier and so on.
Besides the usual expenditures, you will also be hiring an able legal assistant with a good experience. You will pay a competitive salary to the assistant. As a solo lawyer, at a later stage, you will be hiring the legal assistance so that your clients can contact and interact with your office in your absence in a meaningful way. Know when you need a legal assistance. The assistant will in fact be accomplishing many of your legal works. So, be prepared to pay a high salary to the legal aid.
4. Promote Your Practice On Social Media
Social media is a very powerful medium to promote your expertise and skill. For solo law practitioners, social channels like Twitter and Facebook are all the more important. For instance, just a few tweets about your professional side may earn you a new client the next day. Your Facebook page will display your abilities as a lawyer to help you get noticed widely among your potential clients.
Most importantly, create an impressive website for your solo law practice. The website design particularly should be user-friendly so that your clients can navigate the pages easily and they stay at the site to get all the information you want to deliver. Update the site with your latest accomplishments. Make the audience aware of the new developments happening in the law field so that people see you as an expert on the legal issues.
Do not forget to get a great logo design for your solo law practice to put it on your website, business cards and other marketing material. Get some advice from the expert designers on designing a law firm logo design.
5. Look For Referrals And Gain New expertise
Do not rely on your existing list of clients, if you want to grow your law firm’s business. You should be always be looking for opportunities to acquiring new clients. To do so, tap into your network of colleagues. Cultivate referrals from your legal peers.
Besides exploring other lawyers, do not hesitate in asking your friends from other fields such as business and realtors. You can even have an occasional chat with your parking lot attendant, who may one day suggest you a client. Sometimes a hearty face-to-face conversation with your friends and people around can give you some clue about the potential clients.
This way, you will start getting client referrals. Do not forget the importance of word-of-mouth publicity, which works well in legal profession for starting a law practice.
Also, think of expanding your legal expertise on fields other than your core legal field. Do not be satisfied with your existing law firm’s business and list of clients. In legal profession, you must always be looking for ways to expand your legal expertise in other fields. Since, you are running a solo law practice; its earnings will depend a lot on the number of clients you get. If your expertise includes dealing with other legal areas such as crime, divorce, business related cases, etc, it will help you make more money on your own.
To conclude, like many solo practitioners, you too can start your own law firm. But you should be prepared to do multitasking initially and then hiring some legal expert to assist you. Your presence on social media is equally important to get new clients.