Checklist to the Essentials
You are done with law school, worked at a law firm, and now contemplating starting your law firm. Congratulations on your achievements so far.
Even with all these achievements, you may not have figured out everything you need to know when starting, which could give you some jitters. But knowing the must-haves when setting up your law firm can make a huge difference in how fast you get on the track to success.
This guide provides a comprehensive checklist for starting a law firm to help you with all that you need to know.
Develop a Business Plan
When working for a law firm, all you will have to think about is handling cases. But starting a law firm is different. It means that your responsibilities will change significantly. Besides helping clients handle their legal issues, you will need to run a profitable law firm.
Therefore, you will need to create a business plan before quitting your current job if you are employed. Creating a business plan includes writing your mission statement, making plans for financing, and charting the road map for your business while capitalizing on your business’s competitive edge.
Getting the word about your business out there can be a real challenge for new entrants in any field. Your opponents will have an added advantage of having many people knowing about them, so you may need to work smart by investing in effective law firm marketing.
The best place to start in your marketing strategy is digital marketing. If you are new to digital marketing, nailing your firm marketing can be challenging, so you may need to talk to a digital marketing agency. If you want to learn more about law firm marketing, this OnTheMap’s guide on personal injury marketing is an excellent read for you.
As a lawyer, you will have several options for an organizational structure: solo practice, partnership, LLP, LLC, corporation, or partnership with a non-lawyer. It is acceptable in your state.
You will also need prerequisite local government licenses for operating a business and acquiring an EIN. An EIN is an IRS requirement to remit employees’ taxes if you have any.
Choose a Practice Area
By the time you were done with law school, you probably had identified a field of practice you feel interested in. Identifying your field of practice early enough is important because it may also influence the law firm you choose to work with to gain relevant experience.
Most lawyers will choose a field that they practiced during their employment. But you could change if you feel it is not the best fit for you. What you should not do is fall for the temptation of creating a general practice legal firm.
Clients look for specialization in a lawyer, so specialization should be the way to go. While creating a steady stream of clients may take time, specialization pays off in the long run.
Choose a Location and Furnish Your Office
Most clients do not hire a lawyer until they visit their office, so an office is a must-have. When choosing a location for your office, you must consider your clients’ convenience. For example, you must choose a location where your clients will feel safe visiting. If you do not have the budget for an office, you could try shared office spaces.
After identifying your location, the next step should be furnishing your office. Office furnishings go a long way in creating first impressions, so you may need to invest in some quality furniture.
After getting the items mentioned in the post, the next step should be hiring employees, and your law firm will be up and running.
You do not have to worry about starting small; even the most established law firms started from somewhere, and with persistence and making the right choices, nothing can keep you from succeeding in your new business.