C-Suite Advisory

How to Start Your Own Law Practice

Starting a new business will always be difficult. But starting a new law practice might be even harder. How do you go about starting a law practice anyway?

What should we do when building our very own law practice? An example of a successful law practice is ClearWay Law. ClearWay Law helps you get all the legal advice you may need.

Here is a list of things on how to open your law practice successfully.

Ignore The Naysayers 

Many of your colleagues, friends, and maybe even your college professors might say you can’t do it. Listening to them will only bring you down and make you fail. Sometimes lawyers are pessimists by nature.

It is up to you to ignore them. You know what you are capable of and only you can do it. This mindset will help you push past the negativity and help you succeed.

Plan, Plan, and Plan

Always plan any business decisions as far ahead as you can. Starting a normal business is difficult enough as it is. Do not cut any corners on the planning stage; doing so can mean failure.

Start by writing a marketing and business plan, make it as detailed as possible. Then begin to collect all the information that you will need. You will need financial statements and a mission statement.

Analyze the market and know your competitors. It’s a good idea to have someone take a look at these documents. It is better to find someone who has done this before. They can give you constructive criticism.

Save What You Need

Opening your own practice is going to be expensive. It is a smart idea to save whatever amount you will need beforehand. When starting up a practice, it’s important to understand that you won’t make money immediately.

It may take a few months to hit that break-even point in your income and expenses. Having the right amount of money can ensure you stay open long enough to start seeing some revenue. Knowing how long you have before you go broke can help you decide how quickly things need to move.

Start With Only One Area of Law

In the beginning stages of opening your own practice, it’s a good idea to start with only one area. Having too many might become disastrous and can lead to your failure. Wanting to do everything may mean you will not specialize in anything.

It will also make you look like the enemy to those around you. When seen as a competitor, it makes creating a referral chain harder. Starting out with one or two max areas of law will ensure you can succeed. Remember, you can always expand once your business is booming.

Create a Referral Chain

A referral network is the best idea for a startup law practice. Tell all your friends, colleagues, or fellow law students what you are doing. Tell people that you meet and what your area of law you are going into.

Take other lawyers out to lunch; they might even pay. You can ask these lawyers for advice, how they get clients, and where to look for cases. Meet up with these lawyers a few more times until you have started a working relationship with them.

Aim for the lawyers who do not practice the area you are going to. This will mean many more referrals and more clients. These attorneys will send the work to someone they know and trust; this must be you.

If you have enough money, you can even set up a referral fee that will entice referrals. The amount you can charge for a referral fee depends on the area of law. Do your research on what is the standard referral fee in your area of law.

Websites Are a Must!

Create a website for your law firm as soon as you possibly can. Phonebooks are a thing of the past. Google is how potential clients will look for a lawyer or a law firm. Not having a good website can be a drastic mistake on your part.

You will be judged severely for not having a website. It is easy to create and will only cost you a few dollars a year to post online. If you cannot create a website by yourself, you can also hire a professional web designer.

Listserv and Organizations 

Joining organizations connect you to attorneys who can co-counsel with you. A listserv is an email that allows every member of the organization to receive your email. This can be very helpful when you need a question answered, and you don’t have a mentor. If you are inexperienced, you can use the help of these organizations to gain experience.

Summing It All Up

Following these things will definitely help you be successful in opening your practice. Although once again, it is all up to you. Only you can make this a success.

Working hard and showing your true potential to potential clients will help. Clients will never ask you about your GPA. You might face some trouble with your age if you are young. But if you are a good attorney, then clients won’t care how young you are.

Use this to build your confidence. Clients who only care how good you are as a lawyer will make up most of your client pool. Only other attorneys might have a problem with your success.

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Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller is CEOWORLD magazine's executive editor of news, writing analysis, and long-form reporting. In his role, he coordinates and tracks the publication of special packages, magazine stories, and the publication’s signature lists. He's a somewhat long-suffering supporter of Manchester United F.C. and a genuinely long-suffering fan of the Los Angeles Clippers.