Working as an attorney can be an incredibly rewarding career and there are plenty of opportunities for progression in this field. You could become a law professor at a college, become a partner in your firm, or if you have entrepreneurial aspirations as well, why not go into business for yourself and start a law firm? If this latter option sounds appealing to you or you have been thinking about doing this for some time, here are a few useful tips to help you get started.
Choose Your Practice Area
Of course, it’s a smart move to establish a firm that focuses on an area of law you have expertise in, such as personal injury, criminal, equity, etc. After all, you have worked for years in this field so why change now? It can also be more appealing to potential clients to choose a law firm that specializes in the area of law they need. However, you shouldn’t completely dismiss the idea of opening a firm that covers several areas as this could open up opportunities for a variety of clients, although this might be something you could do at a later date when your business is more established.
Once you have decided what areas of law you’re going to work under, you can then start drawing up a business plan for your firm. You will need to consider your overhead costs and how much you’ll need to charge clients for services to cover these and make a profit. This includes things like the lease for your office space, employee salaries, energy bills, website costs, and other IT needs, marketing campaigns, and so on. You can find out more about how to write a business plan for a law firm here.
What Services Are You Going To Need?
You should also think about what external services you will need as a law firm to help you build your cases and manage your operations. For example, if you need a client’s medical records for a case you will need to find a reliable record retrieval service. You might also need the help of a private investigator, a transcription service, and even accountants to help balance your books and do your company tax returns. Outsourcing these services and others, such as administrators and paralegals, may also be possible by employing specialist attorney billing services in your area. Remember to add these additional expenses in your cost-up for your business plan.
Get The Right Team
You could work alone in your firm, but you’ll quickly find yourself feeling overwhelmed and struggling to expand your business. This is why hiring a small team of excellent attorneys to work with you at your firm is key, as well as other staff members such as legal executives, assistants, and an administration team. Use a recruitment agency or professional recruiter like Alex Gotch to help you source the best candidates and make this process easier for you.
Any business needs great marketing to draw in new customers and your law firm is no different. All of your marketing material needs to incorporate your business branding and speak directly to your key demographic. You can develop your campaigns yourself, but to save you some time you might be better off hiring a marketing agency to do this for you so you can focus on working with your clients on their cases.
There will be many more things you will need to consider when setting up a law firm, but these are all good places to start.