How to Start a Law Firm: Eight Essential Steps to Success
Lawyers have a firm grip on America. More than 800,000 lawyers work inside the United States. Many of them have their own firms, or they want to start one.
Yet very few law firms stand the test of time. If you want to get your own firm underway, you have to know how to start a law firm.
What do you have to do before you open your doors? How do you find a great team and a client base? How can you master how to grow your law firm?
Answer these questions and you can start a terrific firm in little time. Here are eight tips on how to start a law firm.
- Get a Great Education
The more you are educated, the more credible you will seem to potential clients. While you are in school, try taking a class on how to start a successful law firm.
Pursue a particular kind of law while you are in school. It is important to have a general understanding of local, state, and federal law. But taking classes on a variant of law like human rights will help you stand out amongst your competition.
Even after you graduate from law school, you should find opportunities to get educated. Remain in touch with your alumni association and take the classes they offer. Attend training sessions and listen to talks from people in the legal industry.
- Find a Good Team
When you are ready to start a law firm, you need to get a team of professionals. You should find at least one other lawyer like yourself. You can split cases between the two of you and shoulder the work of promoting your firm.
You must also find a team of paralegals. Some paralegals should work for you while others can work with your partner.
Hiring a law firm marketer is not essential, but it can help you promote yourself. You can also hire an IT professional, or you can outsource to a company that offers business IT support services.
As you get your law firm going, you can hire additional employees. For the time being, keep your team small so you can reduce your initial expenses.
- Break Down Responsibilities
Starting a law firm requires a lot of work every week for many weeks. But that does not mean that you should shoulder all of the work yourself.
You should split responsibilities amongst your team members. You can break things down based on skill level. Someone who knows about client outreach can handle that end if you aren’t good at it.
Splitting up responsibilities does not mean that you shouldn’t provide oversight. Ask members to check in with you every week, especially if their work is expensive or related to the firm’s finances.
- Think About Marketing
Before you start a firm, you should study law firm marketing tips. The best law firm marketing tips relate to content marketing.
You market for your law firm by creating informative content that appeals to your audience. You can write instructive guides on important rights and tutorials on how to file court documents. These articles prove your worth to your client, encouraging them to contact you when they have problems.
But you are not limited to content marketing. Think about television advertisements and starting a website.
- Acquire Information Technology
Law firms are becoming increasingly reliant on IT. You need to have computers that can store documents and create presentations. You also need programs to handle client payments and accounting paperwork.
You can learn a lot on your own, but you should hone your knowledge by talking to IT professionals.
- Track Your Return on Investment
Figuring out what your return on investment (ROI) is will help you track how your law firm is doing. A basic calculation for your annual ROI is to divide your net annual savings by your investment.
You need to keep in mind that your investment is your implementation cost plus your cash cost. Your net annual savings is your annual savings subtracted by your annual expenses.
As you start out, your ROI will be very low. But you can increase it if you keep your expenses down. Rely on free methods of marketing and avoid hiring too many employees.
- Work Your Connections
The more connections you have, the more clients you can pull into your law firm. Reach out to everyone in your contacts and learn about anyone who may be interested in your services.
Feel free to cast your net wide. You can talk to people you went to school with, even people you grew up with. You never know who will be willing to send a case your way.
- Stay in Touch With Clients
Don’t forget about a client once you’re done with their case. Follow up with them after the fact and ask them how everything is going. Being warm to them may be enough to encourage them to work with you again.
If you have a good relationship with a client, you may ask them about your job performance. Be willing to take their critiques into consideration. Put their ideas into practice so you prove that you trust them.
How to Start a Law Firm
You can master how to start a law firm. You should give yourself a good education, studying within one branch of law. Use your connections from law school to build a team and delegate responsibilities.
Strategize on marketing and IT. Study your return on investment and find ways to limit your annual expenses.
Leverage your connections, including very old ones. Never forget about your clients and give them calls to see how they are doing.
Once you get your firm running, you need to maintain your success. Read guides on managing a law firm by following our coverage.