How to Start a Law Office: Steps for Starting Your Own Law Firm
You’ve been a lawyer for quite a while and maybe you’re ready to break out on your own and want to know how to start a law office. You came to the right place because we’re going to highlight the steps necessary for starting your own law firm.
As small businesses are slated to spend an average of $75,000 this year just for basic digital promotion, the price of getting your business started is daunting. You need to ensure that every dollar is wisely spent during those first few steps when you’re figuring out how to start a law office. Through careful planning, you’ll see your investment quickly return a profit and grow into a lucrative business.
If you’re interested in how to get started, follow these 6 steps.
1. Figure Out Your Specialty
Knowing what kind of law you want to specialize in is an important step when opening a law office. While you may have learned a number of different types of law over the years, you need to pick a certain type.
You may love to practice maritime law, but if you’re in a landlocked area, you might need to choose something else. Accident or malpractice law can be a lucrative field but you could spend lots of time arguing similar cases over and over.
Get to know not only what you want to be working on but what your region needs. There could be a gaping hole that you could end up filling with a practice that covers the region’s major industries. If there are lawyers who don’t specialize in what your neighbors are clamoring for, you could be the one to save the day.
2. Find Your Demographic
Every law office on the planet wants to be able to cater to everyone, but that’s just not possible. There’s going to be someone out there who fits the bill for what you’d consider to be an “ideal” client. Finding your demographic is essential to being able to determine who you’ll end up working with and how successful your firm will be.
If you’re looking for corporate clients, you’ll need to pivot your law office to service clients like that. If you’re more likely to be serving their employees, make sure that you’ve got partners and staff who know what they need.
When you choose your demographic, you’ll have to start learning about what people like that want from a firm that others aren’t providing. You’re sure to end up finding yourself in a competitive market, so be sure that you find ways to stand out.
3. Start Building Your Brand
One way to stand out is to start building your brand ASAP.
In order for a law office to build their brand, they need to know what their demographic looks for online and in media. If you’ve got an older demographic that mostly listens to the radio, you’ll need to create ads or that. If you’re aiming for more millennials, you need to make sure you have a presence on social media.
Make sure your name is memorable and start plastering it everywhere. Put it up on billboards, in local papers, and that will print it. Reach out to local groups who need someone to sponsor their magazine or annual brochure to but a spot and start building a buzz.
The more you embed yourself in your community, the better you’ll look to potential clients. Building a name takes time and effort. While you should definitely be sure you’re taking up space online, likes don’t have any correlation to how many clients a firm has.
4. Find A Mentor
Finding a mentor is a difficult and important process in opening your own law office. It’s one that offices often skip, before spending years trying to find footing in their region. Rather than start everything from scratch and building from the ground up, have someone hold your hand to ensure you don’t make common mistakes.
Find a mentor who believes in you and who doesn’t see you as a competitor. Your mentor should be available to speak to you when you need them. Asking a hotshot lawyer who has a lot of clients to worry about may not result in having them available to speak to you when you need them.
5. Hunt Down Locations
You need to make sure you’ve got a great location when people come to visit you. You’ll need to be accessible, with lots of parking, and even make sure that your office is in a great neighborhood.
When you’re looking for an office, consider how many partners you have in total. Make sure there is adequate room for everyone with the potential of having room to grow. You’ll need to have space in the future for having meetings and hosting your clients, so make sure that it’s spacious and well-lit.
The perfect location will be easy to get to via public transportation, will be within your budget, and won’t lock you in for too long of a lease.
6. Decide On Your Staff
When it’s time to outfit your office with staff, you need to make a lot of decision, many of them based on budget. While you might want to hire some researchers to help you out, you may have to have interns for awhile.
While it might be important to you to have a receptionist to answer your calls, you might not have the budget for that yet. The next best possible thing is for you to have an answering service to pick up the phone.
You won’t always be available to field every call. Rather than leave a voicemail or talk to an automated service, people will want to speak to another living human on the other line. Your answering service should be able to answer some basic questions and schedule appointments for you.
Figuring out How to Start a Law Office Takes Patience
When you’re about to open any kind of new business, you need to be careful every step of the way. While learning how to start a law office, you’ll need to keep one eye on your budget and one eye on your practice. Take your time and you’ll maintain this careful balance, building a strong set of clients along the way.
For some advertising tips to bring clients in, check out our guide to success.
Final Points: Every missed call is a missed opportunity for a new client. They add up to tens of thousands of dollars in revenue. Take our advise and hire an attorney answering service.