We think about startups, people usually think of the same sort of careers. But what about law firms? People often forget that law firms aren’t made up for businesses that have been around forever. Just like every other field, there are new startups popping up all the time in law.
Starting up a law firm, just as with starting up any other type of company, has its fair share of difficulties. But it can definitely be done. What’s important is that you keep the following in mind as you start out in your endeavor!
Which area of law?
Here’s a common mistake among legal startups. They believe that they should aim to be a catch-all law firm, with lawyers who can cover basically anything someone may approach them out. Injury law, family law, business law, you name it. The thinking is that they’ll get the most clients, which means “make the highest amount of money”, this way. But here’s the fact: law firms need to specialize.There really aren’t any law firms out there there just do every legal issue under the sun. Not only do people want specialized firms, but hiring enough lawyers to cover all the bases is simply unrealistic. It adds way too much to your startup costs.
Experience is key
Most people who start a law firm that went on to have a lot of success have a pretty consistent thing in common – they had loads of experience under their belt. When you step out of law school, getting that experience should probably be your focus. Chances are you graduated with a specific area in which you’re the best – so perhaps you should find a reputable firm in that field. Simply put, theory and practice are completely different – new lawyers are often stunned by out how different the practice is when compared to what they thought it would be during their education.
Equipment and software
Your business plan (which we’ll mention again in the next section) should include details about the equipment you’re going to need at the office of your law firm. The mistake people make is that they don’t keep it simple enough. When they think of law firms, they think of luxury. Expensive desks, expensive sofas, the finest tea and coffee available in unlimited supply… but, of course, you need to be much more practical as a startup. Equipment should include fast computers, sturdy desks, and comfortable chairs. Software doesn’t need to be too complex, but don’t be too tempted to skip it. Remember, document management software can improve your legal practice.
You’re going to need to raise money to start this business. Many startups keep it simple because the business owner may act as the sole attorney, at first. This should help you attain capital, as will a good amount of experience and a detailed business plan (which is essential for figuring out how much you’re going to need). If you’re working for a firm already, then you may be making a pretty good salary – starting saving now if you’re planning on starting your own firm.