Although the thought of starting up a law firm is exciting and promising, there is often an element of fear about the stress that comes with any new challenge. Starting up your own firm involves hiring new legal staff, finding an office, creating a legal entity and choosing the right CPA among other tasks. It can seem a daunting task when you consider that after all the planning comes the execution.
Thankfully with the right planning and careful execution, your new start up can find the success of even the largest firms. Many people, however, struggle in their first year, but there are certain things you can do to avoid these pitfalls altogether so that your first year is successful and sets you up to find even greater success in the future.
There are many resources that can help you create a strategic plan for starting up your law firm, such as the American Bar Association. These pages will discuss not only how you can go about successfully starting up a new law firm, but also exactly how to market your firm using advanced online marketing tactics that will bring lots of targeted clients to your law firm in search of exactly what it is you have to offer.
How can you generate business for your firm?
– For starters, you need to have a web presence. It can legitimize you, and it can drive your business. You can start by posting on Craigslist. You may not land a million-dollar client that way, but everyone has to start somewhere. There are referral services available online. There’s Avvo.com, as well as LinkedIn and Facebook.
What is the ballpark budget for starting your own firm?
– Maybe $2,500, plus your malpractice insurance (which can range from $900 to $2,000 a year), plus your health insurance and office space costs (a few hundred dollars a month each). All in all, you’re probably looking at about $10,000 for the first year. Join a bar association; your dues will get you a lot. You can get access to some legal research services, useful forms, conference rooms, and other resources. It is not necessary to have full-time support staff when you start out.
How do you figure out what to charge your clients?
– Try to get a sense of what other practitioners in the field are charging — but don’t compare yourself against a big firm, which will be much more expensive. It can be helpful to accept credit card paymen. Just be careful not to mix your business funds and your client funds.