Building a Successful Law Firm with Limited Experience
Many law graduates aspire to start their own practice instead of toiling away in another law firm for years. Although hanging out your shingle right after graduation and becoming your own boss may seem daunting at first, you can start a thriving and rewarding practice on your own terms from day one by following these recommendations.
Start with a Positive Attitude
Initially, people will be skeptical about your ability to litigate cases. Some naysayers may downright discourage you. However, you need a firm belief that you can succeed in establishing your practice. If you do not back yourself to succeed, chances are good that you won’t. It’s really that simple.
Don’t Wait Until You’ve Graduated to Start Planning Your Practice
Planning a comprehensive business and marketing plan as early as during law school could give you a head start in your professional independence. (You may want to get through that first year, though, before tackling such work). Try sharing your business plan with practicing attorneys, and determine how much you need to earn in each of your first five years to successfully establish a self-sustaining law practice. Ideally, you should plan to save enough money to meet your basic expenses for up to six months before taking the plunge.
Don’t Open a General Law Practice
Resist taking any case that comes your way just to generate revenue. Start your practice handling matters you understand. Focusing on one legal area will quickly instill confidence, both in yourself and your clients, and help you develop proficiency.
Choose a Practice Area That Is Conducive to Success
Some practice areas are simply harder to break into than others unless you already have potential clients. For example, venturing into litigation for medical malpractice is not advisable unless you have previously worked in the medical field or have extensive contacts within the medical community.
Create a Website, but Be Prudent About Its Timing
The vast majority of people seeking legal services in today’s market start their search online, so a website goes a long way in advertising your practice. But be careful when timing the release of your website, as you cannot publicly reveal that you are practicing until you are a licensed member of the bar.
Look for Ways to Generate Referrals
Building a referral network is essential to the success of your practice. Get to know other lawyers in your community. Invite other successful independent lawyers to lunch and ask how they built their practices. Tell them about your intention to start an independent practice as well as your area of expertise. They may make referrals to you when they get cases outside their own area of practice.
Other potential ways to generate referrals include joining a service organization, talking to people at your health club, and even mentioning what you do to your mechanic or the owners of your favorite restaurant. Although overlooked and underrated, word-of-mouth publicity can go a long way in propagating your practice to prospective clients. The more you talk to people about what you do, the greater your chances of getting a referral.
Let GetLegal Help You Build a New Law Practice
At GetLegal, we specialize in providing digital marketing services to lawyers and law firms nationwide, including full-service website development (with custom content and design), search engine optimization, pay-per-click campaigns, directory placements, video production, online reputation management tools, and social media strategies. Our digital marketing tools can help strengthen and build your law practice. Go to https://www.getlegalpracticebuilder.com/ or call 1-866-535-6919 to take advantage of our 20+ years of digital marketing experience.