5 Tips for Starting Your Own Law Firm
So, you want to start your own law firm. Even though this is an exciting time, it can also be an incredibly stressful one. There are a number of things you should keep in mind when it comes to running your own law firm proficiently. Here are five tips for getting started.
- Invest In All the Technologies and Software You’ll Need
It’s so easy to get caught up in what you love the most — defending your clients — that you may forget about some of the things you’ll need for your office to run smoothly. Some of these include:
- Phones, computers, and printers.
- Microsoft Office Suite.
- Time and billing software for law firms.
- Legal document management software (e.g. Wordlox).
- Video conferencing software.
- Legal calendaring and docket software.
These are just a few of the many types of software you’ll need for a new law firm.
- Make Sure Your Website Is Solid
Your website should look professional and provide potential clients with the answers they’re looking for about your services. If your primary focus is as a criminal defense attorney, for example, it’s important to make sure this is clear. If you practice in several areas of law, this information should be easy to locate.
- Put Some Thought Into Your Law Firm’s Name
It’s important to put some thought into your law firm’s name. Most lawyers opt to use their last names. If you’re opening a solo practice, however, you won’t be able to do “Barrett and Jones” if you don’t have a partner. Also, keep in mind that you shouldn’t open a law firm called “The Offices of Barrett” or “Barrett Law Offices” If you only have one location.
- Have Good Professional Liability Insurance
It’s essential for new law firms to have professional liability insurance. In some states, this insurance is mandatory — and for good reason. It covers negligence and malpractice, copyright infringement, personal injury, and more. If any of these problems arise and you don’t have coverage, you could experience a devastating financial loss.
- Focus on Marketing Your Legal Services
It’s important to come up with a marketing budget and utilize it accordingly. Marketing your legal services can take time. It’s important to consider how you’ll draw in potential clients. There are a number of factors that will play a role, including your location. It may be easier to find clients in a rural area or suburb than in a city.
Here are some other advertising ideas to keep in mind:
- Your website. This is one of the most important tools you can use to market. Make sure you have in-depth Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so that potential clients can easily find your site.
- Social media marketing. This can be an effective strategy for lawyers. You’ll want to consider hiring a social media marketing company.
- Traditional advertising. Billboard advertisements, radio advertisements, and television advertisements can all be ideal if your marketing budget allows.
- Self-promotion. Be sure to let your friends and family know that you’re open for service. But don’t stop there. Consider going to local bars and restaurants, talking to people and telling them about what you do. You never know who’s in need of the legal services you provide. We all have to start somewhere and word-of-mouth can be a great way to drum up business. Be sure to carry business cards everywhere you go.
These are just a few tips to keep in mind when starting a law firm. There are many other factors to consider when you start your own practice. Be sure to do plenty of research and consider talking to other lawyers about any advice they may have regarding starting your own law firm.