Starting your own law firm can be a rewarding next step in your legal career. It might seem intimidating at first, but a little planning goes a long way. For any law firm just starting out, you’ll need to learn how to think like a business owner in addition to thinking like a lawyer.
Before you make the decision to start your own law firm, you should consider whether this is the right path for you. Many lawyers decide to hang their own shingle for better work-life balance, financial freedom, or flexibility only to realize that most law firm owners work longer and harder than they did during an in-house position.
While those benefits can be realized, it’s usually not until your law firm is much more established, which can take years. Practicing law and running a law firm require completely different skill sets and come with different challenges.
Before you start your law firm, consider this: Are you prepared to juggle running your business in addition to practicing law, which includes managing financials, attracting clients, doing your own marketing and more?
If you said yes and remain firm in the decision to start your own firm, this guide will help you get started—from developing a business plan and getting your finances in order to setting up your workspace and technology and finding a steady client base. And, know that you don’t need to get everything right the first time.
Every decision is part of the journey to finding and sustaining your success. The trick is to know where you want to take your firm, and identifying the key milestones that will get you there.