A recent survey found that over 40% of Americans have considered starting their own business. Lawyers are not immune from the pull of the entrepreneurial dream of striking out on one’s own and being one’s own boss — and many lawyers succeed in doing just that. 

As an attorney, turning this dream into a reality is possible no matter where you decide to practice. With the right mindset and framework for success, you, too, can start your own law firm. 

Commit to Your Goal

First, as with any goal, it’s important to ensure that you can fully commit to it. There will be moments when the road ahead will look bleak, and you might second-guess your decision. Before throwing in the towel during these moments, remember all of the reasons why you want to start your own firm.

Keep in mind that many other lawyers have embarked toward achieving the same goal as you and have succeeded. Some of these lawyers may have had an easier time than you, while others may have had a tougher path to tread. In either case, these lawyers faced obstacles similar to yours and decided to endure. You can, as well. 

Under ideal circumstances, your legal interests will align with the needs present in your local community. This is not always possible to achieve, however, and your choice of practice areas in which to focus will likely be a compromise between these two ends. 

Finding a Balance

While you should not give up on following those areas of the law that interest you, the need to generate income and build a client base is real. One way to accomplish this could be to determine what legal needs are most needed but unmet in your community. 

Then, try to find a way to offer services that involve areas of the law that interest you. For example, if you are interested in family law but most of the members of your community are empty-nesters, consider opening a firm offering legal services for grandparents. 

If you cannot do this, you may need to find ways to support and grow your interests while still generating enough income to make ends meet. 

Securing Resources

Whatever areas of the law and legal services you offer, ensure that there are resources to which you can turn for assistance. You will undoubtedly come across ethical dilemmas and legal situations that do not have a clear answer. 

Having someone to turn to for advice and guidance can not only help you resolve the issue with your license intact, but also help you become a better lawyer in the process.

Embrace Technology and Automation

Efficiency and responsiveness are two features you will want to adopt in your new firm to help keep clients happy and encourage new clients to retain you. Investing in quality case management software and other programs can mean the difference between a positive review and more business or losing clients to competitors. 

Case Management Systems and Other Programs

The right case management system can help you organize documents, evidence, and filings, as well as stay on top of court appearances and provide notifications to your clients to remind them of hearings or to update them on case activity. Some case management systems can also keep track of time and help you manage client billing.

It is far easier to sample and implement case management programs at the outset than to attempt to implement a new system after months or years of running your firm differently. Take your time selecting a system with the features you feel are necessary to help you manage your practice at a price you can afford. 

It should be intuitive and not require much time to learn. You will want any program to be simple for you not only to use but also to train others to use as your firm’s business expands.

There is no shortage of programs available for lawyers. Not all programs integrate with one another, and employing one program for one issue and a different program for another problem can quickly take up valuable time. Focus on using as few programs as possible to maximize your efficiency.

Set Up Your Firm’s Financial and Other Accounts

Each state has its own specific ethical rules about how to account for client retainers and payments. Before you start taking clients, have these accounts set up and ensure you know what your state requires. 

You will want to commit to complying with these accounting rules from the outset rather than trying to implement procedures and practices after your firm is up and running. It’s also essential to avoid mingling your personal financial accounts with funds from your law practice. 

Moreover, keep client accounts separate from other sources of business revenue. Intermingling funds or losing track of property that belongs to a specific client can cause difficulties down the road.

Consider Virtual Assistants to Help You Multiply Your Efforts

Running your own firm can be time-consuming, especially if you are responding to calls and messages, doing your own bookkeeping, and generating all pleadings and filings yourself. 

While you may not have the resources to hire on-site staff, a virtual contract bookkeeper, paralegal, or receptionist can provide your new firm with many of the benefits of an on-site employee at a fraction of the cost. 

Additionally, virtual employees who are affiliated with reputable companies often come with experience and training, which means that you do not have to spend as much time training them as you would if you hired someone with no experience.

With the right tools and strategies, you can not only open your own firm, but you can make that venture a success as well.

At Woven Legal, we are committed to helping law firms of all shapes and sizes succeed. We do this by matching firms like yours with qualified and experienced virtual assistants, paralegals, and other professionals who can support your firm’s business. 

We offer you our support by handling many human resources functions and ensuring your virtual assistant is an asset to your firm. Learn all the ways we can help support you and your firm’s success by booking your discovery call today.



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