If you’re considering opening your own law firm, there’s never been a better time — lawyers make a median salary of $120,910, and their demand is set to grow by 6% by 2028, US News reports.
Aside from being an excellent lawyer, running your own practice also requires a knack for business. Fortunately, with enough planning and research, starting your own firm doesn’t have to be difficult.
Running your own business involves taking care of the financial side and bookkeeping. Although this can be stressful, you don’t need to spend a lot of money in the beginning — especially if you initially forgo office space.
First, you’ll need to open a business bank account and allocate funds for your business registration fee, taxes and required licensing fees. Research your state’s business tax liabilities and when they need paying (make sure you set aside enough money accordingly).
You also need to budget for insurance, including, professional liability, property and casualty, and workers compensation insurance.
You may already have a client base to draw from; however, if not, you’ll need to find ways to generate new clients. The best way to do this is by creating a solid referral network.
If you’re still in school, you can better prepare yourself for future entrepreneurship by building beneficial relationships now. Although you’ll be focused on studying, it’s important to prioritize networking.
To free up available time, consider taking a comprehensive bar prep course to help you prepare for exams as successfully as possible. You’ll then be in a better position to build relationships with professors, lawyers and employers. Offer to help them out, and they’ll be happy to refer clients to you in the future.
Choose your speciality
It’s important to choose a specific area of law to practice rather than simply running a generalist firm. Establishing a well-defined niche — such as family law, personal injury or bankruptcy, for example — will better allow you to establish yourself as an authority in your area.
As a result, you’ll be able to build a stronger reputation and client base. Make sure your chosen area can generate enough clients to sustain your business in the long run.
You may also want to check how many clients you can find in your physical location, as this may also influence your decision.
Once you start your own firm and acquire clients, your business has the potential to experience fast growth. As long as you take care to plan the foundations of your business, you’ll set yourself up for the best chance of success.