Starting A Solo Law Practice

Building Your Solo Law Practice

If you are a new graduate from law school or are a seasoned lawyer thinking of flying solo, opening your own private practice is always an available option.

I’m sure you are aware that there are a significant number of things to consider when undertaking this step, but it must be impressed that the more prepared and informed you are, the better your odds are for success.

The planning and preparation stages are integral for building your foundation, and remember, heading down this exciting road means you are not only going to be operating as a lawyer, you are going to be running a business.

So, let’s take a look at some of the areas where you need to put your attention when starting a solo law practice.

Have A Plan

I wrote on the subject of creating your business plan in some detail here, which I invite you to view for a more complete understanding on the subject.

Briefly, developing your plan should involve identifying your area of specialization, your target clientele, the legal structure you intend to use, and the financial aspects of your proposed business.

It is highly recommended that you take your plan to a financial advisor or trusted accountant to get their feedback and insights.

They will be able to point out things that you may not have considered, help you fine-tune your action strategies, and give some guidance as to how to best meet your goals.

Cash Money

There can be a lot of stress when you first begin the undertaking of starting your own solo practice, especially in the first year.

Most of this revolves around your cash flow.

So, the better you prepare for this likelihood, the less stress you will put yourself through.

Estimate your projected revenues and your anticipated expenses.

Now, take those numbers and decrease the revenues by at least 20{cf5d02f31badde63b68d55c0bed56ab5356094abc2057734bc0088249d8536d3} and increase the expenses by the same.  This is more likely to be the reality, and planning this way will keep you safer for this first year.

Additionally, the smart plan would be to have six months or more of capital set aside to see you through any potential hardships.
Look for a low-interest line of credit, and cards that have no annual fees, so you can fall back on them in an emergency if need be.

Budget

It is highly advisable that you create a detailed budget of your start-up and your operating costs.

Your start-up costs are going to include costs for furniture, office equipment and supplies, computers, software, law library, malpractice insurance, deposits, etc.

Going through this process will be a good reality check for the kind of capital it is going to take to get your business off the ground.

Marketing

You’re going to need clients to get those billable hours, and you’re going to have to market your firm to do so.

This is a no-brainer.

There are many worthy marketing strategies to employ for your firm.  I speak on this subject quite frequently in my blog and on my podcast, which you should definitely check out.

Have a listen to this latest episode with David Ward, where we discuss many of these marketing avenues that are going to build your client base.

Closing Thoughts

There is no doubt that the first year of your solo practice is going to be challenging and potentially stressful.

However, the more you plan and make use of the resources and guidance available to you, the greater chance you have for success.
And in my books, success includes inflicting limited amounts of stress on yourself and managing a balance that lets you enjoy your life at the same time.

Remember, one of the best ways to avoid many of the pitfalls that can stifle a new business is to use coaching and mentorship.

I’m always available for a consultation, just give me a call or contact me through my website!

Until next time!

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