Eric Ries (author of the best-selling book The Lean Startup) stated that “Start-up success is not a consequence of good genes or being in the right place at the right time…Success can be engineered by following the right process, which means it can be learned, which means it can be taught.”
If it can be learned and taught then there’s perhaps no better source for lawyers thinking about opening up a practice than the advice of lawyers who already have. Here’s a summary of 6 enduring tips for lawyers pondering a law firm startup.
Almost certainly some level of planning is required to launch a firm, but the time frame should be finite. What usually happens is that some lawyers get caught up in the preparation stage so long that they never launch. Get what you need to start your practice: a website, a computer, a printer, a scanner, and practice management software, and get going.
In a challenging economy, the truth is that 98% of your law school classmates, lawyers, and professors honestly believe you can’t get it done. Ignore them. Many lawyers are pessimists by nature and love to tell people what they can’t do. They never tried it so they don’t know. If you believe them, there is zero chance you’ll succeed.
Narrowing down on a specific practice area allows potential clients and other lawyers to remember you as the go-to person for a particular legal problem. Lawyers with practice area focus gain depth of knowledge and are able to solve problems faster, more efficiently and therefore provide competitive pricing.
A brand new lawyer, particularly a young lawyer who intends to practice for many years into the future, you must develop personal technology skills and pay attention to the powerful trends impacting the legal profession that are fueled by technology.
You might start out strong and acquire sufficient clients at the outset. However, it might take at least six months before you begin to have a regular income coming in. endeavor to keep overhead costs down until cash flow catches up.
The thing is when a potential client comes to you for legal help you should do only two things: a) Listen to his or her legal problem, and allow him or her tell you the entire story without interruptions; and b) Attempt to answer his or her legal problem in clear, understandable language and not legal gibberish. Be sure to ask many times if he or she has any questions about all of his or her legal options.