Launching your own legal practice can be exciting and scary. Read our basic tips to get started.
Guest post by Stephanie Marx
Launching your own law practice is seen as the natural step up for many lawyers. The Financial Times has outlined how law firms all across the globe are now adjusting to work-from-home operations, which goes to show that business within this sector continues to thrive.
Although launching your own legal practice is definitely an exciting step, there's also a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to get it up and running. So with that in mind, this article will give a brief overview of the steps you need to take to make sure your legal practice gets a strong start.
Find a niche
The most successful law firms are the ones who identify a niche and really cater to it. Finding your niche is a crucial step to starting out your law firm; it may seem basic at first glance, but its importance bears repeating. Looking at your previous career path and tapping into your existing professional network can help you figure out what your legal niche is. This can also help you determine other business decisions such as who to get on board as partners.
Choose the right business entity
Due to the sensitive nature of your work as a lawyer, you'll need to go for a business entity that grants your practice legal protection. Limited liability corporations (LLCs) do just that, making them an ideal choice for law firms. A discussion on the benefits of an LLC notes that you can form an LLC by yourself, and the registration process for most states takes up to a maximum of three weeks. LLCs also offer you flexible ownership structures, allowing you to leave room for the possibility of business growth down the line.
Build your website
A website is essential for any business, in any industry. Indeed, even the most tech-averse clients will look for your business's website and use that as a gauge of whether they want to partner with you. If you aren't familiar with web design, just remember that it's important to keep information easily visible and the website’s layout straightforward. From there, regularly using tools like Google Lighthouse can help you see whether your website is compliant with accessibility guidelines. There are some great no-code landing page builders here.
Invest in automation software
Our previous post on internal workflows proved that over $1.7 billion was spent on legal software in 2018 alone, which goes to show just how much law firms need help in this regard. Document automation software establishes a cohesive internal workflow that cuts down on time spent creating documents. By doing this, it allows lawyers to devote more time to meeting with potential clients or interviewing prospective employees. What's more, this internal workflow allows you to organize documents much easier, making them easily available to anyone online.
These steps are by no means an exhaustive list when it comes to setting up your law firm, but hopefully they give you an overview of all the technical and administrative work that goes into establishing and launching your law practice. The truth is that establishing your law practice might take a while, but the payoff will be well worth it the long run.
Legal tech is the cornerstone of the future of law practice. If you’re an educator or student, we invite you to explore our series of exercises and tools, which law schools around the world have built into their core curricula.
If you're like most attorneys, you spend a lot of time typing – emails to clients, briefs, pleadings, law firm administrative tasks, and more emails. Throughout all this typing, we are often repeating the same phrases over a day or week. But what if there was a way to save yourself from all that repetitive typing? There is! It's not legal practice management software, and it's not even limited to legal tech. It's called TextExpander, and it is one of the most underutilized tech tools available today.
Some tools have a greater impact on efficiency than others. I saw this firsthand when running my own firm, and these are the top three areas where legal tech can reduce wasted time.
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