Deciding to start a law practice can be a difficult decision, especially for attorneys in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
It can be a tough call for new attorneys with little experience. Plus, it can be a hard sell even for law firm veterans who have to let go of the “golden handcuffs” and steady paycheck of firm life.
So before going out and hanging your own shingle, take a look at these three tips to help ensure you start a new law practice the right way:
Draft a brutally honest business plan
Step 1: Determine where you are going to practice and define your market.
Step 2: Consider trends and new market developments that are always creating niche practice areas. If you catch it early enough, you could become the expert in the area and become more sought after.
Step 3: Research your competitors. The legal industry is more competitive than it ever has been before. Contract and temp workers and non-lawyer service providers are taking up more and more of the market. Successful firms are always evaluating the competition
Establish your value proposition
Why should a customer choose your firm over a competitor? There are many DUI attorneys, so unless you give customers a compelling reason to choose you, you'll lose them to competing firms. Be the "No Fee Guarantee" firm or maybe you're the "Former Marine Who Knows How to Help Veterans."
Create your website first
Some attorneys start practicing before they establish a website and once consumed with dealing with clients and managing a small business, can't afford the time it takes to create one. Think: when you sign your office space lease, you should also be securing your domain name.
Plan time and resources for maintaining your website. You want to can keep things fresh and relevant. Creating high quality and recurring content is one of the best ways to be found online.
Being your own boss and running your own law practice can be a rewarding experience. Here's hoping these tips help you make the leap a successful one.
-- Michelle Croteau, Director, Marketing Communications
with Adam Ramirez, FindLaw Audience Team