For the majority of young attorneys looking into how to start a law firm, after financing, their main concern is picking a practice area.
While one can certainly go into general practice, the legal field has been moving towards increased specialization, pushing lawyers to become incredibly knowledgeable in one part of the law, hypothetically increasing one's ability to effectively represent clients.
Choosing to go this route can cause a lot of anxiety, with few knowing where to start. If you happen to be in this position, here are some things you should consider first.
When you sit down to ponder the practice area question, make a list of your knowledge, experience, and interests.
As a solo attorney or someone starting a small firm, the availability of mentors may be limited. Therefore, it might be wise tap into your strengths and get off on the right foot.
Additionally, one of the perks of being your own boss is getting to focus on a legal area that you enjoy. It'll make you happier and motivate you to dig even deeper into your specialization.
Besides personal strengths and proclivities, picking a practice area also requires an analysis of client demand.
Which practice areas maintain a steady client base, even when the economy is slow? How much competition is there in your region? What are the needs of your region?
When it comes down to it, picking a practice area is an attempt to meet your personal, professional and financial needs. After all, you want to be a happy, money-making lawyer.
- Legal Issues: Practice Area Definitions (FindLaw)
- How Much Does it Cost to Start Your Own Law Firm? (FindLaw)
- Starting a Solo Practice: Top 3 Initial Marketing Moves (FindLaw's Strategist)