One thing students typically don't learn in law school is how to run a business. As a result, many starting attorneys have no idea how to build their own law practice.
An attorney with over ten years private practice experience recently wrote of her trials and tribulations in building her practice.
Through her experience, she shared several tips of things she did "accidentally" that helped her succeed, reports Psych Central. To save you the time from learning through trial and error, you may want to consider this attorney's tips in your own practice.
- Starting small, but thinking big. When you first start off, you're likely not going to have an overload of business. So you can hold off on hiring a full staff and buying all the fancy office equipment. But as you grow, you should be prepared to think about how you will expand and which smart hires you will need to make.
- Charge more than you think you're worth. Beginning attorneys may think their time is not worth that much and charge a severe discount to drum up business. However, you should value your own services and skills. If you charge more, clients will assume that your skill level deserves such compensation.
- Think like a business owner. You have to be aggressive to have a successful solo practice. Some attorneys at big firms or academic institutions can lock themselves in their offices and research all day. But you have to be more proactive when there is no one handing you business.
- Trust your gut. It's your own practice, so believe in yourself. This goes for things like setting your office location, designing your logo, and hiring decisions. You should not be hamstrung by day-to-day decision making.
- Hire qualified people. Your employees are a direct reflection on you. Hire qualified people as well as people you trust to represent you.
- Set boundaries with money. Don't be shy about collecting on unpaid bills. Follow through with your office policies regarding collections and don't feel bad about getting paid.
- Take good care of you. It can be easy to lose yourself in your work. Building a private practice takes a lot of effort. But remember to make time for your family, exercise, and personal needs.