Starting a Law Firm for Small Law Firms - Strategist
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Solo Expansion: Making the Giant Leap to Small Firm

Every solo attorney has at least entertained the idea of expanding from a single person operation into a full-fledged law firm. Dreams are good, but expansion should only be undertaken if you have a plan in place.

Here are a few tricks to help you create your plan for growth.

How Much Do Solo Lawyers Really Make? This May Surprise You.

Perhaps you're feeling good about last month's bar exam and you're certain that you passed. Should you take that job with the mid-size firm or should you go solo? Well, the latter choice is a little hard to pin down. Incomes are such a touchy thing these days.

How much do solos make? More than you'd think, apparently. But hold it -- what does "make" mean, anyway?

If you're finally ready to hang your own shingle, there's one thing you need to keep in mind: running a law firm means running a business. Even if you're the sharpest legal mind in the state, you're not going to survive if you don't have any business smarts.

So before you start out on your own, make sure you have a basic grasp on business fundamentals first.

Why Small Firms Should Hire for the Long Term

When it comes to the whole hiring game, there is a fundamental difference between the BigLaw paradigm and the small practice paradigm. One of the most glaring differences? Money and perks.

In fact, just the prestige of going to a large law firm is oftentimes enough to lure new grads. It's true, small firms have it tougher when it comes to choosing the cream of the crop. But they really should be looking for different qualities in a new hire. In a word: loyalty.

If you want to be a happy lawyer, consider focusing on other's needs. Really. According to a survey of 6,000 attorneys, lawyers in public interest work reported the highest levels of happiness.

If you went to law school because you wanted to help people and now want to back up that claim with action, consider starting your own nonprofit firm. Here are some resources to help you out.

Tips for Getting Your First Clients in the Door as a Solo Lawyer

If you're thinking about establishing a solo practice as a young attorney, be prepared to face a number of challenges early on. The most practical issue is this: how to find your first clients?

To help you get started, we've compiled a few pointers:

Starting a Law Firm? You'll Need About $10,000

Starting a law firm can be surprisingly simple -- the main costs are really your license and insurance.

Fundamentally, a law firm is just you (the licensed attorney), a computer, a printer and a law library. The good news is that you already (presumably) have your license and have paid your dues; and you already have a computer and a printer. All you need is access to a law library. That too isn't too bad as most major cities are equipped with one of these. Believe it or not, you're already halfway there.

How to Find Job Security as a Solo Attorney

If you recently passed the bar exam, congratulations. Now welcome to the world of licensed-and-unemployed.

There isn't exactly blood out in the streets, but the numbers of attorneys out there without work is startling. Some new lawyers are hanging up their own shingles. But that market is hurting too. We can call it the natural ebb-and-flow of legal services demand, but those with faint hearts are looking for something more consistent. What's something you can do to survive? Go niche.

How to Start a Solo Law Practice: 5 Tips to Get Started

Many attorneys have successfully hung their own shingle, but it can be daunting to do this on your own. Part of the appeal of BigLaw is that someone else will make the big decisions for you. But this also means micromanagement and other crimes against your independent nature. Here are a few tips to remember as you begin your own solo practice.

Who's Training the New Generation of Lawyers?

Bar Leader, an extension of the ABA, conducted a survey on millennial and Generation Y lawyers. It found that 75 percent of Generation Y lawyers felt that their law school failed to provide them with much practical training or information on how to actually practice law.

Of those numbers, 66 percent of those even had significant clinical experience while in school -- and they still felt like they were under-prepared. Some noted that law professors were fully aware of the situation and did little to prepare the students. So, who is training the next generation of lawyers?