I was there. I know the amount of trepidation people have when starting a new law firm right out of law school or after leaving a large firm. There’s some excitement that comes with being your own boss and hanging your own shingle. The purpose of this article is to explain the route I took along with what I wish I had known when starting the law practice. As always, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me so that we may discuss your situation further.
Questions to Ask When Starting a Law Practice
What is the Business Entity? What kind of business are your creating? A sole proprietorship? A Professional Corporation? Check with your state laws regarding the business entities available to you as well as the benefits of each.
Time to setup a trust account with your local bank branch of choice in order to comply with your State Bar Rules. Be sure to review those rules prior to opening an account and to completely understand the rules of Trust Account and record retention that you must abide by.
Location, Location, Location Are you in a position to rent your own office space or are your working out of your home? There a numerous options out there if you need to start out working out of your own home. You can rent time at a virtual office in order to have that professional look that we all strive for or just meet with clients at their homes or in a public place (think Starbucks).
Starting a new law firm is more than just the questions we asked above, a law practice is a business after all. All businesses should have an identifiable brand that potential clients can support and are attracted to. What is YOUR brand identity?
That brand that you created must be seen on the internet. It is time to have a website built that helps communicate that brand. The website should be full of informational content that is beneficial to the prospective clients you are trying to attract. If you are an estate planning attorney write blog articles or web pages about the differences between wills and trusts, etc. Not only will this communicate to prospective clients that you are an expert in your fields of practice but it will also help in your search engine rankings.
Just because you have a website, it does not mean that people can find it so do not rely solely on it. Begin participating in local networking groups for potential clients and referrals.
Social Media Integration If your State Bar Rules of Attorney Advertising allow, create a Business Facebook page, Twitter Profile, etc. On these social media sites you can share important legal updates, your website blog articles or pages and exude that expert identity we spoke about before. It also serves as another form of communication between you and prospective clients. Do not be surprised if you get a Facebook message from someone needing your help.
Law FirmSEO Law Firm SEO is a totally different beast from the Search Engine Optimization techniques used by other small businesses due to the rules of attorney advertising. Hiring an SEO Company that is not familiar with your state’s rules of advertising could lead you toward attorney sanctions- find one that is right for you and specializes in Law Firm SEO.