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Starting a New Law Firm

By August 31, 2018October 28th, 2020law

Here are some of the common concerns expressed by lawyers who are thinking about starting a new law firm.

General Concerns

• What should you name your new firm?

• What entity should be used to form the firm? (an LLC? an S-Corp? etc.)

Initial publicityhow to best let people know you’re starting out

• When is best time to announce?

• When and how to let your old firm know that you’re leaving?

• How to avoid or minimize rancor with your old firm once you tell them that you’re leaving

• Administrative issues – unclear about how to evaluate/address

• Getting the right technology

• Needing strategic business advice

▾ Going Solo

• General fear of practicing law alone

• Concerned about not having anyone to bounce ideas off of

• Concern about loss of prestige/stature (perceived or actual)

• Where to get good legal forms? (like I can in the firm I’m in now)

• Concerns about leaving a Big Law Firm

▾ Having Partners in New Firm

• Uncertain how to get good partners

Getting New Business

• Cash flow concerns – paying monthly expenses, payroll, etc.

• Concerns about getting enough clients

• Concerns about getting “bread & butter” clients

Marketing Your Practice

• Should you have a website? How will you do that? Who will help?

• Business cards – where to get them? how to have them designed properly?

• Domain name? (yes, you’ll need it for @lawfirm email; and for your website)

•Announcements: how will you make it known you started your own practice?

General Expenses

• Malpractice insurance costs

• Office Space – Regular, Home Office, Co-Working Space etc.

• Office Furniture – desk, chair, lighting, file-cabinets

• Technology Equipment – computer, printer, extra monitor, scanner

• Technology Software – Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Adobe Acrobat etc.

• Business Phone Service – Landline, VOIP, soft-phone

• Email account (should be set up with domain like @yourlawfirm.com)

• Accounting fees

• Bookkeeping fees

• Time & Billing software

• Legal Research service – free or paid? – FastCase, Casemaker, Westlaw, Lexis

• Practice Management software

• Technology consulting fees & costs

Managing Your Firm

• Trust accounting concerns – how to set up properly? what are the requirements?

• Overwhelm – worried about not having enough help to do your work properly

Staff Needs

• Hiring right support staff (can afford, but not skilled in hiring well)

• Not having support staff (cause can’t afford it)

• Delegation – not good at managing staff, or not good at letting go of tasks

• Secretarial needs (can you use software and outsourcing to do this?)

• Paralegal needs (can some of this be covered by outsourcing?)

• Receptionist (you can definitely outsource this)

Practice Management Software

• Do you even need it?

• How can you choose the best option? (assuming you want it)

• Who can help you pick the best option?


P.S. If you appreciate these kinds of observations, you might want to read this as well.
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