A law firm is a business that provides legal services. Law firms focus on different branches of law. While one firm may concentrate on family law and handle divorces and adoptions, another firm may serve clients who need criminal attorneys to defend them against legal charges. Other branches include entertainment, civil rights, environmental, international, and immigration law.
For some, becoming a lawyer at an existing firm isn’t their ultimate career goal. Perhaps you dream, instead, of launching a law firm of your own. Owning a firm ensures you’ll earn more money than you would as an associate lawyer. Follow the steps outlined here to ensure you’re ready to launch a law firm successfully.
Complete Your Education.
Traditionally, lawyers founded law firms. Firms were named for the senior partners, who handled business tasks such as accounting, hiring, and employee management. Today, firms may be launched by lawyers or executives.
Lawyers must earn a bachelor’s degree and attend law school. Once they’ve acquired a Juris Doctor (JD) degree, they can take the bar exam. Their state authorizes those who pass the bar exam to practice law.
Chief executives, on the other hand, must have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as business or finance. Many executives earn a master’s degree before beginning their careers.
Gain Practical Experience.
Whether you’re a lawyer or executive planning to start a law firm, you’ll need practical experience. Lawyers typically start as associates at other law firms and either rise to partner with that firm or leave to launch their own. Executives start in management and advance in the ranks as they gain experience.
Lawyers may also gain experience by working for the government or businesses. For example, Canadian lawyer Malliha Wilson spent 30 years working for the Ontario government as Assistant Deputy Attorney General, as well as serving in the role of Senior Appellate Litigation Counsel. During this time, Malliha presented multiple cases to the Ontario Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada. Malliha’s practical experience with complex litigation makes her an ideal attorney for challenging cases in various legal branches. Her legal specialties include Indigenous law, human rights law, constitutional law, and labour law. Malliha’s range of experience and professional connections equipped her to launch her firm, Nava Wilson LLP, where she is the Senior Counsel.
Decide on your Firm’s Structure and Register your Firm.
You may opt to start a firm by yourself or start a firm with other partners. Determine the ownership and name and register your firm. Lawyers who launch a firm use their surnames for the firm’s name. Executives who run law firms may choose different names to brand the business.
Acquire the Essentials.
A law firm is a business, and it’s a good idea to develop a business plan. Your business plan can help you secure financing if you need funds to start your firm. You may also opt to finance your firm yourself or share the start-up costs with the other partners.
You’ll need offices for your legal team. Rent a suitable space with enough room for your staff team. Once you have space, you’ll need equipment, including desks, chairs, computers, printers, and bookshelves.
Invest in canvas art to give your offices a distinct, professional look. Canvas prints come in various sizes and can be used as freestanding images or as part of a collage. You can use your photos or use stock images to customize the look of your offices. Canvas prints are durable and eco-friendly. They’re lighter than framed paintings, making them easier to hang. You also don’t have to worry about glare from the canvas. They’re also affordable, making large canvas prints ideal for filling your walls with impressive art without breaking your budget.
Your firm will need a staff team. Legal secretaries answer calls, schedule appointments, and prepare documents. Paralegals assist attorneys by researching cases and preparing legal documents. You may also hire attorneys who work as associates with your firm.
Promote your Services.
Businesses need clients. You may have existing clients who transferred their services to your firm, but your operating budget should include funds to promote your firm and attract new clients. You may hire a marketing team to utilize various marketing strategies, such as search engine optimization (SEO) marketing to raise your website’s online profile, social media marketing, and local advertising.
Owning a law firm offers an opportunity to earn more money. Once you gain practical experience, determine if you want to own a firm with other lawyers. Choose a name and register your firm. You may create a business plan and use it to secure financing. Rent offices, acquire furnishings, hire a staff team, and invest in marketing to promote your firm.