Take the law into your hands! More than 800,000 Americans are lawyers. But many of them work for law firms or private companies with bosses.
If you want to engage in the law while being your own boss, you should consider starting a law firm. However, you can’t just open your business and start accepting clients. The process of how to start a law firm is a long one, and it requires several distinct steps.
What should you do to become a great lawyer? How can you make yourself stand out from others? What do you need to run a successful law firm?
Answer these questions and you can run your own business while fulfilling your love of the law. Here are five steps you should follow.
1. Go to School
Becoming a lawyer requires years of training and education. You should go to a four-year college and get a pre-law degree. You then need to go to law school, preferably from a top institution like Harvard.
Try to see if there is a specialty that you want to pursue. You can open a law firm dedicated to international law or children’s rights. Staying within a specialty can help you make a name for yourself as an expert.
2. Make Connections
While you are at school, you should talk to as many people as possible. Get to know them and keep their contact information. You can develop other connections in the industry by interning at a law office or serving at your school’s legal services center.
The people you meet can do favors for you, like serving as a reference on a job application. But you also need to do favors for them. Edit their written materials and do research so they can prepare briefs.
3. Raise Money
You need thousands of dollars in order to get your law firm off the ground. You should put some of your savings into the firm, and you should raise money from your friends and relatives.
If you need money quickly, you can apply for a loan. But it’s a better idea to find an investor. You don’t have to pay the money back to them, and they can give you resources besides hard cash.
4. Find an Office
Your office should be within a few minutes of a courthouse. You should have a room for yourself where you can meet clients and have phone conversations. Take a look at a few buildings open for lease and rent in your area.
5. Get Law Firm Supplies
Before you can open your doors, you need to get law firm materials for yourself. Exhibit tabs, folders, and binders make it easy to organize papers.
You should also get laptops and desktops that can store digitized documents. Download software so you can edit the documents without needing to print them out.
Consider Starting a Law Firm
Starting a law firm takes years of hard work. Go to college and law school and get acquainted with different types of attorneys. Use your connections to get jobs and raise money so you can buy an office.
But you’re not done once you put your name on a building. You need to get supplies and then hire staffers. Once you’ve got your supplies, you can run your business.
But running a law firm isn’t like running a store. If you want to know good business strategies, check out our coverage on law firm management next.