Do lawyers need professional liability insurance?

Do you need professional liability insurance for your law practice? When you set up a law practice you are hit with a lot of start up expenses.  One of the most costly being professional liability insurance.

knight shield


Is it required?

Not all states require attorneys to carry professional liability insurance.

Some jurisdictions allow a lawyer to forgo professional liability insurance.  However, first they must advise a client. Then they need to get a client’s written acknowledgement that they have been so advised. Check with your state bar rules. Know what your state mandates.

Even if it is not required by your jurisdiction, it still may be wise to get insurance for peace of mind.

Would it be necessary?

Be aware that some referral sources, such as Legal Service Plan companies, require that the attorneys they contract with have a minimum of $100,000 per claim and $300,000 overall of Professional Liability Insurance.

What is covered?

“Prior Acts” coverage covers claims arising from legal services rendered before the start date of the policy.  The “Retroactive Date” is the date after which claims are covered by the policy.

What affects my premium?

The factors that could impact your premium include your jurisdiction, attorney record and practice area. According to The Washington Times, in 2012, the most malpractice claims were in the real estate and the personal injury fields of law. As with most insurance plans, the rates depend on the deductible you are willing to pay, therefore if your practice is not likely to generate malpractice claims such as bankruptcy or estate planning, consider a higher deductible for lower premiums.

What does it cost?

As a solo practitioner, an annual policy could run anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000. Therefore, research your options with different insurance carriers.  Check your State Bar Association for a list of professional liability insurance carriers. Ask attorney friends for what coverage they may have, what premiums they pay, and what company they use.

Ultimately, you have to decide if this protection is right for you.  First, get the facts.  Then talk to others.

What say you? Do you do have professional liability for your law practice? Do you have tips to share? Leave a comment below.

Want more tips and advice for your awesome law practice? Check out Law Office on a Laptop, Second Edition: How to Set Up Your Own Successful Law Mobile Law Practice.

2 Must Read Books for the Law School Grad

Congrats, Law School Grad! Now what?

Hopefully you are heading towards your dream job. Perhaps in private practice? Government? Litigation?

Good luck to you!

If you are considering, however, the audacity of hanging out your own shingle, then these two books are for you:

Solo out of Law School: A “How Can” Guide to Starting a Law Firm as a New Attorney”, by Michael F. Brennan, gives an honest account about what it takes to start a new law practice.   Much of running a law practice is having the right mental attitude, drive, and focus. The author gives advice on the mental motivation to becoming a success. And he also talks about how to handle the negatives: set-backs, self-doubt, and what other people think. It is an excellent guide to examine whether having your own law practice is right for you and giving you the motivation to conquer the challenges.


Law Office on a Laptop: How to Set Up Your Own Successful Mobile Law Practice, Second Editionby Catherine Hodder, Esq. and Kelly C. Sturmthal, Esq., is a resource manual that sets out a step-by-step action plan for starting a new law practice utilizing the latest technology.  From setting up your legal structure, to choosing the right systems and software, to handling collections and clients, to marketing strategies, this is an excellent reference. The second edition has over 20% more information including marketing with social media.

With sample forms and letters, helpful links, website information and checklists, this book has mapped out everything an attorney needs.  An excellent reference for attorneys who want to operate with low overhead or have a mobile law office.

Starting up your own law practice can be challenging and scary but it is also very rewarding!  Do your homework and research if starting out a “solo” law practice is for you.  Good luck, law school grad!



How to have a solo law practice (and not be lonely)


Lonely LawyerHaving a solo law practice is great!  It can be wonderful to be your own boss and call all the shots.  The downside is that there may be no one to listen to you.  Although it is rewarding to hang out your own shingle, it can get lonely.

Here are some ideas to get you connected with others in your field to share the highs and lows of solo law practice:

Find Lawyer Groups to Network With – You will find that your state bar association has many groups and divisions of like-minded attorneys who meet in your area. Join a couple of events to meet other attorneys.  You may gain insights to improve your practice and perhaps a few referrals as well.

Attend Networking Events – There are many business to business networks or Chamber of Commerce organizations that organize networking events. Try a few and see which ones you enjoy and try to meet other professionals. They may have sound business advice and can refer clients to you once they know about you. Read more

Mobile Law Practice with Law Office on a Laptop – Goodreads Giveaway



Considering a mobile law practice? Enter the Goodreads Giveaway to win one of three copies of Law Office on a Laptop, Second Edition: How to Set Up Your Own Successful Law Mobile Law Practice. 


We have added over 20% more advice, resources and inspiration.

With sample forms, helpful links, website information and checklists, this book has mapped out everything an attorney needs to set up their mobile law practice for success.


• Considerations for Your Practice

• Setting up Forms and Procedures

• Evaluating Systems and Software

• Marketing Yourself and Getting Clients

• Marketing with Social Media

• State by State Guide for Law Practice Management

• 10 Tips for a Successful Solo Law Practice

In addition to helpful links and resources, this book provides checklists of Goals and Opportunities to pursue so that you will have a concrete plan of action to start or enhance your own law practice. Note: The e-book version has clickable links to referenced websites.

But don’t listen to us, here are some Advanced Reviews:

“…a great resource for any professional who is thinking about striking out on their own.” – Karrie Bunting, Esq.

“…a book that impressively covers all the aspects of a law practice that one ought to think about before opening up shop…” – Liz Johnson, Esq., author of the Young, Hungry and Committed blog for lawyers.

“There are many questions when you start a practice and this book gets them covered” – Hope Wood, Esq.





Do’s and Don’ts for Marketing Legal Services with Video



What should you do or not do when marketing legal services with video?  Nicole Abboud, founder of Abboud Media has been giving us great tips on making an effective video for your law practice.

She helps attorneys develop their brand and grow their practice. In today’s post, Nicole shares the do’s and don’ts for marketing legal services with video.


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