If you haven’t heard of business attorney Aiden Kramer yet, you will.
She is based in Denver, Colorado but serves clients throughout the state (and those outside the state on federal matters) with her virtual law practice.
And she is a YouTube sensation with her “All Up in Yo’ Business” videos where she breaks down complicated legal issues that everyone can understand.
For a sample, check out this video about entity organization that she makes both educational and entertaining:
In our interview, Aiden shares what she has learned from starting her own practice and how video helps educate and attract potential clients.
Q. Why did you make the leap to start your own law firm?
I always knew I would go solo at some point in my career, but I certainly never expected it to happen right out of law school. I was interning with a local attorney during my 3L year and towards the end of the year my boss made various statements here and there about wanting to hire me after I passed the bar exam. Well, the bar exam came and went, I was sworn in and licensed, and it turned out that my boss just didn’t have enough work to justify hiring me. I had somewhat relied on that and hadn’t applied for many other positions and had no other prospects, so I figured what better time than now to take the plunge and try to go it alone. Read more
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:
“…Catherine Hodder and Kelly Sturmthal have managed to do something no American law school has yet to do – prepare lawyers for a successful solo practice!…This innovative guide, both practical and succinct, answers a very real need in today’s contemporary legal market for options beyond the traditional models of practice” – Amy Impellizzeri, Author of Lawyer Interrupted
“…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.
Advice for the new attorney can be summed up by one quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: “Do one thing everyday that scares you.”
As a newly minted lawyer, there could be many things that scare you. But remember…you got yourself through law school and the bar exam, you can conquer any new obstacle.
3 Main Fears: Going to Court, Public Speaking, and Networking
Going to Court
One mentor I had recommended that every practicing attorney should be required to go to court and face a judge. Why? Well, he reasoned, after that experience, nothing else would be as terrifying. My first foray into court was fraught with worry, especially minor details such as: Do attorneys really say ‘may it please the court’ or is that just on TV? Thankfully, it turned out well. The judge appreciated that I was prepared, professional and courteous despite my nervousness. Most judges are not out to get you as long as you are prepared. If you have never been to court before, I suggest sitting in a few trials to get a sense of what happens and what is expected. Elizabeth K. Barton also has sage advice for those heading to court in her article, To the Young Lawyer: Tips for Court Appearances.
According to a 2011 Forbes Article, only 10% of people are comfortable speaking in public. That leaves 90% of us who get butterflies before addressing an audience. The good news is that, as a lawyer, you are good at communication. Now all you have to do it get over your nerves. The more chances you have to do public speaking, the easier it will be. You don’t get worse at public speaking, you will only improve. It is important to prepare but be flexible. No one in the audience expects perfection. They are there because they are interested in what you have to say. The Harvard Division of Continuing Education Professional Development presents helpful tips in the article by Marjorie Lee North, 10 Tips for Improving Your Public Speaking Skills.
While it may be uncomfortable to put yourself out there, you need to. You must learn to sell yourself and your practice in order to be successful. However, if you look at it the right way, you are making important connections for you and for others. Attorney Vincent Roldan has 10 great tips for networking in his article, Networking Tips for Young Lawyers.
As Florida residents, we have faced more than our share of hurricanes. As lawyers with a mobile law practice, we knew to set up systems so we could operate our law firm from anywhere. Any natural disaster, such as a hurricane, can be at best a minor disruption and at worst, devastating to your business. Do you have a plan to avoid one?
Here are 5 tips to make your business hurricane proof:
Keep an “In Case of Emergency” Binder
Put all your insurance policies, bank information, contact lists in a portable format to take with you. It will be easier to operate with your important information close at hand.
Years ago when we opened our law practice, we had a website and emailed newsletters to clients, friends and family. One of our clients asked if we were on Facebook. We were stunned. Did lawyers do Facebook?
With all the Rules of Professional Responsibility to follow, a professional image to maintain and the perceived learning curve, it can be daunting for an attorney to jump into social media. Perhaps not the younger attorneys who have grown up with social media, but maybe the attorneys who remember that mobile phones were once used to call people.
So we looked into it. Since our practice was in estate planning and we targeted families with young children, having a Facebook page for our firm made sense. Most moms we knew had Facebook accounts and it was easy for them to find us (and tell others about us). As a result of setting up our Facebook page, we could post a schedule of our speaking engagements and provide helpful articles about estate planning.
Today, that seems quaint. With the explosion of social media platforms, early adopting attorneys are using Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and others, in addition to Facebook.