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 Edition, by 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!
Having 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
Nicole Abboud, founder of Abboud Media, shares what you should do in the first 8 seconds of your law marketing video (and in the remaining time) to put together an effective video for your law practice. Her company has great insights of how to use the power of video to build your brand and grow your law practice.
Liz Johnson has a mobile law practice, E.H. Johnson Law where she focuses on estate planning in Annapolis, Maryland. She also writes about the highs and lows of starting a solo practice in her Young, Hungry & Committed blog for Law Firm Suites. She shares her advice for the newly minted attorney: lay the right foundation for your practice, learn all you can, seek help from other attorneys, and get out and network! In our interview, she talks about the excitement a mobile lawyer can have from mastering new concepts, to thinking of creative ways to network, to being attacked by a rooster!
Q. Why did you make the leap to start your own law firm?
A. When I was still in law school, I landed a prestigious internship with a government agency. I loved that job but it is difficult to jump back into government job. Once I passed the bar, my temporary security clearance expired, and now I needed 3 years of experience to apply for a legal position. After the bar, I started out doing document review but didn’t want to do that forever. I connected with someone who said I could use the second office in their suite. I didn’t know what I wanted to practice, didn’t have any software, didn’t have any procedures, but I quickly started hunting for books and resources on how to set up a practice.
Q.What makes your practice unique?
A. I have a mobile law practice. After paying rent for an office I hardly used, I invested in some good tech – printer, scanner, other things. I throw it in my car and meet people at or near their home. My services are focused on estate planning, real estate and mediation. For convenience, I use a virtual office suite with Law Firm Suites. Read more