The path to partnership in large firms has become harder, and there’s a lot of green grass on the other side of that double-glazed window.
There are more options than ever before for lawyers to build their career outside a large firm. In-house? Government? Not for profit?
What about taking the plunge and going out on your own? That’s scary, right? It doesn’t have to be. There have never been more collaborative options, more flexible possibilities, more support than now. To get past the uncertainty, let’s put together a plan to see if this option works for you. It may be the answer to all the fingernail biting.
First, what kind of practice do you want to have?
There are more and more corporate and commercial lawyers going out on their own and building niche businesses within their practice area. So focus on your differentiations.
Second, make a plan to seize your market share.
Assets are available now to guide starting your own practice that were not available twenty years ago. Assets that can make you profitable quickly, when properly utilised.
It started with the internet. Technically, it started with cell phones, but the internet was the real jump-start to a new way of conducting business. Do you remember the last time you looked up a number in the phone book? Of course you don’t. The internet did that, and it is why you can open up shop on your own with far greater ease and less expense than ever before.
Third, decide your brand, put together a workable budget (fixed cost/variable cost), design the website and write some text based on that brand.
There are literally hundreds of small businesses who can advise you on developing your website. Make it easy on yourself. Hire out the design of your site and the writing of your copy, but do decide your own brand. And once you’ve done that, advertise the living daylights out of it. In many locales, you do not even require a bricks and mortar location, so no need for the overhead of office space and furnishings, a library or staff. Check your local ethics rules to see whether you need a bricks and mortar address or whether your office can be virtual.
Should you hire staff? You can also turn to the internet and check out the outsourcing options for professionals across the world. Check out LPOs that provide not just support staff, but to do more process-driven legal work for you while you can be pounding the keyboard and the sidewalk for new business and doing the more valuable legal work. With dozens of document sharing programs, cloud storage, document drafting applications, e-filing of court documents and new technology growing at astronomical speeds, put your plan together using all of these opportunities, and get ready to meet your first client.
You can even do that virtually…
Jump start your legal career at Crowd & Co.