Becoming a lawyer is an excellent career choice. Your skills will always be needed, you’ll never be bored, there is always a chance to learn and progress, and you have a unique chance to help people. Many lawyers, whether they are new graduates or seasoned professionals, at some point consider starting their own firm. This gives them the chance to gain new experience, set their own hours, make new connections, and ensure financial security. But, it can be difficult. You’ll be competing with much larger and more experienced firms while having to start from scratch. Here are some great tips to help you make it work from the very start.
With so many law firms competing for the same clients it’s a great idea to have a specialty. Become an expert in one field of law, preferably something which you feel passionately about. Some great specialist branches of law include health care, property, bankruptcy, maritime, business law, or civil rights law.
Choosing a specialist field not only sets you apart from the competition, it also allows you to become a true expert in that field. Focus your attention on related law, previous cases, and keep up to date on any changes and developments.
If you feel healthcare law is the right field for you, consider further study in the form of a health law degree. A health care law degree would not only give you a great advantage when starting your own firm, it would also give you more options in future such as working in a hospital or for the government advising on health care policy.
Learn About Business
To run your own firm you don’t just need to be an expert in law. You also need to know about running a business. When you’re just starting out you might not have the budget for an accountant, office manager or marketing team. So, you’ll need at least a basic knowledge of all areas of business. You’ll also need to complete a business plan and financial forecast.
Marketing is incredibly important for any new business, law firms included. Potential clients need to know you are out there and what services you can offer. Word of mouth is an important tool, so make sure you are professional, clear, honest, and that you make a great first impression. You may also want to consider running advertisements on local websites and in local newspapers and magazines.
In addition to general marketing, you’ll also want to ensure your website is high in the search engines for local keywords. Because SEO is such a time-consuming endeavor, it may pay dividends to high a professional company in your local area to do this for you. If you live in San Francisco, for example, look into San Francisco SEO firms who have experience with local marketing. If they’ve worked with other law firms in the past, this is even better.
Build a Great Website
This should be at the top of your marketing plan. Having a great website is a fantastic way to promote your business and advertise your skills. Including plenty of information about the services you offer and adding an FAQ section to answer any questions can also save you time in the long-term. It’s easy to set up a basic website nowadays, but if you want it to stand out and gain a greater reach, consider hiring a freelance writer or designer to help you.
Build a Support Network
Starting any business is challenging. So, while you are spending time building a useful network of contacts and clients, make sure you have support. Let your friends and family know what you are doing then they’ll be ready to help and support you when you need it.