Friday, February 13, 2009

Where do Laid Off Lawyers Go?

Yesterday U.S. law firms announced 800 job reductions, mostly among associates and staff. What's an unemployed lawyer to do?

The lucky ones will be able to land a job at another firm. Some may find in-house work, while others may join the government or simply leave the practice of law.

For the entrepreneurially minded lawyer, there is always the option of hanging out one's own shingle. This long-term career choice puts the lawyer squarely in charge of their destiny. Instead of looking for a job, they must immediately start the continuous search for quality clients.

Here is a "quick start guide" to marketing essentials for a new law firm:
  • Register your URL, which costs about $10/year (
  • Select your service offering and identify a targeted audience
  • Build a web site to promote your firm
  • Invest in quality stationery and presentation materials
  • Get an office address and phone
  • Send out an announcement card to everyone you know
  • Brush up your "elevator pitch"
  • Join the networking circuit and hand out lots of biz cards
  • Establish your referral network of attorneys, past clients, bankers, others
  • Get active with your local Bar association
  • Register for referral services from state and local bar associations
  • Get listed in online directories (Martindale, FindLaw,, others)
  • Announce your new law firm in local legal and business publications

Consider partnering with other attorneys who may be in a similar position. Perhaps you can share expenses or leads.

Overall, start quickly and NEVER STOP MARKETING!

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