Sunday, November 27, 2011

Young Lawyers Starting their Own Law Firms

Associate attorneys are showing an entrepreneurial streak as more strike out on their own as a solo practitioner, or join forces with a partner, according to a recent New York Times article titled Skipping the Partner Track for a Shingle of One's Own.

These lawyers want more control over their futures ... they do not want to wait until they become partner to have meaningful relationships with clients. ... The economy is another factor.
A common challenge faced by these fledgling law firms in trying to build a book of business is the tendency to underestimate both expense levels and the time needed for law firm marketing.

Success factors in starting a new law practice include the following, according to several of the attorneys interviewed:
  • Flat rate billing
  • Selecting the right clients (like I always say, not every client is a good client)
  • Time management, including prioritization and scheduling time for marketing
  • Understanding your cost structure
  • Maintaining a cash cushion to allow for 3-6 months with no income
Here is a sample law firm marketing plan, for those lawyers who are busy looking ahead to 2012.