Here at LawPay, we’ve worked with countless attorneys over the past decade who have taken the leap and started
their own firms, and here are a few pieces of advice that we have heard from
them time and time again.
u Make a Plan
Whether you worked in a larger firm or
you’re fresh out of law school, starting
your own firm is going to come with a
host of responsibilities you’ve never dealt
with before. As such, you should make
a detailed plan for running your firm
before you jump in and start attracting
clients and taking cases.
Things you’re going to want to do will
include creating a formal business plan,
buying necessary office supplies, and investing in legal software that will help
you run your firm. You may also consider
talking to various professionals who can
inform different parts of your business
plan, including cybersecurity experts, accountants, and other attorneys who have
successfully started their own practices.
v Take Advantage of Technology
For a new practitioner who is trying to
do more with less, taking advantage of
existing technology is a must when setting up your business. For example, rather
than investing in a large, expensive copy/
fax machine, get an affordable, desktop
printer/scanner and make the jump to
There is incredible legal technology
that exists solely to make your life easier.
For example, many online legal tools
were specifically developed to help solo
and small firms run efficiently even with
a small staff and a small budget. Some
options you should look into for your
practice include full service practice
management software, online credit
card processing/payment solutions, doc-
ument automation software, client-in-
take software, lead generating resource,
invoicing/billing tools, and more.
w Choose a Focus Practice Area
A common mistake among attorneys
starting their own firm is that they think
being a general practitioner is the safest
way to drum up a large client base. Unfortunately, trying to be everything to
everyone will not only wear you out as
an attorney, but it will also limit your
ability to truly become an authority in
your field and gain recognition for this.
Choose a focus practice area and hone
in on it. If you have multiple areas of interest, you may benefit from doing some
simple market research in your targeted
area of service to see if any particular
practice areas are over- or underrepresented.
x Take Marketing Seriously
Marketing your practice is obviously
necessary, but using an outside firm can
be financially draining. To save your new
firm serious money, take the time to
learn some legal marketing best practices and handle your marketing yourself,
at least initially.
The first thing you need to do from a
marketing standpoint is build a profes-
sional-looking website. The internet is
the main way that people will search for
a lawyer, and potential clients will make
lots of assumptions about you based on
the appearance of your website.
Once you have a sleek, professional
website, you can start marketing your
practice. Some simple and free or low-cost ways you can market your practice
n;Regularly add rich, meaningful
content to your website to help
improve your site’s search engine
n;Contribute content to industry
publications to help build your
n;Make sure your business is listed
in major legal directories (like
FindLaw and AVVO), and ensure
that your profiles are as robust
n;Network on professional social
networking sites like LinkedIn
and attend local networking
events to cultivate potential
professional referral sources
n;Cultivate relationships with current
clients and former clients to try
and secure repeat business and
n;Develop a social media presence
for your firm
Once you establish a steady cash flow
for your practice, you’ll be able to ex-
plore other paid marketing opportuni-
ties. In the meantime, these options will
allow you to effectively market your new
practice without spending thousands of
dollars that you may not have in your
AMY PORTER, CEO AFFINIPAY/LAWPAY
The LawPay Program is a custom payment solution designed for
attorneys. LawPay complies with ABA and state requirements for
managing client funds.
To learn more, call 866-376-0950 or visit www.lawpay.com/azbar.
LawPay is proud to be a State Bar of Arizona affinity partner.
Here are four practical, actionable items to help make your new
venture a success.
You’ve Decided to Go Out
on Your Own.