Whenever you conceive the idea of starting your own law firm or office, it shows that you are confident that you have come of age and is ready to go it all alone or with a partner.
Setting up your own law office means you are leaving your comfort zone and heading into the unknown. So many challenges and hurdles face those who want to embark on this journey into the unknown.
An Ultimate Guide To Setting Up Your Own Law Firm
The following are 6 ways to make that journey less difficult.
So you have decided to start your own law firm. You must have a picture of what you want that law firm to look like. But to make that picture become a reality, you need a solid plan.
The plan should contain detailed information about your proposed law firm. A plan is very important because it acts as a guide towards the actualization of the law firm. Some of the information in a plan are:
- The name of the firm
- Type of firm
- Equipment in the law firm
- The location of the firm
- Areas of specialization
Location, Location, Location
This particular factor is so important that it can make or break your legal career. So many considerations come into play in deciding the location of a law firm.
For clients to consult you, you must be visible and accessible. If your law office is located in an obscure part of town, then you stand little chance of being noticed. Therefore cite your law firm around a commercial or business environment where clients can see you, especially if you are an upcoming lawyer.
Equip Your Office
Except you rented a fully equipped office space, you need to equip that office for effective functioning.
Some of the important equipment you should have in your law firm include:
- Computer set and accessories etc.
Get An Office Assistant
It is almost impossible to run a law firm without at least one office assistant. The job of the office assistant is many and varied, and range from preparing documents to sending out and receiving mails.
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Register Your Law Firm
In some jurisdictions, every business must be registered. So depending on the type of law firm you wish to establish, you need to find out if it is registrable.
The law firm when registered becomes a legal entity. The registration of your law firm with the authorities offers numerous benefits like:
- Legal recognition by the authorities
- Legal liability protection
- Qualified to get contracts
- Qualified to get loans
- Can open a bank account in the company’s name
- Business does not die with the owner
Market Your Law Firm
Although lawyers are now allowed to advertise their services in some jurisdictions, in many others, e.g in Nigeria, it is against the law to engage in any form of advert except to display a modest signboard.
Smart lawyers find ways around this. One of the simplest ways to market your law firm is to have a well-designed business card that you should carry with you at all times. Introduce yourself to people and give out your business card at every opportunity you have.
Another great way of marketing your law firm is offering pro bono or free legal services. When you offer your services to indigent clients for free, you are sowing into the future. The more of these matters you handle, the more people will get to know you and the more referrals you will get.
Without advertisement, most lawyers depend on their clients or other lawyers to refer matters to them. While established law firms can survive and thrive from referrals from lawyers and clients, newly established law firms will find it difficult to succeed.
One of the ways new law firms can scale this hurdle is to study and understand the legal needs of potential clients, and then use current marketing strategies to position themselves as the potential solution to those needs.
Finally, it is important to understand that opening your own law firm is only the beginning of the journey. Sustaining that journey will depend on the profitability of that business. You, therefore, need a business plan that works to sustain your law firm.
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