It’s no secret that the job market for lawyers has been growing increasingly competitive in the last decade. More and more college grads are choosing to attend law school, which means landing a partner-track job at a big firm is not a guarantee.
That said, one option that attorneys always have is going into business for themselves. If you have a few years of experience, starting a personal injury law firm can be a great way to launch your career, get better clients, and have a more lucrative profession.
Thinking of striking out on your own as a lawyer? Here’s what you need to know.
Connect with Local Professional Associations
Even though you’re looking to start your own firm, it’s still important to be connected to other lawyers. Joining your local bar association will help you meet other attorneys who have started their own firms who you can seek advice from.
They can also be a resource if you encounter tricky cases or are looking for talented people to hire. For instance, connecting with a firm like Hare Wynn in Kentucky could help you learn more about the field and how to build a business.
You’ll Need a Business Plan
At the end of the day, a law firm is a business. So, as with any other business, you will need a business plan to help you seek startup capital from investors.
A standard business plan should outline what you currently have, what you expect to spend, and how you plan to grow in the next 3-5 years. Your local bar association may be able to give you guidance on formulating an initial business plan.
Build Sufficient Capital
Most personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency basis. This means that, rather than collecting an hourly fee from their clients, they receive a portion of the settlement.
While this can result in big payoffs down the line, it also means doing a significant amount of work without being paid up front. The object is to establish your firm and bring in enough clients so that the settlements can fund the firm’s operation. For the first 12-18 months, however, you will need to have enough startup capital from investors to keep the firm operating.
The key to launching your firm is finding clients. If you currently work at a law firm, you can have some initial conversations to see if any clients are willing to move with you–just be sure to make sure you are not making any ethics violations.
If you are building your business entirely on new clients, your beginning months may be a bit more challenging. Again, this is where networking is important. Connecting with attorneys with different specialties can help you refer clients to each other and build each other’s business.
Get on Your Way to Starting a Personal Injury Law Firm
Starting a personal injury law firm may not be easy, but it will be rewarding. With these tips in hand, you will soon be on your way to success.
Looking for more tips on how to go into business for yourself? Check out our blog for the guides and advice you need.