I am a relatively new attorney. I graduated three years ago from John Marshall Law School in Chicago. After law school I started with a small firm in the northern suburbs. Now with three years under my belt I am considering starting my own firm. I would appreciate your suggestions on how to get started.
Owning your own practice will be much different that working for someone else. You will have to handle the nuts and bolts of running and operating a practice. You will not have people to do everything for you like you did in your last firm. You will need to learn how to be an entrepreneur and think like a businessperson.
First, I suggest that you give some thought as to whether you have what it takes to operate your own firm and plan out your business. Read my article on Starting, Building, and Managing a Law Firm. Click here for the article
Then write your business plan. Click here for the article
After your have developed your plan begin developing your business identity, firm name, tag line, website domain name, and related graphic package.
For ideas download a copy of our best practices guide
Consider legal structure for the firm. Register with appropriate governmental and tax authorities.
Determine where you will practice, how you will staff your practice, and technology needs. Keep as much of your overhead as variable and low as possible. Consider virtual employees. At first do as much work yourself as you can. Add staffing resources as your firm grows. Don't skimp on technology.
Implement a first class website on day one.
John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC