How To Start And Build A Law Practice

by | Jul 19, 2017 | How to Build a Legal Practice, Miscellaneous

What is the most important element in creating a successful law firm? Your employees? Your marketing strategy? Your legal knowledge? While all of these things are tremendously important to the success of a law firm, they should not be the starting point of discussion in designing your law practice for long term success.

When most attorneys begin to build a practice, they look at executing particular strategies, such as a “marketing strategy” or “financial strategy” and on and on…

While these particular strategies are important to have and implement, none of these strategies are the starting point for building a law practice…

The place to start is with your foundation. 

Just like a house, everything (every strategy) will be built upon your foundation so IT IS ESSENTIAL that you create a rock-solid foundation for your law practice.

This series was created to help you answer the questions that are fundamental to any business and intended to give you the blueprint for building a legal practice designed to last.

Don't have time to read the whole series right now?

No problem. Give us your email and we'll send the whole series straight to your inbox!

How To Start And Build A Law Practice

Building A Legal Practice Designed To Last, The Introduction of an 8 Part Series

 

INTRO

Building A Practice Is Like Building A House

Compare the architecture of a business with the architecture of a building. Most companies engaged in the conversation of law practice management begin by talking strategy. These conversations include:

People Strategy

  • How many employees do you need?
  • How should you hire?
  • How should you train your people?
  • How should you compensate employees?
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Marketing Strategy

  • How do you generate referrals?
  • How can you improve your web presence and build your website?
  • Should you pay for advertising? In what channels?
  • What ethical considerations exist in the marketing context?

Systems Strategy

  • How do you process a case from start to finish?
  • What types of software should your firm be using for calendaring, case management, trust accounting?
  • How should you develop forms for your particular practice area?
  • How do you answer the phone, prepare a case for trial, collect payment, follow up with a client?

Overhead Strategy

  • Do you buy or rent an office?
  • What types of hardware should you use at your office?
  • How often do you need to replace hardware / parts?

Financial Strategy

  • How often should you review your firm’s revenues? What are you looking for?
  • How much money should you be making after all expenses, i.e. what should your profit be?
  • Do you need an accountant to help with payroll, to prepare quarterly and annual filings, to examine your profitability?
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Time Strategy

  • How should you manage your time?
  • How should you be tracking your time for billing purposes?

PART II

Ask The Right Questions

These are all important questions, and all successful law firms have developed and are constantly improving the protocols they have designed to address each of these strategic areas. However, when beginning the conversation of how can I build my practice for long term success, strategy questions are secondary.

Focusing on strategy questions when you begin to build your law practice is like focusing your designing your dream house by starting with the fixtures. The most important part of your homes design is not the type of countertops for the sink in the guest bathroom. Attention to detail is important but not where we begin.

Good bones – it is said of older homes that are in good structural shape “this house has good bones.” The key to designing a legal practice built to last is to design your firm with good architectural bones – a solid foundation and a solid frame. Once you have a good foundation then you can add the right fixtures, paints, and details (i.e. your systems) to your structure.

Creating good bones for your business, your law practice is focused on the following:
This series was created to help you answer the questions that are fundamental to any business and intended to give you the blueprint for building a legal practice designed to last.

Don't have time to read the whole series right now?

No problem. Give us your email and we'll send the whole series straight to your inbox!

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