How To Start a Law Firm

How to Start a Law Firm

by James Prescott, Esq.

Building the Firm You Were Born to Build

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Have you always wanted to be in charge of your own team of high-powered lawyers? Do you want to see your name in law firm advertisements? Well today is your lucky day. This easy guide to creating a law firm is for both burgeoning law enthusiasts as well as experienced lawyers.

1. Law Degree

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The first step to starting a law firm is to get a law degree. If you’ve already got a law degree, you can move on to the next step.
Before starting a high-powered law firm, you’ll need to become a lawyer, which requires getting a degree in law. There are hundreds of great law schools to choose from, but which one is right for you? I recommend Temple University in Philadelphia, PA or Harvard Law School near Boston, Massachusetts. But any law school will do the trick.
Law school takes approximately 3 years and is alot of work! Once you finish it you’ll need to pass the BAR exam as well. I know you’re thinking that this is going to be overwhelmingly difficult, but fear not. It will all be worth it in the end, when your law firm gets off the ground.

2. Location, Location, Location

Once you are a lawyer, you are well on your way to starting the law firm of your dreams. You went through the hassle of law school, and now it’s time to start putting your name in lights. But you can’t build a law firm just anywhere! Choose the hottest area in your city or town to build your credentials. Potential customers will be turned off if your law firm is in a boring or non-descript location.
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Find the trendiest, and most unique part of your town to buy up property in. So for example, if I were a New Yorker, I’d try to build my law firm in Times Square. It is a high-traffic area and makes your firm very visible to thousands of people every day, many of whom will need legal services at some point in their lives.
You can start preparing for this step while you’re still in law school. Take walks to your ideal law firm location and keep an eye out for “For Sale” signs on any buildings.

3. Money Management

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Creating a law firm isn’t cheap. Between the costs of licensing, fees, certifications law school tuition and other random costs, making your dream a reality can cost a pretty penny. But worry not. Now that you’re a lawyer, you can take on some easy cases as you start to get your law firm together, just to save up some extra money.
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If you’d like to make a little more on nights or weekends, why not try driving for Uber or Lyft? It’s a great way to make some extra income in your spare time.

4. Cultivate Your Dream Team

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Your law firm, while it may have your name on it, is not just about you. Law firms are comprised of teams of great lawyers. Start building that team now. Start with some of your law school colleagues who have passed the BAR. You know off the bat that they are good lawyers.
Be social: when you are at public events and gatherings ask around for who the lawyers are in the room. If you meet someone that you think has what it takes to be part of your law firm, ask them to join.
Another powerful tool is social media. Go on LinkedIn and find lawyers on there. On Facebook, search for friends who have “Lawyer” listed on their Intro tab.

5. All Press is Good Press

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People find the lawyers they love through word-of-mouth. But how can your firm get a word-of-mouth reputation without much experience under your belt? The answer is simple: take on a high-profile case pro bono (in legal terms, that means free of charge to the client). Stay abreast of current events. Look in the local newspaper for criminal cases involving heinous violence or sex, and try to reach out to the perpetrators. If you know any celebrities caught up in criminal activities, ask to represent them. It’s worth a shot. And if you offer to do it pro bono, your chances are even greater.
Starting a law firm is no walk in the park. But using this guide, it just got a whole lot easier to start building the law firm of your dreams.

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