No matter what your current occupation is, you might have dreamed of starting your own business at some point in the future. If you are interested in law, you may have dreamed of opening a law office someday. There are several things you should know about the process before deciding if it is for you.
Consider the Finances
Starting any business takes money, so you will want to assess your financial situation. If you have not yet worked in law, you will likely need to get your graduate degree, and this will require both time and money. If you are thinking about getting your graduate law degree, you will need some way of paying for it. You might consider taking out a student loan from a private lender to cover the cost.
Of course, after you get your degree, you will still need to think about the costs of starting the business. You will want to think about your living expenses and how much you will need to earn to keep putting food on the table. This will help you come up with your hourly rate and how many hours you will need to be able to bill for each month. Part of that will be determined by the number of clients you are able to successfully book, and this can be one of the challenges new firms face.
Have an Up-to-Date Computer
When you are an attorney, your computer is one of the most important things you have. If it stops working, it will also slow you down. It’s important to get a good laptop. If your current one is a bit outdated, you may want to consider getting a new one so you don’t risk it going down when you need it the most. You will also want an external hard drive.
Benefit from Your Network
Think about people you already know and how you can use those connections when starting your firm. For example, if you are working in tax law, you could speak with accountants you know, and if you are doing family law, you could let a counselor know. Still, if you are working at a practice right now, you will want to understand the rules around letting the clints know you are going solo. Now is the time to network, outside of your current job’s clients.
Get a Website Together
Even if you are a very small practice, you still need to have a site. It does not need to be fancy, although the style will depend partly on your area of law. Know that your site will usually leave a first impression of your practice, so it should look professional, even if it is simple. You don’t have to make it complicated, however, since there are plenty of templates available. You can choose images, fonts, and colors when designing it. You will also want to create your brand so you can get business cards and professional stationary with your logo on it.