With the rise of unbundled legal services, new consumer demand, and a market transition toward more cost-effective legal practices, there’s arguably never been a better time to start a solo law firm. Both established associates and new law school grads are finding success. Some are living out a dream they’ve had for years. Others are simply taking this path as an alternative solution—given the lack of conventional career opportunities out there for new lawyers. In fact, many firms are actually looking to downsize due to the increased specialization of the legal services market. To understand how you may fit into this market and find success as a solo attorney, consider the following marketing and business tips.
Effective Marketing for a Solo Law Firm
Naturally, it’s helpful to tout any experience you have in the specific area of the law you intend to practice, but it’s not always essential. Many lawyers actually switch their practice area when striking out on their own. Many were simply filling a need at a high-profile firm to gain better credentials and name recognition. Even if you have only a few cases under your belt, being able to tell a client that you focus only on their type of case is big selling point. Again, along with the fact that a solo law firm can consistently underbid the services of big-name firms, you can effectively market and sell your new firm. Moreover, several areas of the law are seeing higher demand—foreclosure defense, bankruptcy, divorce. If you’re willing to move into one of these practice areas, you can more readily identify and capture prospective clients for your practice.
Better yet, this specialization can be paired with narrowcast, niche marketing. Online lead generation companies implement consumer query sites where prospective clients can go and seek out specific legal services in their own local market. With a reputable company, like Total Attorneys, the system then qualifies and matches prospective clients with the best possible firms in their network. In this way, you can use online lead generation identify and contact precisely those individuals who have a legitimate shot of becoming fee-paying clients. You may still be competing against the big-name firms in your area, but you’ll be on a much more level playing field and you can consistently advertise your lower fee structure in a timely manner and before the prospect makes any commitments.
Managing Your Time and Resources as a Solo Attorney
One of the common misconceptions about starting a solo law firm is that the financial viability is the principal obstacle. Granted, this is no small concern, but often it’s constraints on the lawyer’s available time that represents the biggest challenge. New business owners recognize the long hours that a new enterprise demands, but it’s one thing to know this fact and another to deal with the stress and fatigue on a daily basis. That’s why it’s essential that you pair a web-based lead generator service with a versatile and comprehensive practice management platform. The solution from Total Attorneys includes: dashboard display, leads and contacts organization, task reminder, document folder, and online invoicing and payment processing.
Find a Business Model that Works for Your Solo Law Firm
Returning for a moment to the fact that some solo attorneys are first working at an established firm for a number of years, while others start a practice right out of law school, it’s important to find a business model that makes sense for you. More experienced lawyers with at least moderate financial resources can lease an office space and conference area to more easily and quickly establish their firm’s legitimacy. Those saddled with school debt and little savings are more likely to enter the market as a solo attorney who conducts business online and who operates out of a private residence.
Armed with these resources, you can get your new business off the ground and start practicing the law with your own vision and services in place.