Starting a law firm is one of the most significant milestones in every lawyer’s career. Most lawyers only dream of starting their law practice but just a few manage to achieve that vision. However, it can be quite challenging to manage a new law firm efficiently and many young law firms make crucial mistakes that might put their practice into jeopardy.
Here are some of these mistakes so you won’t have to commit them yourself:
1. Choosing Cases You Can’t Handle.
Due to the excitement of being your own boss, you just may be tempted to pick all the cases that come your way regardless of whether it is your area of expertise or not. As a young law firm, you should only take cases that you have experience in, and you can comfortably handle. It’s ok to say no to cases that are beyond your expertise, and your clients will most likely appreciate your honesty. If you are not capable of handling a particular case, then show the client the next available law firm that can assist him/her.
2. Over Spending on Office Space.
A young law firm does not necessarily require a lot of office space, especially if you’re employing just a handful of lawyers. Over-spending on office space is one of the leading causes of business closures, and it also affects big firms as well. You need to reduce your expenses because you don’t have a steady flow of clients yet.
Just a simple office will do in the beginning, and you may expand later on once your cases have increased and you gradually start hiring more employees. Law firm business development takes time, and you should grow it slow and steady instead of going crazy with the spending at first.
3. Burning Bridges.
Although you are starting your own business, you should strive to ensure that you keep in touch with your colleagues and supervisors. Because your new law firm depends on your reputation, it is critical that you left your previous position gracefully and on good terms. Your former colleagues could help you solve specific cases, and you just may need some business advice from your former employers and benefit from their experience. When starting your own law firm, you should ensure that you set all personal differences aside and only focus on growing your business.
4. Making It All About the Money.
You are bound to make very little money in the first few months, and this is usually very discouraging to young law firms. Many lawyers start their own law firms thinking that they will be able to earn tons of money almost immediately. You should understand that it will take time before you build a steady customer base and start making substantial amounts of money. Sure, you may make a lot of money in the future, but don’t just expect it to be successful before you put in the work.
Growing a budding law firm demands lots of patience and determination. Set realistic goals that you can accomplish and work towards them slowly.