An Attorney’s Guide to Opening Up a Private Law Practice

For many lawyers, opening up a private practice is something they have dreamed of since their days of tackling the toughest classes in law school. Yet just as it is for any business, there are certain steps to take when going into business for yourself. If you are preparing to become a lawyer who is in private practice, here’s a guide to everything you should do to be successful.

Define Your Specific Niche

Unlike doctors who may decide to become general practitioners, you will be wise to open up a private law practice that is specifically geared toward a certain area of law. For example, if you enjoy criminal law, open up a private law practice specializing in criminal defense or DUI cases.

Choose a Business Structure

Like any business owner, you will need to be concerned about any potential liability issues that may arise along the way. Because of this, you should choose a business structure that will allow you to protect your personal assets if someone decides to file a lawsuit against you and your practice. In many law firms, this means structuring your business as a limited liability company, better known as an LLC.

Purchase Malpractice Insurance

While most people are aware of doctors being sued for malpractice, many people fail to realize that the same thing can also happen to attorneys. Should you make a mistake such as failing to file certain papers on time or lose a case where your client feels you were negligent in your professional duties as their attorney, you could find yourself facing a malpractice lawsuit. By purchasing malpractice insurance for your private practice, your business can have the protection needed to settle a claim and still allow you to keep your business operating.

Create a Budget

You will also need to create a detailed budget for your private practice before going into business for yourself. Start by analyzing the expenses that will be associated with your business, such as computer hardware and software, rent for your office space, and salaries you may have for administrative personnel you may need to hire.

Market Your Practice

Since clients likely won’t just start walking in your office door the moment you open your practice, this will mean you will need to know how to market your services to attract new clients and build up your client base. In today’s business world, this means not only networking with others in the legal field, but also using digital advertising to your advantage. To do so, you should hire the services of a professional website designer to create your business website, take advantage of social media sites to advertise your business, and even look into television advertising, which has become more popular in recent years.

Opening up a private law practice can feel overwhelming at times. However, if you approach it with the same tenacity and determination you had while going through law school, you will soon find yourself owning a very satisfying and profitable practice.