A question that is certain to cross a lawyer’s mind at one point in his career is whether “Can I start a law firm or not.”
When you are starting your law firm may be the best decision you have ever taken in your life. It has been proven for many of us! Unfortunately, law school’s curriculum is only designed to teach you law, and rules concerning its practice. They don’t invest time in teaching you how to kick-start and successfully run your own business. You should know that practicing law is not only a profession but also a business.
For a successful beginning of your law firm, you must agree to see yourself as a lawyer and an entrepreneur. It’s important to know that the skills required for practicing law are different from those of running a business where you’ll tackle problems of different nature, and often deal with unfavorable situations. Like entrepreneurs, lawyers should evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of starting their own firm. As the owner, you have complete control over your firm, and its assets, but just know that running a firm comes with its own set of challenges. These challenges continue to haunt your business and grow intensely as your business matures. With time, the challenges change their nature and targeting ways.
Before you dive into the world of entrepreneurship, make sure to ask yourself, the following questions:
- Do I have the required skills and ability to run the entire business?
- Can I be a business owner and not just a lawyer?
- Whether the time I am spending on running a business is as important as my billable work or not?
Do you agree to all three? If yes, then read on
Benefits of starting your own law firm
You have Freedom and Control
Establishing a law firm gives you room to make your own decisions without any third party’s interference and allows you to set priorities the way you like. You can enjoy the freedom, flexibility, and control that you would miss by being an associate at big law.
Freedom does not necessarily mean working for fewer hours. You should know that running your own business requires you to work harder than ever. By investing time and energy, you would be enjoying the fruits of your work.
Take on Interesting Projects
In the initial days of your firm, you may onboard any client. However, with time you may have the leverage to accept or refuse clients. And can independently make the decisions to focus on a specific practice area of interest.
LegalTech tools can make it easier
With the help of LegalTech tools and cloud options the cost of establishing a law firm has decreased. If you decide to practice from your own home or plan to run your business independently then it’s a good idea to employ LegalTech tools, which can help to automate your manual tasks. Hence, reducing the need for legal staff and cutting down the financial burden on your new law firm.
Legal practice management software is available in the market for all sizes of law firms. Firms use software, powered by artificial intelligence from managing clients to billing them, e-signatures, and most importantly automatically reviewing contracts.
With SpeedLegal contract automation services, it’s now convenient and cost-effective for new law firms and independent attorneys to get their client’s contracts automatically reviewed within a few minutes. This can save them up on humongous costs associated with hiring contract managers, and their precious time. Leave your contracts on SpeedLegal, and you take care of the rest of your business.
Why should I not start my own law firm?
There might be numerous benefits to starting your own law firm, but you should understand that it’s not everyone’s cup of coffee. For some lawyers, establishing a law firm may not be a good idea, and it’s fine. Here’s why:
Starting your own law firm means all the work is now on your plate – from onboarding clients to hiring staff, searching an office space, and managing finances. As many lawyers don’t have entrepreneurial thinking can inhibit the growth of their law firm.
You want to gain more experience first
Running a law firm is not an easy task, as people often conceive. It involves finances, repute, and risk factors, which cannot be ignored at all. As American Bar Association (ABA) reported about 0.9% of law school students want to become private practitioners right after their graduation. Without having worked in a law firm, and having no prior experience, it’s hard to believe that you can successfully run a law firm.
Gaining law firm experience broadens your thinking and hones your entrepreneurial skills as you observe your law firm owners running their business. Additionally, it provides you with an opportunity to learn business tactics under their mentorship.
You are the driver, so decide for yourself. Be careful!
The answer to your question about whether “you can own a law firm or not” lies with you.
Being a proud owner of a business earns unmatched satisfaction and a sense of achievement. But what is important for you is to consider your potential, and the pros and cons highlighted by us, which is not an exhaustive guide. It’s just to help you make an informed decision. However, if you are still considering running your own law firm, we recommend you talk to your seniors and experts who can provide detailed guidance on this topic so that you can have the best experience of running a law firm independently.