Starting a private practice is more or less like starting a business. The same principles of starting a business apply in this case such as accumulating startup cost, advertising your services and connecting with potential clients. This might all feel like too much to some lawyers hence they will opt for the safer option, that is, working for law firms.
For the few who are aspiring enough to venture into solo practice, this career path can turn out to be a more fulfilling and highly rewarding venture. In that case, regardless of if you are a lawyer with tons of experience or if you are a junior associate seeking to map out your career path, you should consider private practice.
Some of the perks of private practice include;
Since you are working as your boss, you get to decide the direction of your service. This means you get to decide the clients you take on and the type of projects you work on.
Additionally, you also get to control your working hours. As a solo lawyer, you get to decide how much or how little you want to work and even when to take vacations which is an important aspect of maintaining a good work-life balance.
Working under less pressure means more productivity and high quality of work. This overall translates to great success.
Working at a law firm usually ties you to working with only a specific type of clientele which is very limiting. Therefore, with your private practice, you are at liberty to diversify your client base. This is especially great if you are one who likes to take on challenges.
Still on diversity, as a solo lawyer, you are now at liberty to take up other job opportunities that are in line with your profession such as teaching at a law school or appearing as a guest in live talk shows (ways for a lawyer to make extra money).
Benefit to Clients
This perhaps has got to be the greatest perks of working as a solo lawyer. By reducing overhead costs, a private practice sees to it that they can offer highly competitive legal rates as opposed to big firms. Being able to offer high-quality service at a reduced rate will see to it that you can attract more clients.
Tips on How to Make Money as a Solo Lawyer
Find a good location
Where you choose to set up your private practice office has a lot of influence on the perception of your business to clients. A nice location gives your clients a good impression of your practice hence adds value to your business.
Have a Website
Businesses have shifted to online spaces since they discovered that is where most of their clients are. A strong online presence is a key aspect to the success of your private practice and a good way to go about this is to develop a website. This will work as your portfolio for potential clients.
A comprehensive and effective website has to have the following;
- Working contact details
- Physical address
- Your qualifications
- Your areas of expertise
Secondly, you have to make sure that your website is user-friendly. This will help your clients be able to stay on your website longer hence enabling them to go through all the details provided.
Specialize in a niche
The key to success for any start-up business is to specialize in one area that they are good at. (best practice area for solo lawyer).Once you perfect your skills and expertise, only then can you try to venture out into other niches. The same applies to you when starting your solo practice.
There are several highly profitable niches in law that you can venture into such as;
- Immigration Law
- Entertainment Law
- Family and Divorce Law
- Personal Injury Law
- Corporate Law
Choose a niche and strive to be the very best at it. This will make you a highly sought after law practitioner. Once you decide to venture into a different field, you are more likely to get referrals from your current clients because they believe in you.
It is only through networking that you will be able to grow your client list as it provides you with an opportunity to connect with your current clients as well as with potential clients. As a solo lawyer, you ought to be well aware of the fact that your earnings are largely dependent on how many clients you can work for. You need to be very active in your search for clients.
Advertising and Marketing
You might be the best lawyer there is in your line of work however, if no one knows about your services, you will not get any clients. You need to heavily market your services to your potential clients. How you can do marketing is by handing out brochures and business cards, word-of-mouth marketing as well as social media marketing.
These days’ social media has become the main source of information. In this era, not having a social media presence is equivalent to not being in existence. Therefore, if you are seeking to advertise your services to a large pool of potential clients, then social media marketing is the way to go as it goes beyond borders.
Quality Over Quantity
Providing your clients with the best services is the only way to build your client list as well as enables you to maintain them for a long time. Also, this is the best, fool-proof way of marketing your services. To see to it that you provide your clients with quality service ensure that;
- Be prompt in replying to phone calls and emails
- Be honest with your clients at all times.
- Only take on projects that you are sure you can handle. It is so tempting to accept a project because of the high fee associated with it, however, it will not be worth it in the long run if you fail to deliver on your promises.
There are great risks and uncertainties involved with being a solo lawyer but the benefits greatly outweigh all these risks. With a lot of hard work, persistence, self-motivation and perseverance, you will be able to achieve success with your private practice business.