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017: How to Start an Estate Planning Law Firm Step-by-Step

March 03, 2017

Today we’re going to talk about how to start an estate planning law firm step-by-step to create a six-figure law firm. It’s actually a lot easier than you think.

I’m not going to go through all of the details here because it will take too long, but I will summarize.

Starting a Law Firm Assumptions

First things first, I’m assuming when talking about starting an estate planning law firm that you have no experience, no clients, no network, no nothing.

Starting from scratch makes what I’m going to talk about easier.

Second, I’m going to assume you’ve got at least $5,000 of capital. You need SOMETHING to get started.

Third, I’m going to assume you’ve got 6 months of living expenses saved. If you want to know why, listen to the podcast.

Fourth, and finally, I’m going to assume you’re able to work 60 hours a week. I never said this would be easy!

Phase 1 of Starting an Estate Planning Law Firm – Foundation

If you are starting from nothing you’ve got to build your foundation first.

This includes things like choosing a practice area, choosing an ideal client, choosing a law firm name, getting a URL, building a law firm website, setting up email and phones, and all of that stuff.

There’s no reason to officially launch until you have all of this set up.

This should take about a week.

Phase 2 of Starting an Estate Planning Law Firm – Marketing and Branding

Now that you have created your estate planning law firm it’s time to let everyone know about it.

This phase includes networking, content creation, content distribution, and pushing your message out to the world.

This is where all the hard work starts and basically never stops.

Phase 3 of Starting an Estate Planning Law Firm – Contact Management

If you actually follow through with phase two you are going to start meeting people, start getting referrals, and start having people reach out to you for help.

The last thing you want to do is lose track of those people, lose track of those referrals, and lose track of those potential clients.

I use insightly and active campaign to manage my contacts and stay in touch with my people.

It generates a lot of business for me and is integral to the success of my law firm.

Phase 4 of Starting an Estate Planning Law Firm – Selling

Now that you have everything up and running, you’ve got some people that know who you are, and you’ve got some people calling, it’s time to sell.

Don’t think of selling as a bad word. It is simply the process of demonstrating your value to your potential client.

It is your duty to let them know you can help them and why they should choose you.

That’s selling.

If you want the full explanation of all of this listen to the show.

Talk to you soon!


Christopher Small knows how to start and build successful law firms. He is the owner of CMS Law Firm, a Bellevue estate planning firm, and Building a Law Firm, a site dedicated to teaching lawyers how to start a successful law firm.

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