Starting a Law Firm | My First Ten Days
This post is from the first blog I started, called “How to Start a Law Firm.” Over the years I’ve moved to different sites a few times and wanted to catalog all of my content in one place. If an article refers to a link and there is no link, sorry, that’s consequence of the move. Enjoy!
Although it probably technically has been a little longer, I’m establishing my actual law firm opening date for purposes of annual celebrations as June 1, 2009. That was the first day I moved into my office and I’m the boss, so I can pick whatever day I want!
A lot has been going on here recently, so I thought I’d take a second to reflect. I’m sure you like to hear all about where to get great malpractice insurance, whether or not to have office space, and everything like that. But when it boils down to it, one thing matters – am I making enough money to eat?
And the short answer in these first ten days is no, I’m not. But that was to be expected, since very few people know my place is open for business (although my friends and family all know, and I’ve been broadcasting it loud and clear on my Facebook page). I am still doing coverage work for the firm I rent space from, which is offsetting the bills a little, but I’m still waiting for the phone to start ringing consistently and get some leads.
I do have a client. It is a guy whose property is being taken through eminent domain, and it is a good case. The guy found me from searching on google, which is just what I want. I haven’t been getting a lot of hits or phone calls yet, but I’m moving up the search engines fast and am getting some feelers here and there.
For additional money, as I think I’ve explained before, I have applied for the criminal appointment panel, representing people who can’t afford an attorney. That should tide me over until the phone starts ringing consistently (and I may stay on – they could use my help).
Now to the things I need to work on. I think number one is having the guts to hand out my business card anywhere and everywhere. I’ve never had to do that before, and it’s kind of an unsettling experience. I don’t want to come off as the surly attorney, but I also want to let people know what I do. I think I’m just going to have to stop being worried and start putting my card out there for the taking.
UPDATE – 10/7/09: I’ve changed my philosophy regarding the paragraph above. Handing out to your business cards to anyone and everyone is not the way to go. Instead it’s important to focus on forming strategic partnerships with people, making a connection and finding out how I can help them out (which, in turn, will help me out).
And really, for things I need to work on at this point, that’s about it. My work ethic has been pretty much great throughout. It helps that everything I am doing is actually having a bit of a tangible benefit type of feel to it (for example, I can see my site moving up in the google ranks, I can hear the phone ringing). Hopefully that keeps up.
Okay, that’s it for now. In case you were curious, some of the things I’ve been doing is scouting out a good printer, signing up to take credit cards, developing a daily, weekly, and monthly marketing plan with tangible goals and real tasks to complete (as opposed to the arbitrary “get more clients” goal), and writing articles, articles, articles.
Good luck opening your firm. You can start your own law firm! And, if anyone needs a Seattle DUI attorney, look me up.