The rise in entrepreneurial attorneys
Solo and small law firms have been on the rise for a few years now
Solo and small law firms have been on the rise for a few years now. With changes in legal services and delivery, the BigLaw model could be dying.
This opening in the market for legal services has given entrepreneurial attorneys a chance at obtaining better, higher-value cases that align with their business objectives by starting their own law firms.
Additionally, lawyers are choosing to open their own businesses for several good reasons. They can obtain more control, flexibility, and a larger share of the profits.
However, starting and running a profitable law firm is not for the faint of heart. Ensure that you consider the advantages, disadvantages, and what it takes to get ahead in the legal world.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Going Solo
If you have the entrepreneurial spirit, the only thing that stands between you and going solo is the decision to do so. Weighing the pros and cons of establishing your law firm is essential since it is not the right solution for every practicing attorney. This exercise will help you establish whether this decision is the best one for your financial and career goals.
Advantages of starting your law firm include:
- Having control over how your firm operates
- Deciding on which cases you will take or pass on
- Ability to design your client service experience
- Developing your values and strategies to reflect your brand
- Building financial equity and security for yourself
- Opening up to more valuable opportunities
- Generating an immediately impressive reputation
Disadvantages of starting your own law firm include:
- Startup costs
The most significant disadvantage of starting your own law firm is undoubtedly the associated startup costs. Obtaining enough cash flow to invest in this endeavor is a serious commitment. Consider all of your available options when looking for an office or client meeting space.
What to Know Before Starting Your Own Law Practice
Starting your first law firm is a challenging endeavor. The most practical piece of advice that we can offer is to speak with every person you know who has been through this exact situation. They will give you the “real deal” regarding expectation management and avoiding common pitfalls.
Here are a few things that entrepreneurial attorneys should know before starting their practice:
Things Will Be Lean in the Beginning
While it may seem like a no-brainer, things will be lean when you first open up. You may find yourself looking for innovative ways to save money on office supplies, staffing, and equipment like you never have before. It is par for the course when opening a new law firm, and things will become more flexible as you generate new cases and revenues.
Nurturing Your Network Will Be Vital
Without the cushion of an already established law firm, you will need to build your own network within your community. Lawyers become better at business ownership when they surround themselves with fellowship, mentorship, business development, and networking. When going solo, ensure that you have a strategy in place that facilitates connection and communication with others in your profession.
Choose Your Office Real Estate Carefully
Savvy attorneys offset initial expenses, like reception, copy machines, and furniture, by renting in a shared community space that caters to lawyers exclusively. Not only do they have the opportunity to network with other law firms nearby, but you can also obtain a traditional law firm environment at a fraction of the cost. Many Colorado solo practitioners and small law firms have discovered that this option is the perfect middle ground.
After considering the advantages and disadvantages of starting a solo practice or small law firm, you are likely closer to determining if it is the right fit for you. Keep in mind that your available options are more plentiful than they were in the past. Do not let the weight of a traditional brick-and-mortar building purchase or office lease dissuade you from starting your own firm.
Entrepreneurial attorneys are an exciting segment that is on the rise in the legal industry. They are most certainly giving “BigLaw” firms and long-established institutions a run for their money. While those firms tend to cope with change more slowly, nimble lawyers with an entrepreneurial streak can fill a much-needed services gap.
Jordan Deifik and Jay Kamlet are Colorado-based commercial real estate professionals. They co-own LawBank, the largest and oldest shared office space for lawyers in the Mountain West. LawBank has multiple locations in the Denver metro area and Downtown Las Vegas and offers flexible leasing options to attorneys throughout the region. LawBank also assists larger law firms sublet their vacant office space with small law firm tenants. Learn more about LawBank’s amenities, and the Las Vegas and Denver locations.