As an independent lawyer, you have the freedom to create a new type of law firm

If you have a background in Big Law, you might feel pressured to follow a traditional model as you launch your own practice. However, you have the freedom to do something completely different. If you were to create a new type of law firm, what would it look like?

As we close out our series on approaching your law business with a growth mindset, consider what that means for you and your business. Also think about what it means for your clients, your family and the broader community.

A new approach to legal services

While large, global law firms likely won’t disappear entirely, the marketplace has shown an increased demand for non-traditional approaches to legal services. You might see headlines urging you to “disrupt” the legal marketplace using technology or a radical approach to service-delivery. However, you can create a new law firm model with smaller and more subtle changes.

Mark A. Cohen describes it this way for Forbes:

“…legal providers and buyers know that the legal industry is changing incrementally because the tight weave of its mosaic and culture cannot be easily reconfigured or quickly replaced.” 

In short, many law firms do things a certain way because they have always done it that way. As you build a boutique law practice, consider how you might offer something different in terms of:

  • Services
  • Payment and fee structures
  • Client communication and customer service
  • Technology
  • Access to information
  • Efficiency and processes
  • Nimble teams (more on that below)

In addition, the way you seek out new business could differ drastically from the traditional model. Think strategically about where you spend your time and the people who surround you as you build your law business.

Creating with a growth mindset

Tradition, habit or a strict adherence to an outdated model can prevent you from achieving growth. In a growth mindset, you look for new approaches to old problems. Alternatively, you can discover new problems in the marketplace that need a solution.

Collaboration offers independent lawyers a powerful way to offer legal services to clients. If your practice focuses on one niche, but a prospective client needs a range of services, look to your network. Collaborating with other lawyers gives you an opportunity to expand your reach when needed, but without delving into a formal partnership arrangement.

Lawyers who work in our three LawBank locations, for example, often exchange referrals and business ideas, and sometimes work together on specific cases. Independent lawyers also have the opportunity to consult on larger cases through services, such as Select Counsel, that give global firms access to local attorneys.

Keep tabs on the news in your local market for opportunities, and think creatively about how to meet those needs. In Colorado, for example, the legal marijuana industry provides a growing niche opportunity for lawyers. MyShingle recently published a list of niche practice areas that didn’t exist 15 years ago, which includes cyberbullying, drone law, crowdfunding and many more.

As society grows and changes, a nimble law practice can grow to meet its needs.

To learn more about growing a successful, independent law practice in Denver, contact us. We offer co-working and office space exclusively to lawyers.