Setting up a new law firm? Start with these law office essentials
For mid-career lawyers who have considered going out on their own, the logistics of setting up a law office can be one barrier to starting an independent law firm. However, launching a law business can be simpler than you might think. Begin with these law office essentials:
A desk in your kitchen could become your new law office, and that’s often the simplest way to begin. A desk and a laptop can help you draft your initial business documents, such as your business plan, and build a basic website.
Once you have established the foundation of your new law practice and begin seeking clients, however, you might want a more professional space. Co-working and shared office environments can give you a professional setting, as well as amenities, but at a more affordable price than leasing your own office.
When launching a new law practice, budget becomes a top concern. You don’t need a lot of money to secure the essential technology you need for your practice. At a minimum, you will need:
- A computer or laptop. You don’t need the bells and whistles of a gamer’s laptop. You can find quality laptops that will meet your needs for around $500.
- A phone. You probably already have a smartphone, but now you can claim part of it as a business expense.
- Printer and scanner. Again, a basic multi-functional printer/scanner will work just fine. If you opt to work out of a co-working space, these will come as part of the package.
- Software. You will need word processing and spreadsheet software, at a minimum. In addition, accounting software and a good client management system can help you run your practice more smoothly.
The American Bar Association offers this additional advice to solo attorneys on which technology deserves consideration.
In order to market your practice, you need a solid online presence. A good website will help clients get a better feel for you and your practice areas. Keep in mind that a good website should be:
- Updated regularly with relevant content
It can make sense to hire a web designer or marketing firm to design and write your website, and this article expands on that idea a little more.
Running any new business comes with challenges, and a strong support system can help tremendously. If you have your spouse or partner’s support at the outset, it can help you take the leap into business with more confidence.
Beyond that, finding fellow entrepreneurs and independent attorneys can make a world of difference. You can lean on these people for business advice and learn from their experience. In a co-working setting, for example, this type of support network develops naturally.
In addition, it can help to keep tabs on resources for lawyers and entrepreneurs to help guide your decisions at each stage of business. This blog lists several helpful resources for lawyers in various categories.
Beyond connecting with other professionals for advice and support, you will need to cultivate professional relationships to help build your referral network. If you are a mid-career lawyer, you likely have a strong network in place already. Even so, it’s a good idea to attend professional development conferences and join professional associations where you can forge new relationships for your business.
If you are looking for resources for launching a new law firm in Denver, we invite you to visit LawBank. We offer co-working for lawyers at two central locations in town. Contact us to learn more.