In the past, most lawyers have dreamt of working for Big Law but in recent times, the legal landscape has changed. Many younger lawyers are looking away from the large law firms and are focusing on building their own Solo law firms.
It’s one thing to dream of starting your own law firm and it’s another to actually do it. It entails a great deal of work to establish your own firm. On top of that, there are a lot of costs involved. From building your own website to getting additional services like legal transcription, there are so many things you will need to account for.
That shouldn’t discourage you from establishing your own law firm. This article will discuss things you should consider before you start your law firm and the costs involved.
1. Getting an Office
When you think about starting your own law firm, one of the first things that comes to your mind is to get an office. This can be the most expensive cost depending on your location. If you want to get an office in a place like Manhattan, for example, the cost can be as high as $82 per square foot each year.
The good news is that you don’t really need to get a physical office to get started. You can actually work from home and have a virtual office instead. That will save you a great deal of money. Eventually, as your practice grows you may consider getting a physical office space.
You can operate without getting a physical office of your own but you cannot practice without the appropriate business licenses. You will need to form your company and also purchase liability insurance. These are the most important requirements to establish your law firm. The cost of these will depend on the state where you plan to operate your law firm.
3. Legal Transcription, Interpretation and Translation Services
Once you start operating your practice, there will be some additional services that you may need to outsource. This is especially true if you are handling things on your own and need specialized help in certain tasks. You will need to pay for specialized services as you need them. For example:
- Legal Transcription
You may require legal transcription services for some of your cases. It’s best if you work with a transcription company instead of an individual transcriptionist because the quality can be guaranteed and in most cases, the cost will be lower.
- Interpretation and Translation
If you get a client who speaks another language, then you may have to get interpretation or translation services. Depending on the area of law that you specialize in, these services can be a regular requirement. For example, if you will be dealing with immigration law, you may regularly require translation and interpretation.
Around 76% of consumers look at the online presence of a business before deciding to visit physically. While that doesn’t fully apply when it comes to law firms, it still signifies the importance of having a website and social media accounts.
When you have a strong online presence, you make it easy for the people searching for legal help to find you. Another advantage of building a strong web presence is it enhances your reputation. Potential clients may hear about you through others but they still want to learn more about your services first. Most of them won’t do that by visiting your office. Instead, they would look at your website and your social media accounts.
5. Practice Management Software
If you want to harness the power of modern technology to manage your practice, then you should get Practice Management Software. This tool will allow you to keep track of all your clients, as well as leads. You can easily pull up their information when you have to and you will know with a glance what their status is. This will save you a lot of time, headaches, and money maintaining physical files to keep track of your clients.
A Practice Management Software is not cheap and you will need to get a subscription for it. There are also other types of software that you will need to keep your practice running smoothly depending on your practice area.