If you are thinking about starting a Solo practice, we have some tips to help you on your way to success.
Solo practice comes with several benefits. Like, complete freedom over how you work, the hours you put in, and a stellar work-life balance. Although the income may not be as much as working for a large firm, it’s enough to help you live a good life.
But how do you start? What should you do to build a successful solo law practice? Check out these 7 tips:
Tip 1: Get Inspired
You might know successful solo lawyers who made it big. Read their stories, learn how they did it and what mistakes they made, and leverage this information to set up your practice.
You can connect on LinkedIn when reading about other solo attorneys’ success stories and start a conversation.
Tip 2: Networking
Imagine, you connect with another successful solo lawyer, you build a good relationship, and they refer some clients to your doorstep when they don’t have the time or resources to handle their cases.
That’s why networking is so important. It gives you increased visibility, a better reputation, a stronger support network, improved business growth, and more impactful connections.
To make your networking successful, you need to select a goal. Set a target of connecting with at least three people per week, talking to a prospective client or referral source twice a month, or going to a trade industry event at least once each quarter.
If you’re new to networking, start with people you know. Call to say hello, send a personalized LinkedIn invitation or go out for a cup of coffee or lunch. You don’t need a “real” reason. At this stage, you’re just getting yourself noticed.
Next, keep looking for excuses to connect with them. The more you interact, the better it is for you. If you get uncomfortable making phone calls, create a loose script.
Tip 3: Create a Payment System that Works for You
One of the biggest challenges new solo lawyers face is determining how to charge their clients.
There are various pricing structures that you can use. These include hourly, flat, capped, and contingency fees.
Which structure works best for you depends on your clientele and the legal service you provide. For example, if you’re an expert in your field and provide legal consultation, you can charge hourly fees for your consultations.
However, if you offer specific tasks related to certain projects, such as filing a trademark registration, drafting wills, standard DUI cases, or simple contract drafting, then the flat fee structure will work the best.
So, what works for you will depend on your specific firm and clientele. Don’t just do what others are doing. Try out different payment options and see which one gives the best results. If a fee structure doesn’t work, you can easily change it.
Tip 4: Create a Profile on Social Media
A great way to gain recognition in the legal community is through social media. You can keep up with what’s happening in your legal community by participating in social networks with other lawyers. Even better, add your commentary to demonstrate your thought leadership.
Or, if you have the right social media marketing skills, you can build a community of your own where your potential clients can come, engage, get quick solutions to their legal issues, and when the need arises, convert to being your client.
Tip 5: Build a Website
Nowadays, a well-designed website is more important than a well-built office. So, that’s the first thing you need to think about.
Luckily, gone are the days when you had to spend hundreds of dollars on hiring web designers and developers to make your website happen. Now there are free web design and hosting services. And if you want premium features, the prices are reasonable.
Of course, if you want to make your website the best and unique, you should consult a web designer and developer to help you out.
Tip 6: Name your Solo Practice Carefully
Your firm’s name is a first impression for potential clients. Always consider using words in the name of your firm that will make clients believe you are trustworthy and successful. Your name will play a key role in your law firm’s brand and marketing strategy.
Your name should also reflect your legal structure. For example, if you’re an LLC, the name should include the word Limited Liability Company or LLC.
Tip 7: Start Using Technology
If you scorn new technology, you will have difficulty surviving as a solo practitioner. Why? In 2019 solo law firms using electronic payments, client portals, and client intake and CRM solutions collected $27,904 more revenue than firms that weren’t using these technologies, according to the Clio report.
With the right tools and processes, your solo practice can be more efficient and profitable than ever.
By “right tools,” I mean the right practice management software that provides a comprehensive list of features like calendar management, appointment scheduling, case management, conflict checking, messaging, time management solutions, billing and collections, and accounting.You should also be aware of and leverage technological advancements.
Author Bio: Attorney Loretta Kilday has over 36 years of litigation and transactional experience, specializing in business, collection, and family law. She frequently writes on various financial and legal matters. She is a graduate of DePaul University with a Juris Doctor degree and a spokesperson for Debt Consolidation Care (DebtCC) online debt relief forum.