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Top Tips for Young Law Firms

Posted: 11th June 2018

Young and aspiring lawyers wishing to set up their own law firm will undoubtedly be full of ambition, hunger and perhaps some naivety. Indeed, confidence and self-belief are two critical ingredients to success when embarking in the business world. However, this confidence will at least be slightly dampened by the number of obstacles to be overcome when trying to set up a law firm. Many young professionals are lured into the attractive idea of self-employment and the ability to profit directly as a result of their own hard work, and of course not having to adhere to a hierarchical structure.

As you’ve probably guessed – based on the tone of my introduction – starting your own law firm is no walk in the park. However, through hard work and careful planning you should be successful. Outlined in the article are some of the main challenges that you will have to face throughout your journey to a more independent and profitable career in law.

Choosing Your Business Structure

Making choices about the legal structure of your firm is a significant one since it will have a direct impact on your business operations. Each business model offers both their advantages and disadvantages, so make sure to read up on what model best serves your interests.

Having a Solid Business Plan in Place Before Launching Your Law Firm

The importance of carefully detailing a comprehensive business plan prior to launching your firm is something that should not be underestimated. This will eventually become the backbone of your firm that will help identify how stable it is as well as what direction it should take. The nature of any business is unpredictable but don’t further cloud your vision due to a lack of planning. Some of the points your plan should cover include:

  • the legal services you will provide
  • how you will obtain work from clients
  • the source of your funding
  • where you will be based
  • a risk management and contingency plan
  • how to deal with Law Society of Scotland compliance

Cash Flow Estimations

Creating an accurate cash flow forecast is paramount to effective survival and growth for business start-ups so that you can effectively predict how much money is required to set up and run your law firm. This will also allow you plan prudently for a slow build-up of income as well, since it will take time to successfully build up a client base. Knowing whether your law firm is profitable will indicate whether it is sustainable or capable of growing past its infancy.

Integrating New Technology and Artificial Intelligence into Your Law Firm

One of the advantages of being a young an aspiring lawyer is that you are less likely to have an ambivalence towards new innovative technologies. Many lawyers have resisted change and adapting to the new IT available due to their preference for their familiar and more traditional approach. However, experienced law firms are slowly starting to wake up to the superlative advantages that IT and artificial intelligence offers to lawyers.

For a profession that is so document based, integrating special technology that can search and scan specific documents as opposed to getting a lawyer to do so instead can save a lot of time and money. The reality is that law firms are only just starting to invest in IT and artificial intelligence, so make sure that you get off to a flying start by doing so too.

Having a Clear Marketing Strategy

What makes your law firm so special? Why should people choose your firm over other competitors? How will you get noticed? These are only a handful of questions you need to ask yourself when starting up your law firm. In this age there is an unprecedented number of marketing channels available for firms to tap into and connect with potential customers. Unfortunately, this is a double-edged sword since the vast majority of these are unique and pose their own complexities.

Having an understanding of the importance of digital marketing will take you a long way, since regardless of how competent your services are, it is equally vital knowing how to get your name out there. Hiring a digital marketer is the obvious decision to make but as a young start-up, you are likely to be on a tight budget. There are a number of online courses and tutorials you can take on digital marketing that will help get you there. LinkedIn’s is a tremendously useful website that offers endless amounts of information on just about anything that will benefit your business, as well Udemy.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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