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Best Practice: Law firm startup - How to get started

Asked and Answered

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I am a relatively new attorney. I graduated three years ago from John Marshall Law School in Chicago. After law school I started with a small firm in the northern suburbs. Now with three years under my belt I am considering starting my own firm. I would appreciate your suggestions on how to get started.

A. Owning your own practice will be much different that working for someone else. You will have to handle the nuts and bolts of running and operating a practice. You will not have people to do everything for you like you did in your last firm. You will need to learn how to be an entrepreneur and think like a businessperson. 

First, I suggest that you give some thought as to whether you have what it takes to operate your own firm and plan out your business. First read my article on Starting, Building, and Managing a Law Firm. Click here for the article

Then write your business plan. Click here for the article

After you have developed your plan, begin developing your business identity, firm name, tag line, website domain name, and related graphic package.

For ideas download a copy of our best practices guide

Consider legal structure for the firm. Register with appropriate governmental and tax authorities.

Implement a first class website on day one.

Good luck.

Click here for our blog on new firm startup

Click here for our blog on marketing

Click here for our published articles

John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC, (www.olmsteadassoc.com) is a past chair and member of the ISBA Standing Committee on Law Office Management and Economics and author of The Lawyers Guide to Succession Planning published by the ABA. For more information on law office management please direct questions to the ISBA listserver, which John and other committee members review, or view archived copies of The Bottom Line Newsletters. Contact John at jolmstead@olmsteadassoc.com.

Posted on Sep 21, 2016 by Morgan Yingst | Comments (0)
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