So, you graduated Law school now what? If you wish to be independent, a leader, and a role model (as most lawyers do), you already know there is only one option: entrepreneurship. Maatdesk is here to empower you as you choose your path. As a new graduate, we have a special promotion of a one-year law firm management subscription to assist in the most important part of running your firm. Being a business owner is a rewarding experience, both monetarily and psychologically. You are your own boss, and the success of your business is directly tied to the creativity of your solutions to problems, the discipline of your work ethic, and the passion for helping your clients seek the justice they require. Owning your own law firm works in much the same way as owning any business would: you must manage revenues, costs, goals, and methods while remaining a passionate advocate and practitioner of the law.
The first part of getting all this underway is creating an effective business plan. Your business plan will be the playbook of what your firm needs to do to be successful. In your business plan, you will outline all costs associated with opening the law firm, the marketing strategies you will use, and projections of future growth. Once you have your costs outlined, you will need to plan to achieve that goal. Nowadays, these are more user-friendly than ever. Ask yourself how you will get your clients, and that will help narrate how the marketing will go. Marketing is paramount and can be done through social media, networking, online presence, referrals, and more. Set goals for yourself for the first, second, and even third year of operation with industry-specific growth and attrition rates to keep yourself on track and honest. A business plan will concretize your plans and help you establish reachable goals, such as how many cases to take and, of course, how to structure your billing fees so that you meet your financial objectives.
Decide on a Practice Area
If you're an associate at a Big Law firm, you will have very little choice of cases to take. You are likely to be given tasks by your bosses and have relatively little freedom in tackling those cases. As the owner of your own law firm, you have total discretion in whether or not you will accept a case and in choosing the way the case will proceed. Picking a practice area will create a niche market for yourself where you can grow and be recognized as an expert in that area. This is important because it is simpler to connect with clients when your name is synonymous with success in the particular area they are searching for. See what area you have the most knowledge about and what you ultimately love researching and assisting clients with. You will become a more efficient and skilled practitioner, reducing the number of hours you spend on any one case, which will justify charging higher rates.
Set Up Online Presence
Today people rely more than ever on online tools like Google's search engine to find and locate legal advice. As a result, having an online presence is crucial to the growth and success of any law firm. The most effective ways of establishing an online presence are to have a social media profile, a website, a Google My Business page, and to create blogs.
This level of online presence allows prospective clients to get in touch with your firm and learn preliminary information about the services you offer. Aside from providing software to manage the analytical part of your firm, Maatdesk also offers custom packages to supply auxiliary support to attorneys who select our software. Choose how Maatdesk can help design your website and take that off your plate.
An attractive website will be clear and to the point. Your client should easily view and understand what you offer and specialize in. They should have the option of seeing reviews from happy clients and links to social media to learn more about you or your team. The website can function as the “headquarters” where clients first visit and where you can introduce your firm services, contact information, and staff members to familiarize your prospective client.
Your website is also the ideal place to have blogs set up. Blogs will give your prospective clients insight into popular topics or relevant literature, which can present you as a true professional in the field. Effective blogs will have keywords and functions to attract clients searching for your services. Use the internet as a harvesting tool for clients searching for what you do at the moment they need it. This is where your Google business page will set you aside. This page will show reviews, services, and locations with pictures to guide the client to your business.
Everyone is glued to their phones nowadays, so when they search for your services, capitalize on the moment by having a social media presence so that your profile and ads show up on their Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. The ads will take users to your website, where you can integrate client intake forms. Here, prospective clients can leave their information like their email addresses for you to contact them later. This is an effective way to organically create and grow a client list for you to service and reach out to.
Dictate your client flow by providing the easiest access to yourself and your firm.
One of the most important things you can do to build and grow your business is join your legal community. In other words, you have to network. As with any professional field, networking can help you find opportunities to hire great talent that will contribute to your company culture or accept new clients. And, indeed, there are many other benefits.
Networking with fellow professionals and industry leaders can let you know what's at the forefront of the industry. You can gain valuable practical insight into what is working at other law firms and how those law firms are dealing with challenges. 2020 and 2021 were years fraught with pandemic worries, and law firms had to adapt and turn to online modalities to continue providing their legal services. Networking with fellow professionals can provide the opportunity for you to discover creative ways of solving law firm management-related problems and offering your own. You can network at in-person forums like your own local and state bar associations, as well as online platforms like LawyerSmack and Lawyerist, both of which are designed to provide lawyers at smaller firms the opportunities to interact with a wide array of lawyers.
Aside from networking with fellow professionals, it is important to stand out in the community and get your name out there. By joining the Chamber of Commerce or hosting and sponsoring local events will help you build relations with other local businesses and practitioners. This will make your name a priority in people’s minds when they need something that is in your field of expertise.
Selecting Software Management
Most importantly, the success of your business will depend on its profitability, and its profitability will depend on your capacity to minimize costs and keep revenues up. Case management software like Maatdesk makes it easy for you to run your firm, accept clients’ payments, organize matters in both highly particularized and global ways, and keep track of important dates like court appearances and motions deadlines. As we have written in earlier blog posts, time is of the essence for a lawyer, and Maatdesk recognizes that lawyers have no time to waste. Technology can help streamline your day-to-day workflows in such a way that you and your attorneys won't have to be distracted from your legal responsibilities by time-consuming management tasks. As the 2020 Legal Trends Report recently pointed out, firms that used technology to improve their operational efficiency reported up to 21% more casework, which meant more billable revenue. Keep track of your billing by seeing all billable clients all in a centric list where you can edit or add charges as you need. Eliminate missed or canceled appointments by sharing a portal with your clients. Keep track of statute of limitations and important follow-ups by integrating your calendar existing or new. Maatdesk is a universal system to host your firm securely in the cloud and provide you with constant access.