How to Start a Law Firm

If you are considering the idea of starting a law firm, then this article will provide you with some information on how to do it. Specifically, we’re going to talk about starting a law business, potential business goals, and the steps you need to take to get started. By the time you have finished reading this article, you’ll know exactly how to start a law firm.

Law Firm Structure

When you start a law firm, before you actually begin its operations, you first have to think about what kind of organizational structure you plan to use. In terms of structure, you basically want to decide whether you’d like to be a solo practitioner, a partnership, or a limited liability company (LLC). Once you’ve decided on these basic choices, you can then start thinking about the actual target market you’d like to serve.

If you are a new lawyer, one of your primary objectives is probably to build a core group of attorneys who can then serve as the nucleus for your entire firm. Many lawyers want to start a new business in a field that they are particularly good at, so they often try to recruit and retain other talented lawyers to join them in the new venture. The problem, though, is that many lawyers who are successful at building a stable team of attorneys also tend to treat their new partners as “scouts” or “ambassadors” for their firm. This tends to make the new business seem aloof and unapproachable. On the other hand, if you are a relatively new attorney, then you probably have no problem approaching new business about the prospect of working with you.


You may have heard that there’s a time for networking and a time for building a reputation. That’s true, but it’s a two-part process. The networking begins when you meet people at a conference, trade show, or other event and strike up a conversation with them. You should also consider taking the time to make personal visits to the homes of friends and family members. Those visits will not only help you meet people and build a network of friends, but they will also provide you with a chance to do what attorneys do best-practice law!

law firm

Client Base

In order to build a law firm that can stand apart from its competition, it takes time to build a devoted, focused client base. The initial client base that you initially get should be limited to friends and family members. If those are your only customers, then you can’t expect to expand your client base significantly, and the fees for services will be low. Ideally, the people who originally refer clients to you are your ideal clients. You need to reach out to them on a regular basis so that they remember you when they need a lawyer.

Business Structure

Once you have a dedicated group of ideal clients, it’s time to formalize your business structure. Your business structure can vary greatly depending on what sort of law practice you ultimately decide to have. It might start out as just you and your spouse, or you might have a small office filled with your clerks. Regardless of how your business structure shakes out, it should be in place long before you actually open up shop. This is the part of the process that can be a bit difficult, but it’s something that all attorneys have to go through in order to start a law firm.

Legal Team

Once you have established a good-quality referral system, it’s time to put together a solid legal team. Your staff consists of a number of lawyers, but each should understand how much time it takes to deliver results. Different types of law firms require different levels of expertise from their legal teams. If you aren’t sure how much time you want to spend with each member of your team, it’s okay to ask your lawyers how often they expect things to go.


When you finally do decide on what type of law firm you would like to start, the last thing you need to do is choose a location. You will want to pick a local area where there is enough business to support your growing firm. In some cases, this may require you to break into an existing firm in order to gain a foothold, but most likely you’ll find that there are enough similar firms to start up a new one without needing to start from scratch. Once you’ve decided on a particular area, your final step is to set up the business itself. Whether you will hire employees directly or you prefer to employ a professional networking company, your final decision should involve a careful examination of how much time and money you have to invest in your new business venture.