Starting a Law Firm

Starting a law firm is one of the most exciting things you can do.

To get started you will need to select your law practice niche; launch a website or law blog; get some malpractice insurance; stock your office with the necessary technology and software, including a ScanSnap s1500 scanner for your paperless law office; put together a marketing plan, a social media plan, and a networking plan; decide on your billing structure; and decide if you need an office or if you will be a virtual law office.

Need more ideas? Join other innovative lawyers in the Lawyerist LAB.


How To Make Money in Small Claims Court

For many lawyers, representing clients in small claims court is not financially feasible. Your time is simply too valuable. But advising small claims litigants can be a good way to both increase your monthly income and start developing some courtroom skills if you are just starting out solo.


Episode #42: How to Choose a Law Partner, with Jayne Sykora & Jen Santini

Law partners Jayne Sykora and Jennifer Santini have great advice on figuring out if you want a partner to start your practice, and how to choose one. Before that, Sam and Aaron discuss the security of If This Then That and Zapier. Task Automation Services and Data Security If This Then That and Zapier Are […]


Podcast #41: Reflecting on the Shingle Life, with Josh Camson

Josh Camson reflects on nearly six years of law practice and the column he wrote when he was just starting out: “The Shingle Life.” Plus, Sam and Aaron break down Net Promoter Score, the closest you’ll get to a magic number for growing your law practice. Breaking Down Net Promoter Score Surveying your current and former […]


Creating a Business Plan, Step Two: How to Actually Write Your Business Plan

Write your business plan to organize your law firm's mission, organization, finances, and other goals.


Podcast #32: Sonia Miller Van Oort’s Non-Traditional Law Firm

What does a law firm look like without the traditional hierarchy? Sona Miller Van Oort's firm has a flat governance structure, transparent compensation, and offers alternative-fee arrangements to every client. Plus, why it's silly to let your hardware dictate your law-firm policy.


Podcast #31: Shantelle Argyle’s Non-Profit Law Firm

Shantelle Argyle has a non-profit law firm, something many people talk about but few attempt. Well, the non-profit firm Argyle co-founded doesn't just work, it's flourishing. Find out more on today's podcast after we talk about the ridiculous disconnect between law and science — and by the way, should trials be held virtually?


Podcast #27: Omar Ha-Redeye on Incubating the Future of Access to Justice

Omar Ha-Redeye is (among other impressive things) co-founder of Fleet Street Law, a law practice incubator focusing on innovation and increasing access to justice. In today's podcast, he talks about how the legal industry is changing and what that means for the future of access to justice. But first, we try to figure out why lawyers let receivables become a problem.


Law Firm Revenue Target Calculator

Check up on your revenue targets often enough to gauge the health of your firm.


Lawyer Hourly Rate Calculator

Figuring out what to charge is hard when you are just starting out. It’s made harder by bar associations, which are wary of allowing any discussion of fees on their discussion lists. But whether or not you are going to charge hourly rates, you need to know what your time is worth.


Podcast #23: Bob Young on Being a Plaintiff’s Lawyer in a Defense Firm

In today’s show, ABA Law Practice Division chair Bob Young talks about being a plaintiff’s lawyer in a defense firm, and explains what the ABA LPD is doing to help lawyers with marketing, management, finances, and technology. But first, is solo practice a terrible economic proposition for most people? Is Solo Practice a Terrible Economic […]


3 Charts That Show Solo Practice Doesn’t Pay Like it Used To

What do you make of these charts? Would you still advise someone to go solo?

business travel expenses

How to Deduct Travel Expenses

As a lawyer, you often have to travel to serve your clients. Sitting around is simply not an option. Make sure to deduct those travel expenses for your next tax filing.


Podcast #17: Ken White on Popehat, Censorious Douchebags, and Building a Successful Law Firm

Ken White and his partner started his firm with rented desks and unreliable phones and built their firm to around a dozen lawyers today. Meanwhile, he became a champion of free speech by defending bloggers threatened by censorious douchebags. He also reveals the secret of the name Popehat.Sam & Aaron start out today's show by talking about legal hacking, about which Aaron is a little confused and Sam is pretty interested.


Creating a Business Plan, Step One: What They Are and Why You Need One

A business plan will help you figure out how your firm will stand out when it comes to getting clients, attracting talent, and getting funding.


Podcast #12: Ellie Krug on Starting a Firm and Litigating as Both a Man and as a Woman

Google is going to start directly penalizing websites that aren’t mobile device–friendly. We explain why this is important. Also, in its secret labs Google is learning to tell whether you are lying or not. Just something else to worry about. Then, in this week’s interview, Ellie Krug has a lot of interesting things to say […]