Law firms come in all shapes and sizes – some are fueled by a single go-getter.
Most solo practitioners prefer it this way and have no intention of expanding their team. However, running a one-person show comes with its own unique set of challenges. In order to make it on your own, you need to be equipped with the right strategy.
Here are some of the top tips for solo practitioners to succeed without the support of a team:
Know What’s Right for You
Before you decide whether or not to venture on as a lone wolf or to build a trusty team, you need to know where you’re going and what it will take to get there.
Many people think that entering a solo practice will give them a greater work/life balance, but that is hardly ever the case. You should be prepared to work long hours and hard days with no one to cover you if you need to take time off. If your intent is to only work a half week, your progress and growth will be slower than those who dedicate their time to their practice.
It would also benefit you greatly to outline some financial goals for the quarter as well as the year. Some practices are more profitable than others; i.e. many practitioners don’t tend to rake in the millions as divorce lawyers. Even though goals are crucial, the number one objective for solo practitioners is to simply make more money than they were at their old digs.
Although simple in nature, this goal can be difficult to reach in the preliminary stages of your business. If you want to pursue a solo practice, be aware of the toll it will take on your life and be prepared to make some personal and financial sacrifices.
Consider the Timing
The hard truth is that there is never an easy time to start a solo practice.
Consider what stage of life you’re in. Are you single with more free time on your hands, or are you starting a family and need to be available to help with the kids? Additionally, the financial risk of starting a solo practice might deter people with more mouths to feed.
Being a solo practitioner isn’t for everyone – and that’s okay. You’ll know instinctively whether or not this lifestyle is right for you. But one thing is true for any solo practitioner: their determination to succeed will get them through all of the hardships that come with working on their own.
Chew Over Other Legal Career Opportunities
We don’t need to tell you that practicing law can be stressful and sometimes unrewarding.
If you truly want to practice law and simply felt like working with a firm was dragging you down, then you are probably right in your hunch that a solo practice is for you.
However, keep in mind that you don’t have to practice in order to have a career in law; in fact, many alternative legal careers can be just as rewarding without putting as much pressure on your shoulders.
Here are some examples of alternative legal careers:
- Legal Content Writer
- Legal Compliance
- Legal Tech
Before beginning a solo practice, consider the possibility that maybe you just need to approach your legal career from a different perspective. This could save you a lot of unnecessary time and stress in the long run. If running a solo practice is still your ultimate goal after these considerations, you’re ready to develop your niche.
Figure Out the Best Practice Area for You
Which practice area are you most passionate about, and why?
Or maybe there’s a more niche practice area with a great need for more lawyers and you want to strike when the iron is hot.
There are some benefits to the second approach:
- You can be a trailblazer in a new, more specialized practice
- You’ll generate more business if you lessen the competition
- You can focus on the quality of clients over volume
This aspect of starting a solo practice is probably the most crucial. Determining the right practice area for you can make or break the experience; think it through in order to make the most out of your career.
Build the Right Toolbox
If you’re already a practicing lawyer, chances are you already have certain software and tools you rely on to do your job effectively. But can you afford the same services as a solo practitioner?
Make note of how much these everyday tools will cost you. It’s also important to trim the fat of tools that no longer serve you: are they outdated or choked with useless data?
Most solo practitioners start off by trying to simplify their day-to-day interactions. A CRM is a huge advantage for solo practitioners; it enables them to keep track of all their interactions with existing clients and leads in one actionable database.
Although it’s always helpful to learn from others, no one tool works for everyone. Some people are hyper-focused on automation while others are more concerned with organization. Assess your needs and find what works best for you.
Create a Strong Digital Presence
There is no one size fits all approach to legal digital marketing. Each practitioner and practice area requires a different strategy. Some solo practitioners may find more success with LinkedIn ads while others might see greater value in webinars and sharing thought leadership-building content.
Regardless of what works best for your practice, at the core of every digital marketing strategy is a clean, concise digital presence. Every solo practitioner needs an online presence that makes the most out of the traffic your digital marketing efforts drive to it and demonstrates your value to potential clients.
Building that online presence can be a daunting task, but you don’t have to do it alone. The Abogados Now team offers custom programs for solo practitioners in order to help get you started on the right foot.
Book a time that works for you and grow your solo practice today!