While a record number of people lost or quit jobs and countless businesses caved during the COVID-19 pandemic, a phoenix rises from the ashes. Due to lost traditional roles and/or seeking more flexibility, many chose to strike out on their own.
Those are a couple of huge reasons there’s never been a better time to grow a new law firm, but making the switch is about so much more.
If you’re not sure whether it’s time for you to steer the ship, wonder no longer. Take a look at this list of reasons to start a legal practice.
1. Do Things Your Way
When playing a key role at someone else’s law firm, you do a lot of independent work that contributes to the firm’s cases. No matter how big your role is, though, you have to follow your employer’s nit-picky rules.
These may range from things as basic as preferred writing style conventions to obscure quirks, like buying a particular brand of legal pads and pens. When you have your own firm, you call all the shots to an extent most lawyers never dream of. You’ll feel liberated after going into a legal supply and declaring, “I want these legal exhibit tabs, a couple of those pens, and one of those legal pads,” without a second thought about what brand you’re supposed to buy!
Of course, your choice of office supplies is far from the best reason to stop helping a firm along and lead your own. You’ll also make plenty of bigger decisions that steer your legal practice to success.
You’ll set your firm’s business hours, rates, and policies. If former firms’ rules never sat right with you, you’ll have a chance to transform your business into a new and improved version of what’s familiar. You may well learn that many clients share your opinions and prefer your protocols to your competitors’.
It depends on your perspective on the job, but many would argue that deciding which cases to represent is the most impactful responsibility law firm owners have.
That chief duty also gives you the ultimate amount of freedom to take your career wherever you want it to go. You can make the call to take on new specialties, an opportunity you wouldn’t get working for someone else. You won’t need to switch firms or give up elder law, for example, to pursue family law as well.
2. Get a Fresh Start
If a fresh start is the only thing you’re looking for in a new business venture, opening a legal practice isn’t the easiest way to get there. Your chances of maintaining success as a new firm owner are low if you aren’t an elite lawyer.
However, chances are slimmer that you’ve got sights set on branching out if you don’t have what it takes to helm a successful legal business.
In most cases, starting a new firm doesn’t mean immediately shutting the door on all your previous work. Going from 100% drudgery to 100% top-level decisions and delegation is unrealistic.
Instead of taking that approach, determine what means the most to you and make that the crux of your newfound role. Shifting your duties won’t just reinvigorate your passion for the law, but will better convey your dedication to your clients.
3. Become a Local Public Figure
While it’s far from your biggest responsibility, starting a local law firm is a quick way to become a popular public figure. If you have a friendly yet professional image and do good work, your business will become a town staple in no time.
This shouldn’t be your biggest reason to start a law firm, as you should never let dreams of popularity get in the way of your work. If your desire for public respect comes to the forefront of your business, you’ll look like you’re in law for all the wrong reasons.
On the other hand, if you start a firm and build a reputation for the work you do, it makes you an essential community fixture. If you become a primary lawyer for a smaller region, you could get a smaller overall volume of work with a larger day-to-day impact.
Once you have the label of “best law firm in town,” it’ll take a seismic shift in opinion to upend your business.
4. Lend a Hand Where It’s Most Needed
Starting a law firm helps you rekindle your passion for the job, but revamping your position helps others more than it helps you. Rather than working for a law firm where your talents are underused, helming a firm lets you put resources where they’re most needed.
This could mean practicing the same kind of law, with more emphasis on the services and parts of the process making the most impact. Or, it could mean offering the services your community needs the most. Even if you stay in the same locale, founding a law firm is a great opportunity to reevaluate priorities.
Some communities underwent great turnover in the last couple of years. Much more than in years less affected by world events, people moved from expensive areas into places they could better afford. As such, some firms went from bustling centers of local business to struggling, irrelevant companies in a few short months.
Whether it comes with a change of scenery or not, founding a legal firm can bring your work and life back into harmony. You could take the work you want to do somewhere that needs it or branch away from the less-sought work you were doing to supply your town with more-needed services.
5. Find New Ways to Help
While you can find a new professional purpose by starting a firm to pursue new areas of the law, you can also seize the opportunity to make an impact in a less-direct way.
Unless you want a background role in the business you build, hiring shouldn’t be your biggest priority. However, giving other talented lawyers opportunities to grow their skills and put them to good use is one of many less obvious ways that starting a new law firm helps others.
This aspect of such a career move also makes the effort a wise choice for attorneys looking for a way to turn their work into something manageable and joyful as they approach retirement. Rather than feeling like you’re losing steam for a role you used to excel at, match your interests and energy level by creating opportunities for less-experienced lawyers to take the baton forward.
Resources for Your New Law Firm and Other Business Ventures
Now that you know some top benefits of opening a new law firm, you can start building your business. If you want more tips and resources for your law firm or other business ventures, you’re in the right place. We have articles to help you along this journey or to blaze another trail.
We also have articles on media, finance, and plenty of other topics of interest for professionals and laypeople alike. Click on another blog to become a wiser and more worldly person today.