Law Firm Business Planning: Which Type of Law Firm to Start

The first steps in law firm business planning are evaluating the type of law you want to practice and creating a business plan. Here's how.
law firm business planning

Law firm business plans require two things. You need a business idea and a plan to make that business successful, hence the term business plan. The problem is that many people simply wish to race ahead and begin the concrete plan part before they have decided on a viable business. This is like an architect sitting down to plan a building without knowing its purpose, or an engineer designing a car without knowing if the aim is to create a family seven-seater or a speedy two-seat convertible.

Also read our Complete Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Law Firm

That’s why lawyers who wish to start a law firm should first pay due consideration to the contributing factors that may mean you are more likely or less likely to achieve job satisfaction. 

Law Firm Business Planning

For example, let’s say you wish to start a car accident law firm. Did you know that the legal terminology surrounding drink driving may come in three forms? Everybody has heard of ‘driving under the influence’, or DUI, but offenders may also be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) or even operating while impaired (OWI).

If you don’t find this interesting, and if you don’t have a clue what happens if you leave the scene of an accident in Florida, for example, perhaps you also won’t be driven to discover that drink driving laws can also apply not only to cars, but to aircraft and boats.

Finding the area of the law that interests you and compels you to discover more about the national laws and state laws surrounding the topic is step one in deciding which type of law firm you might find to be personally fulfilling. But what else should you consider?

Pay Attention to the Cases That Grip You

Lawyers in training will often move between departments or firms while gaining experience. This is your time to pay attention to the cases that grip you. You’ll know which cases are the ones that grip you the most, because you will find yourself eager to search out similar cases to understand both the mechanics of the grievance and the outcomes.

For example, debt litigation may be an area of law that particularly makes you want to know how people have used the legal system to get their money back. Or perhaps divorce and child custody is an area in which you feel your talents could be used to aid clients in their attempts to achieve their goals. Pay attention to whatever it is that excites you.      

How’s Your Temperament?

Certain career projections within the business of law lend themselves more commonly to lawyers who, for want of a different word, ‘enjoy’ debate – or certainly lawyers who find fulfillment in it. Again, using the debt litigation and family law options from above, we can see that these areas of law are likely to involve conflict. Whereas contract law is an example of the legal business that is more research based and will require strong written communication.  

Founding a law firm is all about the direction you can give the firm as its leader – first, find the direction in which you strive to outdo the competition, and the rest will follow.

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