How to Survive (and Thrive In) the First 5 Years of Your Legal Practice

Around half of new U.S. businesses will fail within five years of opening, according to Gallup. Unfortunately, law firms aren’t immune to the same problems that sink other types of businesses.

If you’re in the early stages of building your firm, knowing how to navigate common pitfalls can make the difference between a sustainable and a doomed practice.

When thinking about the long-term chances of your success, you should first recognize that several circumstances out of your control. That includes pandemics, economic slowdowns, and many other factors.

The only way you can survive as a new law firm is to recognize what you can control, like your flexibility, networking efforts, and efficiency. Then, you must take steps to ensure those factors are working for you, not against you.

You can maximize your chances of success by following these tried-and-true tips.

Look for Holes in Your Market to Find a Niche

The demands of your market will provide your firm the best opportunities for success. If your market is inundated with attorneys who spend boatloads of cash advertising for motorcycle accident cases, then you might be better off looking for case types those firms aren’t targeting, such as dog bites, Social Security Disability cases, or nursing home cases involving arbitration.

Be Flexible and Pounce on Momentum

Don’t adopt the mindset that you’ll only take a specific type of case. When starting a legal practice, you’ll want to be as open minded as possible, and that includes taking cases that you might not have envisioned when you were in law school or coming up with a firm name and logo.

Once you notice a pattern of certain types of inquiries or you find success with a certain type of case, leverage that success to look for more of those case types. For example, if you successfully represent a client in a strongly contested divorce, you might find that you can use that success to generate more leads through word-of-mouth marketing or through case stories on your website.

Make Networking a Priority

Networking can make or break a new law firm. Referring out cases to other firms can generate profit for your firm with virtually no effort on your part. If you encounter a case that would drain your firm’s resources, recognize the opportunity to refer it to another firm that’s better equipped to represent that client.

What’s the best way to network? Go to functions hosted by your state’s bar association. Attend legal conferences. Introduce yourself to as many of your peers as possible, and let them know that you’re interested in giving and receiving referrals.

Make Sure Your Practice Is Efficient

Operational oversights can quickly sink a law firm. You want to be sure that your practice runs efficiently and effectively. This means being highly organized, keeping track of all your leads and ongoing cases, and staying in contact with your clients as their cases progress.

One of the best tools at your disposal is a practice management software, which is what we offer here at backdocket. The right management system can keep all your firm’s documents in a central online location. It can help you and your staff communicate more effectively. It can even automate tasks that would otherwise take up your valuable time.

Backdocket is built specifically for small- to mid-size firms, and we customize our software to fit the way you work instead of forcing you to conform to a different way of running your firm.

Schedule a Free Demo of backdocket

If you’re interested in finding a practice management software to keep your new law firm on track, then let us give you a free demonstration of backdocket. Contact our team anytime to schedule a time to talk.

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