Tips for Establishing Your Own Law Firm
Lisa Jerles and Mara Geronemous, co-founders of Miami boutique law firm JG Legal, give advice on founding a law firm. Jerles and Geronemous have a cumulative 40 years of experience in litigation and corporate law. Both drew on their experience running All Before Dinner—a networking group for professional women and did the fundamental tasks incorporating their LLC, developing a website, obtaining insurance and selecting a legal research service.
The co-founders give tips on more nuanced considerations that drove the firm’s initial success.
Choose Your Partner Wisely
Selecting the right business partner is paramount. Choose a partner who has skills that complement yours.
Be Prepared to Wear Multiple Hats
Beyond your role as attorney, you’ll find yourself playing the parts of CFO, office manager and administrative assistant. In the first year, launching your own law firm involves a lot of administrative work. You’ll need to select staff and secure services for legal research and billing.
Decide on the Right Level of Administrative Support
The founders launched their firm with minimal administrative support at first, but have added to their team over time. Plan to evaluate your staffing needs every six months as you grow.
Use Your Network
The co-founders used their network to find help – an IT professional they worked with helped them select a document management tool and a former paralegal helped them schedule hearings. Use your contacts to find people who can help.
Define Your Ideal Client
Take the time to define your ideal client and to think about how you can reach those targets rather than reactively accepting every engagement that comes across your desk.
Make a Business Development Plan That Works for You
Another benefit of running your own firm is that you can choose a business development plan that suits your schedule and personality.
Use the Florida Bar Resources!
The Solo & Small Firm Section of the Florida Bar offers many helpful resources to solo practitioners and law firm owners, including access to free CLE courses and networking events.
Are you interested in learning more tips on starting your own firm? Read more in this law.com article.