You strive to work hard each day– winning high-value cases or drafting a summary judgment motion only to get underpaid. Or you put in your all daily only to endure a jerky, ungrateful boss. 

That sucks. And maybe it’s time to go solo. 

But this decision begs the question, “How do you get your first client as a solo lawyer?” Or better still, “What do you need to set out as a solo lawyer?” 

Luckily, law is a profession that requires little or nothing to get going. There are some tips, however, that guarantee that you will succeed as a solo lawyer. Because taking on a dual role as an entrepreneur and a lawyer isn’t a walk in the park without proper guidance. We’ll discuss each tip in this full guide. 

1. Start with the Math

You should do quite a bit of mathematics before starting out. As the saying goes, you plan to fail if you fail to plan. Before you start your solo law firm, have all your financial details right. Do thorough market research to prepare a financial forecast so you know what to expect. 

What are your monthly expenses? How much do you need to keep your business running for the first month? Also, consider your taxes while you are at it. 

This provides an informed understanding of your monthly income. How much must you charge to make the estimated amount in a month? 

Note that you must do market research and align your focus practice area with the market demand. 

succeeding as a solo lawyer

2. Choose a Niche

While big firms may specialize in several proactive areas, solo lawyers have to niche down. Niching down is vital to standing out in the saturated legal world. But before you focus on an area of practice, you must consider several factors beyond passion. 

Let’s examine some of these factors closely: 

Do market research: As a solo lawyer, you must first research the market to determine the area of practice in demand. Research thoroughly to avoid carving a niche in an area of law that has yet to gain popularity in your area. 

Focus on Your Strength: What are your areas of strength? If you have experience in family law, it might be a good idea to focus on divorce and family law. 

Assess your competitors: Researching your competitors gives you an edge in your field. It helps you understand their strengths and weaknesses. 

3. Get your Website and Make It Worth it. 

You are probably wondering why you need a website as a solo lawyer. But that’s where branding comes in. As a solo lawyer, you need all the online publicity you can get, starting with a great website. Your website should reflect your firm’s value, services, and contact details. 

Make it as attractive as possible and focus on SEO efforts to boost your visibility. Many of your clients are online these days, so you need to make your website worth visiting. Do you have a family member who designs websites? Now might be a good time to call in a favor. 

4. Determine Your Pricing Strategy 

This is where it starts getting tricky. As a solo lawyer, you must establish a pricing strategy. That starts with picking the billing model that works best for you. 

For example, do you want to charge hourly, contingencies, or fixed fees? One easy way to decide is to check how your competitors charge for their services. You will definitely get ideas from this. Furthermore, you should consider all the costs of running your firm. 

5. Tap into Your Network

Always use the network at your disposal to your benefit! You probably have links with people who have connections with your potential clients. For instance, a physical therapist might be the connection you need as a personal injury lawyer. However, be careful informing the clients from your current law firm about your decision to start off as a solo lawyer.

Becoming a Solo Lawyer: In A Nutshell

Solo lawyering is a scary defeat and may seem impossible. But you need to make the move, or you’ll regret it in a few years. 

Don’t make such moves without adequate plans; this will set you up for failure before you get your first client. Focus on these tips and do your due diligence before taking the first step.