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Want to Start Your Own Law Practice?

You're in good company.  In the most recent WSBA licensing cycle, 44% of respondents identified as a solo or small-firm practitioner.

But keep in mind that practicing law and running a law office are two very different things, even if you have previous experience in a law firm.

Do not accept new matters until you lay the foundation for your new practice. This means setting goals, obtaining business licenses, finding services and technology, and setting up workflow systems.

Fortunately, there are resources to help you navigate the process:

Start with the Basics

Review wsba guides, get personalized advice, find software and services, consider buying a practice.

Don't see what you're looking for? Contact us .

1. Create a Business Plan

A business plan is a road map to guide your marketing campaigns, networking, and business formation. It should include your fee arrangements, budgets, business strategies, etc.

More information:

The U.S. Small Business Administration   |  Tools and tips for opening a business Small Business Toolkit  | a useful toolkit on BizFillings.com SCORE.org  | a website dedicated to helping people start, run, and grow a business

2. Form a Business Entity

Accepting fees for your services means that you must acquire a business license from the state of Washington and for from the municipality where your practice is located or conducts business.

State of Washington Business Licensing Service   |  Learn about business entity formation and licensing Small Business Guide   |  Licensing guide from the state of Washington

3. Set Up Your Bank and IOLTA Accounts

Banks often ask for your Federal Identification Number (EIN) before you can open a business checking account or a trust (IOLTA) account.

Visit our  IOLTA and Client Trust Accounts page.

Legal Foundation of Washington   |  See the list of financial institutions that are eligible to provide trust accounts

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Review WSBA Guides and Templates

These free guides are available online to help you learn more about practice management.

To view all of the WSBA practice management guides, visit our Guides page .

Receive Personalized Advice

Members of the WSBA are eligible for free, 30-minute confidential consultations by phone or Microsoft Teams. Visit our consultation page to learn more.

Check out the WSBA  Practice Management Discount Network for discounts on products and services you can use in your practice.

American Bar Association |  Start-Up Tech for Any Budget

ABA Law Practice Division |  Legal Technology Resource Center

Washington State Bar News | Technically Speaking  (article on choosing technology services)

If you’re considering going solo, you might be interested in purchasing an established practice from another attorney who is retiring or transitioning to another field.

For more information, visit our page on buying a practice .

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></center></p><h2>Key Elements of Creating a Business Plan for Solo Practitioners</h2><p>For solo practitioners in the legal profession, having a well-crafted solo law firm business plan is essential for long-term success. A business plan provides a roadmap to guide your practice, establish goals, and outline strategies for growth and profitability. In this guide, we’ll delve into the essentials of creating a robust solo law firm business plan for solo practitioners. This comprehensive plan includes market analysis, targeted marketing strategies, and accurate financial forecasting, all tailored to the unique challenges and opportunities of running a solo practice.</p><h2>Executive Summary: Captivating Overview of Your Solo Practice</h2><p>The executive summary is a critical component of a solo practitioner’s business plan, serving as a succinct and powerful snapshot of the entire document. It condenses the key elements of your business plan into a concise overview that captures the attention of readers and gives them a comprehensive understanding of your solo practice.</p><h2>Importance of an Executive Summary</h2><p>As the first section that readers encounter, the executive summary holds significant importance. It acts as a gateway, providing a glimpse into your business and setting the stage for the rest of your business plan. Its purpose is to grab the reader’s attention, highlight the most compelling aspects of your solo practice, and create a positive first impression.</p><p>Within the executive summary, you will summarize essential elements of your business plan. This includes identifying and describing your target market, defining your unique selling proposition (USP), and outlining your marketing strategy. By providing a clear and concise summary of these key aspects, the executive summary enables readers to quickly grasp the fundamental elements that make your solo practice distinct and compelling.</p><h2>Benefits of an Executive Summary</h2><p>One of the primary benefits of the executive summary is its ability to convey the overall viability and potential of your solo practice to investors, partners, or other stakeholders. It allows them to assess the market opportunity, understand your competitive advantage, and evaluate the feasibility of your business model. The executive summary acts as a persuasive tool, compelling readers to delve deeper into your business plan and consider the opportunities for collaboration, investment, or support.</p><p>Furthermore, the executive summary serves as a reference point throughout the business plan. It provides a framework for the subsequent sections, ensuring that the details and strategies discussed align with the overarching goals and objectives outlined in the summary. This cohesiveness and alignment between the executive summary and the rest of the business plan contribute to its effectiveness in conveying a clear and compelling vision for your solo practice.</p><h2>Market Analysis: Understanding The Legal Landscape</h2><p>A thorough market analysis is a critical step for solo practitioners when developing a comprehensive business plan. It involves systematically evaluating the market in which your solo practice operates, enabling you to gain a deeper understanding of your target market, competitors, and overall industry dynamics. By conducting a comprehensive market analysis, you can make informed decisions, tailor your services, and effectively position your practice to attract potential clients.</p><h2>Step 1: Identify Your Target Market</h2><p>The first step in market analysis is defining your target market, considering demographics, legal needs, and competitive environment. Defining specific individuals or businesses needing your services allows focused marketing and tailored service development. Understanding your target market directs efforts and resources efficiently, enhancing your success potential.</p><h2>Step 2: Analyze Market Trends</h2><p>To stay competitive, analyzing market trends that impact your solo practice is essential. Stay informed about changes in the legal landscape, emerging technologies, and evolving client preferences. By monitoring market trends, you can adapt your strategies and stay ahead of the curve. Ensuring that your practice remains relevant and meets the evolving needs of your target market.</p><h2>Step 3: Identify Your Ideal Client</h2><p>Identifying your ideal client is essential for effective market analysis and service alignment. Unique characteristics and preferences of the client dictate service tailoring and marketing strategies. Understanding the ideal client enhances targeted messaging and content relevance, ensuring services meet their specific needs. This approach improves client satisfaction and fosters lasting relationships.</p><h2>Step 4: Assess Demand for Your Services</h2><p>To effectively gauge market demand for your legal services, an in-depth analysis of the market size is essential. Alongside considering the intensity of competition and growth prospects to fully comprehend the demand landscape for your specialized legal services. Insight into service demand enables the identification of unique niches, growth areas, and distinct opportunities versus your competitors. Through this analysis, strategic choices regarding pricing, services provided, and resource distribution can be made to maintain competitiveness and profitability.</p><h2>Competitive Analysis: Differentiating Your Practice</h2><p>Conduct a competitive analysis to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, both direct and indirect. Identify what sets you apart from others and develop a unique selling proposition (USP) that highlights your strengths and addresses the needs of your target market. Differentiating yourself in a crowded legal market is essential for attracting and retaining clients.</p><h2>Marketing Strategy: Effective Outreach and Brand Building</h2><p>Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that outlines how you will reach and attract potential clients. Consider various marketing channels such as online marketing, networking, referrals, and community involvement. Create a marketing plan that includes tactics for branding, online presence, content creation, and client acquisition. A well-designed marketing strategy will help raise awareness of your solo practice and generate a steady flow of potential clients.</p><h2>Organizational Structure: Building an Efficient Practice</h2><p>Consider the organizational structure of your solo practice. Define roles and responsibilities, including support staff or virtual assistants. Create an organizational chart to visualize the structure and ensure you have the necessary resources to run your practice smoothly. Additionally, outline your legal structure (e.g., sole proprietorship or professional corporation) and any regulatory requirements.</p><h2>Financial Projections: Ensuring Financial Health</h2><p>Develop financial projections that outline your expected revenue, expenses, and cash flow. Consider factors such as operating costs, pricing strategies, and billing practices. Estimate your potential client base, average case value, and projected growth. This will provide a clear understanding of your practice’s financial health and help you make informed decisions to ensure profitability and sustainability.</p><h2>Effective Law Firm Incubation Services from Legal Soft</h2><p>Creating a business plan is a critical step for solo practitioners in the legal industry. It provides a roadmap to navigate the complexities of running a successful practice, attracting potential clients, and achieving long-term growth. </p><p>By incorporating market analysis, marketing strategies, and financial projections, solo practitioners can establish a strong foundation for their legal journey. Remember, a well-crafted business plan is not only a document but also a dynamic tool that guides your decisions and actions as a solo practitioner.</p><p>At Legal Soft, we understand the unique challenges faced by solo practitioners in the legal industry. That’s why we offer law firm incubation services , including guidance and support in creating a comprehensive business plan tailored specifically for solo practitioners. </p><p>Book a demo here to get started on creating a business plan that sets you on the path to solo practice success.</p><h2>Latest Blogs</h2><p><center><img style=

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How to Create a Law Firm Business Plan Aimed at Success

Want a successful law firm? Start with a solid business plan. Our guide covers everything that will help you create a roadmap for success.

A firm exists to serve people- so its business plan must take into account those it aims to help. A law firm's business plan lays out the key pillars that will support a practice, from operational details to marketing strategies to financial projections. Furthermore, it should provide a clear roadmap for where the firm hopes to be in the coming years.

In this blog,  we will guide you through the process  of creating a comprehensive law firm business plan that  will help you achieve your goals . Additionally, in our latest Grow Law Firm podcast, our host Sasha Berson conversed with Omar Ochoa, the founding attorney of Omar Ochoa Law Firm, to discuss the topic of creating a law firm business plan aimed at success.

Why Is a Business Plan Important for Law Firms?

A business plan is a vital tool for any law firm to achieve success. It outlines goals, strategies, and the feasibility of business ideas, providing a clear direction and focus for the firm. The plan can be used to secure funding from investors or financial institutions by demonstrating the potential for growth and profitability.

Benefits of a business plan

Moreover, a business plan supports decision-making by evaluating the feasibility of new ventures and assessing potential risks and rewards. It helps to manage resources effectively by setting financial goals and tracking progress, ensuring the firm is making the most of its resources and achieving objectives.

Lastly, a law firm's business plan enables growth by identifying new opportunities and developing strategies to capitalize on them. By planning for the future and setting realistic growth targets, law firms can take their businesses to the next level. Overall, a well-developed business plan is critical for success in the legal industry, providing direction and focus, supporting decision-making, managing resources effectively, and enabling growth.

General Tips for Creating an Attorney Business Plan

Business plan best practices

Building a business plan for law firms is not an easy or intuitive process. By considering the following issues before opening your doors to clients, you have a much better chance of having a stable firm that matches your values and has a clear set of goals.

— Stay Focused

Forming a law firm can feel overwhelming. You have a lot of freedom and can easily get sidetracked into issues that either can wait or do not deserve your attention.

If having a strong law firm website design is important enough for you to include in your plan, you will spend time on that instead of less important matters.

A plan also includes a budget. The process of planning your firm's finances can ensure that you do not overspend (or underspend) as you start your own firm.

The attention to detail that comes from having a plan will help you avoid spreading yourself too thin by focusing on every issue or the wrong issues. Instead, you will maintain your focus on the important issues.

Whether you have law partners or develop a solo law firm business plan, the plan will help you stay focused on your end goals.

— Keep Track of Goals and Results

It is easy to set goals when you  start a law firm and then promptly forget about them.

Your plan will set out your goals and the metrics you will use to determine your progress toward meeting them. The plan should also explain how you will know when you have met them.

For example, you might have a growth goal of reaching five lawyers within two years. Or you might have a revenue goal of collecting $200,000 your first year.

Too many businesses, including law firms, meander on their developmental path. By setting goals and the path for meeting them, you will have guardrails to keep your firm on track.

"If you want to be the number one law firm in the country by revenue right in a 20 year time period, have that be your goal and everything that you do right is in service of that goal. You might not get there, but you're gonna find that you're gonna be very successful either way."

"If you want to be the number one law firm in the country by revenue right in a 20 year time period, have that be your goal and everything that you do right is in service of that goal. You might not get there, but you're gonna find that you're gonna be very successful either way." — Omar Ochoa

— Sort Out Your Own Law Firm Strategy

Developing a clear vision is important for establishing a strategic law firm plan aimed at long-term goals . As Omar Ochoa discusses in the podcast, having very specific milestone visions like where you want to be in five, ten, or fifteen years helps drive the strategy and actions needed to get there.

It's easy to say that you'll run your law firm better. But a plan actually helps you identify how to improve by articulating a concrete strategy. The process of creating the plan will help you pinpoint problems and solutions.

A plan forces consideration of operational details often overlooked. It equates to defining your firm's purpose and then pursuing that vision with purpose-driven strategies and actions. As Omar notes, marrying vision to action through knowledge of other successful law firm models is key to achieving goals.

One area that is frequently overlooked in plans is the inclusion of law firm marketing strategies . Developing this aspect is critical for attracting clients and sustaining growth.

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— Move Forward

You should view your plan as a law firm business development plan that will guide the formation and growth of your firm .

You can review the document periodically to remind you and your law partners of your growth and expansion projections. After this review, you can ensure your growth and expansion remain on track to carry you to your goals.

The review will also tell you whether you need to update your firm's goals. When you started your law firm, you might have been unduly pessimistic or optimistic in your projections. Once you have some time to operate according to your plan, you can update your goals to keep them realistic. You can also update your processes to focus on what works and discard what does not.

The review can provide your projections for what you hope to accomplish and the roadmap for accomplishing it.

Law Firm Business Plan Template

law firm business plan

Each of the websites below includes at least one attorney business development plan template:

  • Business Plan Workbook
  • PracticePro
  • Smith & Jones, P.A.
  • Wy'East Law Firm

You can use a law firm strategic plan example from these sites to start your firm's plan, then turn the plan into a document unique to your circumstances, goals, and needs.

What to Consider before Starting Law Firm Business Plans

Before starting a law firm business plan, think through a few key issues, including:

— Setting the Goals

Reflect deeply on your firm's purpose. Think about who you represent and how you can best meet their needs. A law firm exists for its clients. As you think about your  law firm goals , think about goals for providing legal services to your clients.

"We continue to try to have the biggest impact that we can because ultimately, in my opinion at least, that's what lawyers are for, is to be able to help people and be able to move us forward." — Omar Ochoa

You need to set realistic and achievable goals. These goals should reflect your reasons for starting your law firm. Thus, if you started your law firm because you expected to make more money on your own than working for someone else, set some goals for collections.

While you are setting your goals, think about how you will reach them and the ways you will measure your success. For example, if you want to expand to include ten lawyers within three years, think about intermediate goals at the end of years one and two. This helps measure your progress.

— Choosing Partnership Structure

For lawyers considering a partnership structure, it's important to select partners that complement each other's strengths and weaknesses to help the firm function effectively.

There are 2 main partnership structure options:

  • A single-tier model provides equal decision-making power and liability between partners.
  • Meanwhile, a two-tier structure offers tiers like equity and non-equity partners, providing flexibility and career progression opportunities.

While similarly skilled individuals may clash, partners with differing abilities can succeed together. Some attorneys also choose to run their own firm for flexibility. This allows them to leverage different specialists through occasional joint ventures tailored for specific cases, without the constraints of a single long-term partnership. Furthermore, it highlights how the law firm partnership structures impacts freedom and sustainability.

— Thinking of the Revenue You Need

Calculate how much revenue you need to cover your overhead and pay your salary. Suppose your expenses include:

  • $2,000 per month for office rent
  • $36,000 per year for a legal assistant salary
  • $600 per month for courier expenses
  • $400 per month for a copier lease

thinking of the revenue you need

Assume you want the  median annual salary for lawyers  of $127,990. You need $199,990 per year in revenue to cover your salary and expenses.

But revenue is not the end of the story. Your landlord, vendors, and employees expect to get paid monthly. So, you should also calculate how much cash flow you need each month to cover your hard expenses.

You also need a reserve. Clients expect you to front expenses like filing fees. Make sure you have a reserve to pay these costs and float them until clients reimburse you.

— Defining the Rate of Payment

You need to make some difficult decisions when it comes to setting your own fee structure. If you choose a higher billing rate, you will need to work less to meet your revenue goals. But you might not find many clients who are able to pay your fees.

Whether you charge a flat fee, contingent fee, or hourly fee, you should expect potential clients to compare your fees to those of your direct and indirect competitors. Remember, your firm competes against other lawyers, online services like  LegalZoom , and do-it-yourself legal forms books.

Finally, you need to comply with your state's rules of professional conduct when setting your fees. The  ABA's model rules  give eight factors to determine the reasonableness of a fee. These factors include the customary fee for your location and the skill required to provide the requested legal services.

— Making the Cases in Your Law Practice Meet the Revenue Needs

Figure out how much you need to work to meet your revenue target . If you charge a flat fee, you can simply divide your revenue target by your flat fee.

Hourly fee lawyers can calculate the number of hours they need to bill and collect. However, law firm owners rarely bill 100% of the hours they work due to the administrative tasks they perform to run a firm. Also, you will probably not collect 100% of your billings, and clients could take 90 days or longer to pay.

Contingency fee lawyers will find it nearly impossible to project the cases they need. You have no way of knowing the value of your cases in advance. You also have no idea when your cases will settle. You could work on a case for years before you finally get paid.

Parts of a Business Plan for Law Firm Formation: Structure

A law firm business plan is a written document that lays out your law firm goals and strategies.

For many businesses, a business plan helps secure investors. But the ethical rules prohibit law firms from seeking funding from  outside investors or non-lawyer shareholders .

Parts of a Business Plan

Your business plan is for you and your law partners. It will help you manage everyone's expectations and roles in the firm. Here is a law firm business plan example to help you see the parts and pieces in action.

— Executive Summary

An executive summary combines the important information in the business plan into a single-page overview. Your plan will include details like projections, budgets, and staffing needs. This section highlights the conclusions from those detailed analyses.

Your executive summary should include :

  • A mission statement explaining the purpose of your firm in one or two sentences
  • A list of the core values that your firm will use whenever it makes decisions about its future
  • The firm's overarching goals for itself, its lawyers, and the clients it serves
  • The unique selling proposition that sets your firm apart from other firms in the legal industry

You should think of this section as a quick way for people like lenders, potential law partners, and merger targets, to quickly understand the principles that drive your firm.

— Law Firm Description and Legal Structure

First, you will describe what your law firm does. You will describe your law practice and the clients you expect to serve.

Second, you will describe how your firm operates. The organization and management overview will explain your legal structure and the management responsibilities of you and your law partners.

This section should fill in the details about your firm's operation and structure by:

  • Describing the scope of the legal services you offer and your ideal clients
  • Restating your mission statement and core values and expanding upon how they will guide your firm
  • Explaining your location and where your clients will come from
  • Describing your business entity type and management structure
  • Detailing your unique selling proposition , including the features that distinguish your firm from your competitors

When someone reads this section, they should have a clear picture of what you will create.

— Financial Calculations

Your attorney business plan explains where your firm's revenue comes from and where it goes. This is where your skills as a lawyer begin to diverge from your skills as a business owner. You may need to learn a few new accounting concepts so you can perform the analyses expected in a financial plan.

You will need a  financial plan  for at least the first year.

If you plan to seek a bank loan or line of credit, your bank may need a financial plan that covers three years or longer.

You will need more than a few rough numbers for a useful business plan. Instead, you will need to estimate your expenses and revenues as accurately as possible.

"Take some financial statements courses, take some managerial accounting courses that teach you how to track costs, how to frame costs in a way that you're looking at the important costs." — Omar Ochoa

You might need to contact vendors and service providers to get precise costs. You will probably need to track your billings with your prior firm to predict your revenues. If you are opening a law firm after law school or an in-house job, you may need a competitive analysis to show what similar law firms earn in your location and practice area.

Some reports you may need in your business plan include:

  • Revenue analysis listing the fees you will collect each month
  • Budget describing your monthly and annual expenses
  • Financial projections combining the revenue analysis and budgeted expenses to predict your profit margins
  • Cash flow statement showing how your revenues and expenses affect your cash on hand.

Your cash flow statement might be the most important financial report because it explains how your bank balance will fluctuate over time. If your clients take too long to pay their bills or you have too many accounts payable due at the same time, your cash flow statement will show you when money might get tight.

— Market Analysis

A market analysis will tell you where you fit into the legal market in your location and field. You need a competitive analysis to understand the other lawyers and law firms that will compete with you for potential clients. You can also analyze their marketing messages to figure out how to stand out from the competition.

How to conduct market analysis

A competitive analysis will tell you what services other firms offer, how much they charge, and what features help your competitors succeed.

Your analysis should include a discussion about your :

  • Ideal clients and what you can do to help them
  • Market size and whether you offer something clients need
  • Competitors and what they offer to clients
  • Competitive advantages and how you can market them to potential clients

You can also develop and hone your marketing strategy based on the benefits you offer to clients over your competitors. Finally, a market analysis can tell you the locations and practice areas in which your firm may expand in the future.

Your market analysis helps you focus your efforts on your legal niche.

— Marketing Plan

A marketing plan sets out the steps you will take to reach your target market. Your marketing strategy will take your market analysis and turn it into a plan of action.

You will start with the results of your market analysis identifying your clients, your competitors, and your competitive advantages. You will then discuss the message you can deliver to potential clients that captures the advantages you have over your competition.

Questions for marketing plan creation

Some advantages you might have over other lawyers and law firms might include tangible benefits like lower billing rates or local office locations. Other advantages might provide some intangible benefits like more years of experience or state-bar-certified specialists in those states that allow specialization.

You will then discuss your marketing plan. A marketing plan explains :

  • Characteristics of the target market you want to reach
  • What your competition offers
  • The distinct benefits you offer
  • A message you can use to explain what separates you from your competition
  • Your action plan for delivering your message
  • Your goals for your action plan, such as the number of client leads, new clients, or new cases per month

Your action plan will include the marketing channels you want to use to spread your message. Marketing specialists can help you identify the best channels for your marketing message and client base.

For example, if you practice intellectual property law, you need to reach business owners and in-house lawyers who want to protect their companies' brands, inventions, artistic works, and trade secrets. A marketing agency may help you create a marketing strategy geared toward trade publications and business magazines.

However, IP lawyers require an entirely different marketing strategy than firms that practice family law. Family lawyers need to market to individuals and will tailor their marketing efforts toward different marketing channels and messages.

Even if you expect most of your client leads to come from referrals, you still need brand recognition for those leads to find you. You should consider a website, basic SEO, legal directory, and bar association listings.

— Your Law Firm Services

You will outline the services your law firm offers to clients. Lawyers with established clients and an existing legal practice can simply describe what they already do.

Any new law firm or lawyer transitioning from other practice areas should consider:

  • Practice areas you know and enjoy
  • Overlapping practice fields that will not require extra staff, such as personal injury and workers' comp
  • Related legal services your clients may need, such as wills and guardianship

By offering needed services you can competently provide, you can gain clients and avoid referring existing clients out to other lawyers.

— Your Law Firm Budget

You should approach your budget as a living document. You will spend more money as you add more lawyers and staff members to your firm. But you can also look for ways to reduce your operating costs through investments in technology services and other cost-saving measures .

Your budget should set out the amount you expect to initially spend on start-up expenses. As you create your start-up budget, remember many of these expenses are not recurring. Furniture, computers, and office space build-outs can last several years. In short, your budget should answer the question, "What do you need to open a law firm?"

It should also lay out the amount you plan to spend each month to operate your firm. Here, you will include your recurring expenses, such as rent, staff salaries, insurance premiums, and equipment leases.

Using your operating budget, you will determine the amount of money you need to start and run your firm. This, in turn, will tell you whether you need to take out a loan or tap into your savings to start your law firm. You will need a plan for paying your expenses and day-to-day costs while your firm gets onto its feet.

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Some Useful Tips on Creating a Business Plan for Law Firm Creation and Development

As you draft your law firm business plan, you should focus on the process. By putting your thoughts down in writing, you will often identify issues you had not previously considered.

Some other tips for drafting your business plan include:

— Describe Both Strengths and Weaknesses

You want to project confidence as you prepare your business plan. Remember, you will use this plan to approach potential law partners, lenders, and merger targets. You need to show that you have a solid plan backed up by your financial projections.

At the same time, you need to remain realistic. Write a business plan that describes your business challenges as well as your competitive advantages.

For example, if you have a strong competitor that has a solid  law firm reputation management  and many of the clients you will target, acknowledge the difficulty of getting those clients to switch law firms. Describe your marketing strategies for approaching and pitching your law firm to those clients.

— Think Ahead

Remember that your business plan sets out the roadmap for both the establishment and operation of your law firm . Think about issues that could arise as your firm grows and matures.

For example, you may have a goal of reaching ten lawyers in three years. But as your staff grows, you may need a human resources manager. You may also seek to handle your payroll in-house instead of outsourcing it to a payroll provider. These changes will create ripple effects throughout your business plans. You will incur costs when you add staff members. You will also realize benefits like increased attorney efficiency.

At the same time, any projections more than five years into the future will likely be useless. Your firm and its clients will evolve, and technology will change how you practice law.

— Be Clear about Your Intentions

As you develop your plan, you should keep its purpose in mind. First, you want to outline your core values and goals for your law firm. Set out the reasons why you started your law firm and what you intend to accomplish with it.

"You can't just be doing something because you want prestige. There's gotta be more to that, right? You have to have a purpose that you're following. And if you've got that, that purpose is like gravity, right? You will always be grounded." — Omar Ochoa

Second, you set out your path to achieving those goals. This will include boring technical information like how much you spend on legal research every month. But it will also explain your approach to solving problems consistent with your mission statement and philosophy for law firm management.

— Consult and Update If Necessary

Your plan should guide you as you build your firm. It contains your goals and the roadmap for reaching them. But your plan is not carved in stone.

As you face challenges, you will consult your plan to make sure you approach these challenges in a way consistent with achieving your goals. But under some circumstances, you might find that the plan no longer provides the right solution.

As you work with your firm and your law partners, your goals, processes, and solutions to problems may evolve. The technology your firm uses may change. Your law firm's costs may go up with inflation or down as you realize economies of scale. You should update your plan when this happens.

Final Steps

There is no recipe for creating a business plan for law firm development. What goes into your mission statement and plan will depend on several factors, including your law firm's business model. But this is a feature, not a bug of developing a business plan.

The process of business planning will help you develop solutions to issues you might have overlooked. If you have law partners, just going through the process of creating a law firm business plan can ensure that everyone is on the same page.

As you create your plan, the process itself should provoke thoughts and ideas so you can have a unique law firm tailored to your goals and values. This will help you get exactly what you wanted when you started in the legal industry.

To learn how to expand your client base as your firm grows, check out Grow Law Firm, a professional  law firm SEO agency .

Founder of Omar Ochoa Law Firm

Omar Ochoa is a founding attorney with extensive experience in complex litigation, including antitrust, class actions, and securities cases. He has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for clients and has been nationally recognized as one of the best young trial lawyers in the country.

Omar graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in business administration, accounting, and economics. He later earned his law degree from the university, serving as editor-in-chief of the Texas Law Review. He has clerked for two federal judges and has worked at the prestigious law firm Susman Godfrey L.L.P. Omar is dedicated to seeking excellence. He has been recognized for his outstanding achievements in antitrust litigation.

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19 Mar 2020

How to Write Your Law Firm Business Plan

Cari Twitchell

By Cari Twitchell

News Articles Healthy Strategy

Every new law practice needs a business plan . This is a guide to creating one.

Here is what should go in your business plan once you’ve decided about your law firm business model.

Section One: Executive Summary

This section provides a succinct overview of your full plan. It should also include the following:

  • Mission statement.  This statement should be one or two sentences at most, so you can quickly state it off the top of your head at any given moment. It should clearly state your value and offer inspiration and guidance, while being plausible and specific enough to ensure relevancy. For further direction on how to write a mission statement, read this Entrepreneur article .
  • Core values.  Your core values outline the strategy that underpins your business. When written well, they help potential employees and clients understand what drives you every day. When written incorrectly, they include meaningless platitudes that become yet another thing forgotten or ignored during practice. To pack the most punch into your core values, write them as actionable statements that you can follow. And keep them to a minimum: two to four should do just fine. You can read more about writing core values at  Kinesis .
  • What sets you apart.  If you are like every other attorney out there, how will you stand out? This is known as your unique selling proposition (USP). What is it that will convince clients to turn to you instead of your competition? By clearly stating your USP, you identify what it is about your firm that will ensure your success.

Are you feeling slightly overwhelmed by all of this? Then write this section last, as you’ll find much of what you write here is a summary of everything you include in subsequent sections.

Section Two: Company Description

Write a succinct overview of your company. Here is what it should cover:

  • Mission statement and values.  Reiterate your mission statement and core values here.
  • Geographic location and areas served.  Identify where your offices are located and the geographic areas that you serve.
  • Legal structure and ownership. State whether you are an LLC, S-Corp or other legal entity. If you are something other than a sole proprietor, identify the ownership structure of your firm. How does your law firm business model influence the ownership type?
  • Firm history.  If you are writing or updating a plan for a law firm already in existence, write a brief history that summarizes firm highlights and achievements.

This section is often the shortest. Do not spend much time or space here. Touch on the major points and move on.

Section Three: Market Analysis

Done correctly, a well thought out market analysis will help you identify exactly what your potential clients are looking for and how much you should charge for your services. It also enables you to identify your competitors’ weaknesses, which in turn helps you best frame your services in a way that attracts your preferred clientele. You probably already considered some of these subjects when deciding on the small law firm business model, but you need to document them.

Elements of a market analysis include:

  • Industry description.  Draft up a summary that encompasses where your particular legal niche is today, where it has been, and which trends will likely affect it in the future. Identify everything from actual market size to project market growth.
  • Target audience.  Define your target audience by building your ideal client persona. Use demographics such as location, age, family status, occupation and more. Map out the motivations behind their seeking your services and then how it is you are best able to satisfy their requirements.
  • Competitive analysis.  This is where you dive into details about your competitors. What do they do well? Where do they fall short? How are they currently underserving your target market? What challenges do you face by entering legal practice in your field of choice?
  • Projections.  Provide specific data on how much your target audience has to spend. Then narrow that down to identify how much you can charge per service.

A proper market analysis includes actual data to support your analysis. If you are unsure of where to find data, Bplans  has a great list of resources for you to use. And if you would like to read further about conducting a market analysis, check out this article from the Small Business Administration.

Section Four: Organization & Management

This section goes into detail about you and any others who may have ownership interest in the firm. The small law firm business model section here should incorporated into the management documentation. Do not be afraid to brag a bit!

  • What is your educational background?
  • What experience do you currently have?
  • Why are you the right person to run your firm?

If there are other individuals involved, it is a good idea to insert your organizational chart here. Visuals help quickly convey information and break up otherwise blocky text.

Section Five: Services

The Services section is the heart of your law firm business model plan. It is where you dive into all aspects of your services, including:

  • The problem(s) you are addressing.  What pain points do your preferred clients experience? What can they do right now to alleviate those pain points? Answer these questions, and then take the extra step to explain how those current solutions fail to adequately address their problems.
  • The solution(s) you are providing.  This describes how your solutions better resolve your prospective market’s needs. This not only includes the actual work you do, but the benefits that each client will receive based on your work.
  • An overview of your competition.  Describe your competition here. For instance, which other solo attorneys and firms provide the same solutions as you? What are your advantages over these competitors? What do you differently when providing your solutions? How will clients gain additional benefits by seeking out your services instead of working with your competitors?

Section 6: Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy section needs to address the three P’s:

  • Positioning.  How will you position your law firm and your services? What will you say to present your practice in the best light? What short statements can you use to entice a potential client to pursue your services?
  • Pricing.  How much will you charge? How does that fit within the legal industry? Within your niche industry? What do clients receive for that price?
  • Promotion.  Which sales channels and marketing activities will you pursue to promote your practice? Who is in charge of these activities? Even if you plan to build your law firm on the basis of word-of-mouth referrals, you must remember that most referrals will still look for information about you before contacting you. Know where they will look and ensure you are there.

Section Seven: Financials

Last comes the financials section. It is the key component to your plan if you are going to seek funding to get your practice off the ground. It is imperative that you complete this section even if you are not seeking funding, however, as you need to paint a clear financial picture before opening your doors.

Two main items make up this section: budgeting and forecasting (sales and cash flow). Answer these questions to help you address these items:

  • How much starting capital do you need?
  • How much money will it cost to keep your practice operating on a month-to-month basis?
  • How many cases will you need to close each month to break even?
  • How many cases would you need to close to make a profit?
  • What is your projected profit and loss for the year?

This section often incorporates graphs and other images, including profit-and-loss and cash-flow tables. The more specific you get with your numbers, the more likely you are to succeed!

One final note: If your goal is to submit your business plan to potential funders, you want to do everything you can to make sure your plan stands out. One good way to do this is to work with a designer to artfully format your plan. Great presentation can take you a long way.

Originally published 2017-09-23. Republished 2020-07-31.

Cari Twitchell

About the Author



Website: https://www.customcontentllc.com

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Last updated October 7th, 2022

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solo law practice business plan


Solo Law Practice Business Plan [Sample Template]

By: Author Joy Nwokoro

Home » Business Plans » B2C Sector

A solo law practice is a type of legal business structure where a single lawyer operates and manages their law firm independently.

In this setup, the lawyer is solely responsible for all aspects of the practice, including legal work, client management, administrative tasks, marketing, and business development. Solo practitioners can focus on a specific practice area or offer a range of legal services based on their expertise.

Some choose to specialize, while others prefer to provide general legal services to a broader client base. Some solo practitioners may eventually decide to expand their practice by hiring associates or forming partnerships. This can lead to growth in the business and the ability to handle more complex cases.

Steps on How to Write a Solo Law Practice Business Plan

Executive summary.

John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC is a distinguished legal firm based in Detroit, Michigan, dedicated to providing comprehensive legal solutions to individuals and businesses across a wide range of practice areas. Founded by John Justin, an accomplished attorney with a proven track record, our firm is committed to delivering personalized, efficient, and effective legal services tailored to the unique needs of our clients.

As we continue to build our reputation as a trusted legal partner in Detroit, John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC aims to expand its practice areas, increase community engagement, and potentially explore opportunities for strategic partnerships to enhance our service offerings.

Company Profile

A. our products and services.

At John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC, we offer a diverse array of legal services, including but not limited to:

Civil Litigation: Skilled representation in civil disputes, ensuring the protection of our client’s rights and interests.

Business Law: Expert guidance in business formation, contracts, transactions, and general counsel services.

Family Law: Compassionate support in family-related matters, including divorce, child custody, and spousal support.

Real Estate Law: Proficient assistance in real estate transactions, property disputes, and landlord-tenant matters.

Estate Planning: Tailored estate planning strategies to secure our clients’ legacies and provide for their loved ones.

Personal Injury: Aggressive advocacy for individuals who have suffered personal injuries due to negligence.

b. Nature of the Business

Our solo law practice business will operate the business-to-consumer and business-to-business model.

c. The Industry

John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC will operate in the legal services industry.

d. Mission Statement

At John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC, our mission is to provide unwavering dedication to our client’s legal needs through personalized, compassionate, and expert legal counsel. We are committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity, professionalism, and excellence in every case we handle.

Our aim is to not only deliver favorable outcomes but to also build enduring attorney-client relationships founded on trust, understanding, and exceptional service.

e. Vision Statement

Our vision at John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC is to be recognized as a leading force in the legal landscape, known for our client-centric approach, legal prowess, and commitment to justice. We envision a future where individuals and businesses can confidently turn to us for comprehensive legal solutions, knowing that they will receive the utmost attention, respect, and expertise.

f. Our Tagline (Slogan)

John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC – “Advocating Your Rights, Guiding Your Journey”

g. Legal Structure of the Business (LLC, C Corp, S Corp, LLP)

John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC will be formed as a Limited Liability Company (LLC).

h. Our Organizational Structure

  • Chief Legal Officer (Owner)
  • Administrative Staff (Contract)
  • Customer Care Executive (Contract/Virtual)

i. Ownership/Shareholder Structure and Board Members

  • John Justin (Owner and Chairman/Chief Executive Officer) 100 Percent Shares

SWOT Analysis

A. strength.

  • Founder John Justin brings extensive legal knowledge and experience to the practice.
  • Ability to provide individualized attention and tailored solutions to clients.
  • Commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.
  • Building strong attorney-client relationships based on trust and understanding.
  • Strategically located in Detroit, serving a diverse and potentially growing client base.

b. Weakness

  • As a solo practice, resources for handling multiple cases and tasks may be constrained.
  • Solely dependent on the founder’s availability and capacity to manage the practice.
  • Fewer colleagues within the practice for collaboration and knowledge-sharing.
  • Facing competition from larger firms with broader resources and areas of practice.
  • Challenges in managing workload and personal time due to the nature of solo practice.

c. Opportunities

  • Opportunities to focus on specific practice areas and become a go-to expert.
  • Increasing demand for legal services in the Detroit area.
  • Opportunities to become involved in local events and initiatives.
  • Collaborations with other professionals for cross-referrals.
  • Integration of legal tech tools to enhance efficiency and client service.

i. How Big is the Industry?

The solo law practice services industry is a niche segment within the legal services industry hence it is not considered a big line of business.

ii. Is the Industry Growing or Declining?

The solo law practice services industry, like the broader legal services industry, tends to have variations based on factors such as economic conditions, legal trends, technological advancements, and societal changes.

Historically, solo law practices have experienced both growth and challenges. On one hand, the personalized approach and often lower overhead costs of solo practitioners can be appealing to certain clients, and solo practitioners can offer specialized services or focus on niche markets.

On the other hand, they might face difficulties in terms of competing with larger firms, managing the workload of a sole practitioner, and keeping up with technological advancements.

iii. What are the Future Trends in the Industry?

Solo law practitioners are increasingly adopting legal technology to streamline their operations. This includes case management software, document automation tools, online billing systems, and virtual meeting platforms. Technology can enhance efficiency, improve client communication, and reduce administrative burdens.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote work and virtual services in the legal industry. Many solo practitioners started offering virtual consultations, remote client meetings, and online document signing. This trend may continue as clients become accustomed to these conveniences.

Solo practitioners are finding success by specializing in specific practice areas or niches. Focusing on a specialized area of law allows them to position themselves as experts and attract clients seeking tailored solutions. Clients are increasingly seeking transparency and value in legal services.

Solo practitioners are exploring alternative fee arrangements, such as flat fees, subscription models, and unbundled services, to provide cost-effective options and predictability for clients.

iv. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

No, there are no existing niches when it comes to solo law practice business because solo law practice is a niche idea in the legal services industry.

v. Can You Sell a Franchise of Your Business in the Future?

John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC will not sell franchises in the near future.

  • Fluctuations in the economy affect clients’ ability to afford legal services.
  • Changes in laws and regulations impacting practice areas and services.
  • Pressure from larger firms and new entrants in the legal market.
  • Meeting evolving client expectations for quick responses and digital interaction.
  • Potential for burnout due to the demands of managing a solo practice.

i. Who are the Major Competitors?

In the solo law practice services industry, solo practitioners often compete with a variety of legal service providers, each with their own strengths and areas of expertise. Here are some of the major competitors that solo law practitioners might encounter:

  • Online Legal Service Platforms
  • Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) Companies
  • Virtual Law Firms
  • Freelance Attorneys
  • Legal Aid Organizations
  • DIY Legal Solutions
  • Public Defenders and Government Attorneys
  • Consultants and Advisors
  • Large Law Firms .

ii. Is There a Franchise for Solo Law Practice Business?

No, there are no franchise opportunities for solo law practice business.

iii. Are There Policies, Regulations, or Zoning Laws Affecting Solo Law Practice Business?

Yes, there are various policies, regulations, and zoning laws that can affect the operation of a solo law practice business in the United States. However, it’s important to note that these regulations can vary depending on the state, and local jurisdiction, and the specific nature of the legal services being provided.

Most jurisdictions require businesses, including solo law practices, to obtain the necessary business licenses and permits to operate legally. These licenses can vary depending on the location and the legal structure of the business (sole proprietorship, LLC, etc.).

Attorneys are required to be licensed by the state bar association to practice law. Each state has its own bar association, and attorneys must meet specific educational, ethical, and professional requirements to obtain and maintain their law licenses.

Rules for attorney advertising and solicitation vary by state and are regulated by state bar associations. Attorneys must adhere to guidelines regarding truthful and non-deceptive advertising, as well as restrictions on certain types of solicitation.

Attorneys are bound by ethical rules and guidelines established by state bar associations. These rules cover areas such as conflicts of interest, client confidentiality, and professional conduct.

Attorneys often deal with sensitive client information. There may be federal and state regulations related to data privacy and security, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and state data breach notification laws.

Marketing Plan

A. who is your target audience.

i. Age Range: Adults, primarily ranging from 25 to 65 years old.

ii. Level of Education: Generally, individuals with at least a college degree or higher, as legal services often involve complex matters that require a certain level of education to understand.

iii. Income Level: Middle to upper-middle-income individuals and families, as legal services can be a significant investment. However, our practice’s specialization might also attract clients from various income levels.

iv. Ethnicity: This can vary based on our geographical location. Our practice could potentially serve a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds, depending on the demographics of our area.

v. Language: Primarily English-speaking clients, but if our area has a diverse population, offering services in multiple languages could be an advantage.

vi. Geographical Location: Detroit, Michigan, and its surrounding areas. Our primary focus would likely be on clients within our immediate geographic vicinity, but we might also attract clients from nearby suburbs or communities.

vii. Lifestyle: Our target audience might consist of individuals who value professional services and are seeking personalized legal assistance. They might have various lifestyles, including professionals, business owners, families, and retirees.

b. Advertising and Promotion Strategies

  • Content marketing
  • Deliberately Brand Our Office Facility
  • Email marketing
  • Events and sponsorships
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
  • Referral marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO).

i. Traditional Marketing Strategies

  • Broadcast Marketing -Television & Radio Channels.
  • Marketing through Direct Mail.
  • Print Media Marketing – Newspapers & Magazines.
  • Out-of-home (OOH) advertising – Public transit like Buses and Trains, Billboards, Street shows, and Cabs.
  • Leverage direct sales, direct mail (postcards, brochures, letters, fliers), tradeshows, print advertising (magazines, newspapers, coupon books, billboards), referral (also known as word-of-mouth marketing), radio, and television.

ii. Digital Marketing Strategies

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Content Marketing.
  • Email Marketing.
  • Influencer Marketing.
  • Mobile Marketing.
  • Social Media Marketing Platforms.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing.

iii. Social Media Marketing Plan

  • Create a personalized experience for our customers and their families.
  • Create an efficient content marketing strategy.
  • Create a community for our target market and potential target market.
  • Create profiles on relevant social media channels.
  • Gear up our profiles with a diverse content strategy.
  • Start using chatbots.
  • Run cross-channel campaigns.
  • Use brand advocates.

c. Pricing Strategy

John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC’s pricing strategy will consider factors such as the cost of value of service offering, and the level of competition in the market. We will also analyze the competition’s pricing and services to ensure the business remains competitive while maintaining profitability. Here is our pricing strategy:

  • Tiered Pricing
  • All-Inclusive Pricing
  • Ala Carte Pricing
  • Move-In Specials
  • Long-Term Contracts

Sales and Distribution Plan

A. sales channels.

John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC will utilize various sales channels to reach and acquire customers. Our sales channels will include both direct and indirect channels.

We will employ a direct sales approach where its representatives proactively engage with potential customers through in-person meetings, presentations, and events. This approach allows for direct communication and relationship-building with individuals and businesses interested in solo law practice services.

We will collaborate with other legal service providers, employers, insurance companies, and non-profit organizations. Building partnerships allows for cross-promotion, referrals, and access to a wider customer base. These partnerships can be established through networking, industry events, and targeted outreach.

John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC will evaluate and prioritize the most effective sales channels based on their target audience, market dynamics, and available resources.

b. Inventory Strategy

Our inventory strategy will involve managing and tracking the availability of essential office supplies and equipment. The inventory strategy should involve maintaining an adequate stock of these items to ensure smooth operations.

The strategy will also involve setting par levels for inventory, monitoring usage, and ordering supplies in advance to ensure that there are no shortages. We will also implement software systems to automate inventory management and improve efficiency.

Having effective inventory management will help ensure that residents receive high-quality care while reducing waste and minimizing costs for the business.

c. Payment Options for Customers

Here are the payment options that John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC will make available to her clients;

  • Apple Pay and Google Wallet
  • Gift cards and store credit
  • Credit and debit cards
  • Installment payments
  • Cash on service delivery.

d. Return Policy, Incentives, and Guarantees

As a legal services provider, the concepts of return policies, incentives, and guarantees might work a bit differently compared to traditional retail businesses. Here’s how we will approach these aspects for John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC:

Return Policy

Legal services are typically not products that can be returned in the same way as physical goods. However, we will focus on client satisfaction and ensuring that our clients feel they are receiving value for their investment. If a client expresses dissatisfaction with our services, we could consider offering to review their case and address any concerns they have.

Instead of traditional incentives like discounts or promotions, we will offer value-added services or special consultations. For instance, we will provide a free initial consultation to assess a potential client’s case or offer a complimentary legal resource guide related to our practice area.

Guarantees in the legal field can be tricky due to the complexities and uncertainties of legal outcomes. Instead, we will emphasize our dedication to providing high-quality representation, ethical practices, and a commitment to pursuing the best possible outcomes for our clients.

e. Customer Support Strategy

  • Developing a strong customer support strategy is essential for providing excellent service and building lasting relationships with our clients.
  • We will provide multiple communication channels such as phone, email, and potentially live chat.
  • Set clear response time expectations for different types of inquiries.
  • Ensure that all communications are professional, respectful, and easy to understand.
  • We aim to respond to client inquiries and messages promptly, ideally within 24 hours.
  • Prioritize urgent matters and emergencies, showing clients that we’re there when they need us.

Operational Plan

Creating a comprehensive operational plan is crucial for the successful functioning of John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC. This plan outlines the day-to-day activities, processes, and procedures that will help us achieve our business goals.

  • We have defined the specific practice areas we will focus on, outlining our expertise and services.
  • We will outline the process of gathering client information, assessing their needs, and initiating engagement agreements.
  • We will detail how we will manage cases, including documentation, research, and communication.
  • We will provide regular updates to clients about the status of their cases or matters.
  • We have an outline of how we will handle document storage, organization, and security, especially for sensitive client information.

a. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Solo Law Practice Business?

A typical day at a solo law practice business can vary greatly depending on the specific practice areas, client demands, and the lawyer’s preferences.

Remember, flexibility is key in a solo law practice. Some days might be more focused on client meetings, while others might involve extensive legal research or document drafting. Adapting to the changing needs of your clients and your practice is essential for success.

b. Production Process

There is no production process when it comes to solo law practice business.

c. Service Procedure

  • Potential clients contact your practice through phone, email, or your website to inquire about your legal services.
  • Schedule an initial consultation to discuss the potential client’s legal needs, gather information about their case, and assess whether you can assist them.
  • If both parties agree to move forward, provide the potential client with an engagement agreement that outlines the scope of services, fees, and other terms
  • Draft legal documents, contracts, agreements, pleadings, or other necessary paperwork based on the case requirements
  • File necessary documents with the court, and attend hearings, trials, or other legal proceedings as required.
  • Work towards achieving a settlement or resolution that aligns with the client’s goals and best interests.
  • Ensure all legal documents are properly finalized and submitted to relevant parties.
  • Prepare invoices for the services provided, detailing the fees and expenses incurred.
  • Safely store and retain client-related documents and information according to legal requirements and ethical standards.

d. The Supply Chain

A supply chain is not applicable to a solo law practice business.

e. Sources of Income

John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC generates income by offering solo law practice services.

Financial Plan

A. amount needed to start your solo law practice business.

John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC would need an estimate of $30,000 to successfully set up our solo law practice business in the United States of America. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all our staff for the first month of operation.

b. What are the Cost Involved?

  • Business Registration Fees – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $1,300.
  • Marketing, Branding, and Promotions – $1,000.
  • Insurance – $1,400.
  • Rent/Lease – $10,000.
  • Other start-up expenses include commercial satellite TV subscriptions, stationery ($500), and phone and utility deposits ($2,800).
  • Operational Cost (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $10,000
  • Furnishing and Equipment – $5,000
  • Website: $600
  • Miscellaneous: $1,000

c. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much will it cost?

John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC will not build a new facility for our solo law practice business; we intend to operate from a shared office space.

d. What are the Ongoing Expenses for Running a Solo Law Practice Business?

  • Office Space
  • Monthly costs for electricity, water, heating, cooling, and reliable internet connection.
  • Expenses for stationery, pens, paper, printers, computers, software, and other office essentials.
  • Subscription fees for legal research databases, case management software, document management tools, and billing software.
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Fees for bar association memberships, legal organizations, and networking groups.
  • Costs for phone services, email hosting, and virtual meeting platforms.
  • If you need to travel to court, client meetings, or other locations, consider fuel, parking, and public transportation costs.
  • Miscellaneous Expenses

e. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?

  • Chief Legal Officer (Owner) – $42,000 Per Annum
  • Administrative Staff – $24,000 Per Annum
  • Customer Care Executive – $24,000 Per Annum

f. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Solo Law Practice Business?

  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.

Financial Projection

A. how much should you charge for your product/service.

Solo practitioners’ hourly rates can range from $100 to $400 or more, depending on the factors mentioned above. Flat fees can vary greatly based on the nature of the legal service. For example, simple document drafting might cost a few hundred dollars, while complex litigation representation could be several thousand dollars or more.

b. Sales Forecast?

  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $120,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $160,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $180,000

c. Estimated Profit You Will Make a Year?

  • First Fiscal Year (FY1) (Profit After Tax): 25%
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2) (Profit After Tax): 30%
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3) (Profit After Tax): 35%

d. Profit Margin of a Solo Law Practice Business 

The ideal profit margin we hope to make at John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC will be between 20 and 35 percent on each job carried out irrespective of the distance covered.

Growth Plan

A. how do you intend to grow and expand by opening more retail outlets/offices or selling a franchise.

John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC will grow our solo law practice business by partnering with other solo law practitioners in our city.

b. Where do you intend to expand to and why?

John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC plans to expand to;

  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • San Diego, California
  • Houston, Texas
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Atlanta, Georgia.

The cities listed above have a viable market for solo law practice services, which is why we want to expand to these locations.

The founder of John Justin® Solo Law Practice, LLC aims to exit the company through a merger and acquisition. We wish to merge with a global solo law practice firm so that when the founder retires, the company’s management can be placed in trusted hands.

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How to Start a Solo Law Practice: A Step-By-Step Guide

More than 1.3 million lawyers currently practice in about 40,000 law firms spread across the United States. This growth is impressive, but still insufficient to ensure representation in the more than 40 million lawsuits filed in the country annually. However, there has been a notable trend in the growth of solo law practices with a keen focus on filling this gap.

Legal representation is an insatiable need in the United States. However, for most attorneys, the thought of starting a solo law firm is scary. What most lawyers don’t realize is that a solo practice doesn’t require much. 

Are you contemplating starting a solo law practice, but you are unsure of the future? You can read more here on how to start a solo law practice. 

Why Is a Solo Practice Worth It? 

Many reasons would prompt you to go solo. Essential among these reasons is the monopoly of control that going solo presents. You’ll also have the opportunity to source for diverse clients without having to seek approval. 

As a solo practice, there are notable cost differences in operations as compared to big law firms. As such, you are likely to derive higher net profits in the long run. Further, with the monopoly of control comes the ease of decision making on critical legal and operational issues.

Most solo legal practitioners derive satisfaction from having custom working hours. You will get to enjoy the rewarding benefits of being your boss, which enhances flexibility. Attorneys who decide to go it solo also derive greater reward from the venture through higher return on investments.

How Easy Is Starting a Solo Practice?

Unlike most other ventures, starting a solo law practice is straightforward. However, it would be critical to consider the following.                                            

Location Is a Deal Breaker

You may not know this, but your physical location has an immeasurable value on your solo practice. Most, if not all, clients judge you based on more than just your ability to represent them. But you also don’t have to rent an office in the lavish ends of the city if you can’t afford it. 

Your first responsibility is to find a location that is pocket friendly, yet highly visible. Traffic should be a guiding factor during this decision making process. If you’re able to settle for a location that has proximity to a courthouse or a local business, then the better for you.

While most law practitioners now own virtual spaces, having a visible and easily accessible physical location is an easy way to attract traffic. 

Plan Your Budget 

Planning will save you from premature bankruptcy. Many law practices go under soon after launching out due to the failure to consider budgets. It would be critical for you to face the facts early on in the life-cycle of your solo practice that there will be bills to pay.

You should consider categorizing your costs into fixed, recurrent, and one-off costs. Purchasing office equipment such as copiers and furniture is among the one-off cost expenses. Other expenses, such as rent, are fixed costs, which you must consider every month.

Your budgeting should also factor in other recurrent costs, such as electricity bills, water, and office maintenance. Once you have a breakdown of the budget, you can then proceed to prioritize your finances. Nevertheless, budgets were made to be broken, and you can still make adjustments where necessary. 


Law firms have the same operational dynamics as other professional practices. As such, there’s a need to adhere to the pre-existing regulatory framework. Before you proceed to set up your solo practice, you need to understand the legal dynamics in your respective jurisdiction. 

Your license to practice law as an attorney and the business licensing requirements are different. Once you settle on the state you would wish to practice in, the next critical step is to understand the licensing requirements. Only then can you proceed to pay the fees required. 

Find a Unique Name 

When launching your solo practice, you need to begin by finding a unique name. The fact that you’ll be stuck with the same name for as long as the practice operates is reason enough to take your time. Your legal name is your official identity. Try and make it unique yet formal. 

With a legal name and a registered entity, it then becomes easy to market your services out there.  

Have a Dedicated Website

A physical office is critical when launching a solo practice. However, once you have the physical office in place, the next phase ought to be going online. 

There are over 4.54 billion internet users globally. As such, a dedicated website would be a critical first step towards pushing your solo practice. 

A recent study on internet usage reveals that most buyers search online first for products and services before proceeding to make a financial commitment. Potential clients will often seek your services online to gather more information about you and your services. Your website also provides critical contact information that clients can use to get to you.

As you launch your solo practice, you need to consider the services of a professional website developer. Such a move would be critical towards ensuring that your potential clients have a landing page when searching for your assistance.

Head Over to Social Media

For you to sustain that solo legal practice, you’ll need to have a consistent client base. Digitally marketing your legal services can help maintain your venture. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are some of the critical platforms you can depend on going forward. You can then utilize social media tools to market your services to the billions of active users. 

You may utilize both social media and your landing page to ensure you get quality legal plan leads as you grow your solo practice. With four legal leads, you can learn everything on how legal leads work as you boost your solo practice. 

A Bruise in Business Is a Lesson, Don’t Fear to Venture Out

Solo practice in law may seem like a farfetched venture at the initial stages. You might have to think about the location, the financing, and the licensing. However, with this guide, you can launch out and enjoy the benefits of a solo law practice. 

All you need to do is identify the right legal plan leads, then sit back as your solo venture kicks off with a bang. Don’t be afraid of mistakes even when they happen. Such blunders only come to strengthen your resolve.  

Read on to explore more interesting content on our website.

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Law Firm Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

law firm marketing plan

Law Firm Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 1,000 lawyers to create business plans to start and grow their law firms. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a law firm business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >

What is a Law Firm Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your law firm as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan for a Law Firm

If you’re looking to start a law firm, or grow your existing law firm, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your law firm in order to improve your chances of success. Your law firm plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Law Firms

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a law firm are personal savings, credit cards and bank loans. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

How to write a business plan for a law firm.

If you want to start a law firm or expand your current one, you need a business plan. Below are links to each section of your law firm plan template:

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of law firm you are operating and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a law firm that you would like to grow, or are you operating law firms in multiple cities?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the law firm industry. Discuss the type of law firm you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.  

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of law firm you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types of law firms:

  • Commercial Law : this type of law firm focuses on financial matters such as merger and acquisition, raising capital, IPOs, etc.
  • Criminal, Civil Negligence, and Personal Injury Law: this type of business focuses on accidents, malpractice, and criminal defense.
  • Real Estate Law: this type of practice deals with property transactions and property use.
  • Labor Law: this type of firm handles everything related to employment, from pensions/benefits, to contract negotiation.

In addition to explaining the type of law firm you will operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to question such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of clients served, number of cases won, etc.
  • Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the law firm industry.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the law firm industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy, particularly if your research identifies market trends.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your law firm plan:

  • How big is the law firm industry (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your law firm? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your law firm plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: businesses, households, and government organizations.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of law firm you operate. Clearly, households would respond to different marketing promotions than nonprofit organizations, for example.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most law firms primarily serve customers living in their same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

Finish Your Law Firm Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your business plan?

With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other law firms.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes accounting firms or human resources companies. You need to mention such competition as well.

With regards to direct competition, you want to describe the other law firms with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be law firms located very close to your location.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What types of cases do they accept?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide better legal advice and services?
  • Will you provide services that your competitors don’t offer?
  • Will you provide more responsive customer interactions?
  • Will you offer better pricing or flexible pricing options?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.  

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a law firm plan, your marketing plan should include the following:

Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type of law firm company that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to in-person consultation, will you provide virtual meetings, or any other services?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the products and services you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your law firm company. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your law firm located in a busy business district, office building, etc. Discuss how your location might be the ideal location for your customers.

Promotions : The final part of your law firm marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Advertising in local papers and magazines
  • Reaching out to local websites
  • Social media marketing
  • Local radio advertising

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your law firm, including filling and filing paperwork, researching precedents, appearing in court, meeting with clients, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to file your 100th lawsuit, or be on retainer with 25 business clients, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your law firm to a new city.  

Management Team

To demonstrate your law firm’ ability to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.

Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing law firms. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with legal experience or with a track record of successfully running small businesses.  

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you file 25 lawsuits per month or sign 5 retainer contracts per month? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your law firm, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a law firm:

  • Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
  • Cost of licensing, software, and office supplies
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office location lease or your certificate of admission to the bar.  

Putting together a business plan for your law firm is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert and know everything you need about starting a law firm business plan; once you create your plan, download it to PDF to show banks and investors. You will really understand the law firm industry, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful law firm.  

Law Firm Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my law firm business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Law Firm Business Plan.

What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of law firm you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a law firm that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of law firms?

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your Law Firm business plan?

OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.   Click here to see how Growthink’s professional business plan consulting services can create your business plan for you.

Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates

Business Plan Template

Seven Sample Attorney Business Plans: Why Attorneys Must Have Business Plans

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solo law practice business plan

By  Harrison Barnes

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  • Business plans are a dying art, especially in the legal profession.
  • Needless to say, business plans are also essential for a lawyer’s career.
  • As the adage goes, if you don't plan your career, someone else will plan it for you.

Seven Sample Attorney Business Plans: Why Attorneys Must Have Business Plans

Many of you work in firms that don't have a business plan for the firm as a whole , let alone your practice group or individual attorneys. And some of you are not privy to the firm's plan, even if there is one.

  • If you are interested in seeing the elements of a lateral partner business plan click here: Partner Business Plans: Key Elements

Even so, that's no reason to forgo developing a plan for yourself. Remember, if you don't plan your career, someone else will plan it for you.

Have no fear. Personal business planning is not about writing a 50-page manifesto outlining every detail of every day of your professional life for the next 10 years . In fact, personal business planning can be as simple as you want to make it, as you can see here with this sample business plan for law practice PDF . You don't even have to call it a business plan -- call it a career plan if you prefer.

No matter how simple you make it or what you call it, personal business planning is about taking inventory of where you are , determining where you want to go and building a roadmap for getting there. Once you have the plan in writing, all you have to do is revisit it periodically to check your course and make any necessary adjustments.

solo law practice business plan

Also, when it comes to planning, the biggest land mines are complexity and procrastination. Try to avoid creating a plan that overwhelms you or anyone you tell about it. And remember that any plan is better than no plan at all.

Strive to keep your plan simple and start taking action. As an attorney, you're well-versed in the areas of analysis and logic. In every work matter, you look at the situation and connect the dots to accomplish the desired objective. Apply the same approach to personal business planning and the dots you connect will lead you to the career you've always wanted.

  • See 30 Ways to Generate Business as an Attorney for more information.

Business Plan For A Law Firm

How do i write a business plan for a law firm, what goes into a business plan, overview of the firm.

  • A mission statement about the firm’s purpose.
  • A vision statement or recitation of medium- and long-term goals for the firm.
  • Important aspects of the firm’s history.
  • Any important philosophies that the firm brings to legal practice.

Market Analysis

Do lawyers write business plans, 1. what are your goals.

  • What do I want to achieve by starting my own law firm ?
  • What is the impact I want to have?
  • What am I good at?
  • How do I want to service my clients?
  • What problems do I want to help solve?
  • What does success look like after starting this law firm?

2. Consider how much revenue you will need.

3. setting your fee structure, 4. determine how many cases you need to meet that revenue goal, how to create a law firm business plan, 1. executive summary.

  • Mission statement: One or two sentences describing your firm’s purpose.
  • Core values: What values are most important to the firm?
  • Major goals: What are your firm’s overarching goals and objectives?
  • Unique selling proposition: What sets your firm apart from other firms?

2. Firm Description

  • Service(s): What type of law do you practice? What types of clients do you serve?
  • Firm values: Restate your mission statement and core values.
  • Legal structure: What sort of business entity are you? Are you in a sole proprietorship or a limited liability partnership?
  • Location: Where is the office geographically located? What areas does the firm serve?
  • Unique selling proposition: What makes your firm stand out? What technology or services give your firm an edge?

3. Market Analysis

  • Ideal client: What demographics (like location, age, occupation), needs, and motivations would signify the best client match for your firm, and why?
  • Industry description: What is the current and projected size of the market your firm is in? What are the trends in your legal niche?
  • Competitive analysis: Who are your direct and indirect competitors, and how are they serving your target market? Where do your competitors succeed? What opportunities are there for your firm?
  • Projections: How much can your ideal clients spend on legal services? How much can you charge?

4. Organization and Management Overview

  • Describe what makes you unique and what sets you apart from other applicants.
  • If applicable, include what makes each member of your team suitable for their particular roles.
  • The organizational chart is a great visual aid if you have a larger practice.

5. Services

  • What problems do your potential clients need your help with?
  • How can your services uniquely help your clients solve their problems?
  • What is the benefit of your services to clients?
  • Why would potential clients choose your firm over another firm?

6. Marketing Strategy

  • Ideal client: Where would you find your ideal client?
  • Marketing goals: Detail what specific outcomes you hope to accomplish through marketing. Goals should include tactical objectives (more clients? Higher billing rates?) and overall objectives (like increased name recognition).
  • Unique selling proposition: Restate what sets you apart and makes you uniquely able to best serve your clients.
  • Competition: Detail who your competition is—and what they are doing to gain clients. Analyze their marketing strategies and assess where the cost of your services fits in with your competitors.
  • Action plan: List the specific actions your firm will take to reach your target market and achieve your marketing goals (this could include a media/advertising strategy).

7. Financial Plan

  • Revenue goal: How much money you want to make broken down by month.
  • Financial projections: What you will really expect to earn, how many cases you think you will have the capacity to take on, and what you will be charging each client each month.
  • Budget: A breakdown of your expenses and what your money will be going towards each month.
  • Cash flow statement: What you actually earned and spent each month. This is different from your projections and budget and should be updated as the year progresses. You will find that you may have budgeted for something that cost you much less than you originally thought or made more in a month than you projected, these discrepancies should be recorded in your cash flow statement.

8. Start-Up Budget

  • Hardware (laptops, printers, scanners, office furniture, etc.)
  • Office space (Will you rent, or work from home?)
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Staff salaries (Are you planning to hire an administrative assistant or paralegal?)
  • Utilities (Phone, internet, etc.)
  • Practice management software or other technology services
  • Partner Business Plans: Key Elements
  • You Need to be Self-Managing and Responsible
  • The Importance of Finding and Creating Demand
  • The Importance of Asking the Right Questions, Self Improvement and Perception
  • Attorney Business Plan Sample 1
  • Attorney Business Plan Sample 2
  • Attorney Business Plan Sample 3
  • Attorney Business Plan Sample 4
  • Attorney Business Plan Sample 5
  • Attorney Business Plan Sample 6
  • Attorney Business Plan Sample 7

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Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives

Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

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Law Firm Business Plan

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Wy'East Law Firm

Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">.

Wy’East Law Firm (WLF) is a boutique technology law firm located in Portland, Oregon. The firm will be lead by Richard Bloom, a seasoned attorney previously with (name omitted)’s e-group. WLF will service all needs generated by technology firms, with specialization on mergers and acquisitions and qualified stock option plans; and handles both start-up and established companies.

In addition to WLF’s technology practice, we will offer public interest legal work at subsidized rates. The technology practice will allow the firm to be able to provide public interest organizations legal help at the cost of overhead.

WLF is a limited liability company founded and lead by Richard Bloom.

Law firm business plan, executive summary chart image

1.1 Objectives

The objectives for WLF for the first three years of operation include:

  • To create a law firm whose primary goal is to exceed customer’s expectations.
  • To develop a client list that includes at least 20 companies, each with revenues of over $3 million.
  • To increase the ability to serve public interest organizations each year.
  • To be able to offer each year some legal services at a subsidized rate.

1.2 Mission

The mission of Wy’East Law Firm is to provide the Portland community with technological and public interest legal guidance. We exist to attract and maintain customers and to support the public interest community. When we adhere to this maxim, everything else will fall into place.

Company Summary company overview ) is an overview of the most important points about your company—your history, management team, location, mission statement and legal structure.">

WLF is a law firm serving technology companies and public interest organizations, and will subsidize its public interest work with local companies. WLF specializes in mergers and acquisitions as well as stock option plans, but can handle most legal needs for a technology company.

The technology work will subsidize the company’s public interest work which will be billed out at the cost of overhead.

2.1 Company Ownership

WLF is a limited liability company, owned solely by Richard Bloom.

2.2 Start-up Summary

WLF’s start-up costs will include all equipment needed for the home office, website creation, and advertising.

The home office equipment will be the largest chunk of the start-up expenses. This equipment includes 4 computers, a fax machine, copier, cellular phone, office supplies, additional land line, a DSL connection, and office furniture.

Start-up expenses will also include advertising. Two methods will be used: a content-only website and the Yellow Pages. 

Law firm business plan, company summary chart image

WLF will provide provide law services to two different groups of customers.

  • Technology law services . WLF will provide legal services to high technology clients, to both start-up companies and established firms. While the firm excels in mergers, acquisitions, and qualified stock option plans, we also have experience in almost any legal field that a tech firm encounters. These clients, billed at market rate, will subsidize the public interest clients.
  • Public interest law . WLF will serve regional public interest organizations, with a concentration on environmental and civil rights organizations. For most public interest organizations, good legal help is expensive. By using technology clients to subsidize the cost of legal fees for public interest firms, WLF is able to make significant contributions back to the community.

Market Analysis Summary how to do a market analysis for your business plan.">

WLF’s customers can be divided into two groups, technology firms and public interest organizations.

  • Public interest organizations . These clients will be diversified, some are environmental organizations others are civil rights groups. While some public interest organizations receive their legal services for free (pro bono) from some attorneys, there is an extreme shortage of legal help for these organizations. Therefore, it is quite attractive to these organizations to have the possibility of receiving top legal help at a subsidized rate. Attracting these clients will not be the problem, the difficulty will be for Richard to select which organization will receive his help.

Law firm business plan, market analysis summary chart image

4.1 Target Market Segment Strategy

WLF will be targeting high technology companies for two reasons.

  • Although the economy has taken a recent plummet, particularly technology firms, technology is still a growing sector of the economy. This is evidenced by the fact that 17 out of the top 25 fastest growing companies are technology firms, according to The Business Journal of Portland.
  • Technology is Richard’s area of expertise. Richard practiced law at one of the top three law firms in Portland and was in their e-group, concentrating on technology firms. His experience, coupled with his network of colleagues within the industry, makes technology firms attractive customers.

WLF will be targeting public interest organizations for one simple reason, a desire to give back to the community. Public interest work is inherently altruistic to some degree. Generally, the person performing the work receives a good feeling for his/her contribution, but in today’s capitalistic society, someone who donates his/her time at far below market wages should be considered altruistic.

4.2 Service Business Analysis

The technology law practice is fairly competitive in Portland. Most larger, more prestigious firms have attorneys who specialize in technology. Some smaller firms also have attorneys who do work for technology companies. Lastly, there are boutique firms, like WLF. As a service-based industry, the practice of law is driven by personal relationships and reputation. Potential clients choose attorneys based on reputation and who they are familiar with or are recommended to. Therefore, if the attorney is providing better service to a client, the client is likely to form a long lasting business relationship with the client.

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WLF has the advantage that when Richard left (name omitted) he brought 15 of his clients, which, for now, are almost enough to survive on.

Strategy and Implementation Summary

WLF will be courting new technology clients through networking and advertisements in the Yellow Pages, Business Journal of Portland, and other technology specific regional journals. As stated earlier, WLF has a sufficient amount of business at day one, however, more technology clients means the ability to perform more public interest work.

Richard will be attending the Portland Venture Group meetings as well as other informal gatherings of technology companies to network with the different technology firms in the region. These networking activities along with advertisements in appropriate media forms will allow WLF to steadily grow their list of clients.

5.1 Competitive Edge

WLF’s competitive advantage will be based on two factors, experience and specialization:

  • Experience. Richard brings to WLF three years of practicing technology law at a top firm in Portland. Reputation carries a lot of weight and Richard’s time at (name omitted) means a lot in the Portland legal community and is very attractive to prospective clients. Additionally, beyond the reputation of working for a coveted firm, is the fact that the three years spent at (name omitted) provided Richard with big name clients.
  • Specialization. As a boutique firm that concentrates on technology companies, WLF is in a desirable situation because it’s knowledge base is considerable, relative to other firms that practice a wide range of law.

5.2 Sales Strategy

WLF’s sales strategy will begin with months two through five with the goal of serving the existing customer base of clients. The absence of bringing in new clients during this time is purposeful, it allows WLF and the existing clients to form a new relationship at WLF, different from their previous relationship at (name omitted).

Month six will signal WLF’s conscious effort to generate new clients. Using the previously mentioned networking techniques, Richard, through personal communications, will convince prospective clients of the value of a boutique technology law firm, specifically the depth of knowledge and the close attention that the client will get when dealing with a small firm.

Regarding the public interest organizations, there will be less of a sale strategy, more of a choosing of the organizations that Richard wants to represent. There are so many needy public interest organizations that Richard will have to pick and choose those that he wishes to help out.

5.2.1 Sales Forecast

The first month will be spent setting up the home office. This will include setting up the office, a conference room, and all of the computer equipment. During the first month, Richard will also be serving some existing technology clients and some public interest clients. We project that if we spend 1/3 of our time on the technology clients, this would sufficiently subsidize the public interest clients so we would only have to cover overhead expenses.

By month six, Richard will begin actively soliciting new clients. Between months one and five he will continue networking, though will not be actively seeking customers. From month seven on and there will be a slight increase in clients taken aboard. There will be only a slight increase so as to create solid relationships with the new and existing clients. Richard will be cognizant of the possibility of growing too fast and not being able to offer the same quality service to his clients.

Law firm business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

5.3 Milestones

WLF will have several milestones early on:

  • Business plan completion.
  • Set up home office.
  • First month of total technology subsidy.

Management Summary management summary will include information about who's on your team and why they're the right people for the job, as well as your future hiring plans.">

Wy’East Law Firm is an Oregon Corporation founded and run by Richard Bloom. Richard has a degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark University. While at Lewis and Clark, Richard was the President of the school’s Public Interest Student Organization. It was through this organization that Richard became fond of public interest law. After graduation, Richard went to work for (name omitted) for three years in the e-group which concentrated on technology. While working in the e-group, Richard worked on technology issues with a number of well known start-up organizations and established companies.

One of the perks working at (name omitted) was his ability to do pro bono work which counted toward his required yearly billable hours requirement. Richard has spent a fair amount of time with 1000 Friends of Oregon and other public interest organizations. After three years however, Richard was feeling constrained and desired more autonomy. He decided to leave and start his own firm. Richard was able to bring a fair number of his clients from (name omitted) to his new firm, helping the transition from leaving an established practice to hanging out his own shingle and starting over. 

6.1 Personnel Plan

The staff will consist of Richard working full time. In addition to Richard, a part-time secretary and part-time paralegal will join WLF by month two. Month four will bring WLF a law clerk, and a second law clerk by month eight.

Financial Plan investor-ready personnel plan .">

The following sections will outline important financial information.

7.1 Important Assumptions

The following table details important assumptions.

7.2 Projected Profit and Loss

The following table and charts present the projected profit and loss.

Law firm business plan, financial plan chart image

7.3 Break-even Analysis

The Break-even Analysis indicates what WLF will need in hours and revenue a month to reach the break-even point.

Law firm business plan, financial plan chart image

7.4 Projected Cash Flow

The following chart and table show anticipated cash flow.

Law firm business plan, financial plan chart image

7.5 Projected Balance Sheet

The following table displays the projected balance sheet.

7.6 Business Ratios

Industry profile ratios based on the NAICS code 541110, Offices of Lawyers, are shown in the table below.

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solo law practice business plan

Legal Practice

A Successful Business Plan for Solo Law Firm

Introduction .

Starting a solo legal practice and being your own boss can bring you a sense of empowerment and freedom. The best source of referral for a solo practitioner is their clients themselves. Therefore, it is vital to make sure that your client gets the best legal experience from your side. To achieve this, there has to be a fool-proof business plan to project and promote your law expertise.

Hallmarks of Solo Legal Practice 

The benefits of starting an independent practice are numerous. While working for a senior lawyer, junior lawyers have to take up the case they are assigned to, even if it is not their niche. When a legal professional works on their own, they can choose the area of law they would prefer to work in. It would make the work less hectic and more enjoyable.

Read Also – Some basic tips for choosing the right law firm

Additionally, solo practitioners can lay down their own terms and conditions. They can adjust and change the work schedules without compromising their personal life. Moreover, they do not have to wait for long and take permission from senior lawyers for leaves.

Business Plan for legal firm

Solid Business Plan to Skyrocket Solo Legal Practice

A business plan is an overall outline of a legal professional’s legal business that needs to be revised and modified continuously. As you create one, new ideas and strategies unfold. It aids in formulating a direction and control for the business. Moreover, updating the business plan will keep a proper check and balances and bolster productivity. The components of a business plan are as follows:

Executive  Summary

An executive summary is the most crucial part of the business plan. It summarizes what the legal solo practice is about, where it is heading, and the action plan for attaining that goal. It is written after the business plan is completed and highlights the legal practice’s key points.

The executive summary must be inclusive of a Mission Statement. It should reflect every facet of your niche area of legal practice. This will act as a summary of your objectives and goals. Additionally, you need to include the core values which your legal practice advocate for. It helps in making a deeper connection and trust-based relationship with the clients. Finally, the executive summary has to give an outline of what makes your legal practice different from other lawyers and why it stands ahead in the profession.

General Legal Practice Description

In the second most component, you need to reiterate your goals, objectives, ambitions, and your field of expertise. Mention the years of experience that you have in the legal field and what types of clients you serve. Besides, throwing light on the motivation of starting a solo legal practice can also be included. Most importantly, describe the vital factors or strong core strengths that will help you stand out. Furthermore, mention the physical office’s address and the type of legal entity that you are.

Market Analysis

A detailed Market Analysis will discuss the competitive landscape that you are part of. It will aid you in developing stronger strategies to attract potential clients to you. Analyzing the market will help you to stay on track. A well-formulated Market Analysis will have the following:

Market description

This will enable you to understand the current and potential size of the market your legal practice is in. It helps you identify the various trends in your legal niche, making it on top of the game. Employing these trends would bolster your growth in the field.

Competitive Landscape

Understand your direct and indirect competitors. Figure out their strong and weak points, try to understand the strategies they make use of. Compare their growth with your legal practice to realize where you stand in the legal practice. Find out the unserved market for your legal service and focus on that. Learn more about how the competitors sell their services, whom they represent, their pricing, and other specialties they offer to clients.

Analysing the market will help you discover the expected growth of the market and new data on which your time can be spent efficiently.

Marketing Strategies

 Marketing strategies form an integral part of the Business Plan. In order to formulate this accurately, you need to do a general market analysis. It will help you to set realistic goals and strategies. Compare your goals to your competitors and revise whenever necessary according to changing needs. You need to explain how you will solicit referrals from other legal professionals, as well as how you will reach out to potential clients.

Mention which marketing activities you will be resorting to promote your practice and how much you will charge. You can offer introductory rates to clients and later determine the price elasticity according to your expertise and experience. Reinstate what sets you apart as a solo legal practitioner and how best you will serve them. Throw light on your traits and other achievements. Define the impact your service will have on the clients.

Customer Analysis 

Identify the potential clients and discover their characteristics, geographic locations, income levels, and everything vital to your legal practice. Examine different ways in which client satisfaction can be improved. It is also essential to clearly understand the different revenue streams that can be generated from different clients. You can try to expand to any other filed which is closely connected to your area of expertise.

Financial Plans

Financials should be the final part of your business plan. It must consist of a 12-month profit and loss projection, projected balance sheet, and a break-even calculation. It is vital to list out financial assets and liabilities. A proper and well-thought plan on how much cash you need for the legal practice is vital. It will help you to predict any shortages that are possible in the future. As a result, you can cut out certain expenses or avail a loan when needed. Incorporate graphs and pie charts to layout the proper financial plans.

Read Also – Guide to start a solo practice law firm in India

The business plan must provide a clear overview of your legal practice. If you are going solo, a business plan will help you to set concrete goals. This will help you to be on track and will attract prospective clients.

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