How to Start a Law Firm: The Complete Guide

Starting a law firm can be a rewarding next step in your legal career. But as a lawyer that’s starting out on your own, you’ll need to learn how to think like a business owner—in addition to practicing law.

Set your new law firm up for success with Clio’s Guide to Starting a Law Firm, supported by insights and advice from legal experts and successful founding partners.

Guide to Starting a Law Firm

Download the complete guide

Set yourself up for success with our free Guide to Starting a Law Firm, supported by insights and advice from legal experts and successful founding partners.

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How do you start a law practice?

To start a law practice, you must first think through your business plan, including finances (expenses and revenue goals), startup costs and tools you will need, and a marketing plan. Starting your own law firm might not be lucrative at first, but if you persist through the startup phase and work smarter not harder when it comes to getting new clients, you’ll get the freedom and independence to practice law the way you want to.

How do you start a law firm with no money?

You don’t have to spend a fortune to start your own firm. In fact, by implementing the right technology, cutting non-essential costs, and embracing a DIY attitude you can start your own firm for around a few thousand dollars for the first year. With the information in this guide, and the automations and efficiencies offered by Clio, you’ll be well on your way to getting your legal practice off the ground.

What are the requirements for starting a law firm?

To start a law firm, you will need to be a lawyer and member of your state’s bar. You’ll also need to decide how to incorporate your business and what your firm will be named, and will need basic hardware and software used to practice law. Beyond that, it’s up to you to decide how much you’d like to spend on marketing to attract clients, hiring staff to help with workload, and whether you’d like to secure office space or work from home. Many of these decisions will depend on your area of practice and the rules of your jurisdiction.

How do I write a virtual law firm business plan?

Running a virtual law firm is becoming increasingly popular. The business plan for a virtual firm would be similar to that of a traditional firm, but would not include expenses and considerations related to office space (except for a potential need to rent board rooms for particular meetings) and should more clearly state how you and your staff will communicate in a distributed environment as the firm grows. Watch our webinar on how to successfully build a thriving virtual practice.