You’ve finished law school and done your time in professional legal practices. Now you’re wondering if you can use your skills and experience and go it alone. Becoming a freelancer or independent consultant could be the perfect way to take charge of your career and be your own boss.
If you’re wondering about how to set up on your own, the list below will help you to get started.
Decide on the services you are going to offer
You may have specialised in a particular area when you worked at a law firm. Often, there isn’t much chance to work in other areas. Now that you are your own boss, you can choose exactly what you want to offer.
As with all business ideas, research the market first, there’s no point in offering services that aren’t in demand or enter an oversaturated market.
Line up your support services
Running your own business can mean that you are often tied up doing other tasks and find yourself having less time to complete your legal work. Find as many ways as possible to free up your time and resources. Hire a virtual assistant, or an attorney medical record retrieval services to speed up record finding or a marketer to take care of your website and promotions.
Take care of the administration
There are a lot of dull yet very necessary administrative tasks out of the way.
- Register yourself as a business
- Open a business bank account
- Accounting software
- Invoicing and billing
- Appointment scheduling
- Document management
- Time tracking
Create your online presence and marketing plan
People need to know that you’re out there, offering to help them with their legal problems.
Get yourself set up with a website and social media profiles and start marketing yourself. If marketing isn’t your thing, there are many specialist companies or other freelancers out there who can help you with this.
At a minimum, you’ll want to list your services, expertise and experience. Once you’re up and running, think about adding additional content such a blog.
If you are targeting a specific geographic area, then concentrating on local SEO and targeted advertising is a great way to put yourself in front of people searching for legal services.
There are so many good networking events to choose from that cater to all sectors and services. Find ones that are close to you, that are attended by either potential clients or others who could refer your services. Don’t just go in with the hard sell though. Good networking is about building up genuine connections with others.
Once you’ve mastered this then you might find that a good proportion of your business comes from referrals from business contacts and other lawyers.
No doubt, there are many hurdles to jump over on the road to becoming a freelance lawyer. Once you’ve made the decision and followed the basics in setting up your business, then you can find yourself embarking on an extremely rewarding career.