March 1, 2017 – Money, location, clients, technology, workflow – all are necessary factors in running a successful solo practice.
Here are three tips to help you through the process of planning and starting your own practice, shared by three solo and small firm lawyers who know what it takes, and are speaking at the upcoming Considerations for Starting a Law Practice.
Tip #1: Be Visible
Get out there and introduce yourself, says Angela Olson, a solo practitioner in Hudson and New Richmond.
For the most efficient and successful solo practice, you must be visible, both electronically and physically, says Angela Olson, a solo practitioner in Hudson and New Richmond, who is speaking on “What Stuff Do I Really Need to be an Efficient and Successful Solo?”
“Go to events, bar functions, community business after fives or morning coffee groups. Introduce yourself. Those professional contacts will get your name out there,” she says. That’s how you get referrals.
And make sure you have a good website.
Tip #2: Location, Location, Location
Deciding where to practice can have a significant effect on your success or failure as a firm, says Andrew Nelson of Nelson & Lindquist S.C., Hudson, who is speaking on “Starting a Solo Practice.”
Put research and thought into determining where you will be located, he advises. “How many attorneys are already practicing in the area? Are you looking for areas that are underserved in the state, and will the area provide the clients you need for a successful practice? Are you comfortable driving great distances to represent clients in multiple counties? Do you need the amenities that only a large metropolitan area can provide?”
Andrew Nelson of Nelson & Lindquist S.C. - pictured here with his twins, Adalyn and Aleah - recommends asking yourself: Will the area provide the clients you need for a successful practice?
All are questions that need answers before deciding on a location, Nelson says.
Tip #3: Web-based Practice Can Provide Better Work-Life Balance and Increase Client Access
Web-based law practice models provide an opportunity for solos and small firms to provide greater value to clients while gaining a better work-life balance for attorneys, says Brent Hoeft of Hoeft Law, a solo practitioner with Hoeft Law LLC, Madison, who is speaking about the online practice of law and the virtual office.
Affordable web-based legal products make it easier for the solo attorney to deliver quality legal services and compete with both the large personnel of big law firms as well as with the efficiency and convenience of nonlawyer legal service providers.
And more, they allow attorneys to extend their practice into underserved rural areas. “Web-based law practices can help fill that access to justice gap,” he says.
“The benefits to the attorney are having the ability to practice law from wherever the attorney is physically located at any given time, allowing for greater flexibility and control over work-life balance,” Hoeft says.
Considerations for Starting a Law Practice
Learn how to start from the ground up at the seventh annual Considerations for Starting a Law Practice CLE Event in Pewaukee, hosted by the State Bar of Wisconsin Solo/Small Firm and General Practice Section.
Consider a virtual office to help deliver legal services to clients at a competitive price, says Brent Hoeft of Hoeft Law, Madison.
The sessions help you through the process of planning and starting your own practice. The program provides information about creating a practice from the ground up: from where you want to locate your office, to what you need in the office, to how to attract clients.
The seminar is perfect for any attorney who is considering starting a law practice. Sessions address a wide variety of topics:
- How to start a solo practice
- What you need to have an efficient and successful solo practice
- Running a virtual office and other internet-based client interaction
- File management, workflow, and practice management software
- Money matters: How much do you need to start?
- Attracting good clients
- How to avoid malpractice
About the Event
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with programming from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 8. The program includes a box lunch and the opportunity to network with speakers and participants.
The event is held at the Country Springs Hotel in Pewaukee.
Tuition for section members and law students is $30, and $90 for non-section members. Non-section members can join the Solo/Small Firm and General Practice Section for $25 and register for this program at the section member tuition rate of $30.
The seminar will be submitted to the Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners for up to 6 CLE credits, including 1 EPR credit.
To learn more, visit the event page on WisBar’s Marketplace.
How to Register
- Register online.
- Call Customer Service at (800) 728-7788.
- Mail your registration form and payment to State Bar of Wisconsin, Attn: SSFP, P.O. Box 7158, Madison, WI 53707-7158.
- Fax your registration form and your credit card information to (608) 257-5502.