Maintaining a law practice as a solo practitioner can be incredibly challenging. Luckily, there are several simple steps that you can take to attain professional success while maintaining personal happiness.
Build and Maintain your Personal and Professional Network
As a solo practitioner of law, your clients and your professional connections are incredibly important resources. Social media tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook are helpful in this area, and free e-newsletter tools such as MailChimp allow you to keep your former clients up-to-date with your practice. However, in-person communication can make more of an impact, so be sure to attend conferences regularly, maintain a prominent presence in your community through volunteering and hospitality, and always keep your business card on hand for prospective clients. You want to be the first lawyer that people think of when their friends ask for recommendations, so make sure that your family, friends, and acquaintances are equipped with your office contact information.
Find a Niche
In a saturated market, you need to stand out from the rest of your potential clients' options without limiting yourself too much, according to Above the Law. Research about legal services offered in your area, look at price points for other attorneys, and try to fill a need in your community that isn't being met by others.
Burnout is one of the top twenty reasons start-ups fail, according to CBInsights. Even if you have been practicing for years, you can overstretch yourself. Allowing your personal life to be invaded by clients is not healthy or sustainable, and so for both your own happiness and for the sake of your practice, place strict boundaries upfront with your clients about communication expectations. Create rules for yourself, such as no sharing your personal cell phone number or taking phone calls while on vacation. Your clients will survive without being able to access you 24/7, and you'll provide them with better service when you are fully recharged after your time out of the office.
Be Frugal, But Don't be Cheap
Keep your solo legal practice sustainable by creating a budget and finding ways to cut costs, according to Rocket Lawyer. This could mean buying second-hand office equipment, settling for a black and white printer, or using free or small-fee subscription services like Woodpecker to assist with administrative duties instead of hiring a paralegal or office assistant. However, avoid cutting corners to the detriment of your business.
Being a solo practitioner attorney is not easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding when you achieve the right work-life balance. Give yourself more free time with Woodpecker for Microsoft Word, which allows you to standardize and automate your documents. Try it out today!
Still don't have Woodpecker? Click the button below and give it a try.