Building a Solo Law Practice: Getting Clients, an Introduction
This is a continuation of a popular series by guest blogger Douglas Greenberg, a successful tax solo based in San Francisco, CA.
When first starting out, the single biggest issue I dealt with (as do all young solos) was building a client base. At the time, I had very few clients. And unlike an established attorney, I did not have the luxury of sitting back and relying on repeat business or word of mouth (which there was very little to speak of). Building a client base takes time and it’s difficult. And while you are doing it, the bills keep piling in.
Like most lawyers, I had very little training in the ways of marketing. Indeed, marketing and advertising were about the furthest things from my mind when I applied to law school. But suddenly I had to be my own marketing department. I had to figure out a way to generate interest in my business.
In my experience, there really is no silver bullet. But there are a lot of options. As an attorney, you can obtain clients in a number of different ways:
•Local Bar Attorney Referral Programs
•Legal Insurance Providers
•Word of Mouth
•Direct Mail / Solicitations
Unfortunately, there is no one-size fits all solution. What works and what doesn’t really depends on the nature of your practice. It requires a lot of trial and error. At some time or another, I did just about every bullet point on the list above. Some worked. Others didn’t.
Over the next several posts I will try to spend some time on this difficult and important issue: As a young attorney, how do you market yourself and generate leads?
Also check out previous posts in this series: Part One (the decision to go solo), Part Two (choosing a specialty), Part Three (sole proprietorship, corporation or LLC?), Part Four (gaining practical experience as a young lawyer), and Part Five (preparing to go solo mid-career).