Many people think of criminal defense law firms as powerful organizations composed of prominent attorneys capable of helping clients emerge from seemingly impossible circumstances. That said, few stop to think how these organizations attained such prominence.
In reality, accomplishing this task is often a grassroots effort requiring prospective founders to devote significant amounts of time and sweat equity. There are two primary aspects of building a criminal defense firm, the business end and professional reputation.
The Business End
Some overlook the fact that a law firm is a business and building said entity is the first action founding partners must take. What steps are needed to build the fledgling organization’s business end?
Many businesses fail or do not succeed to the extent their owners initially anticipated because said individuals neglected to establish realistic goals. The first thing potential forefathers must decide is how active they wish to be in the business end of operating the firm.
Should said subjects not possess business acumen or lack the desire to handle pertinent financial responsibilities, they are firmly implored to employ individuals possessing such knowledge and possess the capacity to perform duties such as billing, marketing, and advertising.
Creating A Business Plan
Either the potential founders or the firm’s business staff must then establish a business plan.
A viable business strategy will cover a host of pertinent subjects including where to construct the firm’s office or offices, determining the types of services clients will be offered, establishing hourly rates and payment plans, identifying the specific attributes desired in prospective employees, and creating a budget to cover all associated expenses.
Emphasizing A Client-Friendly Business Model
Client-friendly business models do not merely refer to providing top quality legal representation. From the business perspective, this means formulating business strategies geared towards attracting the most clients. Said actions might include setting affordable payment rates, accepting various forms of payments, and setting up several different remittance plans.
Attorneys are highly skilled professionals who should be paid appropriately for the services they provide. However, clients soliciting counsel from criminal defense lawyers are typically facing major life crises. Therefore, such subjects are more likely to do business with professionals who treat them as a person and not merely an invoice.
Marketing And Advertising
When the preceding steps have been completed, firm organizers and staffers should consider shifting their attention towards building the firm’s name through marketing and advertising efforts.
The key to effectively marketing and advertising a new firm is ensuring the entity’s name, message, employees, and services are introduced to the communities intended to be served. This task could be accomplished using certain notable mediums including:
Local Phone Directories
This is an old-fashioned but potentially effective strategy. However, taking out advertising space in local business directories often prove relatively impactful in attracting clients.
Various Media Outlets
Media outlets like newspapers, television, radio, and websites offer advertising space or spots. Said entities might prove even more beneficial than business directories because they reach larger audiences in a more direct manner.
Social Media Accounts
In today’s technologically-driven world, few informational outlets are utilized more than noted social media destinations. Therefore, new firms are firmly urged to create accounts with said entities and frequently use these platforms to provide useful information.
Create A Website
The creation of a viable web presence is a must. This online destination should be easy to access and simple to navigate.
Additionally, the informational resource should contain several important features such as attorney profiles, blogs about specific criminal offenses put in layman’s terms, and contact data like the headquarters address and locations of satellite offices, pertinent telephone numbers, and the emails of key figures.
Building The Firm’s Professional Reputation
Once the entity’s business is established, the firm founders are encouraged to turn their attentiveness to raising the organization’s professional reputation. Criminal defense practices are based on serving the legal needs of clients. Attracting clientele might be made easier by engaging in practices such as:
Hiring Accomplished Staffers
Naturally, a criminal defense law firm’s professional successes will be built by how adept its attorneys are at yielding clients positive outcomes. The first step towards achieving said aim is retaining the services of the most experienced, legally-astute, competent lawyers the business can afford to employ.
Establish A Community Presence
Newly formed businesses can develop a quick and positive reputation by establishing a community presence. Community-mindedness often demonstrates a concern for others and shows that the organization in question is intent on serving the community’s needs in addition to its own.
Set Up Shop In A Central Location
The concept is simple. Offices in more accessible locations are easier for prospective clients to reach.
Accept Multiple Forms Of Payment
Legal fees are typically costly. Therefore, offering multiple forms of payment offers clients options that might make a new firm more attractive than more established competitors.