Establishing and maintaining your own practice is one of the greatest accomplishments of any legal career.
Needless to say, it’s also one of the most challenging. Law schools tend to devote little time to teaching you how to start and run a business. The skills that it takes are unlike those you’ve acquired thus far.
Before you continue, ask yourself:
- Am I willing to act as a business owner and leader?
- Do I want to be involved in running an entire firm?
- Can I value working on the business as highly as my billable hours?
If that’s three answers in the affirmative, keep going.
Current estimates by IBISWorld place the market size of the PI lawyer industry at $38 billion, with 56,494 registered firms in the United States.
While that may suggest tough competition, remember that most personal injury lawyers are highly specialized due to differences in laws between cities, regions, and states.
Also, with a growing elderly population and an increase in joint liability cases, revenue in the sector is expected to reach new heights over the next five years.
So, if you’re willing to venture forth, now is the time to do it. Take the first step by learning what you need to know about running a personal injury law firm.
How will you find and hire talent? Where will you obtain the funding to pay your team?
What about insurance? This may include coverage for business interruption and malpractice.
You’ll also need to rent an affordable space and equip your premises with all the necessary equipment and technology. Similarly, it’s vital that you invest in a proper website and start growing your online presence.
Take a look at the landing page for this Ft. Worth personal injury lawyer to get an idea of what that looks like. Also on the digital front is your software, which should include accounting and case management tools.
Why Firms Fail
Consider the following statistics from Clio’s Legal Trends Report:
- 48% of a lawyer’s time is spent on administrative tasks
- 60% of firms that track hours don’t have billing targets
- 91% of firms fail to calculate returns on advertising investments
- 94% of firms are unaware of their client acquisition costs
These are some of the common and costly mistakes that PI law firms make, often to their demise. Success comes from thinking ahead and making informed business decisions.
This begins with your vision, which should be clear, compelling, and measurable.
When documenting your vision, make sure to cover the following aspects:
- A business model focused on solving client problems in accordance with their budget and expectations
- A supportive network of peers and industry experts
- Actionable steps to completing short-term goals connected to long-term goals
- Regularly reviewed and updated key performance indicators (KPIs) to predict future success
- Trends that affect your firm and clientele
There’s a lot more to running a PI law firm than meets the eye. As long as you persist, rest assured that your efforts will pay off in due course.