• Lawyers can be regarded as entrepreneurs just like any other business innovators.
  • For a lawyer, entrepreneurship usually means starting their own law firm.
  • Keep reading to find out if you have what it takes to start your own law firm.

Summary: Have you ever thought about starting your own law firm? Find out if becoming a solo practitioner is the right choice for you.

Getting your “law license” is no different than getting any other kind of professional license. It gives you the right to work in the state where you want to practice your profession, and the right to set up your own business. Having your own business is deeply ingrained into what it means to many people to be successful in our culture, so many attorneys believe that the true route to success and happiness is through having their own law firms.
 
Should You Start Your Own Law Firm?

But is starting your own firm the right move for you?

Choosing to start your own law firm is a significant decision that will have profound implications on the rest of your career. Starting your own firm might take your career in a new, glorious direction – or not. It might impede your professional advancement and hinder your entire career. You must think through the pros and cons very carefully. Starting a firm is extremely challenging. You might succeed, but the odds are that you will fail.

Every great law firm (and there are literally tens of thousands of successful law firms out there) started somewhere. You could be the next attorney to start a great law firm, but that possibility can come only if you think through the process intelligently, logically, and after getting all the information you need to understand whether this is the right decision for you.
 
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

Every great law firm (and there are literally tens of thousands of successful law firms out there) started somewhere. You too could be the next attorney to start a great law firm and there is nothing stopping you except understanding whether this is the right decision for you.

I seriously contemplated opening my own law firm when I was still practicing at Dewey Ballantine in Los Angeles. Discouraged with the politics of the firm, and believing I could make just as much money starting my own firm, I set the wheels in motion. The Internet was in its infancy (i.e., pre websites), so I took the first steps by taking out an advertisement in the Yellow Pages ($750 a month) and then rented an office. I picked a date for my departure from the firm, set up my new office, purchased a copier and a new Dell Computer, and I was ready to go.