Monday, September 10, 2012

What Makes It Hard For An Attorney To Start His Own Firm

By Emily Flores

Setting up a law firm is not easy. There are a number of stumbling blocks that an attorney would face. As a result, many attorneys choose the easier option, which is to be an employee as they work for others. There are so many young lawyers who then end up underpaid, earning very low incomes when they can actually have their own law firm. I guess it is safe to say that setting up one's own firm is easier said than done. If it were easy, then everyone would have done it already. At least, there is something that stands in the way of many attorneys setting up their own firms. That is what this article is meant to discuss further: the stumbling blocks the lawyers face.

First, there is lack of capital. It is a problem that besets anyone else who is planning to set up any firm. Money is needed in order to set up a law firm. You'd be surprised to learn that small town firms actually cost a lot of money. It is important that you set up your legal offices in a good area so you could have a respectable address. Even if you are only renting a space in such an address, it would cost you a lot. You would also have to hire secretaries and legal clerks to staff your office. You need money to hire people. The attorney should set aside enough money that will cover rental payments and salary payments for several months.

Attracting clients to your office and signing up your services would take quite a while. So you would need quite a large capital investment when you start your own firm. Shortage of capital is what drives many attorneys to settle for working for other employers. There is also the complicated nature of the inner workings of the legal service industry to take into consideration. The legal service industry is rife with established fraternities that has a say as to who gets which case, and this is something that newcomers find hard to break.

You can expect all the cases to be in the hands of the 'big boys'. Even the small cases are going to be theirs. New lawyers trying to find their footings (who lack 'reputations') can end up being shunned even by the smallest of the clients. Before the clients start coming in, the new lawyer should invest a lot of time and effort in building his name and reputation up. This is the daunting part among many attorneys, even when they have enough money as start-up capital. Thus, they decide not to start their own firm.

Yet another factor that can make it hard for an attorney to set up his own firm is lack of confidence. Setting up a new law firm is essentially an act of entrepreneurship. It has huge risks. We've been witness to many attorneys who have set up their own law firms, only to close it down after they weren't able to get enough clients. Not many attorneys are willing to subject themselves to this level of humiliation. That is why they simply decide not to set up their own firms, even if they have enough capital or they are already known in legal circles.

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