Log in to Lawyerist.com
Not a Subscriber yet? Register here. (It's free!)
Username or Email Address
Forgot your password? Reset it here.
Subscribe to Lawyerist
Back to login.
- Hidden Date MM slash DD slash YYYY
- Name * First Last
- Password * Enter Password Confirm Password
- United States
- Which state is your firm's primary location? * Pick one. Alabama Alaska American Samoa Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Guam Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Northern Mariana Islands Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Puerto Rico Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah U.S. Virgin Islands Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming Armed Forces Americas Armed Forces Europe Armed Forces Pacific State
- Which province is your firm's primary location? * Pick one. Alberta British Columbia Manitoba New Brunswick Newfoundland and Labrador Northwest Territories Nova Scotia Nunavut Ontario Prince Edward Island Quebec Saskatchewan Yukon Province
- What is the size of your firm? * Pick one. Solo practice Small firm (2–15 lawyers) Medium or large firm (16+ lawyers) I do not work at a law firm
- What is your role at your firm? * Pick one. Owner/partner Lawyer Staff Vendor (web designer, consultant, etc.) I do not work at a law firm
- What is your primary practice area? * Pick one. Bankruptcy Civil litigation (non-PI) Class Action Collections Corporate Criminal Education Employment Estate planning, probate, or elder Family General practice Immigration International Landlord/Tenant Mediation/ADR Personal injury Real estate Small business Sports/Entertainment Tax Trademark/IP Other I do not work in law
- Legal Technology Products and Services
- Building a Healthy Firm
- Email This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
You have read all five of your free articles this month. To read this article, log in or register.
Legal product reviews and business guidance from industry experts.
19 Mar 2020
How to Write Your Law Firm Business Plan
By Cari Twitchell
News Articles Healthy Strategy
Every new law practice needs a business plan . This is a guide to creating one.
Here is what should go in your business plan once you’ve decided about your law firm business model.
Section One: Executive Summary
This section provides a succinct overview of your full plan. It should also include the following:
- Mission statement. This statement should be one or two sentences at most, so you can quickly state it off the top of your head at any given moment. It should clearly state your value and offer inspiration and guidance, while being plausible and specific enough to ensure relevancy. For further direction on how to write a mission statement, read this Entrepreneur article .
- Core values. Your core values outline the strategy that underpins your business. When written well, they help potential employees and clients understand what drives you every day. When written incorrectly, they include meaningless platitudes that become yet another thing forgotten or ignored during practice. To pack the most punch into your core values, write them as actionable statements that you can follow. And keep them to a minimum: two to four should do just fine. You can read more about writing core values at Kinesis .
- What sets you apart. If you are like every other attorney out there, how will you stand out? This is known as your unique selling proposition (USP). What is it that will convince clients to turn to you instead of your competition? By clearly stating your USP, you identify what it is about your firm that will ensure your success.
Are you feeling slightly overwhelmed by all of this? Then write this section last, as you’ll find much of what you write here is a summary of everything you include in subsequent sections.
Section Two: Company Description
Write a succinct overview of your company. Here is what it should cover:
- Mission statement and values. Reiterate your mission statement and core values here.
- Geographic location and areas served. Identify where your offices are located and the geographic areas that you serve.
- Legal structure and ownership. State whether you are an LLC, S-Corp or other legal entity. If you are something other than a sole proprietor, identify the ownership structure of your firm. How does your law firm business model influence the ownership type?
- Firm history. If you are writing or updating a plan for a law firm already in existence, write a brief history that summarizes firm highlights and achievements.
This section is often the shortest. Do not spend much time or space here. Touch on the major points and move on.
Section Three: Market Analysis
Done correctly, a well thought out market analysis will help you identify exactly what your potential clients are looking for and how much you should charge for your services. It also enables you to identify your competitors’ weaknesses, which in turn helps you best frame your services in a way that attracts your preferred clientele. You probably already considered some of these subjects when deciding on the small law firm business model, but you need to document them.
Elements of a market analysis include:
- Industry description. Draft up a summary that encompasses where your particular legal niche is today, where it has been, and which trends will likely affect it in the future. Identify everything from actual market size to project market growth.
- Target audience. Define your target audience by building your ideal client persona. Use demographics such as location, age, family status, occupation and more. Map out the motivations behind their seeking your services and then how it is you are best able to satisfy their requirements.
- Competitive analysis. This is where you dive into details about your competitors. What do they do well? Where do they fall short? How are they currently underserving your target market? What challenges do you face by entering legal practice in your field of choice?
- Projections. Provide specific data on how much your target audience has to spend. Then narrow that down to identify how much you can charge per service.
A proper market analysis includes actual data to support your analysis. If you are unsure of where to find data, Bplans has a great list of resources for you to use. And if you would like to read further about conducting a market analysis, check out this article from the Small Business Administration.
Section Four: Organization & Management
This section goes into detail about you and any others who may have ownership interest in the firm. The small law firm business model section here should incorporated into the management documentation. Do not be afraid to brag a bit!
- What is your educational background?
- What experience do you currently have?
- Why are you the right person to run your firm?
If there are other individuals involved, it is a good idea to insert your organizational chart here. Visuals help quickly convey information and break up otherwise blocky text.
Section Five: Services
The Services section is the heart of your law firm business model plan. It is where you dive into all aspects of your services, including:
- The problem(s) you are addressing. What pain points do your preferred clients experience? What can they do right now to alleviate those pain points? Answer these questions, and then take the extra step to explain how those current solutions fail to adequately address their problems.
- The solution(s) you are providing. This describes how your solutions better resolve your prospective market’s needs. This not only includes the actual work you do, but the benefits that each client will receive based on your work.
- An overview of your competition. Describe your competition here. For instance, which other solo attorneys and firms provide the same solutions as you? What are your advantages over these competitors? What do you differently when providing your solutions? How will clients gain additional benefits by seeking out your services instead of working with your competitors?
Section 6: Marketing Strategy
Your marketing strategy section needs to address the three P’s:
- Positioning. How will you position your law firm and your services? What will you say to present your practice in the best light? What short statements can you use to entice a potential client to pursue your services?
- Pricing. How much will you charge? How does that fit within the legal industry? Within your niche industry? What do clients receive for that price?
- Promotion. Which sales channels and marketing activities will you pursue to promote your practice? Who is in charge of these activities? Even if you plan to build your law firm on the basis of word-of-mouth referrals, you must remember that most referrals will still look for information about you before contacting you. Know where they will look and ensure you are there.
Section Seven: Financials
Last comes the financials section. It is the key component to your plan if you are going to seek funding to get your practice off the ground. It is imperative that you complete this section even if you are not seeking funding, however, as you need to paint a clear financial picture before opening your doors.
Two main items make up this section: budgeting and forecasting (sales and cash flow). Answer these questions to help you address these items:
- How much starting capital do you need?
- How much money will it cost to keep your practice operating on a month-to-month basis?
- How many cases will you need to close each month to break even?
- How many cases would you need to close to make a profit?
- What is your projected profit and loss for the year?
This section often incorporates graphs and other images, including profit-and-loss and cash-flow tables. The more specific you get with your numbers, the more likely you are to succeed!
One final note: If your goal is to submit your business plan to potential funders, you want to do everything you can to make sure your plan stands out. One good way to do this is to work with a designer to artfully format your plan. Great presentation can take you a long way.
Originally published 2017-09-23. Republished 2020-07-31.
About the Author
Last updated October 7th, 2022
Learn the Latest from Our Partners and Community
11 Jan 2023
On The Lawyerist Podcast: Top Episodes of 2022
By Kyle Harrington
Lawyerist News News Articles Healthy Clients Healthy Owner Healthy Strategy Healthy Team
Everett Hosts Interactive Strategic Planning Session at Alaska...
Lawyerist News News Articles Healthy Strategy
Lawyerist Media Launches Redesigned Website to Better Help...
By the Lawyerist editorial team
Lawyerist News News Articles Healthy Strategy Law Firm Finances Law Firm Websites Lawyerist News Starting a Law Firm
27 May 2022
Lawyerist Values: Grow as People
Lawyerist News News Articles Healthy Strategy Lawyerist Values
Lawyerist’s Seek Candor Value Is More Than...
Develop a healthy strategy, how to competently reinvent your practice.
By Megan Zavieh
31 Dec 2019
Year-End Law Practice Checklist
19 Dec 2019
How to Use Aged A/R Reports
By Mary Juetten
News Articles Healthy Strategy Law Firm Finances
26 Nov 2019
Small Firm Roadmap Stories: Vision and Values
News Articles Healthy Strategy Lawyerist Lab Roadmap Starting a Law Firm
18 Oct 2019
Design Thinking for Lawyers
By Marshall Lichty
News Articles Healthy Strategy Healthy Systems
19 Aug 2019
Strategic Planning for Law-Firm Success and Growth
25 Oct 2018
How to Promote a Unique Value Proposition to...
By Karin Conroy
News Articles Healthy Strategy Law Firm Clients
23 Jan 2018
Rethinking Law-Firm Productivity Measurement for the Post Billable...
By Jordan Furlong
23 Mar 2017
How to Calculate Client Acquisition Cost
- Product Reviews
The original content within this website is © 2023. Lawyerist, Lawyerist Lab, TBD Law, Small Firm Dashboard, and
The Small Firm Scorecard are trademarks registered by Lawyerist Media, LLC.
Don't bother with copy and paste.
Get this complete sample business plan as a free text document.
Law Firm Business Plan
Start your own law firm business plan
Wy'East Law Firm
Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">.
Wy’East Law Firm (WLF) is a boutique technology law firm located in Portland, Oregon. The firm will be lead by Richard Bloom, a seasoned attorney previously with (name omitted)’s e-group. WLF will service all needs generated by technology firms, with specialization on mergers and acquisitions and qualified stock option plans; and handles both start-up and established companies.
In addition to WLF’s technology practice, we will offer public interest legal work at subsidized rates. The technology practice will allow the firm to be able to provide public interest organizations legal help at the cost of overhead.
WLF is a limited liability company founded and lead by Richard Bloom.
The objectives for WLF for the first three years of operation include:
- To create a law firm whose primary goal is to exceed customer’s expectations.
- To develop a client list that includes at least 20 companies, each with revenues of over $3 million.
- To increase the ability to serve public interest organizations each year.
- To be able to offer each year some legal services at a subsidized rate.
The mission of Wy’East Law Firm is to provide the Portland community with technological and public interest legal guidance. We exist to attract and maintain customers and to support the public interest community. When we adhere to this maxim, everything else will fall into place.
Start your own business plan
Your business plan can look as polished and professional as this sample plan. It's fast and easy, with LivePlan.
The quickest way to turn a business idea into a business plan
Fill-in-the-blanks and automatic financials make it easy.
No thanks, I prefer writing 40-page documents.
Discover the world’s #1 plan building software
The New York City Bar will be CLOSED starting 2:00 PM on Friday, September 1st in observance of Labor Day. We will resume our regular hours at 9:00 AM on Tuesday, September 5th.
- Member & Career Services
- Small Law Firm management
- Small Firm Resources
- Writing a Business Plan for Law Firm
- Career Development
- CLE & Events
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Job Opportunities
- Lawyer Assistance Program
- Benefits for Solo and Small Law Firm Members
- Small Law Firm Symposium - Small Law Firm Management Course
- Helpful Links
- Lawyer Continuity - Lawyer Exit Plans
- Small Law Firm Vendor Program
- Virtual Law Office - Professional Business Services
- Office Space Available
- Small Law Firm Center eNews
- Sustaining Members
Writing a Business Plan for Law Firm - Law Firm Business Plan Sample
Business plans for lawyers.
New York City Bar Association Small Law Firm Committee
Writing a Business Plans for Lawyers – The Non-Financial Side
1 Why write a law firm business plan?
First and foremost, it’s a Management Tool, It f orces you to think through important issues you may not otherwise consider The recipe to grow your law practice
- A roadmap, albeit a changing one, with milestones to help reach goals you already know and have yet to define
- A sales tool to obtain financing
- A sales tool when looking to form a partnership or join one
- Some parts of a business plan include stating the obvious, but should not be overlooked because they still form a part of the whole
- As you write it, ideas come, strategies unfold, beliefs you may have had change
- It also changes your mindset. You’re no longer thinking about starting a business, you’re now in the process of starting a business.
- If you write a business plan and put it away in a drawer you have not written one that is feasible or is going to do you any good. Continual updating – whether semi-annual, annual, biennial, whichever is best for you - is your own set of checks and balances.
If you are going to buy a book, look for one that offers general advice and suggestions applicable to all businesses. And, if you choose a software package, eliminate the “techy” things like their numbering system; that is a dead giveaway that you’re using a software program. Also, eliminate sections that are irrelevant!
Suggestion: Don’t just buy one from an online bookstore. Take the time go through a table of contents and thumb through.
Examples available from Barnes & Noble:
- Alpha Teach Yourself - Business Plans in 24 Hours by Michael Miller
- Successful Business Planning in 30 Days TM, 3/ed, Peter Patsula
- The Executive Summary
- Analysis of Your Market
- Description of Your Firm
- Your Marketing Strategy
No set formula for a successful practice
Before developing a plan for a lawyer, answer the following:
- Identify your practice niche(s)
- What skills and experience you bring to your practice
- What legal structure to use: sole proprietorship, PC, partnership, LLP, etc.
- What clients you currently have and might potentially acquire
- What clients you want
- What business and social contacts you have
- What other attorneys you can call upon to fill in practice gaps
- How your firm’s records will be kept
- What equipment and supplies will be needed
- What library and other information sources will be needed
- What insurance will be needed
- What other resources will be needed
- How you will compensate yourself
- Review your current finances re assets, current cash flow, expenses
- What financing may be needed
- What financial assets do you have
- What banking accounts will be needed
- Review your current non non-financial resources
- Identify your market
- Describe your startup plans
- Where will your office be located
- What will the name of your firm be
2 The Executive Summary
For some businesses this is the most important part of the business plan because it summarizes what the company does, where it is going and how to get there. Therefore, it must describe the company, the “product” and the market opportunities concisely.
It is written after the plan is complete but is the first and, sometimes, most important part read by investors.
How important this is for a legal business plan depends on your long and short term goals, e.g., whether they are to grow a partnership, join a firm, build up a practice that is enticing for acquisition by a larger firm, etc.
In order to provide that summary, go through a number of exercises:
- Mission statement – the firm’s purpose and what it will do
- Major goals
- Objectives/milestones needed to achieve those goals
- Vision statement – where you want to go and what you want your firm to become, not just 20 years down the road but where you want to be three or five years from now
- List what is out of your control e.g., nature of the law business, direction of the marketplace, competition, mergers and acquisitions among clients, and competitors, attorneys and firms already in place
- Analyze opportunities to face and threats
- List your firm’s specific capabilities and whatever you believe you can offer that is unique
- If you are not a solo practitioner, who is the management
- What is the legal organization
- What technology will you be capitalizing on
- What is the marketing potential
- Describe your basic strategies based on the information you have learned about the legal business, your competition and applicable markets within your field.
- Provide the basis for why you believe your strategy is the right one for your firm.
- What markers will you use to change direction
- Outline what your firm needs to make that strategy succeed
- Financial projections
- Back up of those projections with assumptions (so that they can be adjusted as necessary)
- Summary of revenues by month for at least three years
- Balance sheet
- Cash flow statement
- What actions you’re going to take to carry out the plan
- What changes will be needed or skills acquired to put the plan to work
3 Analysis of Your Market: The Legal “Business” that Affects You
Purpose: an accurate understanding of trends affecting law practice in general and your specializations, client demographics, client universe.
Keep track of impact factors, obstacles, opportunities and threats to better forecast and build the strategies.
- Identify who and what firms dominate and where they are
- What new technologies have already and may yet change the way your practice is done
- What laws and regulations have and may yet change your practice
- Describe the overall demand for your specialties
- What else besides price affects your client decisions to use your services
- What clients (people or companies) can influence your areas of practice
- Large firms, mid size, boutiques, solo practitioners
- In-house attorneys
- Government attorneys
- Divide into primary, secondary and, if necessary, tertiary levels
- Is there substitution, e.g., do it yourself or outsourcing to India
- List what is available and how it affects your practice
- Describe how technology is affecting your kind of practice
- Describe who controls the technologies that affect
- Describe how you keep up with new technology
- List all the things that will make it difficult for you to practice in your expertise and locale
- List the things that will make your exit from you area of expertise or your transition to a different one difficult
- What can relationships with suppliers do for you
- Could a supplier become a competitor, e.g.; for articles you write
- Colleagues and competitors
- Professional associations
- Community associations
- Social and business organizations
- Current and former clients
- Former employment colleagues
- Pro bono colleagues
- What ways improve your position with clients
- Does pricing affect
- What else affects your relationship
- What kind of follow up do you do after meeting someone who may be a potential client or who can introduce you
- Writing articles
- Giving speeches
- How can you use your other relationships
- What are the overall costs that affect your hourly, daily or matter rates?
- Profit margins
- What do suppliers of your technology, research, information, etc. offer by way of pricing, discounts
- Are there long term agreements that can be to your advantage/disadvantage
- Elasticity of demand for the rates you charge
- If on a regular retainer, are you realizing 100% of your hourly rate, or more/less
- Identify where the biggest costs of your practice come from
- Identify fixed and variable costs
- How to gain economies of scale
- Identify where you can lower costs
- Is the profit margin you’re working with the right one for your practice
- Describe the size of your primary market
- List the niche markets that can use your expertise
- Is your kind of practice a growing or shrinking market
- Identify new growth opportunities in your areas of expertise
- Economic slowdowns
- Changing statutes, regulations and decisions
- Social pressures
- By product, industry, size, geography
- Membership lists of trade organizations
- List of conference attendees
- By referral of current clients
- By referral of colleagues, bar association, etc.
- By referral from competitors with conflicts
- What untapped market is there
- What underserved market is there
- Trade associations made of small companies in the same field
- Part time general counsel for small companies
- Trade associations you can join and committees you can volunteer for
4 Describing and Analyzing Your Own Firm
- It’s not just a law firm.
- What’s the general history
- When was it formed and why
- What is your mission
- What are your goals
- What direct experience do you have? Your partners?
- How relevant is your experience to the current world?
- How often do you talk to prospective clients
- What do you current clients feel about you
- What is the maximum amount of business you can handle yourself without farming it out
- To whom can you farm
- Who is your backup when you are too busy, traveling on business, on vacation, sick
- What is unique about you or your practice
- Describe the areas you focus on and want to focus on
- What are the ancillary areas of law that often or usually involved or triggered by your focus area
- What need does your expertise serve
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of your areas of expertise
- Identify your own strengths and weaknesses
- Who are your clients
- Who among your clients makes the decisions to use your services
- What stage of business development are your clients in
- How sophisticated/knowledgeable are your clients
- Are your clients street smart and/or business savvy
- Do they use more than one lawyer at a time
- Long term objectives
- Short term objectives
- What problems do you face
- What problems do your clients face
- What do you consider milestones
- What are the legal (statutory, regulatory & case law) trends that will affect it
- What are the technological trends that will affect it
- What are the economic trends that will affect it
- What potential risks and opportunities to be faced?
- Do you use innovative technology
- Do you offer superior client care/service
- Is your hourly, daily, or matter pricing lower than the “norm”
- Is there a small group of firms or attorneys who offer the same expertise or specialization
- Are you well known for a book, a speech, an article, news coverage, etc.
- Are you a trade association or bar association director or active participan
- Do a SWOT Analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
Strengths & Weaknesses are vis à vis your competitors, rather than your own history Focus on current competition and potential competition
- Are there advantages to your expertise areas
- What do you enjoy doing
- What resources to you have access to
- What do others see as your strengths
- What can you improve
- What don’t you do well
- What should you avoid
- Do others perceive a weakness you don’t agree with
- Are your competitors doing better than you
- How can you meet a potential client
- What are the good opportunities – are they new areas, new statutes & regulations, etc.
- How can changes in technology help you
- How can changes (or no changes) in government policy affect your area of expertise
- Are there changes in social patterns or lifestyle that can help
- What opportunities can open if a weakness is eliminated
- Family/emotional/physical challenges
- Technological challenges
- What is your competition doing you are not
- How can technological changes threaten you
5 Competitive Analysis and Target Market
- List law firm/solo practice trends
- List direct competition
- List indirect competition
- Describe the extent of the unserved market for your kind of legal services
- Who is your client/customer
- What is your price
- Profile your primary customer
- Traits: geographics, demographics, psychograhics
- List client needs
- Describe how your fill those needs
- List primary, secondary and tertiary competitors
- What services do they offer in addition to yours
- What do they charge
- How do competitor firms sell their services
- What are the competitor strengths
- What are the competitor weaknesses
- What size competes with you
- What other specialties do they offer
- Who are they representing
- What is their pricing
- What are their operational strengths and weaknesses
- Are they adequately financed
- How do your competitors advertise or promote themselves
- What are their conflicts
- How does your competition market itself
- Competitive Identification
- Direct competitor – offers the same benefit
- Indirect competitor – services the client can get instead of yours
- Visit and read competitor websites and their advertising, including separate websites by individual partners
- Subscribe to competitor law firm online or other newsletters
- Does it use innovative technology
- Does it offer superior client care/service
- Is its hourly, daily, or matter pricing lower than the “norm”
- Are they well known for a book, a speech, an article, news coverage, etc.
- Are they trade association or bar association directors or active participants
Generate similar info for potential clients to help identify the target that will be most interested in you
A marketing plan must have a detailed description of the target market for your services, an analysis of the trends and conditions of that marketplace and how the trends affect that marketplace
- Total size of targeted market
- Historical current and projected growth rates
- What social, economic &political changes could affect it and your services
- Describe recent developments in the law that affect your areas of expertise
- Are there identifiable niches
- What or will be your clients’ needs and wants
- How will potential customers find out about you
- What kind of marketing, if any, are your clients and potential clients receptive to
- What do existing clients like best about your services
- Are your target clients consumers, businesses or both
- Demographics, psychographics, legal service purchasing habits
- When and how does the client decide to use a lawyer & find a lawyer
- Does your potential client use the Internet, bar association, trade association, business referral, family referral, friend referral, etc. to find a lawyer
- What is your client’s level of education and occupation
- Are they Fortune 1000,500, 100, mid size or smaller
- Is your client industry specialized and do you know that industry
- Does the client use more than one lawyer or law firm
- How long does the client take to decide to use a lawyer
- Does more than one person at the client make the decisions to use a lawyer, and if so who are they
- Is the person who decides who is going to provide legal services the one who is going to receive those services
- What influences your client’s decision to retain a lawyer
- Is using a lawyer optional, a necessity or a luxury
- Is a lawyer needed all year round, seasonal or ad hoc
- How and how well do your clients market themselves
6 Marketing & Strategy
Once you analyze your client needs you can build a comprehensive marketing strategy,
- What is it you intend to accomplish
- What is the amount of increase in clients and/or billing that you want to achieve
- Make each goal measurable and explain each one specifically
- Set each goal to a planned schedule
- Be able and prepared to assess all components to revise when necessary
- Compare these goals to what you believe your competitors’ goals to be
- Tactical objectives = measurable tasks
- Create client value
- Name recognition among your clients and potential clients
- Client retention
- Attracting partners or merging into a bigger firm
- Create a timeline for the objectives or events
- Determine the time frame for the plan, e.g., every six months, every year, etc.
- Describe the need for your services from the client’s POV
- Define the impact on the client of your services
- Ask whether your clients currently obtain this service more cost-effectively than you can provide it
- Describe what would compel clients to change from the lawyers they are using to you or to add you to their lawyer rosters
- E.g., how you will use that list of relationships
- Marketing Mix – Networking, Advertising, Promotion, PR
- Inserts in papers
- Bus, taxi, etc. ads
- Space in professional and trade publications
- Street banners
- New resident welcome kits
- Trade and trade association show directories and handouts
- Trade and trade association show sponsorships
- Coupon mailers
- Press releases
- CRM (customer relationship marketing)
- Cost based = cost plus profit margin
- Cost plus profit = cost plus fixed percentage markup
- Market based = use the market norm and add or subtract
- Ask what the highest price your target market can bear
- Determine the price elasticity for your kind of legal services
- Should you offer an introductory rate
- Age of business
- Cost to acquire a client
New York City Bar On Twitter
© 2023 Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
42 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036 | 212.382.6600
- Terms & Conditions
- Event Space Rental
- Advertise with Us
- Customer Relations
- Law Society Tribunal
- CPD Programs
- Great Library
- Lawyer/Paralegal Directory
- Certified Specialist Directory
- Law Society Gazette
- Osgoode Hall Restaurant
- Portal Login
- Change Contrast
Appendix 4 - Developing a Law Firm Business Plan
Developing a law firm business plan.
The following worksheet leads you through each of the categories of a basic law practice business plan. Although the practice of law is a profession… law practice is a business. Careful planning increases the opportunity for a successful practice without the unanticipated surprises that cause practices to fail.
- Description of the Law Firm [brief summary paragraph]
- Firm Goals and Strategy [brief statement]
- Partners and Key Staff [brief statement]
- Practice Areas and Specialties [brief statement]
- Unique Characteristics of the Firm [brief statement]
- Types of Clients to be Served [brief statement]
- Firm Economics and Profitability [brief statement]
- Financing Requirements [brief statement]
- The local Economy and the Need for Legal Services [detailed analysis – may be additional pages]
- The Firm’s Marketing Plan [detailed analysis – may be additional pages]
- The Firm’s Practice Areas [detailed analysis – may be additional pages]
- The Firm’s Start-Up and Growth Strategy [detailed analysis – may be additional pages]
- Current and Potential Clients [detailed analysis – may be additional pages]
- Market Size and Trends [detailed analysis – may be additional pages]
- Competition – Other law firms [detailed analysis – may be additional pages]
- Future Practice Areas [detailed analysis – may be additional pages]
- Overall Marketing Strategy [detailed analysis – may be additional pages]
- Billing Rates and Alternative Billing Policies [detailed analysis – may be additional pages]
- Client Service Initiatives [detailed analysis – may be additional pages]
- Advertising and Solicitation Plan [detailed analysis – may be additional pages]
[detailed analysis – insert chart or spreadsheet]
How to Create a Law Firm Business Plan Aimed at Success
Starting your own law firm can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor. However, running a successful legal practice requires more than just a passion for practicing law. You also need to have a solid understanding of the business side of things. This is where having a well-crafted law firm business plan comes in.
In this blog, we will guide you through the process of creating a comprehensive law firm business plan that will help you achieve your goals . Whether you're just starting out or looking to take your existing practice to the next level, a business plan is a vital tool for success.
We'll start by discussing the importance of understanding your values, goals, and what makes your firm stand out . We'll also explore the key elements that should be included in your law firm's business plan, such as market analysis , financial projections , and marketing strategies . Additionally, we'll provide a business plan template , practical tips , and examples of successful law firm business plans to help you get started.
Why Is a Business Plan Important for Law Firms?
A business plan is a vital tool for any law firm to achieve success. It outlines goals, strategies, and the feasibility of business ideas, providing a clear direction and focus for the firm. The plan can be used to secure funding from investors or financial institutions by demonstrating the potential for growth and profitability.
Moreover, a business plan supports decision-making by evaluating the feasibility of new ventures and assessing potential risks and rewards. It helps to manage resources effectively by setting financial goals and tracking progress, ensuring the firm is making the most of its resources and achieving objectives.
Lastly, a law firm's business plan enables growth by identifying new opportunities and developing strategies to capitalize on them. By planning for the future and setting realistic growth targets, law firms can take their businesses to the next level. Overall, a well-developed business plan is critical for success in the legal industry, providing direction and focus, supporting decision-making, managing resources effectively, and enabling growth.
General Tips for Creating an Attorney Business Plan
Building a business plan for law firms is not an easy or intuitive process. By considering the following issues before opening your doors to clients, you have a much better chance of having a stable firm that matches your values and has a clear set of goals.
Forming a law firm can feel overwhelming. You have a lot of freedom and can easily get sidetracked into issues that either can wait or do not deserve your attention.
If having a strong law firm website design is important enough for you to include in your plan, you will spend time on that instead of less important matters.
A plan also includes a budget. The process of planning your firm's finances can ensure that you do not overspend (or underspend) as you start your own firm.
The attention to detail that comes from having a plan will help you avoid spreading yourself too thin by focusing on every issue or the wrong issues. Instead, you will maintain your focus on the important issues.
Whether you have law partners or develop a solo law firm business plan, the plan will help you stay focused on your end goals.
Keep Track of Goals and Results
It is easy to set goals when you start a law firm , then promptly forget about them.
Your plan will set out your goals and the metrics you will use to determine your progress toward meeting them. The plan should also explain how you will know when you have met them.
For example, you might have a growth goal of reaching five lawyers within two years. Or you might have a revenue goal of collecting $200,000 your first year.
Too many businesses, including law firms, meander on their developmental path. By setting goals and the path for meeting them, you will have guardrails to keep your firm on track.
A plan helps keep you accountable.
Sort Out Your Own Law Firm Strategy
The motivation to start a law firm almost always includes the belief that you can run a law firm more in line with your values, goals, and needs than someone else. A plan helps you develop a concrete strategy to make that happen.
It is easy to say that you will run your law firm better. It is more difficult to explain how you will run your law firm better. The process of creating the plan will help you identify and solve problems you might have otherwise missed.
A plan forces you to think about the details of how your law firm will operate.
One area often overlooked by law firm owners is marketing. Check out our step-by-step guide to developing a law firm marketing strategy to learn more about this important issue.
You should view your plan as a law firm business development plan that will guide the formation and growth of your firm.
You can review the document periodically to remind you and your law partners of your growth and expansion projections. After this review, you can ensure your growth and expansion remain on track to carry you to your goals.
The review will also tell you whether you need to update your firm's goals. When you started your law firm, you might have been unduly pessimistic or optimistic in your projections. Once you have some time to operate according to your plan, you can update your goals to keep them realistic. You can also update your processes to focus on what works and discard what does not.
The review can provide your projections for what you hope to accomplish and the roadmap for accomplishing it.
Law Firm Business Plan Template
Each of the websites below includes at least one attorney business development plan template:
- Business Plan Workbook
- Smith & Jones, P.A.
- Wy'East Law Firm
You can use a law firm strategic plan example from these sites to start your firm's plan, then turn the plan into a document unique to your circumstances, goals, and needs.
What to Consider Before Starting Law Firm Business Plans
Before starting a law firm business plan, think through a few key issues, including:
Setting the Goals
Reflect deeply on your firm's purpose. Think about who you represent and how you can best meet their needs. A law firm exists for its clients. As you think about your law firm goals , think about goals for providing legal services to your clients.
You need to set realistic and achievable goals. These goals should reflect your reasons for starting your law firm. Thus, if you started your law firm because you expected to make more money on your own than working for someone else, set some goals for collections.
While you are setting your goals, think about how you will reach them and the ways you will measure your success. For example, if you want to expand to include ten lawyers within three years, think about intermediate goals at the end of years one and two. This helps measure your progress.
Thinking of the Revenue You Need
Calculate how much revenue you need to cover your overhead and pay your salary. Suppose your expenses include:
- $2,000 per month for office rent
- $36,000 per year for a legal assistant salary
- $600 per month for courier expenses
- $400 per month for a copier lease
Assume you want the median annual salary for lawyers of $127,990. You need $199,990 per year in revenue to cover your salary and expenses.
But revenue is not the end of the story. Your landlord, vendors, and employees expect to get paid monthly. So you should also calculate how much cash flow you need each month to cover your hard expenses.
You also need a reserve. Clients expect you to front expenses like filing fees. Make sure you have a reserve to pay these costs and float them until clients reimburse you.
Defining the Rate of Payment
You need to make some difficult decisions when it comes to setting your own fee structure. If you choose a higher billing rate, you will need to work less to meet your revenue goals. But you might not find many clients who are able to pay your fees.
Whether you charge a flat fee, contingent fee, or hourly fee, you should expect potential clients to compare your fees to those of your direct and indirect competitors. Remember, your firm competes against other lawyers, online services like LegalZoom , and do-it-yourself legal forms books.
Finally, you need to comply with your state's rules of professional conduct when setting your fees. The ABA's model rules give eight factors to determine the reasonableness of a fee. These factors include the customary fee for your location and the skill required to provide the requested legal services.
Making the Cases in Your Law Practice Meet the Revenue Needs
Figure out how much you need to work to meet your revenue target. If you charge a flat fee, you can simply divide your revenue target by your flat fee.
Hourly fee lawyers can calculate the number of hours they need to bill and collect. However, law firm owners rarely bill 100% of the hours they work due to the administrative tasks they perform to run a firm. Also, you will probably not collect 100% of your billings, and clients could take 90 days or longer to pay.
Contingency fee lawyers will find it nearly impossible to project the cases they need. You have no way of knowing the value of your cases in advance. You also have no idea when your cases will settle. You could work on a case for years before you finally get paid.
Parts of a Business Plan for Law Firm Formation: Structure
A law firm business plan is a written document that lays out your law firm goals and strategies.
For many businesses, a business plan helps secure investors. But the ethical rules prohibit law firms from seeking funding from outside investors or non-lawyer shareholders .
Your lawyer business plan is for you and your law partners. It will help you manage everyone's expectations and roles in the firm. Here is a law firm business plan example to help you see the parts and pieces in action.
An executive summary combines the important information in the business plan into a single-page overview. Your plan will include details like projections, budgets, and staffing needs. This section highlights the conclusions from those detailed analyses.
Your executive summary should include :
- A mission statement explaining the purpose of your firm in one or two sentences
- A list of the core values that your firm will use whenever it makes decisions about its future
- The firm's overarching goals for itself, its lawyers, and the clients it serves
- The unique selling proposition that sets your firm apart from other firms in the legal industry
You should think of this section as a quick way for people like lenders, potential law partners, and merger targets, to quickly understand the principles that drive your firm.
Law Firm Description and Legal Structure
First, you will describe what your law firm does. You will describe your law practice and the clients you expect to serve.
Second, you will describe how your firm operates. The organization and management overview will explain your legal structure and the management responsibilities of you and your law partners.
This section should fill in the details about your firm's operation and structure by:
- Describing the scope of the legal services you offer and your ideal clients
- Restating your mission statement and core values and expanding upon how they will guide your firm
- Explaining your location and where your clients will come from
- Describing your business entity type and management structure
- Detailing your unique selling proposition , including the features that distinguish your firm from your competitors
When someone reads this section, they should have a clear picture of what you will create.
Your attorney business plan explains where your firm's revenue comes from and where it goes. This is where your skills as a lawyer begin to diverge from your skills as a business owner. You may need to learn a few new accounting concepts so you can perform the analyses expected in a financial plan.
You will need a financial plan for at least the first year.
If you plan to seek a bank loan or line of credit, your bank may need a financial plan that covers three years or longer.
You will need more than a few rough numbers for a useful business plan. Instead, you will need to estimate your expenses and revenues as accurately as possible.
You might need to contact vendors and service providers to get precise costs. You will probably need to track your billings with your prior firm to predict your revenues. If you are opening a law firm after law school or an in-house job, you may need a competitive analysis to show what similar law firms earn in your location and practice area.
Some reports you may need in your business plan include:
- Revenue analysis listing the fees you will collect each month
- Budget describing your monthly and annual expenses
- Financial projections combining the revenue analysis and budgeted expenses to predict your profit margins
- Cash flow statement showing how your revenues and expenses affect your cash on hand.
Your cash flow statement might be the most important financial report because it explains how your bank balance will fluctuate over time. If your clients take too long to pay their bills or you have too many accounts payable due at the same time, your cash flow statement will show you when money might get tight.
A market analysis will tell you where you fit into the legal market in your location and field. You need a competitive analysis to understand the other lawyers and law firms that will compete with you for potential clients. You can also analyze their marketing messages to figure out how to stand out from the competition.
A competitive analysis will tell you what services other firms offer, how much they charge, and what features help your competitors succeed.
Your analysis should include a discussion about your :
- Ideal clients and what you can do to help them
- Market size and whether you offer something clients need
- Competitors and what they offer to clients
- Competitive advantages and how you can market them to potential clients
You can also develop and hone your marketing strategy based on the benefits you offer to clients over your competitors. Finally, a market analysis can tell you the locations and practice areas in which your firm may expand in the future.
Your market analysis helps you focus your efforts on your legal niche.
A marketing plan sets out the steps you will take to reach your target market. Your marketing strategy will take your market analysis and turn it into a plan of action.
You will start with the results of your market analysis identifying your clients, your competitors, and your competitive advantages. You will then discuss the message you can deliver to potential clients that captures the advantages you have over your competition.
Some advantages you might have over other lawyers and law firms might include tangible benefits like lower billing rates or local office locations. Other advantages might provide some intangible benefits like more years of experience or state-bar-certified specialists in those states that allow specialization.
You will then discuss your marketing plan. A marketing plan explains :
- Characteristics of the target market you want to reach
- What your competition offers
- The distinct benefits you offer
- A message you can use to explain what separates you from your competition
- Your action plan for delivering your message
- Your goals for your action plan, such as the number of client leads, new clients, or new cases per month
Your action plan will include the marketing channels you want to use to spread your message. Marketing specialists can help you identify the best channels for your marketing message and client base.
For example, if you practice intellectual property law, you need to reach business owners and in-house lawyers who want to protect their companies' brands, inventions, artistic works, and trade secrets. A marketing agency may help you create a marketing strategy geared toward trade publications and business magazines.
But IP lawyers require an entirely different marketing strategy than firms that practice family law . Family lawyers need to market to individuals and will tailor their marketing efforts toward different marketing channels and messages.
Even if you expect most of your client leads to come from referrals, you still need brand recognition for those leads to find you. You should consider a website, basic SEO, and legal directory and bar association listings.
Related Posts: Law Firm Name Ideas How to Start a Law Firm Starting a Law Firm: LLP vs. PC Attorney Hourly Rates Setting the Right Strategy for Law Firm Growth Setting Growth Goals for Your Law Firm
Your Law Firm Services
You will outline the services your law firm offers to clients. Lawyers with established clients and an existing legal practice can simply describe what they already do.
Any new law firm or lawyer transitioning from other practice areas should consider:
- Practice areas you know and enjoy
- Overlapping practice fields that will not require extra staff, such as personal injury and workers' comp
- Related legal services your clients may need, such as wills and guardianship
By offering needed services you can competently provide, you can gain clients and avoid referring existing clients out to other lawyers.
Your Law Firm Budget
You should approach your budget as a living document. You will spend more money as you add more lawyers and staff members to your firm. But you can also look for ways to reduce your operating costs through investments in technology services and other cost-saving measures.
Your budget should set out the amount you expect to initially spend on start-up expenses. As you create your start-up budget, remember many of these expenses are not recurring. Furniture, computers, and office space build-outs can last several years. In short, your budget should answer the question, "What do you need to open a law firm?"
It should also lay out the amount you plan to spend each month to operate your firm. Here, you will include your recurring expenses, such as rent, staff salaries, insurance premiums, and equipment leases.
Using your operating budget, you will determine the amount of money you need to start and run your firm. This, in turn, will tell you whether you need to take out a loan or tap into your savings to start your law firm. You will need a plan for paying your expenses and day-to-day costs while your firm gets onto its feet.
Some Useful Tips on Creating a Business Plan for Law Firm Creation and Development
As you draft your law firm business plan, you should focus on the process. By putting your thoughts down in writing, you will often identify issues you had not previously considered.
Some other tips for drafting your business plan include:
Describe Both Strengths and Weaknesses
You want to project confidence as you prepare your business plan. Remember, you will use this plan to approach potential law partners, lenders, and merger targets. You need to show that you have a solid plan backed up by your financial projections.
At the same time, you need to remain realistic. Write a business plan that describes your business challenges as well as your competitive advantages.
For example, if you have a strong competitor that has a solid law firm reputation management and many of the clients you will target, acknowledge the difficulty of getting those clients to switch law firms. Describe your marketing strategies for approaching and pitching your law firm to those clients.
Remember that your business plan sets out the roadmap for both the establishment and operation of your law firm. Think about issues that could arise as your firm grows and matures.
For example, you may have a goal of reaching ten lawyers in three years. But as your staff grows, you may need a human resources manager. You may also seek to handle your payroll in-house instead of outsourcing it to a payroll provider. These changes will create ripple effects throughout your business plans. You will incur costs when you add staff members. You will also realize benefits like increased attorney efficiency.
At the same time, any projections more than five years into the future will likely be useless. Your firm and its clients will evolve, and technology will change how you practice law.
Be Clear about Your Intentions
As you develop your plan, you should keep its purpose in mind. First, you want to outline your core values and goals for your law firm. Set out the reasons why you started your law firm and what you intend to accomplish with it.
Second, you set out your path to achieving those goals. This will include boring technical information like how much you spend on legal research every month. But it will also explain your approach to solving problems consistent with your mission statement and philosophy for law firm management.
Consult and Update If Necessary
Your plan should guide you as you build your firm. It contains your goals and the roadmap for reaching them. But your plan is not carved in stone.
As you face challenges, you will consult your plan to make sure you approach these challenges in a way consistent with achieving your goals. But under some circumstances, you might find that the plan no longer provides the right solution.
As you work with your firm and your law partners, your goals, processes, and solutions to problems may evolve. The technology your firm uses may change. Your law firm's costs may go up with inflation or down as you realize economies of scale. You should update your plan when this happens.
There is no recipe for creating a business plan for law firm development. What goes into your mission statement and plan will depend on several factors, including your law firm business model. But this is a feature, not a bug of developing a business plan.
The process of business planning will help you develop solutions to issues you might have overlooked. If you have law partners, just going through the process of creating a law firm business plan can ensure that everyone is on the same page.
As you create your plan, the process itself should provoke thoughts and ideas so you can have a unique law firm tailored to your goals and values. This will help you get exactly what you wanted when you started in the legal industry.
To learn how to expand your client base as your firm grows, check out Grow Law Firm, a professional law firm marketing agency .
Level Up Your Brand
Book a Free Consultation
- Easy steps you can take to bring in more clients and up this year’s revenue
- The top website and marketing mistakes holding your law firm back
Find out how much demand there is in your geographical area
Let us help you create a digital marketing strategy and a growth plan
Consult with Sasha Berson, a legal marketing expert , to address your marketing needs.
You May Also Like
Law Firm Marketing Budget: How Much Do Lawyers Spend on Advertising?
Unlocking the Secrets of Law Firm Partnership Structures: A Must-Read Guide for Success-Driven Lawyers
Calculating Attorney Billable Hours: Why's and How's
Don't just wait for clients, attract them!
Get our FREE Marketing Audit to find bold new ways to boost your caseload.
Contact us today to speak with one of our experts and learn more about how we can help you grow your firm.
Stay ahead of the competition!
Compare your law firm's performance to Local competitors with our instant assessment tool
Get a clear picture of your firm's performance
Boost your online presence
NLBM News : Big things are happening at our blog, check it out...
How to Design a Law Firm Business Plan that Works for Your Life
Leap Into a Law Practice You Love – Part 2
Leap into a law practice you love – part 1, 13 mistakes law practice owners make that kill work/life balance—and how to fix them.
You’ve invested a great deal of your time and resources into your education and building your law practice, but are you reaping the rewards that are possible due to all of your hard work?
If you are like most lawyers, probably not.
Your law degree is one of the most valuable resources you have, and with the right business plan, you can make the most of it—and build a law practice and a life that you love.
Use these six steps to draft a law firm business plan that will drive results in your law practice.
1. Consider your long-term goals:
- Do you want to build your life around your law practice, and not the other way around?
- Do you have (or want to have) children you’d like to be able to spend more time with, being a full-time parent and part-time lawyer?
- Do you want to travel more than you’ve been able to, or desire to spend your winters somewhere warmer?
- Are you hoping to build a practice that you can eventually sell?
- Would you like to make at least six figures annually, while having complete control of your schedule?
- Would you like to build a million-dollar+ a year law practice?
2. Decide how much monthly revenue you need to generate to support your family and business expenses.
3. Consider how much time you have to focus on your law practice – while also having a life.
4. Look at how many clients you need to engage each month, and at what average fee to meet those goals in the time you have.
5. Choose a clientele to serve that values your services enough to meet those goals, and learn how to educate those clients so you are top of mind when anyone in that clientele base needs your services. (Learn more about why great lawyers don’t take ‘every client who walks through the door’ here .)
6. Create a cash forecast and monthly goals to work your intentional marketing plan and do just the activities necessary to meet those goals. Use this free Cash Flow Forecasting training and customizable template to get started.
When you use these six steps to design your law firm business plan, you’ll know you are headed in the right direction—directly toward a law practice that truly serves your life today, and that you can even sell and retire from down the road.
What will your perfect law firm business plan look like?
We’ve found that most lawyers who want to build a successful law practice will fit into one of three different types of practice plans. Not everybody wants to build a million-dollar-a-year law practice, and not everybody should.
Designing your ideal practice plan begins with you identifying clearly what you want to earn, and how much—or how little—you want to work, based on the reality of your life circumstances and your desire to learn how to hire, manage and train others.
Which of these law firm business plans most closely matches your goals?
- Solo Practitioner: Serve just 3-4 clients a month, at an average fee of $3,000 – $5,000, and have one outstanding team member working by your side. You’ll keep around $10,000 per month (before taxes) and could work very, very part-time with the right automation systems set up.
- Staffed Practice: Serve 12 to 15 new clients a month at an average fee of $3,000 – $5,000 and have a staff of 3 people to support your practice. You’ll take home approximately $200,000 – $250,000 a year, with gross revenue of about $650,000. The best part of this model, it is possible to do all of this while working just 3-5 days a week, if you’ve got great systems for educating your community and automating and personalizing your client services.
- 7-Figure Firm: Serving only 250 new clients a year, or 20 new clients a month, at an average fee of $4,000, makes it possible to build a million-dollar law practice and take home $300k – $400k per year. You’ll likely have 6-7 team members, at least, plus you are likely to be training other of counsel attorneys in your systems. Much of your time will be spent working “on the business” rather than serving clients. Personalized automation is, of course, the key here, to ensure you can maintain a reasonable schedule and be building a law practice you can sell.
None of these law practice plans are a get rich quick methodology! We’re not talking about a do-nothing-and-get-paid way of showing up with any of these. You have to care about your clients for this to work. If you don’t genuinely care, then none of the strategies, techniques, or resources that we have for you here at New Law Business Model will work for you. If you do care, then you have the opportunity to build yourself a law business that makes a difference in your client’s lives, makes you a great living, and gives you full control over your schedule.
No matter which law firm business plan you decide is right for you, it will indeed take work to reach your goals.
However, with the right guidance, systems, and support it can be easier than you think. Once you have it all set up, you’ll have a working plan for long-term success.
If you’d like to explore how building your law practice with New Law Business Model can support you reach your personal and professional goals—and start building a law practice and a life that you love— book a call with a Law Business Advisor today .
Upmetrics AI Assistant: Simplifying Business Planning through AI-Powered Insights. Learn How
Financial forecasting, ai assistance, see how upmetrics works →, strategic planning, entrepreneurs & small business, accelerators & incubators, business consultants & advisors, educators & business schools, students & scholars.
- Sample Plans
Business Plan Course
Strategic canvas templates, e-books, guides & more.
- WHY UPMETRICS?
Customers Success Stories
- Sample Business Plans
Law Firm Business Plan
If you are a lawyer, chances are you have thought of owning a law firm at least once if not more.
After all, having your firm gives you the freedom of taking up projects that you like and working at flexible hours.
But with freedom comes responsibility, and most of us find the thought of doing everything from onboarding clients to taking care of every detail of their case at least in the initial days quite overwhelming.
But don’t worry! It isn’t as scary as it looks. All you need to run a successful law firm is your sharp wit to deal with cases and a well-written law firm business plan to deal with the business side of your profession.
The global legal services market was valued at a whopping sum of 849.28 billion dollars in 2020 and is expected to rise at a high rate going forward too.
The main changes in the legal industry have been brought about by the introduction of AI which does proofreading and data research jobs with higher efficiency. This lets the lawyers focus on what really matters.
Also, the security and access systems have become loads better due to cloud computing.
What is Law Firm Business Plan?
A law firm business plan is a document that outlines your business goals and strategies to achieve those goals. It includes your law firm overview, your reason to start your firm, the services you will offer, a budget or funding requirements, and strategies to get and manage your clients.
Why Law Firm Business Plan is Important?
A business plan would help you understand what sets you apart from your competitors, and how you can market your USP to your clients.
It also helps you design strategies to reach out to your clients and manage them. It comes in extremely handy for analyzing the loopholes in your business structure.
Moreover, it helps you identify your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
All in all, It can make managing your business a hassle-free and less chaotic process.
Things to Consider Before Writing a Law Firm Business Plan
Focus on your expertise.
Between juggling business and practice, it is natural that practice gets neglected more often than not. But always keep in mind that though focusing on your business is important it shouldn’t come at the cost of skills you need to develop and upgrade to do well as a lawyer.
Create a proper website
In today’s world being present and active on the internet is as important for your business as being good at what you do.
Build your network
Networking is an important aspect of being a lawyer. From getting new customers, getting updates on the legal world, and even collecting evidence if you are a criminal lawyer, a good network can work wonders for your legal business.
Develop soft skills
We all know that confidence and intellect are a lawyer’s best friends. And although it is an ongoing process to develop these skills, it is good to get a head start before you start your business.
How to Write a Law Firm Business Plan?
A law firm business plan would be a combination of segments common to all business plans and segments specific to a law firm.
Before you start writing your business plan for your new law firm, spend as much time as you can reading through some examples of consulting-related business plans .
Reading some sample business plans will give you a good idea of what you’re aiming for. It will also show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their business plans.
We have created this sample law firm business plan for you to get a good idea about how a perfect law firm business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan.
Chalking out Your Business Plan
Starting your own law firm is an exciting prospect for any lawyer. Having your firm gives you more independence, lets you implement ideas you want to, and most importantly, you get to deal with clients firsthand.
And if you plan on starting your own, do so with a proper business plan.
But you might wonder, why do I need a business plan as a lawyer, isn’t my legal knowledge and years of work enough?
The answer is no.
To run a law firm you need a law degree, but to run a successful business you need a business plan alongside your degree.
Law Firm Business Plan Outline
This is the standard law firm business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.
- Mission Statement
- Vision Statement
- Financial Summary
- 3 Year profit forecast
- Business Structure
- Startup cost
- Market Analysis
- Market Trends
- Target Market
- Market Segmentation
- Sales Strategy
- Marketing Strategy
- Pricing Strategy
- Personnel Plan
- Financial Plan
- Important Assumptions
- Brake-even Analysis
- Profit Yearly
- Gross Margin Yearly
- Projected Cash Flow
- Projected Balance Sheet
- Business Ratios
Now, let’s understand how you can complete each section of your business plan.
1. Executive Summary
The executive summary forms the first page of your business plan. It acts as a pitch for your business to potential investors and should consist of the following sections.
- Objective: This gives an overview of what you wish to accomplish with your business. The objective should be clear and solve an existing problem in the market.
- Vision Statement: This should state what vision you have for your business. How do you want it to function and how far do you expect to reach with it. You can also include how your vision sits with the current market situation.
- Financial Summary: This section should ideally consist of the history of your finances and their current state. A proper financial summary helps you gain an investor’s confidence and makes it easier for your business to get funded.
2. Company Summary
Next up we have the company summary section, this segment provides an overview of your company’s structure and its functioning.
This section provides a brief description of the following:
- Legal Structure: This section would describe the legal terms and conditions your firm functions on, as well as the ownership structure of your firm.
- USP: This would consist of points that set your firm apart from your competitor’s firm.
- Services: This section will include the services you offer, the legal procedures you are well versed in, all in all, the client base you cater to.
- Location: This segment covers your area of service and the location of your firm. A clearly stated area of service, helps you reach the right audience.
3. Market analysis
This segment consists of a thorough analysis of the market situation. It can be split up into the following sub-segments.
- Market Trends: This would consist of all the prevailing trends in the market. It is important to know market trends because it helps your business keep up with the evolving market.
- Target Market: This section would consist of a summary of the market you cater to. Clearly defining your niche helps you reach out to your desired customer base.
- Market Segmentation: In this section, note down the segments present in the market, as well as what segment of the market your business would fit in. This would help you narrow down the number of competitors you have, the strategies you must follow, and the major and additional services you should offer.
4. Strategy and implementations
In this section, you would include various business strategies like:
- Marketing strategy You can formulate a marketing strategy depending on your target audience and the easiest and most effective ways of reaching out to them. It is important to formulate your marketing strategy based on your USP and your vision statement.
- Pricing Strategy It is important to formulate a pricing strategy based on the market trends, the nature of the work, and your target audience.
- Milestones This segment would consist of the various milestones your business would have to reach to achieve your goal and the strategies to help you reach them.
5. Financial Plan
The financial section of your business plan would consist of the following information regarding your business.
- Financial history
- Current State of finances
- Profit and loss
Download a sample law firm business plan
Need help writing your business plan from scratch? Here you go; download our free law firm business plan pdf to start.
It’s a modern business plan template specifically designed for your law firm business. Use the example business plan as a guide for writing your own.
Law Firm Business Plan Summary
All of the above segments would help you in creating a well-rounded business plan. Starting your law firm with a well-written business plan can make your growth process faster and smoother.
After getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this law firm business plan example into your business plan and modify the required information and download your law firm business plan pdf or doc file.
It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.
How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step
Notary Business Plan
Bookkeeping Business Plan
Sample Business Plans Template
Business Planning Guide & Resources
We have plenty of free business planning resources available to help you with your planning. You can download our resources to learn all about business planning.
Plan your business in the shortest time possible
No Risk – Cancel at Any Time – 15 Day Money Back Guarantee
Ready to kickstart your business planning.
– Don’t Miss It
Please fill out the form below and we'll contact you shortly.
Download Your Template Now