Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

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Mark Aldridge

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Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby Mark Aldridge » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:46 am

I have been researching several different law jobs. I think being your own boss sounds the most rewarding. How does a fresh law graduate get clients though? That would seem to me to be the biggest obstacle.

r6_philly

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Re: Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby r6_philly » Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:44 pm

Advertising and referrals. Having an office at the right place (for the kind of clients you want). That's pretty much it.

If you do a good job, your clients will refer other clients. If you have decent network, your colleagues will refer clients to you. Those are the best because it will be easier to sign them on as clients. Leads from advertising take a bit of work to convert to a client.

Good news is the longer you are in business the easier it is to get new clients because of referrals (again if you do decent work). Starting is the hardest.

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Re: Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby utlaw2007 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:50 am

There is a huge thread that I authored a long time ago. I include all kinds of advice for giving yourself the best chance to thrive as a solo practitioner. It's super long, but there is a lot of helpful information it it. In it, I include how you should go about getting clients in the current law firm climate.

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Last edited by utlaw2007 on Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby utlaw2007 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:55 am

Advertising is a no go for a new graduate. And advertising is only needed for volume practices. And even then, it isn't really needed. The problem with advertising is that it costs way too much money that you won't have. And advertising will hardly bring you good, quality cases.

Check out my thread. Nobody knows how to navigate the current small/solo law firm environment (if you are brand spanking new) than me.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby utlaw2007 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:00 am

I understand that people have practice area preferences, but if you want to have the best chance to succeed, avoid anything that would require volume. It's super difficult to get volume when you're new. Sure, you would be filthy rich in no time with a volume personal injury practice. But good luck advertising against personal injury lawyers who are already rich and have money for days to drill you into the ground when it comes to advertising. Don't set yourself up for failure.

Getting clients is a mixture of a lot of variables. You even have to pick certain practice areas that cater to the demand for services in your area.

Again, I know it's long, but you should really read my thread...

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Barack O'Drama

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Re: Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby Barack O'Drama » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:48 pm

r6_philly wrote:Advertising and referrals. Having an office at the right place (for the kind of clients you want). That's pretty much it.

If you do a good job, your clients will refer other clients. If you have decent network, your colleagues will refer clients to you. Those are the best because it will be easier to sign them on as clients. Leads from advertising take a bit of work to convert to a client.

Good news is the longer you are in business the easier it is to get new clients because of referrals (again if you do decent work). Starting is the hardest.



I worked for a solo law grad (c/o 2010) and this is 1000% dead on.

Referrals and Advertising. And locations, location, location. He did crim law and his office shared a parking lot with the courthouse. People would literally walk in looking for a lawyer.
Last edited by Barack O'Drama on Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rdawkins28

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Re: Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby rdawkins28 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:02 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:Advertising is a no go for a new graduate. And advertising is only needed for volume practices. And even then, it isn't really needed. The problem with advertising is that it costs way too much money that you won't have. And advertising will hardly bring you good, quality cases.

Check out my thread. Nobody knows how to navigate the current small/solo law firm environment (if you are brand spanking new) than me.


Don't know about that. I have one classmate who went into property tax dispute. She borrowed some money and did postcard mass mailing. Working out pretty good for her. She now has 4 people on her staff normally, about 10 during tax dispute season. Got some really rich clients who then hired her for other work.

Have another classmate who did well with google advertising at first. Then expanded into TV commercials (using a lead generation service). Worked out fine for him.

Have classmates who have used internet advertising through a lead generation service ($50 or so for divorce lead, $150-$200 for auto accident). Seems to have worked for them.

What these people have is the ability to market and/or sell, at least more than the average lawyer. Most importantly, they can get the potential clients to sign on the dotted line.

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Re: Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:13 pm

rdawkins28 wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote:Advertising is a no go for a new graduate. And advertising is only needed for volume practices. And even then, it isn't really needed. The problem with advertising is that it costs way too much money that you won't have. And advertising will hardly bring you good, quality cases.

Check out my thread. Nobody knows how to navigate the current small/solo law firm environment (if you are brand spanking new) than me.


Don't know about that. I have one classmate who went into property tax dispute. She borrowed some money and did postcard mass mailing. Working out pretty good for her. She now has 4 people on her staff normally, about 10 during tax dispute season. Got some really rich clients who then hired her for other work.

Have another classmate who did well with google advertising at first. Then expanded into TV commercials (using a lead generation service). Worked out fine for him.

Have classmates who have used internet advertising through a lead generation service ($50 or so for divorce lead, $150-$200 for auto accident). Seems to have worked for them.

What these people have is the ability to market and/or sell, at least more than the average lawyer. Most importantly, they can get the potential clients to sign on the dotted line.


Again, for the majority of lawyers starting out, advertising hardly brings you good quality cases. Maybe I'm coming from a perspective of contingency fee litigation. Your sample size is not representative of the entire whole.

But I would agree that closing the deal is incredibly important. However, that has nothing to do with advertising.

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Re: Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:15 pm

And there are a host of ways to market yourself that don't include advertising. And they are much cheaper and much more efficient.

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Re: Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:17 pm

I said that advertising may work for volume practices (auto accidents, divorces, anything criminal). But if you do any sort of mildly sophisticated litigation (more than just family law or personal injury), advertising won't work at all for you.

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Re: Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:22 pm

Try advertising for securities litigation, oil and gas, or commercial litigation as a new lawyer. And let me know how that works for you.

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Re: Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby rdawkins28 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:26 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:
rdawkins28 wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote:Advertising is a no go for a new graduate. And advertising is only needed for volume practices. And even then, it isn't really needed. The problem with advertising is that it costs way too much money that you won't have. And advertising will hardly bring you good, quality cases.

Check out my thread. Nobody knows how to navigate the current small/solo law firm environment (if you are brand spanking new) than me.


Don't know about that. I have one classmate who went into property tax dispute. She borrowed some money and did postcard mass mailing. Working out pretty good for her. She now has 4 people on her staff normally, about 10 during tax dispute season. Got some really rich clients who then hired her for other work.

Have another classmate who did well with google advertising at first. Then expanded into TV commercials (using a lead generation service). Worked out fine for him.

Have classmates who have used internet advertising through a lead generation service ($50 or so for divorce lead, $150-$200 for auto accident). Seems to have worked for them.

What these people have is the ability to market and/or sell, at least more than the average lawyer. Most importantly, they can get the potential clients to sign on the dotted line.


Again, for the majority of lawyers starting out, advertising hardly brings you good quality cases. Maybe I'm coming from a perspective of contingency fee litigation. Your sample size is not representative of the entire whole.

But I would agree that closing the deal is incredibly important. However, that has nothing to do with advertising.


Where did I say that advertising would work for "the entire whole?" I merely pointed out that it worked for some people I know.

And closing the deal has a lot to do with advertising where you do need to have face time with the potential client. You can advertise all you want, but if you can't get the potential client to sign on the dotted line, then all your advertising is wasted. And yes, I know some who couldn't close a deal to save their lives. Some have no people skill; some are too afraid to take on the unknown; some are too honest; and some are just stupid. I'm sure there are other reasons. Obviously, for these people, I wouldn't recommend advertising (that require face time to close) at all.

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Re: Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:31 pm

rdawkins28 wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote:
rdawkins28 wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote:Advertising is a no go for a new graduate. And advertising is only needed for volume practices. And even then, it isn't really needed. The problem with advertising is that it costs way too much money that you won't have. And advertising will hardly bring you good, quality cases.

Check out my thread. Nobody knows how to navigate the current small/solo law firm environment (if you are brand spanking new) than me.


Don't know about that. I have one classmate who went into property tax dispute. She borrowed some money and did postcard mass mailing. Working out pretty good for her. She now has 4 people on her staff normally, about 10 during tax dispute season. Got some really rich clients who then hired her for other work.

Have another classmate who did well with google advertising at first. Then expanded into TV commercials (using a lead generation service). Worked out fine for him.

Have classmates who have used internet advertising through a lead generation service ($50 or so for divorce lead, $150-$200 for auto accident). Seems to have worked for them.

What these people have is the ability to market and/or sell, at least more than the average lawyer. Most importantly, they can get the potential clients to sign on the dotted line.


Again, for the majority of lawyers starting out, advertising hardly brings you good quality cases. Maybe I'm coming from a perspective of contingency fee litigation. Your sample size is not representative of the entire whole.

But I would agree that closing the deal is incredibly important. However, that has nothing to do with advertising.


Where did I say that advertising would work for "the entire whole?" I merely pointed out that it worked for some people I know.

And closing the deal has a lot to do with advertising where you do need to have face time with the potential client. You can advertise all you want, but if you can't get the potential client to sign on the dotted line, then all your advertising is wasted. And yes, I know some who couldn't close a deal to save their lives. Some have no people skill; some are too afraid to take on the unknown; some are too honest; and some are just stupid. I'm sure there are other reasons. Obviously, for these people, I wouldn't recommend advertising (that require face time to close) at all.


And I would agree that face time is vitally important. In fact, I champion face time as a form of advertising all throughout my thread. But to me, I see that differently from conventional advertising. In some ways, we are saying the same thing. I'm only clarifying to avoid confusion. But yes, face time is the most important form of advertising there is. And I explain that at length in my thread.

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Re: Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby rdawkins28 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:35 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:I said that advertising may work for volume practices (auto accidents, divorces, anything criminal). But if you do any sort of mildly sophisticated litigation (more than just family law or personal injury), advertising won't work at all for you.


Agree with you here for the most part. But I try to not make a blanket statement. Also depends on what do you define as advertising. I went to a CLE lunch a few weeks ago on receivership. It's pretty much an advertisement for the speaker. Ditto for other "sophisticated litigation," such as crashworhthiness, valuation of private or closely-held companies, etc. And it works. I ended up using one of these guys.

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Re: Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:40 pm

For this thread, I'm referring to conventional advertising when I say advertising. Pay per click ads, tv commercials, radio ads, etc.

I'm not including mailings because those can be targeted to a specific audience. And I talk about the value of target marketing in my thread.

Any sort of speaking is a great form of advertising. I talk about the value of speaking engagements, as well.

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Re: Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby FamilyLawEsq » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:47 pm

Initially, sign up to be a guardian ad litem (for juvenile/adoption/elder cases) or conflict panel, if criminal lawyer. Join Rotary, Lions Club, Business groups, be active in church/join a church. Be in a sports league. Network, network, network. If available in your state, sign up for referrals from Lawyer.com. (Cost is about 600 per year). Sign up for legal plans like Hyatt, ARAG etc., if you are in a more metropolitan area. Above all, do good, timely work at a reasonable cost, because the bulk of your work will come from client referrals.

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Re: Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby r6_philly » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:46 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:Advertising is a no go for a new graduate. And advertising is only needed for volume practices. And even then, it isn't really needed. The problem with advertising is that it costs way too much money that you won't have. And advertising will hardly bring you good, quality cases.

Check out my thread. Nobody knows how to navigate the current small/solo law firm environment (if you are brand spanking new) than me.


Too much generalization and absolutes in this. Advertising may not be the most productive for a new grad, it may also be the most productive as they lack other means to market themselves at all (client base/referral). It is a good way to build name recognition (and the inference of experience and reputation) even if it doesn't bring in good leads at first. What are the alternatives for a new lawyer? They don't have 10 years of experience and large network, gotta start somewhere and own up to being new. Might as well manage the marketing message on your own terms (advertising).

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Re: Law School Graduates Who Are "Solo" Attorneys - How Do You Get Clients?

Postby r6_philly » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:55 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:And I would agree that face time is vitally important. In fact, I champion face time as a form of advertising all throughout my thread. But to me, I see that differently from conventional advertising. In some ways, we are saying the same thing. I'm only clarifying to avoid confusion. But yes, face time is the most important form of advertising there is. And I explain that at length in my thread.


The most effective way to get clients is face time. Even if they are referrals they still need to respect what you do. I do workshops, consultations, networking events, etc.

But the face time needs to be re-enforced by multi-channel marketing efforts. I engage sophisticated and educated clients. They do their diligence before they hire me. I increase online presence by publishing. I also build reliability and reputation by teaching (adjunct professor at colleges). By presenting a comprehensive marketing footprint it greatly increases my reliability and potential clients' comfort level.



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