Specialize Or Do Everything: A Guide To Setting Up Your Own Legal Practice

Specialize Or Do Everything: A Guide To Setting Up Your Own Legal Practice

When you get to the point in your career as a lawyer where you are considering setting up your own legal practice then you’ll need to consider the question of whether or not you want to specialize in one area of law or not? If you diversify then obviously you can service more clients and then make more, however, there are advantages to being an expert in one area. So how to decide? If we go through a few steps we can see which of these directions may suit you more?

What Is Your Own Background?

This is a clear and obvious place to begin. What area of law have you been practicing and have the most experience in? As it’s unlikely you’ve been involved in family law for years and suddenly would look to set up as a criminal defense practice. So you’ll at the very least be looking to have a strong area of your practice devoted to your area of expertise.

How Many Partners Are There?

Of course, if you are going in with one or more partners involved then you might be able to use their skills in other areas. This way you can legitimately offer a law office that provides specialist expertise in more than one area as you’ll have a partner that can oversee each area of the practice with confidence and experience.

What Is The Competition In Your Area?

When deciding what type of law to practice and offer, then you should look at what type of competition is in the area, what they are doing and what specialisms they work in. You may find that even where a greatly established firm such as Flanders is known to be excellent Personal Injury Lawyers that they have a rich history of covering a wide variety of law.

How Much Do You Have To Start Up With?

Revenue is key and if you are looking to work in various aspects of the law then you will need the staff in each department to be able to do that effectively pursue cases in a variety of legal areas. This will take time in each of these departments and so, start-up funding is key, the more they have the more you will be able to do. The cost of junior lawyers, paralegals, and even support staff can easily mount up and sometimes it takes a while to receive payment for work completed, especially if you are waiting on costs awarded from the other side.


Another point to consider is that if you take on too much, too soon, then your reputation can be harmed, potentially fatally since you are starting from zero in this respect. If you may struggle it’s perhaps better to start with fewer specialist areas and work your way up to expanding into additional areas of the law as you become more established then you can do this with less risk and grow a good, strong reputation over a longer period.

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