I’ve now reached the point in my career where I have the experience, a good client base, and consistent referral sources that I’m ready to leave the small firm I’m with and start my own practice. My preference would be to find a partner and form a partnership because I’d like to have someone to bounce ideas off of and for some social interaction, but if I can’t find the right partner, then I’ll do it alone. Any advice on branching off to start my own firm - whether it be solo or with a partner?

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Check out this book on Amazon, “Starting and Growing a Law firm without Breaking the Bank.” It gives you practical step by step instructions in starting, running and growing a solo or partnered practice.

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I graduated a year ago and immediately started my own solo practice. Trial and error will be a fact of life. I use clio for practice mgmt and billing. It is super easy and doesn't take much time. I use quickbooks for book keeping. Super easy as well.

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Unless you don’t mind overpaying for canned solutions, being self sufficient as a business owner is useful. Understand as a solo half your job will be that of an attorney, and half will be that of hybrid bookkeeper-office-manager-marketer-IT person.

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Probate and estate planning

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I was able to find a secretary bookkeeper who was looking to work part time from home when I started my firm. I worked from home to keep overhead low. It really helped me to be able to share some of the admin burden without a lot of cost.

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You can pay someone like NexFirm to handle your bookkeeping and otherwise set you up and assist with the administrative stuff.

I chose to go it alone. I don’t mind sending out bills.

Taking on a partner has its own set of potential headaches and rewards. There are ways to bounce ideas off of people without taking them on as a partner. Perhaps the people you currently work with would be happy to speak to you when you are out on your own.

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Yes, I feel confident I will still be able to reach out to my colleagues. Plus there are other local attorneys I could reach out to - wouldn’t be the same as a partner. I suppose another option is sharing office space with other firms. I’m not sure how to scout those out though.

Try and keep costs down as much as you can in the beginning, until you find your stride. Consider a virtual office, you don’t want to be meeting clients at Starbucks. Don’t try and do payroll in-house, it’s not worth the effort. Invest in malpractice insurance, it’s worth the peace of mind. If you do find a partner, be sure to put together a partnership agreement with very clear separation terms and a case/responsibility/revenue disbursal plan.

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I found the comments excellent and helpful to anyone that want to start a solo practice. I agree with the get malpractice insurance. The cost is depend on the type of practice. Your carrier should provide with advise as to how to structure your practice to avoid a malpractice claim. Good luck.

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Where are you located

Austin

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