How to Land Clients as a New Solo Attorney

by Melanie Fischer

If you are a new solo attorney, or if you are thinking about hanging your shingle, you might be concerned about how and where you will find your initial clients. Just about every new solo attorney thinks about this issue. Building a book of legal clients from scratch is not always an easy task.

landing clients
For a new solo attorney, the idea of creating a highly successful law firm might seem daunting – – if not impossible. Rest assured, it can be done, but the tactics and strategies you employ can make all the difference. Soon, you should have a growing legal practice.

Tips for a new solo attorney on how to land clients:

Use every opportunity to network. It’s important to attend professionally organized networking sessions that will be attended by individuals who work in the legal realm. In addition to attending networking events, it’s also a good idea to network whenever you think it’s appropriate with friends, relatives, acquaintances, and professionals in other industries.

Volunteer. Committing to a volunteer organization can be beneficial for several reasons. First, you can use the opportunity to network with other volunteers. Second, you can add the volunteer work to your professional resume. And third, your volunteer work can be a great conversation starter when you network.

Keep up with social media, with blogging and with your internet presence. Individuals and businesses often rely on an internet search to find an attorney who can help them with a legal situation. If your website and internet presence is at the forefront, your firm will be found. If you do not have a website and do not participate on social media, potential clients will not be able to discover you on the internet.

Monitor your online reputation. Maintaining a positive online reputation is important. It can be highly beneficial to know when the name of your law firm is mentioned online. Positive online reviews can be incredibly helpful, but negative reviews can be detrimental. If you become aware of a negative online review, it’s important to address the comments in an appropriate fashion so that your online reputation does not become tarnished.

Share office space with another lawyer. When you surround yourself with one or more attorneys in an office, you will inevitably refer clients to one another. This is a two-way street, which can ultimately benefit all of the attorneys who share office space.

As a new solo attorney, or as an attorney thinking about opening your own firm, you undoubtedly have a long list of priorities for your law practice. Keep in mind that developing your solo practice can be difficult without a steady stream of clients, so attracting clients to your firm is essential. Don’t forget that as a new solo attorney, you are not alone. For solo attorneys in Colorado, the Solo-Small Firm Practice section of the Colorado Bar Association offers networking sessions, CLEs, and a listserv that allows solo attorney members to communicate with each other about various matters.

Depending on your area of legal practice, your solo law firm might have significant competition from other solo attorneys as well as from bigger law firms. Competition means that you will need to utilize a number of strategies to advertise and market your firm to the public. Eventually, word-of-mouth referrals will come into play. But at the beginning, it’s important to keep an entrepreneurial attitude and to remain on the lookout at all times for potential new clients. Remember that as a solo attorney, you should be able to offer greater flexibility, more personalized attention, and lower rates than an attorney who works for a larger firm. All of these factors may help you to retain your first set of clients and also keep the flow of new clients coming until your firm is well-established.