16 May When to Leave Your Firm and Start Your Own Practice
If you’ve been working for a big firm for a while now, branching out and opening your own firm may be a long-held dream. In fact, many lawyers consider starting their firm at one time or another but making this dream a reality might be harder than you thought. Timing is an important factor determining success and preparation. So, when is the right time to leave your firm and start your own practice?
You Don’t See a Future at Your Current Firm
There are many reasons why you might feel like there’s no future for you or your firm. You might feel like your role in the firm is not taking you where you want to, or that the firm itself is stagnating with its progress. Of course, you may want to move on to a new position at a different big law firm, but if you’re going to have more control over your work, hours, and income, it could be time to start thinking about starting your own firm.
You’re Not Growing Anymore
It’s not just about where you see a future; it’s also about where you see yourself growing as a lawyer. When you’re working for a big firm, it’s easy for your talents and skills to slip through the cracks while you merely become another ‘cog in the machine.’ Branching out and starting your own firm is a great way to challenge yourself and grow in the way you need to, to advance your skills and career.
You Want to Do a Different Type of Work
Working in a big firm often means you see the same types of cases again and again, and you don’t get to see the scope and variety of work that you would like to. Starting your own firm gives you absolute control over the type of work you take on, so you can choose the type of work that serves your interests and skills best.
You’ve Got Some Savings
The right time to start your own firm is when you have financial security and savings to support you in your first few months. Starting a new law firm can be challenging, and it’s normal not to cover costs in the first few months. Having some savings ready to invest in your new firm is a good sign you’re ready to start.
You Have a Plan
Starting a new law firm is hard, and it can be very different than working for a big firm. When starting a practice, lawyers need to have an excellent business awareness, as well as being outstanding attorneys. Many lawyers don’t have the knowledge to plan and start a business and struggle to divide their time between doing their best legal work and running their business. Having a solid business plan and expert advice and guidance from a business consultant can indicate that you’re ready to start your own firm with the greatest chance of success.
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When it comes to leaving a big firm and starting your own practice, timing is essential, but preparation is vital too. Look at what you want for your career, income and work-life balance, and consider your preparation and whether you need professional business advice before you start your own practice.