In 2016, I found myself in a great position financially due to hard work for years. There was a moment in late 2016 where I was debating internally what to do. I could (1) buy a house or (2) start my own law firm, but not both. The decision was basically made for me in that no suitable houses were available. I could have upgraded to a larger condo, which would have been nice, but I would still be working for someone else had I done that. So in late 2016, I took the plunge and started my own actual law firm (although I had been self-employed since 2012 with my own practice). This meant an actual office, actual support staff, and eventually, actual other attorneys. It was the biggest investment of my life so far. I officially opened my office for business on January 3, 2017 and I got to work immediately.
First few months
I hit upon the idea of giving clients a ridiculously low hourly rate as an incentive for them to sign up with me early. It seemed to work. At the same time, I was turning down cases in order to focus on good cases and interesting cases. Everyone who signed with me during that first few months had a great, interesting case and could also afford it. Although I was burning through cash, I was essentially buying the practice by spending money.
I had a lot of cases come in during that first few months. After about six months, it became apparent that I would need support in order to continue growing. So I hired a legal secretary/paralegal, whose first task was attending the trial I had in summer 2017. Also in summer 2017, I made an offer to one of my former colleagues from a prior law firm, and he accepted. I was very pleased to announce the law firm on my birthday in 2017, which made it special.
My law partner got to work right away and we've been killing it ever since. Seriously, this is how it's supposed to be. Good clients, good cases, good people, and a great office. I recently posted on Craigslist for a part-time contract attorney, and this is how the future begins. I'm not exactly riding off into the sunset, but at the same time, it's great not having to worry as much.
Last updated: July 6, 2018
© 2018 Andrew G. Watters