All you need to start a law firm is your bar membership, a computer, and a phone. To be honest, though, practicing law with just those three wouldn’t be enjoyable.
If you want to open an office on a shoestring budget, you have to be smart with your initial purchases.
Minimum Requirements to Open a Law Firm
When opening an office, you have to ask: Do you need an office? Maybe you can work at home and meet clients at a local coffee shop. Perhaps all you need is a virtual office where you get a mailing address, answering service, and access to a conference room. At the upper end of a shoestring budget, you can splurge on an executive suite. Rates vary, so check frequently to find an office that fits your budget. Finally, you can see if any law firms are subleasing an office within their firm. This also has the added benefit of potential referral or overflow work. If you need furniture, scour Craigslist for fire sales. Some great deals can be found.
So what kind of computer and telephone do you need? A well-priced, reliable laptop makes sense, especially if you are not renting a full-time office. The computer can travel with you from your home to a coffee shop or virtual office. Buy at least two backup hard drives, back up often, and keep the backups in separate locations.