Last fall I left my job as a senior litigation associate at a big firm to start my own boutique commercial litigation practice. So, how did I do it? Over the past few months, dozens of big firm associates have asked me that same thing. Inevitably, the follow-up question comes: “How did you get clients?” They have come in such varied and random ways that it is impossible to boil it down to a formula.
To my mind, the key to successfully leaving the big firm and starting your own practice has little to do with trying to “get clients” and everything to do with methodically preparing for the rigors, responsibilities, and rewards of being the star of your own show. I think “getting clients” is a by-product of that sound preparation. What follows is a ten-step road map that I created as I prepared to leave my big firm. Bear in mind, it is a process, and it takes a while.