November 01, 2017

Building a Practice: Early-Stage Rainmaking—Starting from Scratch

Cynthia Sharp

Let me take you back to August 1984, when I opened my own law firm having completed a two-year stint in Big Law. I had not yet developed requisite skills for running a successful business, was inexperienced in my chosen area of practice (consumer bankruptcy), and did not have a single client. Despite these apparent obstacles, I began attracting a steady stream of cases early on and ultimately built and sold a lucrative practice. In this article, I draw from my experience to provide suggestions to neophyte attorneys on how to attract your first legal matters without breaking the bank. Business development strategies that require significant financial investment (such as lead generating or advertising programs) are beyond the scope of this article. However, they may be appropriate when your practice has reached a more mature stage.


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