Young referring attorneys typically provide my firm with its largest and best injury cases. In turn, I enjoy teaching young trial attorneys how to manage their solo practice. In nearly sixteen years of private practice, I’ve learned by doing and now enjoy sharing my experiences.
The biggest question facing a new attorney is how to get clients.
1. Develop a concise vision of the work you would like to perform. Focus on the work that provides you satisfaction and supports a need in the community. Above all, follow your passion. Identify what inspires you about practicing law. Trial work is long and often arduous. You must be happy in your work.
2. Develop a plan for your practice that separates you from the rest. Adopt the plan as a concise marketing message. Your message should be short and purposeful. For example, my firm represents clients who have been seriously or fatally injured in auto, trucking & motorcycle accidents. I tell anyone who will listen that this is my area of expertise.
3. Talk to friends, neighbors, family members, your grocery, launderer, doctor, dentist and anyone you meet. Tell them what you do for a living. Inject your conversation with stories of people you’ve helped in your practice. Tell anyone who will listen your vision and passion for the practice. Provide them with a card and remind them to call should they or any of their friends or family ever require legal help. When they call, treat them like family. Help them with their problems with intelligent cost effective solutions. Answer routine questions at no charge. Soon, you will receive referrals from these contacts.
4. Conduct your work to achieve the best possible result on absolutely every single case you take- regardless of cost. If you’ve never handled an injury case, take sufficient time to prepare research, identify the correct forms to use in the law library, and reach out to older more experienced injury attorneys for advice. This is true particularly for the young lawyer first starting his or her practice. Your clients will see your level of dedication and will begin to refer their friends and family.
5. Reach out to fellow attorneys for referrals. Many established attorneys will refer small injury cases to younger lawyers they trust. The primary focus of a referring attorney is to make certain their referred clients are well represented. Therefore, trust is vital to establish a referral base. Gain notoriety as the young attorney who will spare no effort or expense to craft a winning case for his clients. Once your referring attorneys see your commitment to the practice, they will trust you. They will then send you work. I often meet young attorneys who tell me stories of their work and clients. There are a few I consider to be warriors- and who have no fear. It’s those folks who gain my trust.