Legal services business Plan

Business Law | Hull and Chandler | Charlotte Lawyers

July 2007

Hard work alone does not guarantee financial success. A business plan and budget are essential for any firm, new or old, and can help you better understand the finances of your practice to ensure a more profitable future.

Taking an active role in managing the finances of your practice is critical for building a successful law practice, regardless of whether you are just starting out or have been in practice for many years. Often the day-to-day pressures of keeping up with client work make it difficult to find the time necessary to properly deal with practice-related financial issues. Nevertheless, foresight, active planning, appropriate internal controls and an ongoing review of current finances are critical if your practice is to be successful and profitable. The need to proactively manage your practice's finances will become even more important as the profession becomes more competitive and the manner in which legal services delivers changes.

Many lawyers start out in practice with an office lease, a line of credit and the best of intentions. Initially, most do contemplate the financial needs of their practice. But too often, they don't give it all the attention it deserves – especially as things start to slide downhill. They honestly believe that things will "work out." They are under the assumption that the road to success is paved by simply working harder.

However, working harder may not be the solution if you haven't kept your eye on the fundamentals of business success. As in many things, timing is everything. Rent, salaries and other bills all have to be paid on time or you risk losing both your access to credit facilities and even your practice. When you combine overdue bills with clients who refuse to pay or delay in making payments on your accounts, you can easily be caught in a financial squeeze.

Planning is essential: Financial security and happiness are rarely an accident. Planning and building a successful practice should start with the preparation of a business plan and budget, and the implementation of appropriate internal controls. You should also be prepared for any unexpected interruptions that may affect the finances of your practice, and in particular, have appropriate insurance in place.

Prepare a Business plan

A successful business should be planned out on paper well before you open your doors – and even if you are already in business, it is never too late to create a business plan. A business plan is your roadmap to the future. You can show it to banks, suppliers or others whom you deal with to start up or run your practice. A business plan tells them that you have done the necessary homework to launch and build your practice.

What is a law practice business plan and what does it consist of? It is a concise and organized summary of how you intend to start and remain in business. It is composed of four main areas: a general description of your business, your financial plan, your management plan and your marketing plan. A more detailed description of what should be included in a business plan for a law practice is available at precise, especially in the finances or budget part of the plan. Budgeting and managing your cash flows will be a big part of remaining in business. It is an old adage that what gets measured gets done. If you have set out straightforward goals and expectations to be met within a reasonable timeline, you will be able to judge for yourself if you are meeting, exceeding or falling behind your goals. On an ongoing and regular basis, review the goals you have set and if you find yourself falling behind, take corrective action before it is too late. If you ignore the initial signs of trouble, you may find that you are quickly out of business and possibly facing even greater debts than when you started.


2007-04-06 19:29:32 by VM2007

Legal plans....as good as THIER ppl

I was once involved in selling a certain legal plan...won't name specifics for obvious reasons...this is a legal discussion. Found some in the business to be crooked as all get out. The company was supplied of such activities to include outright admissions and took absolutely no action against these activities, to include no response via telephone, email and in writing. Guess what...those folks are still doing business so beware. I got out thank God. I know, I know, some straight up guy selling this is going to say it happens in any business etc etc....tell it to YOUR company not me pal..

2006-07-12 12:18:51 by apfelsingail

All freelancers should have a business plan.

Here's the thing about any kind of freelancing: you're running your own business, with an employee of one. You are the CEO, the marketing/sales department, the accounting department, the admin assistant, and the guy in the mailroom, all rolled up into one.
I've been working as a copywriter, so for me, that meant brochures, newsletters, and other marketing/PR materials, with the occasional article.
I found a business plan helpful in figuring out where I was, where I wanted to go, and how to get there.
What skills and assets did I have, and which did I need to develop? What makes my services different or better? How could I best package my services and work? How much money was a realistic goal? How much did I need to actually make a living? Who did I want to write for? Who...

2006-02-15 11:14:56 by MelissaJackson

You need a legal plan....

For what you would pay at small claims court you could cover yourself for an entire year with a legal plan. Take a look, there's no contract, it's under $40/mo and you could have a lawyer calling or writing your ex-landlord to demand payment. That's much more powerful than threatening him with small claims... landlords know there is a cap on the amount that could be rewarded to you and most small claims cases don't ever materialize because the plaintiff loses steam before the defendant. Take a look at my site: and view the "Family Legal Service Plans". We are a 33 year old NYSE company and our services work for your legal problems like your health insurance works for your health

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