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Law Firm Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

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Law Firm Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 1,000 lawyers to create business plans to start and grow their law firms. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a law firm business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your law firm as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan

If you’re looking to start a law firm, or grow your existing law firm, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your law firm in order to improve your chances of success. Your law firm plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Law Firms

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a law firm are personal savings, credit cards and bank loans. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

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How to write a business plan for a law firm.

If you want to start a law firm or expand your current one, you need a business plan. Below are links to each section of your law firm plan template:

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of law firm you are operating and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a law firm that you would like to grow, or are you operating law firms in multiple cities?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the law firm industry. Discuss the type of law firm you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.  

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of law firm you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types of law firms:

  • Commercial Law : this type of law firm focuses on financial matters such as merger and acquisition, raising capital, IPOs, etc.
  • Criminal, Civil Negligence, and Personal Injury Law: this type of business focuses on accidents, malpractice, and criminal defense.
  • Real Estate Law: this type of practice deals with property transactions and property use.
  • Labor Law: this type of firm handles everything related to employment, from pensions/benefits, to contract negotiation.

In addition to explaining the type of law firm you will operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to question such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of clients served, number of cases won, etc.
  • Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the law firm industry.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the law firm industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy, particularly if your research identifies market trends.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your law firm plan:

  • How big is the law firm industry (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your law firm? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your law firm plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: businesses, households, and government organizations.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of law firm you operate. Clearly, households would respond to different marketing promotions than nonprofit organizations, for example.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most law firms primarily serve customers living in their same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

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Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other law firms.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes accounting firms or human resources companies. You need to mention such competition as well.

With regards to direct competition, you want to describe the other law firms with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be law firms located very close to your location.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What types of cases do they accept?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide better legal advice and services?
  • Will you provide services that your competitors don’t offer?
  • Will you provide more responsive customer interactions?
  • Will you offer better pricing or flexible pricing options?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.  

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a law firm plan, your marketing plan should include the following:

Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type of law firm company that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to in-person consultation, will you provide virtual meetings, or any other services?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the products and services you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your law firm company. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your law firm located in a busy business district, office building, etc. Discuss how your location might be the ideal location for your customers.

Promotions : The final part of your law firm marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Advertising in local papers and magazines
  • Reaching out to local websites
  • Social media marketing
  • Local radio advertising

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your law firm, including filling and filing paperwork, researching precedents, appearing in court, meeting with clients, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to file your 100th lawsuit, or be on retainer with 25 business clients, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your law firm to a new city.  

Management Team

To demonstrate your law firm’ ability to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.

Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing law firms. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with legal experience or with a track record of successfully running small businesses.  

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you file 25 lawsuits per month or sign 5 retainer contracts per month? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your law firm, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a law firm:

  • Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
  • Cost of licensing, software, and office supplies
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office location lease or your certificate of admission to the bar.  

Putting together a business plan for your law firm is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert and know everything you need about starting a law firm business plan; once you create your plan, download it to PDF to show banks and investors. You will really understand the law firm industry, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful law firm.  

Law Firm Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my law firm business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Law Firm Business Plan.

What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of law firm you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a law firm that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of law firms?

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your Law Firm business plan?

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Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.   Click here to see how Growthink’s professional business plan consulting services can create your business plan for you.

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Chapter 3/6

Developing a Business Plan for a New Law Firm

How to Start a Law Firm

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A law firm business plan is the foundation for everything your business does. Without a solid foundation, your firm will lack direction from the very beginning.

Starting a Law Firm Business Plan

A good business plan includes:

  • Vision. Create a picture of what you’re building.
  • Values. Identify the rules to guide your team’s important work. 
  • Law Firm Business Model. What you offer, who you offer it to, and how you’ll deliver your services.
  • Targets and Priorities. Clarify metrics that indicate success.

Law Firm Vision

We worked with a lawyer who was stressed out about his vision. He spent weeks on the assignment because he couldn’t think of a statement that would make his entire office happy. 

During one coaching session , he got that lightbulb moment when we told him that he was making too big of a deal of it. You don’t have to create the most amazing vision that perfectly captures everything you are hoping to build. You do need to start mapping out what you are (and aren’t) trying to create. 

Picture these two lawyers:

  • Lawyer 1 wants to double the size of his team in the next two years so he can handle more cases, help more people, and make more money.
  • Lawyer 2 does not enjoy managing people. She wants to build a technology-based solution that she can offer clients with a recurring monthly price and that is delivered using a few key team members.

Neither vision is wrong. But, how each lawyer will make decisions to build a profitable business will look very different. You need to get a sense if you are trying to build something that looks more like Lawyer 1, Lawyer 2, or Lawyers 3-8. Get it? 

Jot down thoughts now so you know where you’re headed and can start building the guardrails for future decisions.

Law Firm Values

Your values are a living embodiment of the firm culture you’re hoping to create and the approach to work your team shares. They are the guardrails of your business. 

From hiring to client management to a marketing strategy, every decision you make comes from your values. 

Your values are typically 3-6 factual statements that are authentically you. 

Here are some tips on crafting great values:

  • Your values must concretely point to your business. You want achievable values that set your business up for success .
  • Your values must have actual meaning. Like the “be the best lawyer” example, you want to avoid the obvious. Sure, every firm wants to be the best. But what, precisely, does your firm want to do that sets you apart from the crowd?
  • Finally, avoid table stakes values. Honesty, integrity, and hard work are all good works that all companies should have. But, they have nothing to do with your specific goals vs. any other firm.

As an example, here are Lawyerist’s values :

  • Build an Inclusive Community.
  • Experiment Like a Lobster.
  • Grab the Marker.
  • Seek Candor.
  • Grow as People.

Each of these represents the culture of our company (even “ Experiment Like a Lobster ,” which describes our playful and out-of-the-box thinking process). We use these values for all of our decisions, especially hiring. When we evaluate a candidate, we study their fit: Are they open to experimenting? Are they willing to help us build an inclusive community ? Are they eager to lean into candor and compassion ?

Building your vision and values is an essential first step for your business. We can’t tell you how much easier other decisions will flow once you have these documented. You will make better decisions and alleviate some of the anxiety of decision fatigue.

Law Firm Business Model

One of the biggest perks of starting your firm is deciding your law firm business plan and model. You get to take everything you learned in school and while working at other organizations and implement the parts you like. Even better, you get to leave out the details that stressed you out.

This is an excellent place to review your vision and values. Take the time to dream about this. This is often the most rewarding part for new law firm owners. With a smart strategy, you can build your dream firm.

Ask yourself:

  • What kind of place do I want to work in every day? 
  • What kind of clients do I want to serve? Who is my ideal client ?
  • What type of pricing model do I want? 
  • What kind of access to justice issues do I want to tackle?

You get the gist. The questions you can ask yourself here are endless, but use your vision and values to inform your model. For example, if one of your values is “ grow as people ,” you might offer education opportunities for clients in areas related to their cases. 

The important part is, it’s all up to you. This is yours. You get to decide.

Competitive Analysis

As part of finalizing your law firm business model, it can be very helpful to complete a competitive analysis. A competitive analysis not only forces you to define who your competitors are, it gives you a chance to determine what may be missing in the market so that you can address it. 

Lawyers often assume as long as they practice law, there’s a market for what they want to do. Or they think they’re only competing against other lawyers when clients are often drawn to non-law solutions. 

These lawyers are missing a huge opportunity. They aren’t asking clients how they heard about their firm. They’re not trying to figure out what other solutions their clients tried first. They aren’t looking at what clients want and how the market is attempting to respond.

Here are some tips for putting together a competitive analysis:

  • Make a list of competitors. Simple, right? List firms in your practice area/location, your jurisdiction, and who may be serving your ideal client base.
  • List the other ways your clients are solving their problems . Are they use an online service to create their will? Are they asking their cousin’s nephew’s wife, who once worked at a law firm in 1988, for advice? Get creative.
  • Do field research . Ask your friends, family, and current clients what they do when they have a potential legal problem.

Once you’ve collected the data, you can begin the analysis. Think about the strengths and weaknesses of each competitor and the solution you’ve collected. Compare pricing, accessibility, marketing messages, and client service. How does it all compare to your firm? What do you do better? What could you improve?

And keep in mind: This isn’t a one-time deal. You’ll want to stay on top of competitive solutions through Google or social media alerts or by subscribing to industry emails and newsletters. At least once a year, do a complete forensic competitive analysis to see where things have changed.

Targets and Priorities

When you’re first starting a law firm business plan, you may just have a goal of “get my firm up and running.” A good goal! But, as you dream on your initial strategy, it’s helpful to set some initial short-term and excellent long-term goals. Yes, these goals may change as you learn and grow. But, setting goals upfront will give you a path to get started.

Short-term Goals

Look to your initial vision and values for your first goals. If you’re a family law firm that wants to do low-conflict divorces, you might have a client acquisition goal aligned with this.

For example, you could say: In the first six months of my firm opening, I want 50% of my new clients to be low-conflict separations and divorces. You’ll see this goal follows the S.M.A.R.T. formula: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound. 

Another short-term goal might be systems-oriented: I want a written client onboarding process documented in my first three months. (If not implemented.)

Think through all the different parts of your business and see if you can achieve one short-term goal.

Long-term Goals

Long-term goals can be a little trickier when you’re first starting. Thinking one, two, or even five years out might seem impossible. But this is where you can begin to dream a little.

A long-term goal might be that in three years, you want a staff of five people, a complete operations manual, 50 new clients a year, and Fridays off each week. 

Remember, these goals might—and likely will—change. But give yourself something to work with in the beginning.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

As you’re starting a law firm business plan, you’ll need  a way to measure your firm’s health. These measurements are called KPIs. They track goals in all parts of your business, from marketing to finances to client acquisition .

Measuring and monitoring your KPIs will allow you to:

  • Monitor the health of your firm . KPIs will enable you to see how well your law firm is performing. For example, KPIs make it easy to track your finances and your firm’s monthly growth.  You’ll see problems and successes quickly and be able to take action by creating new goals or redirecting your team’s efforts.
  • Simplify decision-making . Armed with the above information, you can make informed, rational decisions for everything in your business. You don’t have to guess if a decision is the right one. Instead, you can (and should) measure all variables to make the best decision for your firm’s future.
  • Track your wins. By tracking your KPIs, you track your wins. Monitoring law firm data makes it simple to incentivize your staff’s hard work. After all, when you meet your numbers, everyone benefits.

For example, at Lawyerist, we track KPIs with a color-coded system.

Green means hitting our goal, yellow means we’re on the cusp, and red means not hitting the number. We track weekly, which means when something goes yellow, we can analyze and plan before it goes red.

And, because we track weekly, a one-week red doesn’t mean an emergency. It means we need to take time to discuss, find a cause, and make a plan.

Types of KPIs for Successful Firms

KPIs can cover all aspects of your business, including your finances, client satisfaction, marketing, and business development. Keep in mind, as you start your firm, KPIs will be new to you and can feel overwhelming. So, keep it simple in the beginning. 

Start by picking three business questions you want answered. Find a way to measure that answer that you can track and update without too much work regularly. Then, start measuring. As your firm grows, you’ll develop your KPIs.

Let’s look at some examples.

Financial KPIs

Want to increase your revenue or improve your law firm’s financial health? You’ll want to track some financial KPIs , including (but not limited to):

  • Revenue (cash collected)
  • Monthly amount invoiced to clients
  • Accounts receivable (amount clients owe you)
  • Budgeted expenses

Regardless of your goals, we recommend tracking some basic financial data to keep an eye on the health of your firm. For a quick win, narrow down your financial KPIs to the top three financial numbers  needed to understand your business.

Client Satisfaction KPIs

Your clients are your most valuable assets. Firm success requires that you watch specific metrics involving your clients. 

Client satisfaction KPIs connect to several key law firm growth goals. These include increasing referrals, increasing revenue (happy clients are loyal clients), and improving overall client experience. 

Examples of KPIs to track include:

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Client retention rate
  • Speed at which you close cases

Your Net Promoter Score measures whether current or former clients would recommend your legal services to others. A satisfied client is more likely to do so. This metric is most often gathered using a survey at the final delivery of your services.

Other measures, such as closing speed and retention, can give you insights into how happy your clients are with your services. Do you have a lower NPS than you expect? Are you losing clients? If so, your client satisfaction is low, and you could take action to improve it.

Marketing and Business Development KPIs

Is your current marketing strategy working? Without measuring KPIs, there’s no way of knowing. By tracking marketing metrics for your firm, you can see your marketing strategy’s performance and tweak where needed. 

Some of these metrics include:

  • Organic traffic to your website
  • Number of leads generated
  • Conversion rates
  • Acquisition costs/return on investment (ROI)

For example, if you see your website traffic trending down, some fresh content might do the trick. Or, if you see low conversion rates yet high traffic, your website isn’t inspiring potential clients to give you a call. You might need to change your call-to-actions or refresh your website.

Marketing and business development go hand-in-hand—as they’re both critical to achieving long-term growth goals.

Some examples of business development metrics to track include:

  • Number of new clients each month
  • Competitor pricing
  • Sales cycle length
  • Number of leads that turn into consultations

Profitability KPIs and Law Firm Financial Ratios

Every law firm should have a documented long-term financial strategy and profitability model. Any healthy business has a written plan to forecast revenue, expenses, net profit, and cash reserves. To ensure you follow through with your plan, track your firm’s profitability and financial KPIs.

And where should you track these KPIs? Don’t think too hard on that one. At Lawyerist, we use a Google Sheets  spreadsheet with a few simple formulas. Track anywhere that makes sense for your firm .

Next, we’ll outline how to use legal technology successfully.

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Law Firm Business Plan

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If you are a lawyer, chances are you have thought of owning a law firm at least once if not more.

After all, having your firm gives you the freedom of taking up projects that you like and working at flexible hours.

But with freedom comes responsibility, and most of us find the thought of doing everything from onboarding clients to taking care of every detail of their case at least in the initial days quite overwhelming.

But don’t worry! It isn’t as scary as it looks. All you need to run a successful law firm is your sharp wit to deal with cases and a well-written law firm business plan to deal with the business side of your profession.

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Free Law Firm Business Plan Template

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  • Fill in the blanks – Outline
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Industry Overview

The global legal services market was valued at a whopping sum of 849.28 billion dollars in 2020 and is expected to rise at a high rate going forward too.

The main changes in the legal industry have been brought about by the introduction of AI which does proofreading and data research jobs with higher efficiency. This lets the lawyers focus on what really matters.

Also, the security and access systems have become loads better due to cloud computing.

What is Law Firm Business Plan?

A law firm business plan is a document that outlines your business goals and strategies to achieve those goals. It includes your law firm overview, your reason to start your firm, the services you will offer, a budget or funding requirements, and strategies to get and manage your clients.

Why Law Firm Business Plan is Important?

A business plan would help you understand what sets you apart from your competitors, and how you can market your USP to your clients.

It also helps you design strategies to reach out to your clients and manage them. It comes in extremely handy for analyzing the loopholes in your business structure.

Moreover, it helps you identify your strengths and work on your weaknesses.

All in all, It can make managing your business a hassle-free and less chaotic process.

Things to Consider Before Writing a Law Firm Business Plan

Focus on your expertise.

Between juggling business and practice, it is natural that practice gets neglected more often than not. But always keep in mind that though focusing on your business is important it shouldn’t come at the cost of skills you need to develop and upgrade to do well as a lawyer.

Also, it is important to decide on a niche so you can dig deeper and become an expert at handling cases of that kind.

Create a proper website

In today’s world being present and active on the internet is as important for your business as being good at what you do.

A strong web presence helps you reach out to your customers as well as builds your reliability for them.

Build your network

Networking is an important aspect of being a lawyer. From getting new customers, getting updates on the legal world, and even collecting evidence if you are a criminal lawyer, a good network can work wonders for your legal business.

The kind of circle you belong to also has an impact on your reputation and image as a lawyer.

Develop soft skills

We all know that confidence and intellect are a lawyer’s best friends. And although it is an ongoing process to develop these skills, it is good to get a head start before you start your business.

Intellect helps you upgrade and pay attention to detail, and confidence helps you sound more convincing and reliable. Both of which are foundational to a legal business.

How to Write a Law Firm Business Plan?

A law firm business plan would be a combination of segments common to all business plans and segments specific to a law firm.

Before you start writing your business plan for your new law firm, spend as much time as you can reading through some examples of  consulting-related business plans .

Reading some sample business plans will give you a good idea of what you’re aiming for. It will also show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their business plans.

We have created this sample law firm business plan for you to get a good idea about how a perfect law firm business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan.

Chalking out Your Business Plan

Starting your own law firm is an exciting prospect for any lawyer. Having your firm gives you more independence, lets you implement ideas you want to, and most importantly, you get to deal with clients firsthand.

And if you plan on starting your own, do so with a proper business plan.

But you might wonder, why do I need a business plan as a lawyer, isn’t my legal knowledge and years of work enough?

The answer is no.

To run a law firm you need a law degree, but to run a successful business you need a business plan alongside your degree.

Law Firm Business Plan Outline

This is the standard law firm business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.

  • Mission Statement
  • Vision Statement
  • Financial Summary
  • 3 Year profit forecast
  • Business Structure
  • Startup cost
  • Market Analysis
  • Market Trends
  • Target Market
  • Market Segmentation
  • Sales Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Pricing Strategy
  • Personnel Plan
  • Financial Plan
  • Important Assumptions
  • Brake-even Analysis
  • Profit Yearly
  • Gross Margin Yearly
  • Projected Cash Flow
  • Projected Balance Sheet
  • Business Ratios

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business plan of a law firm

Now, let’s understand how you can complete each section of your business plan.

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary forms the first page of your business plan. It acts as a pitch for your business to potential investors and should consist of the following sections.

  • Objective: This gives an overview of what you wish to accomplish with your business. The objective should be clear and solve an existing problem in the market.
  • Vision Statement: This should state what vision you have for your business. How do you want it to function and how far do you expect to reach with it. You can also include how your vision sits with the current market situation.
  • Financial Summary: This section should ideally consist of the history of your finances and their current state. A proper financial summary helps you gain an investor’s confidence and makes it easier for your business to get funded.

2. Company Summary

Next up we have the company summary section, this segment provides an overview of your company’s structure and its functioning.

This section provides a brief description of the following:

  • Legal Structure: This section would describe the legal terms and conditions your firm functions on, as well as the ownership structure of your firm.
  • USP: This would consist of points that set your firm apart from your competitor’s firm.
  • Services: This section will include the services you offer, the legal procedures you are well versed in, all in all, the client base you cater to.
  • Location: This segment covers your area of service and the location of your firm. A clearly stated area of service, helps you reach the right audience.

3. Market analysis

This segment consists of a thorough analysis of the market situation. It can be split up into the following sub-segments.

  • Market Trends: This would consist of all the prevailing trends in the market. It is important to know market trends because it helps your business keep up with the evolving market.
  • Target Market:  This section would consist of a summary of the market you cater to. Clearly defining your niche helps you reach out to your desired customer base.
  • Market Segmentation: In this section, note down the segments present in the market, as well as what segment of the market your business would fit in. This would help you narrow down the number of competitors you have, the strategies you must follow, and the major and additional services you should offer.

4. Strategy and implementations

In this section, you would include various business strategies like:

  • Marketing strategy You can formulate a marketing strategy depending on your target audience and the easiest and most effective ways of reaching out to them. It is important to formulate your marketing strategy based on your USP and your vision statement.
  • Pricing Strategy It is important to formulate a pricing strategy based on the market trends, the nature of the work, and your target audience.
  • Milestones This segment would consist of the various milestones your business would have to reach to achieve your goal and the strategies to help you reach them.

5. Financial Plan

The financial section of your business plan would consist of the following information regarding your business.

  • Financial history
  • Current State of finances
  • Profit and loss

Download a sample law firm business plan

Need help writing your business plan from scratch? Here you go;  download our free law firm business plan pdf  to start.

It’s a modern business plan template specifically designed for your law firm business. Use the example business plan as a guide for writing your own.

The Quickest Way to turn a Business Idea into a Business Plan

Fill-in-the-blanks and automatic financials make it easy.

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Law Firm Business Plan Summary

All of the above segments would help you in creating a well-rounded business plan. Starting your law firm with a well-written business plan can make your growth process faster and smoother.

After getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this law firm business plan example into your business plan and modify the required information and download your law firm business plan pdf or doc file.

It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.

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></center></p><ul><li>September 22, 2023</li></ul><h2>How to Write Your Law Firm Business Plan (with Template)</h2><p><center><img style=

Starting a law firm can be a rewarding and lucrative venture, but it requires careful planning and strategy. A well-crafted business plan is a crucial tool for any law firm looking to establish itself, secure funding, or grow its practice. The business plan will serve as a roadmap, outlining the law firm’s objectives, strategies, and unique selling proposition

Law Firm Business Plan - Digitslaw

Why Every Law Firm Needs a Business Plan

A well-structured business plan is imperative for every law firm, regardless of its size or specialization. While legal expertise is undoubtedly crucial, having a clear vision and strategic direction is equally essential. A business plan serves as a guiding light, defining the firm’s mission, values, and long-term goals. This clarity is vital for aligning the entire firm towards a common purpose, ensuring that everyone understands the objectives and the path to achieving them. Without a business plan, a law firm may find itself navigating uncertain waters, reacting to circumstances rather than proactively pursuing its ambitions.

The Key Components of a Law Firm Business Plan

A well-structured law firm business plan consists of several key components, each playing a crucial role in guiding the firm’s operations and ensuring its long-term success. Here are the essential elements of a comprehensive law firm business plan:

  • Executive summary
  • Law firm description
  • Market analysis
  • Organization and management
  • Services 
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Financial plan
  • Start-up budget

Section One: Executive Summary

The executive summary is arguably the most critical section of your law firm’s business plan. While it appears at the beginning, it is often written last, as it serves as a concise yet comprehensive overview of your entire plan. This section should capture the reader’s attention, providing them with a clear understanding of your law firm’s essence, mission, and what to expect from the rest of the document. In your executive summary:

  • Introduce your law firm: Briefly describe your law firm’s name, location, and legal specialization.
  • Mission and vision: State your firm’s mission and vision, highlighting your commitment to serving clients’ legal needs effectively.
  • Your unique selling proposition: Clearly state your USP, and present what is unique about your firm that will ensure success.

The executive summary sets the stage for your entire business plan. It should be a concise yet compelling introduction to your firm’s mission, values, and potential. If crafted well, it can grab the reader’s attention and encourage them to explore other sections in detail. If you feel overwhelmed by this, you can write this section last. 

Section Two: Law Firm Description

This section of your business plan provides a deeper dive into your firm’s background, history, legal specializations, and legal structure and ownership. This section should provide a concise yet informative overview of your firm’s identity and history. Here’s what this section should cover:

  • Mission Statement: Briefly reiterate your law firm’s mission statement. This statement should encapsulate your firm’s overarching purpose and guiding principles.
  • Geographic Location: State out the physical location of your law firm’s office(s). This should include the city or region where your primary office is situated.
  • Legal Structure and Ownership: State the legal structure of your law firm, whether it’s an LLC, S-Corp, or another legal entity. This choice is a fundamental aspect of your business model, influencing ownership, liability, and taxation. If your firm’s ownership is not that of a sole proprietorship, provide details on the ownership structure. Explain how the chosen structure aligns with your firm’s business model, decision-making processes, and long-term goals.
  • Firm History: Provide the history of your law firm. Highlight key milestones, achievements, and notable moments in your firm’s journey. If your firm is well-established, briefly summarize its history, showcasing your accomplishments and contributions to the legal field.

Remember that brevity is key in this section. Don’t spend too much time, just touch on important points and achievements. 

Section Three: Market Analysis

A well-conducted market analysis will not only demonstrate your understanding of the legal industry but also inform your law firm’s strategies and decision-making. It goes beyond understanding your competition; it delves deep into your potential clients’ needs and expectations. 

Through market analysis, you can segment your target market based on demographics, industry, legal needs, and preferences. This segmentation allows you to tailor your services to meet the specific needs of different client groups. It also helps you identify the pain points and challenges that potential clients face. By understanding their concerns, you can offer solutions that directly address these pain points.

Your market analysis should also reveal the pricing strategies of your competitors. By benchmarking your pricing against theirs, you can position your services competitively. You can choose to price higher if you offer unique value or lower if you aim to attract price-sensitive clients. Your market analysis should reveal areas where your competitors may be falling short. Use this information to frame your services as the solution to these weaknesses. For example, if competitors have slow response times, emphasize your firm’s commitment to timely communication. 

Showcase your firm’s USPs that directly address client needs and preferences. If you excel in a particular practice area, have a reputation for excellent client service, or offer innovative fee structures, use these strengths to attract your preferred clientele. Ultimately, a well-documented market analysis not only informs your law firm’s business model but also guides your approach to client acquisition, pricing, and service delivery. It ensures that your legal services align with client expectations and positions your firm for success in a competitive legal industry

Section Four: Organization and Management

Law Firm Business Plan

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This section provides a clear picture of your firm’s internal structure and leadership. Name the key stakeholders in your law firm and what they bring to the table. Highlight any unique experiences or expertise that each partner brings to the firm. This could include prior work at prestigious law firms, involvement in landmark cases, or specialized knowledge in a specific area of law. Explain how these experiences set your firm apart and enhance its capabilities. You can also include an organizational chart that visually represents your law firm’s structure. This chart should showcase the hierarchy, roles, and reporting lines within the firm. By including the names, educational backgrounds, unique experiences, and organizational chart, you paint a comprehensive picture of your law firm’s leadership and structure. This not only builds confidence in your team’s capabilities but also showcases the depth and expertise of your staff to potential clients, partners, or investors.

Section Five: Services

This section is the core of your law firm business plan. Here, you will go into detail about all aspects of your services. Present in simple words:

  • The problem(s) your law firm is addressing and your approach to how to alleviate those pain points? Answer these questions, and provide in detail how your firm is in the best position to tackle this problem. 
  • The solution(s) you are providing. This should describe how your law firm resolves your prospective market’s needs. This should include the work you do, and the benefits that each client will receive if they work with your firm. 
  • Your law firm competition.  This should describe what advantages your law firm has over your competitors? What you do differently when providing your solutions and how your clients will gain additional benefits when they work with your law firm.

Section Six: Marketing Strategy

As you craft your business plan, keep these four essential questions in mind:

  • What Is Your Firm’s Value Proposition? Clearly define what sets your law firm apart from others. This should guide your marketing and sales strategies, emphasizing the unique value you offer to clients.
  • Who Is Your Target Audience? Identify your ideal client profile. Understanding your target audience helps tailor your marketing efforts to reach those most likely to benefit from your services.
  • What Are Your Growth Goals? Set specific, measurable growth goals for your firm. These goals should inform your sales and marketing strategies, outlining how you plan to achieve them.
  • How Will You Measure Success? Determine key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your marketing and sales efforts. Whether it’s tracking client acquisition rates, website traffic, or revenue growth, having measurable metrics will help you gauge your progress and make informed adjustments.

It is also valuable to perform a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) to assess your law firm’s internal and external factors. Describe your online marketing efforts, including your website, social media presence, and email marketing campaigns. Explain how you plan to leverage marketing  to reach and engage potential clients effectively. You should also define your pricing structure and fee arrangements. This may include hourly rates for specific legal services, retainer agreements for ongoing representation, or flat fees for standardized services. 

Section Seven: Financial Plan

If you want to expand your law firm and ensure a steady income, it’s essential to create a financial strategy for your practice. While you might not have all the answers regarding your firm’s finances, provide comprehensive details. Your goal should be to establish a financial plan, particularly for the initial year of your firm’s operation.

Law Firm Business Plan - DigitsLaw

Provide comprehensive financial projections that cover the anticipated income, expenses, and cash flow for your law firm. These forecasts should offer a clear picture of how your firm expects to perform financially. You should also Incorporate income statements, which show your firm’s revenue and expenses, balance sheets that detail your assets and liabilities, and cash flow projections, which illustrate how money moves in and out of your business. These financial statements offer a holistic view of your firm’s financial health.

Explain the assumptions underlying your financial projections. This may include factors like growth rates, market trends, client acquisition strategies, and pricing models. Describe your strategies for achieving growth and how they translate into financial outcomes. This section is critical for demonstrating your law firm’s financial preparedness and sustainability. Investors, lenders, or partners will scrutinize these sections to assess the viability of your firm, making it essential to provide detailed and well-supported financial information.

Section Eight: Start-up Budget

When developing a business plan for your law firm, it is essential to create a realistic startup budget. This involves carefully considering various initial and ongoing expenses and factoring them into your revenue objectives. Here are some instances of expenses to incorporate into your budget:

  • Hardware costs, such as laptops, printers, scanners, and office furniture.
  • Office space expenses, whether you plan to rent space or work from home.
  • Malpractice insurance fees.
  • Staff salaries, including potential hires like administrative assistants or paralegals.
  • Utility expenses, covering phone and internet services, among others.
  • Expenses on practice management software or other tech tools

After itemizing these costs, review them thoroughly. Clearly state the total amount of funding you require to start and sustain your law firm. Explain how this funding will be allocated, including how much goes into covering startup costs and how much is reserved for ongoing operations. Be specific about the purpose of each funding component. 

Additionally, explore tools and solutions that can streamline non-billable tasks, freeing up more time for your legal practice. This not only enhances your overall productivity but also allows you to allocate more time to your legal practice. One exceptional solution that can significantly benefit your law firm operations is a legal practice management software. 

DigitsLaw: The Legal Practice Management Software for Law Firms

DigitsLaw is an all-in-one practice management software that streamlines and simplifies the day-to-day operations of a law firm. Whether you are a small firm or you have law firms in major cities, DigitsLaw can meet the unique needs of your legal practice. Our simple and intuitive tool offers a wealth of features that can make a substantial difference in the success and efficiency of your firm.

Here’s how DigitsLaw can help your new law firm scale:

  • Effortless Case Management: DigitsLaw simplifies case management by centralizing all your client information, documents, and communications in one secure location. This ensures that you have easy access to everything you need, right at your fingertips.
  • Time Tracking and Billing: With DigitsLaw, tracking billable hours and generating invoices is seamless. You can accurately record your time, expenses, and activities, allowing for transparent and error-free billing processes.
  • Conflict Check: DigitsLaw provides a robust conflict check system that assists law firms in maintaining ethical standards and preventing conflicts of interest. By incorporating DigitsLaw conflict check capabilities into your law firm’s workflow, you can enhance your due diligence processes, reduce the risk of conflicts of interest, and uphold the highest ethical standards in your legal practice. 
  • Client Collaboration: Foster better client relationships through DigitsLaw’s client portal . Clients can securely access case information, share documents, and communicate with your firm, enhancing transparency and trust.
  • Legal Document Management: Say goodbye to the hassle of paper documents and disorganized files. DigitsLaw enables efficient document storage, organization, and collaboration, saving you time and reducing the risk of errors.
  • Secure and Compliant: DigitsLaw prioritizes security and compliance, ensuring that your client data and sensitive information are protected at the highest standards.

By leveraging DigitsLaw’s capabilities, you can significantly reduce administrative overhead, minimize errors, and provide a more streamlined and responsive experience for your clients. It’s a strategic investment that will pay dividends as your firm grows and prospers.

Sample Business Plan and Fillable Template

If you’re in the early stages of creating your business plan, we’ve prepared an example that can serve as a reference. You can also download a blank version of our template here. Remember to tailor your plan to your specific requirements and objectives. 

Download your copy of our law firm business plan template HERE

Final thoughts.

In conclusion, crafting a law firm business plan is not just a formality; it’s a roadmap that guides your firm toward success. Whether you’re launching a new law firm or seeking to revitalize an existing one, a well-thought-out plan helps you.  From defining your firm’s mission and values to conducting a thorough market analysis every section of your plan plays a crucial role in shaping your law firm’s journey. It’s not just about impressing potential investors; it’s about setting clear goals, making informed decisions, and ensuring that your firm is well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

As you start planning, remember that your business plan is a living document. It should evolve and adapt as your firm grows and the legal industry changes. Regularly revisit and update your plan to stay aligned with your mission, serve your clients better, and achieve your long-term vision.

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How to Draft a Law Firm Business Plan

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How to Draft a Law Firm Business Plan

business plan of a law firm

Law firms are something more than a business. Law firms and the lawyers within them are engaged in a profession, with obligations that go beyond purely commercial concerns.

Listen to this article:   Click here to play this audio clip

This truth can obscure the need for lawyers to pay attention to the business management side of their practices: their finances, marketing plans, business development efforts, IT purchases, lease terms and capital needs. For the highly trained lawyer, such concerns may feel at best like an afterthought, or at worst a nuisance that steals time from their true occupation: the “practice of law.”

And yet, those annoying business details are responsible for keeping the lights on. While law firms may be more than a business, there is, in fact, a large and necessary business element to them. For solo practices and small firms in particular, investing time into the business management side of legal practice can make a major difference in the financial rewards they derive from it—or even their survival. Firms that have failed to do so in the past (and even those that haven’t) can get a handle on their law practice business management by taking the step of drafting a business plan.

THE POINT OF A BUSINESS PLAN

We’ll discuss the components of a business plan in a moment, but first, let’s talk about why this exercise is valuable. For another type of business, a business plan may be useful in attracting investors or securing financing. Law firms should not think of their business plans as utilitarian documents in that sense (although someday one could prove helpful in obtaining a line of credit, say, or attracting lateral partners). Instead, the primary value of the business plan, particularly for the solo practice or small firm drafting one for the first time, lies in the fact that it forces the firm to think about business issues that it otherwise would not have considered.

As the D.C. Bar says in its advice to startup law offices : “The act of planning helps you think things through thoroughly, study and research if you are not sure of the facts, and look at your ideas critically. It takes time now, but avoids costly, perhaps disastrous, mistakes later.”

Of course, a business plan does little for anyone if it is quickly forgotten. But the mere act of generating a business plan gives a firm a direction to head in and goals to point toward. If the firm makes it a practice to revisit the business plan on an annual basis (if not more regularly), its business considerations will stay top-of-mind and the firm will continually refine them in ways that improve its performance.

THE CONTENTS OF A BUSINESS PLAN

Creating a strong business plan will require an investment of time and energy. At the same time, no one wants to write, or read, a massive document. To improve the chances that the project gets done, and gets read, it is best to keep a business plan to a reasonable length. Anything over 20 pages may stretch attention spans to the breaking point, and there’s no harm in going shorter if you have covered all the territory you need to by that point.

So, what, exactly, is the territory that you should cover? Most authorities agree that a sound business plan for a law firm should address the following broad areas:

  • Overview of the Firm

This section should include basic information about the firm: its name, legal structure, practice areas and leadership positions. It should also contain some deeper information about the firm's identity and aspirations.

This would include:

A mission statement about the firm’s purpose

A vision statement or recitation of medium- and long-term goals for the firm

Important aspects of the firm’s history

Any important philosophies that the firm brings to legal practice

  • Market Analysis

This section should discuss the business trends affecting the firm’s important practice areas and clients. It should evaluate any technologies that are affecting your practice area and consider how the firm may leverage or keep up with them. This section should also devote substantial energy to identifying the firm’s major competitors in each of its important practice areas and comparing their services to the firm’s.

In this section, identify the firm’s major clients, breaking them down by important characteristics like size, location, industry and practice groups used. Go through a similar exercise for major client prospects and targets. It’s worth examining how the firm can improve its relationships with both of these groups.

Important financial information includes the firm’s fixed and variable costs, backward- and forward-looking revenue, realization rate, collection rate, monthly overhead, assets and liabilities. A 12-month profit and loss projection should be included and could be considered the heart of the business plan.

There is a great amount of detail that any firm could get into on this front. Don’t get overwhelmed by it; at the same time, this is some of the most important information in the business plan, so it’s not advisable to gloss over it.

This section will address key operational issues like the office lease, equipment purchases and technology plans. You may assign roles to various staff members for operational issues.

Think about what marketing the firm currently performs, how it obtains clients and what marketing goals it wants to set for the future.

After completing these and any other sections the firm might want to address, then go back and draft an executive summary to be included at the beginning of the business plan document. The summary should be professional, but don’t be afraid to give it some optimistic energy. After all, with your eyes on the business management fundamentals of your firm, things should be looking up for the future.

  • Growing Your Business
  • Law Practice Management

How to Create a Law Firm Business Plan Aimed at Success

Want a successful law firm? Start with a solid business plan. Our guide covers everything that will help you create a roadmap for success.

A firm exists to serve people- so its business plan must take into account those it aims to help. A law firm's business plan lays out the key pillars that will support a practice, from operational details to marketing strategies to financial projections. Furthermore, it should provide a clear roadmap for where the firm hopes to be in the coming years.

In this blog,  we will guide you through the process  of creating a comprehensive law firm business plan that  will help you achieve your goals . Additionally, in our latest Grow Law Firm podcast, our host Sasha Berson conversed with Omar Ochoa, the founding attorney of Omar Ochoa Law Firm, to discuss the topic of creating a law firm business plan aimed at success.

Why Is a Business Plan Important for Law Firms?

A business plan is a vital tool for any law firm to achieve success. It outlines goals, strategies, and the feasibility of business ideas, providing a clear direction and focus for the firm. The plan can be used to secure funding from investors or financial institutions by demonstrating the potential for growth and profitability.

Benefits of a business plan

Moreover, a business plan supports decision-making by evaluating the feasibility of new ventures and assessing potential risks and rewards. It helps to manage resources effectively by setting financial goals and tracking progress, ensuring the firm is making the most of its resources and achieving objectives.

Lastly, a law firm's business plan enables growth by identifying new opportunities and developing strategies to capitalize on them. By planning for the future and setting realistic growth targets, law firms can take their businesses to the next level. Overall, a well-developed business plan is critical for success in the legal industry, providing direction and focus, supporting decision-making, managing resources effectively, and enabling growth.

General Tips for Creating an Attorney Business Plan

Business plan best practices

Building a business plan for law firms is not an easy or intuitive process. By considering the following issues before opening your doors to clients, you have a much better chance of having a stable firm that matches your values and has a clear set of goals.

— Stay Focused

Forming a law firm can feel overwhelming. You have a lot of freedom and can easily get sidetracked into issues that either can wait or do not deserve your attention.

If having a strong  law firm website design  is important enough for you to include in your plan, you will spend time on that instead of less important matters.

A plan also includes a budget. The process of planning your firm's finances can ensure that you do not overspend (or underspend) as you start your own firm.

The attention to detail that comes from having a plan will help you avoid spreading yourself too thin by focusing on every issue or the wrong issues. Instead, you will maintain your focus on the important issues.

Whether you have law partners or develop a solo law firm business plan, the plan will help you stay focused on your end goals.

— Keep Track of Goals and Results

It is easy to set goals when you  start a law firm and then promptly forget about them.

Your plan will set out your goals and the metrics you will use to determine your progress toward meeting them. The plan should also explain how you will know when you have met them.

For example, you might have a growth goal of reaching five lawyers within two years. Or you might have a revenue goal of collecting $200,000 your first year.

Too many businesses, including law firms, meander on their developmental path. By setting goals and the path for meeting them, you will have guardrails to keep your firm on track.

"If you want to be the number one law firm in the country by revenue right in a 20 year time period, have that be your goal and everything that you do right is in service of that goal. You might not get there, but you're gonna find that you're gonna be very successful either way."

"If you want to be the number one law firm in the country by revenue right in a 20 year time period, have that be your goal and everything that you do right is in service of that goal. You might not get there, but you're gonna find that you're gonna be very successful either way." — Omar Ochoa

— Sort Out Your Own Law Firm Strategy

Developing a clear vision is important for establishing a strategic law firm plan aimed at long-term goals . As Omar Ochoa discusses in the podcast, having very specific milestone visions like where you want to be in five, ten, or fifteen years helps drive the strategy and actions needed to get there.

It's easy to say that you'll run your law firm better. But a plan actually helps you identify how to improve by articulating a concrete strategy. The process of creating the plan will help you pinpoint problems and solutions.

A plan forces consideration of operational details often overlooked. It equates to defining your firm's purpose and then pursuing that vision with purpose-driven strategies and actions. As Omar notes, marrying vision to action through knowledge of other successful law firm models is key to achieving goals.

One area that is frequently overlooked in plans is the inclusion of a law firm marketing strategy . Developing this aspect is critical for attracting clients and sustaining growth.

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— Move Forward

You should view your plan as a law firm business development plan that will guide the formation and growth of your firm .

You can review the document periodically to remind you and your law partners of your growth and expansion projections. After this review, you can ensure your growth and expansion remain on track to carry you to your goals.

The review will also tell you whether you need to update your firm's goals. When you started your law firm, you might have been unduly pessimistic or optimistic in your projections. Once you have some time to operate according to your plan, you can update your goals to keep them realistic. You can also update your processes to focus on what works and discard what does not.

The review can provide your projections for what you hope to accomplish and the roadmap for accomplishing it.

Law Firm Business Plan Template

law firm business plan

Each of the websites below includes at least one attorney business development plan template:

  • Business Plan Workbook
  • PracticePro
  • Smith & Jones, P.A.
  • Wy'East Law Firm

You can use a law firm strategic plan example from these sites to start your firm's plan, then turn the plan into a document unique to your circumstances, goals, and needs.

What to Consider before Starting Law Firm Business Plans

Before starting a law firm business plan, think through a few key issues, including:

— Setting the Goals

Reflect deeply on your firm's purpose. Think about who you represent and how you can best meet their needs. A law firm exists for its clients. As you think about your  law firm goals , think about goals for providing legal services to your clients.

"We continue to try to have the biggest impact that we can because ultimately, in my opinion at least, that's what lawyers are for, is to be able to help people and be able to move us forward." — Omar Ochoa

You need to set realistic and achievable goals. These goals should reflect your reasons for starting your law firm. Thus, if you started your law firm because you expected to make more money on your own than working for someone else, set some goals for collections.

While you are setting your goals, think about how you will reach them and the ways you will measure your success. For example, if you want to expand to include ten lawyers within three years, think about intermediate goals at the end of years one and two. This helps measure your progress.

— Choosing Partnership Structure

For lawyers considering a partnership structure, it's important to select partners that complement each other's strengths and weaknesses to help the firm function effectively.

There are 2 main partnership structure options:

  • A single-tier model provides equal decision-making power and liability between partners.
  • Meanwhile, a two-tier structure offers tiers like equity and non-equity partners, providing flexibility and career progression opportunities.

While similarly skilled individuals may clash, partners with differing abilities can succeed together. Some attorneys also choose to run their own firm for flexibility. This allows them to leverage different specialists through occasional joint ventures tailored for specific cases, without the constraints of a single long-term partnership. Furthermore, it highlights how the law firm partnership structure impacts freedom and sustainability.

— Thinking of the Revenue You Need

Calculate how much revenue you need to cover your overhead and pay your salary. Suppose your expenses include:

  • $2,000 per month for office rent
  • $36,000 per year for a legal assistant salary
  • $600 per month for courier expenses
  • $400 per month for a copier lease

thinking of the revenue you need

Assume you want the  median annual salary for lawyers  of $127,990. You need $199,990 per year in revenue to cover your salary and expenses.

But revenue is not the end of the story. Your landlord, vendors, and employees expect to get paid monthly. So, you should also calculate how much cash flow you need each month to cover your hard expenses.

You also need a reserve. Clients expect you to front expenses like filing fees. Make sure you have a reserve to pay these costs and float them until clients reimburse you.

— Defining the Rate of Payment

You need to make some difficult decisions when it comes to setting your own fee structure. If you choose a higher billing rate, you will need to work less to meet your revenue goals. But you might not find many clients who are able to pay your fees.

Whether you charge a flat fee, contingent fee, or hourly fee, you should expect potential clients to compare your fees to those of your direct and indirect competitors. Remember, your firm competes against other lawyers, online services like  LegalZoom , and do-it-yourself legal forms books.

Finally, you need to comply with your state's rules of professional conduct when setting your fees. The  ABA's model rules  give eight factors to determine the reasonableness of a fee. These factors include the customary fee for your location and the skill required to provide the requested legal services.

— Making the Cases in Your Law Practice Meet the Revenue Needs

Figure out how much you need to work to meet your revenue target . If you charge a flat fee, you can simply divide your revenue target by your flat fee.

Hourly fee lawyers can calculate the number of hours they need to bill and collect. However, law firm owners rarely bill 100% of the hours they work due to the administrative tasks they perform to run a firm. Also, you will probably not collect 100% of your billings, and clients could take 90 days or longer to pay.

Contingency fee lawyers will find it nearly impossible to project the cases they need. You have no way of knowing the value of your cases in advance. You also have no idea when your cases will settle. You could work on a case for years before you finally get paid.

Parts of a Business Plan for Law Firm Formation: Structure

A law firm business plan is a written document that lays out your  law firm goals  and strategies.

For many businesses, a business plan helps secure investors. But the ethical rules prohibit law firms from seeking funding from  outside investors or non-lawyer shareholders .

Parts of a Business Plan

Your business plan is for you and your law partners. It will help you manage everyone's expectations and roles in the firm. Here is a law firm business plan example to help you see the parts and pieces in action.

— Executive Summary

An executive summary combines the important information in the business plan into a single-page overview. Your plan will include details like projections, budgets, and staffing needs. This section highlights the conclusions from those detailed analyses.

Your executive summary should include :

  • A mission statement explaining the purpose of your firm in one or two sentences
  • A list of the core values that your firm will use whenever it makes decisions about its future
  • The firm's overarching goals for itself, its lawyers, and the clients it serves
  • The unique selling proposition that sets your firm apart from other firms in the legal industry

You should think of this section as a quick way for people like lenders, potential law partners, and merger targets, to quickly understand the principles that drive your firm.

— Law Firm Description and Legal Structure

First, you will describe what your law firm does. You will describe your law practice and the clients you expect to serve.

Second, you will describe how your firm operates. The organization and management overview will explain your legal structure and the management responsibilities of you and your law partners.

This section should fill in the details about your firm's operation and structure by:

  • Describing the scope of the legal services you offer and your ideal clients
  • Restating your mission statement and core values and expanding upon how they will guide your firm
  • Explaining your location and where your clients will come from
  • Describing your business entity type and management structure
  • Detailing your unique selling proposition , including the features that distinguish your firm from your competitors

When someone reads this section, they should have a clear picture of what you will create.

— Financial Calculations

Your attorney business plan explains where your firm's revenue comes from and where it goes. This is where your skills as a lawyer begin to diverge from your skills as a business owner. You may need to learn a few new accounting concepts so you can perform the analyses expected in a financial plan.

You will need a  financial plan  for at least the first year.

If you plan to seek a bank loan or line of credit, your bank may need a financial plan that covers three years or longer.

You will need more than a few rough numbers for a useful business plan. Instead, you will need to estimate your expenses and revenues as accurately as possible.

"Take some financial statements courses, take some managerial accounting courses that teach you how to track costs, how to frame costs in a way that you're looking at the important costs." — Omar Ochoa

You might need to contact vendors and service providers to get precise costs. You will probably need to track your billings with your prior firm to predict your revenues. If you are opening a law firm after law school or an in-house job, you may need a competitive analysis to show what similar law firms earn in your location and practice area.

Some reports you may need in your business plan include:

  • Revenue analysis listing the fees you will collect each month
  • Budget describing your monthly and annual expenses
  • Financial projections combining the revenue analysis and budgeted expenses to predict your profit margins
  • Cash flow statement showing how your revenues and expenses affect your cash on hand.

Your cash flow statement might be the most important financial report because it explains how your bank balance will fluctuate over time. If your clients take too long to pay their bills or you have too many accounts payable due at the same time, your cash flow statement will show you when money might get tight.

— Market Analysis

A market analysis will tell you where you fit into the legal market in your location and field. You need a competitive analysis to understand the other lawyers and law firms that will compete with you for potential clients. You can also analyze their marketing messages to figure out how to stand out from the competition.

How to conduct market analysis

A competitive analysis will tell you what services other firms offer, how much they charge, and what features help your competitors succeed.

Your analysis should include a discussion about your :

  • Ideal clients and what you can do to help them
  • Market size and whether you offer something clients need
  • Competitors and what they offer to clients
  • Competitive advantages and how you can market them to potential clients

You can also develop and hone your marketing strategy based on the benefits you offer to clients over your competitors. Finally, a market analysis can tell you the locations and practice areas in which your firm may expand in the future.

Your market analysis helps you focus your efforts on your legal niche.

— Marketing Plan

A marketing plan sets out the steps you will take to reach your target market. Your marketing strategy will take your market analysis and turn it into a plan of action.

You will start with the results of your market analysis identifying your clients, your competitors, and your competitive advantages. You will then discuss the message you can deliver to potential clients that captures the advantages you have over your competition.

Questions for marketing plan creation

Some advantages you might have over other lawyers and law firms might include tangible benefits like lower billing rates or local office locations. Other advantages might provide some intangible benefits like more years of experience or state-bar-certified specialists in those states that allow specialization.

You will then discuss your marketing plan. A marketing plan explains :

  • Characteristics of the target market you want to reach
  • What your competition offers
  • The distinct benefits you offer
  • A message you can use to explain what separates you from your competition
  • Your action plan for delivering your message
  • Your goals for your action plan, such as the number of client leads, new clients, or new cases per month

Your action plan will include the marketing channels you want to use to spread your message. Marketing specialists can help you identify the best channels for your marketing message and client base.

For example, if you practice intellectual property law, you need to reach business owners and in-house lawyers who want to protect their companies' brands, inventions, artistic works, and trade secrets. A marketing agency may help you create a marketing strategy geared toward trade publications and business magazines.

However, IP lawyers require an entirely different marketing strategy than firms that practice  family law . Family lawyers need to market to individuals and will tailor their marketing efforts toward different marketing channels and messages.

Even if you expect most of your client leads to come from referrals, you still need brand recognition for those leads to find you. You should consider a website, basic SEO, legal directory, and bar association listings.

— Your Law Firm Services

You will outline the services your law firm offers to clients. Lawyers with established clients and an existing legal practice can simply describe what they already do.

Any new law firm or lawyer transitioning from other practice areas should consider:

  • Practice areas you know and enjoy
  • Overlapping practice fields that will not require extra staff, such as personal injury and workers' comp
  • Related legal services your clients may need, such as wills and guardianship

By offering needed services you can competently provide, you can gain clients and avoid referring existing clients out to other lawyers.

— Your Law Firm Budget

You should approach your budget as a living document. You will spend more money as you add more lawyers and staff members to your firm. But you can also look for ways to reduce your operating costs through investments in technology services and other cost-saving measures .

Your budget should set out the amount you expect to initially spend on start-up expenses. As you create your start-up budget, remember many of these expenses are not recurring. Furniture, computers, and office space build-outs can last several years. In short, your budget should answer the question, "What do you need to open a law firm?"

It should also lay out the amount you plan to spend each month to operate your firm. Here, you will include your recurring expenses, such as rent, staff salaries, insurance premiums, and equipment leases.

Using your operating budget, you will determine the amount of money you need to start and run your firm. This, in turn, will tell you whether you need to take out a loan or tap into your savings to start your law firm. You will need a plan for paying your expenses and day-to-day costs while your firm gets onto its feet.

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Some Useful Tips on Creating a Business Plan for Law Firm Creation and Development

As you draft your law firm business plan, you should focus on the process. By putting your thoughts down in writing, you will often identify issues you had not previously considered.

Some other tips for drafting your business plan include:

— Describe Both Strengths and Weaknesses

You want to project confidence as you prepare your business plan. Remember, you will use this plan to approach potential law partners, lenders, and merger targets. You need to show that you have a solid plan backed up by your financial projections.

At the same time, you need to remain realistic. Write a business plan that describes your business challenges as well as your competitive advantages.

For example, if you have a strong competitor that has a solid  law firm reputation management  and many of the clients you will target, acknowledge the difficulty of getting those clients to switch law firms. Describe your marketing strategies for approaching and pitching your law firm to those clients.

— Think Ahead

Remember that your business plan sets out the roadmap for both the establishment and operation of your law firm . Think about issues that could arise as your firm grows and matures.

For example, you may have a goal of reaching ten lawyers in three years. But as your staff grows, you may need a human resources manager. You may also seek to handle your payroll in-house instead of outsourcing it to a payroll provider. These changes will create ripple effects throughout your business plans. You will incur costs when you add staff members. You will also realize benefits like increased attorney efficiency.

At the same time, any projections more than five years into the future will likely be useless. Your firm and its clients will evolve, and technology will change how you practice law.

— Be Clear about Your Intentions

As you develop your plan, you should keep its purpose in mind. First, you want to outline your core values and goals for your law firm. Set out the reasons why you started your law firm and what you intend to accomplish with it.

"You can't just be doing something because you want prestige. There's gotta be more to that, right? You have to have a purpose that you're following. And if you've got that, that purpose is like gravity, right? You will always be grounded." — Omar Ochoa

Second, you set out your path to achieving those goals. This will include boring technical information like how much you spend on legal research every month. But it will also explain your approach to solving problems consistent with your mission statement and philosophy for law firm management.

— Consult and Update If Necessary

Your plan should guide you as you build your firm. It contains your goals and the roadmap for reaching them. But your plan is not carved in stone.

As you face challenges, you will consult your plan to make sure you approach these challenges in a way consistent with achieving your goals. But under some circumstances, you might find that the plan no longer provides the right solution.

As you work with your firm and your law partners, your goals, processes, and solutions to problems may evolve. The technology your firm uses may change. Your law firm's costs may go up with inflation or down as you realize economies of scale. You should update your plan when this happens.

Final Steps

There is no recipe for creating a business plan for law firm development. What goes into your mission statement and plan will depend on several factors, including your law firm's business model. But this is a feature, not a bug of developing a business plan.

The process of business planning will help you develop solutions to issues you might have overlooked. If you have law partners, just going through the process of creating a law firm business plan can ensure that everyone is on the same page.

As you create your plan, the process itself should provoke thoughts and ideas so you can have a unique law firm tailored to your goals and values. This will help you get exactly what you wanted when you started in the legal industry.

To learn how to expand your client base as your firm grows, check out Grow Law Firm, a professional  law firm marketing agency .

Founder of Omar Ochoa Law Firm

Omar Ochoa is a founding attorney with extensive experience in complex litigation, including antitrust, class actions, and securities cases. He has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for clients and has been nationally recognized as one of the best young trial lawyers in the country.

Omar graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in business administration, accounting, and economics. He later earned his law degree from the university, serving as editor-in-chief of the Texas Law Review. He has clerked for two federal judges and has worked at the prestigious law firm Susman Godfrey L.L.P. Omar is dedicated to seeking excellence. He has been recognized for his outstanding achievements in antitrust litigation.

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Law Firm Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Law Firm Business Plan

You’ve come to the right place to create your Law Firm business plan.

We have helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their Law Firms.

Below is a template to help you create each section of your Law Firm business plan.

Executive Summary

Business overview.

The Harris & Harris Law Firm is a startup up business that provides legal advice and services for clients located within the Scottsdale, Arizona region. The company is founded by Roger Harris and his son, Anthony. Roger Harris has been a partner in a well-established company, Foundations Law Firm, for over twenty years. Anthony Harris is a recent law school graduate who will begin his training under the scholarship of his father. With the extensive list of former clients in hand, Roger and Anthony are confident they can begin open their doors for business and grow the new law firm successfully.

Harris & Harris Law Firm will provide a comprehensive array of services for individuals or business entities who need advice and/or legal representation in court proceedings. Harris & Harris will provide a multi-prong approach to fashion specific solutions for each individual they represent; in that regard, all services are custom-packaged and provided for clients by the lawyers at Harris & Harris. This unique factor will set them above all other area lawyers, as most follow standard processes within the companies where they work.

Product Offering

The following are the services that Harris & Harris Law Firm will provide:

  • Client-centric efforts in every case until resolution is found
  • Unique process to fully explore client options in any dispute
  • Creative and sustainable solutions on a case-by-case basis
  • Prioritization of client needs above all else
  • Dedication to professionalism and honesty
  • Equally dedicated to securing the correct outcomes for our clients
  • Team of highly-skilled lawyers who create winning solutions

Customer Focus

Harris & Harris will target the residents of Scottsdale, Arizona. They will also target medium-to-large businesses within Scottsdale, Arizona. They will target former associates and lawyers with whom they can collaborate in the future. They will target residents who have been served a summons for civil or criminal case appearances, whether as a witness, interested party or a potential defendant.

Management Team

Harris & Harris will be owned and operated by Roger Harris. He recruited his son, Anthony, to join the new firm upon Anthony’s recent graduation from law school. Within the next ten years, depending on performance, Anthony will receive incremental distributions of up to 49% of the company value in private stock. This will be based on Anthony’s performance and growth in the company as his role expands.

Roger Harris was formerly a partner in a well-established company, Foundations Law Firm, for over twenty years. He practiced law in the personal law arena, including wills and probates, trusts and other forms of personal law. He also managed the real estate law team at his former place of employment. Roger’s role in Harris & Harris will be the President, with the primary responsibility of driving new client traffic to the company. Roger has recruited Anthony, Richard Cummings, and Torey Crouch to begin their employment at Harris & Harris, as well.

Anthony Harris is a recent law school graduate who will begin his training under the scholarship of his father. Anthony will specialize in a unique processing of individual cases by creating algorithms that will specify which outcomes will best serve the client. Anthony will also represent clients in court and assist in defense appearances. With the extensive list of former clients in hand and the unique processes they’ve designed for clients going forward, Roger and Anthony are confident they can begin and grow the new law firm successfully.

Richard Cummings, a former associate of Roger Harris, will take on the role of Managing Partner in the launch of Harris & Harris. He will oversee all junior partners and staff, as the total number of lawyers grows expeditiously over the first few years.

Torey Crouch, a former law student with Anthony Cummings, will take on the role of Research & Records Manager, as she will form the background work necessary for all the other lawyers on staff.

Success Factors

Harris & Harris Law Firm will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:

  • Friendly, knowledgeable, and highly-qualified team of Harris & Harris Law Firm
  • Comprehensive menu of services designed to provide specific customer-centric solutions
  • Specializations in real estate, trusts, probate, civil and criminal law are all offered under this multi-pronged services of Harris & Harris Law Firm
  • Harris & Harris offers family discounts and other forms of packages for clients.
  • Harris & Harris offers a “monthly pay” program for clients who need to spread out payments over time.

Financial Highlights

Harris & Harris Law Firm is seeking $200,000 in debt financing to launch its Harris & Harris Law Firm. The funding will be dedicated toward securing the office space and purchasing office equipment and supplies. Funding will also be dedicated toward three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff, rent, and marketing costs for the print ads and marketing costs. The breakout of the funding is below:

  • Office space build-out: $20,000
  • Office equipment, supplies, and materials: $10,000
  • Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, rent, utilities): $150,000
  • Marketing costs: $10,000
  • Working capital: $10,000

The following graph outlines the financial projections for Harris & Harris Law Firm.

Harris & Harris Law Firm Pro Forma Projections

Company Overview

Who is harris & harris law firm.

Harris & Harris Law Firm is a newly established, full-service law firm in Scottsdale, Arizona. Harris & Harris Law Firm will be the most reliable, solution-centric and effective choice for clients in Scottsdale and the surrounding communities. Harris & Harris Law Firm will provide a comprehensive menu of attorney services for any individual, family or business to utilize. Their full-service approach includes a comprehensive array of services that are uniquely prepared for each client.

  Harris & Harris Law Firm will be able to serve the residents and businesses of Scottsdale. The team of professionals are highly qualified and experienced in all aspects of the law and several permutations of legal representation. Harris & Harris Law Firm removes all headaches and issues of securing a comprehensive law firm that is reliable and dedicated to clients, and ensures all issues are taken care of expeditiously, while delivering the best customer service.

Harris & Harris Law Firm History

Since incorporation, Harris & Harris Law Firm has achieved the following milestones:

  • Registered Harris & Harris Law Firm, LLC to transact business in the state of Arizona.
  • Has a contract for 10,000 square feet of office space midtown Scottsdale office buildings
  • Reached out to numerous former clients and contacts to consider Harris & Harris for all their legal representation needs.
  • Began recruiting a staff of five lawyers and three office personnel to work at Harris & Harris.

Harris & Harris Law Firm Services

The following will be the services Harris & Harris Law Firm will provide:

  • Dedication to professionalism and honest dialogue

Industry Analysis

The law firm industry is expected to grow over the next five years to over $75 billion. The growth will be driven by an increased population requiring legal representation The growth will be driven by the increase of income for individuals, which can support the decision to hire representation. The growth will be driven by the increase in faulty or misleading documents, agreements, and certifications. The growth will be driven by legal firms who collect fees for business mergers and negotiations. Costs will likely be reduced as current technology becomes dated and new, higher-performing technological advances are employed.

Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market, customer segmentation.

Harris & Harris Law Firm will primarily target the following customer profiles:

  • Residents of Scottsdale region
  • Businesses within Scottsdale region
  • Former associates and clients with whom they can collaborate
  • Individuals or businesses that have been served with a summons to appear in court

Competitive Analysis

Direct and indirect competitors.

Harris & Harris Law Firm will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.

Diamond & Johnson Defense

Diamond & Johnson Defense is a law firm located in Phoenix, Arizona. The firm was established in 1998 and has three partners who oversee all cases: Robert Anderson, who is a lead criminal defense attorney; Lisa Martinez, who is a criminal appeals and post-conviction relief attorney, and David Collin, an investigations and trial preparation lawyer. The law firm has a total of six attorneys who specialize in criminal defense, and six office staff, who communicate directly with each lawyer on staff.

Diamond & Johnson Defense is known as “The Defendant’s Law Firm” in Scottsdale, as 99% of the law practice is focused on personal law representation in civil or criminal court cases. The law firm charges fees within the top 5% in the county for personal representation. The years of practice have proven to be winning ones for Diamond & Johnson Defense, as over 69% of their clients have been released without any prison time. The team at D & J Defense are known to be highly-skilled at investigations and trial preparation, with several team members who will take on a single case to thoroughly cover every possible defense for each client.

Legacy Law Associates

Legacy Law Associates is well-known as a “compassionate” team of attorneys, specializing in family wills and trusts. With a team of dedicated and experienced attorneys, the firm aims to provide comprehensive legal services that meet the goals of each client or family who need legal services during a difficult season of life. Legacy Law Associates consists of a partnership of two attorneys, Jonathan Dunlap and David Sessions, who established the law firm in 2005 in Phoenix after graduating from law school together. Together, the co-owners seek families who have legal needs after the death of a family member; such as estate negotiations, final documents and closures, trustee assistance, probate searches, and confidential proceedings per the will of any individual. The law firm has hired a private secretary for each partner and is housed in a small office in downtown Phoenix. The firm has not grown since 2007 and does not choose to make that a pivotal goal for their partnership, relying instead on the on-going legal processes of trusts, wills, probate and other related items.

Construction Defect Law Firm

The Construction Defect Law Firm is owned and operated by Chip Jackson and is located in Green Valley, Arizona. The focus of the law firm is to represent homeowners who have determined a new or nearly-new home contains construction defects. In most cases, the home builder has moved on from the geographic region and, even when contacted repeatedly, is unwilling to rectify the situation by repair or monetary refund.

Chip Jackson is a highly-skilled evaluator and contractor within the construction industry. He is able to determine the viability of most construction issues with merely a cursory examination and has proven over the past ten years to be a worthy adversary in the courtroom. He wins 98% of all cases he brings into the courtroom. Chip’s clients are always homeowners who have been victims of construction defects in homes that are typically new or less than ten years old. His skill set includes negotiation outside the courtroom, compelling videos of problematic construction processes, drone footage of damaged rooftops, chimneys and other areas not typically viewed by homeowners and other support graphics that demonstrate the defects of the property.

Competitive Advantage

Harris & Harris Law Firm will be able to offer the following advantages over their competition:

Marketing Plan

Brand & value proposition.

Harris & Harris Law Firm will offer the unique value proposition to its clientele:

Promotions Strategy

The promotions strategy for Harris & Harris Law Firm is as follows:

Word of Mouth/Referrals

Harris & Harris Law Firm has built up an extensive list of contacts over the years by providing exceptional service and expertise to former clients and associates. This group will follow Roger and Anthony to their new company and help spread the word of Harris & Harris Law Firm.

Professional Associations and Networking

Harris & Harris Law Firm will take an active role in all community organizations and networking events, where they can spread the word about the launch and start of their company. The law firm will offer an Open House specifically for association members to acquaint the city of Scottsdale with their new services and location.

Website/SEO Marketing

Harris & Harris Law Firm will fully utilize their website. The website will be well organized, informative, and list all the services that Harris & Harris Law Firm provides. The website will also list their contact information and list their available reservation times to meet with one of the attorney’s for an initial consultation. The website will employ SEO marketing tactics so that anytime someone types in the Google or Bing search engine “law firm services” or “lawyer near me”, Harris & Harris Law Firm will be listed at the top of the search results.

The pricing of Harris & Harris Law Firm will be moderate and on par with competitors so customers feel they receive excellent value when purchasing their services.

Operations Plan

The following will be the operations plan for Harris & Harris Law Firm. Operation Functions:

  • Roger Harris will be the Owner and President of the company. He will engage and manage new client relations.
  • Anthony Harris will be the Legal Outcomes & Research Manager for the company. He will work with clients to craft potential outcomes based on algorithms and research.
  • Richard Cummings will take on the role of Managing Partner and, as such, will oversee junior partners and staff, as the total number of staff lawyers is expected to markedly grow in the coming five years.
  • Torey Crouch will take on the role of Research & Records Manager, where she will support and provide research for all junior and senior attorney staff members. She will also oversee the office personnel.

Milestones:

Harris & Harris Law Firm will have the following milestones completed in the next six months.

  • 5/1/202X – Finalize contract to lease office space
  • 5/15/202X – Finalize personnel and staff employment contracts for the Harris & Harris Law Firm
  • 6/1/202X – Finalize contracts for Harris & Harris Law Firm clients
  • 6/15/202X – Begin networking at association meetings and industry events
  • 6/22/202X – Begin moving into Harris & Harris Law Firm office
  • 7/1/202X – Harris & Harris Law Firm opens its office for business

Financial Plan

Key revenue & costs.

The revenue drivers for Harris & Harris Law Firm are the fees they will charge to clients for the legal services and representation they provide.

The cost drivers will be the overhead costs required in order to staff Harris & Harris Law Firm. The expenses will be the payroll cost, rent, utilities, office supplies, and marketing materials.

Funding Requirements and Use of Funds

Harris & Harris Law Firm is seeking $200,000 in debt financing to launch its law firm. The funding will be dedicated toward securing the office space and purchasing office equipment and supplies. Funding will also be dedicated toward three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff, rent, and marketing costs for the print ads and association memberships. The breakout of the funding is below:

Key Assumptions

The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.

  • Number of Clients Per Month: 125
  • Average Revenue per Month: $325,000
  • Office Lease per Year: $100,000

Financial Projections

Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, law firm business plan faqs, what is a law firm business plan.

A law firm business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your law firm business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.

You can easily complete your Law Firm business plan using our Law Firm Business Plan Template here .

What are the Main Types of Law Firm Businesses? 

There are a number of different kinds of law firm businesses , some examples include: Commercial Law, Criminal, Civil Negligence, and Personal Injury Law, Real Estate Law, and Labor Law.

How Do You Get Funding for Your Law Firm Business Plan?

Law Firm businesses are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and angel investors are also popular forms of funding.

What are the Steps To Start a Law Firm Business?

Starting a law firm business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.

1. Develop A Law Firm Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed law firm business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast. 

2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your law firm business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your law firm business is in compliance with local laws.

3. Register Your Law Firm Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your law firm business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws.

4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your law firm business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms.

5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations.

6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events.

7. Acquire Necessary Law Firm Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your law firm business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation.

8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your law firm business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising. 

Learn more about how to start a successful law firm business:

  • How to Start a Law Firm

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A Complete Strategy for Creating a Law Firm Business Plan

You’ve invested so much time into completing and graduating from law school and studying and passing the state bar exam. Maybe you spent years working at law firms, in government, or in corporate law. Now you’re ready to open your own firm, and you want to do it right so all those years of hard work pay off. You need a law firm business plan.

But do you know where to begin? What should your business plan include? What are the challenges you know and, most importantly, what don’t you know? 

Start with the basics. What are your values? What do you want to achieve with your law firm? What will make your firm stand out?

Understanding your “why” will prepare you to open your firm and establish its operations—from case and document management to checking your firm’s growth profile. Well-defined goals, plenty of preparation, and the right tools can help you get answers to your business questions and create the best business plan for your law firm.

What Is a Law Firm Business Plan?

A business plan is a roadmap that accounts for your milestones, potential setbacks, and the overall growth of your brand. You may want to include strategies for marketing, finance, sales, and partnerships.

Generally speaking, it’s a summary of what goals you want to achieve as a brand. If you’re not sure of where you’d like to start with your business plan, think about:

  • The purpose of your firm and what you want to do
  • How you see your firm in five, ten, or twenty years
  • The type of working environment you want to provide
  • Management and organization of the firm
  • What do you want to see come out of your firm financially

While considering each of these factors, keep your target clientele in mind. Consider your demographic, their needs, and expectations. This way of thinking can help keep you focused on providing top-notch client care.

Person writing in notepad with laptop

Why Is a Law Firm Business Plan Important?

Making a business plan is a guiding principle for your goals and success. This way, you’ll be less likely to lose sight of your goal. When managing a firm, you have to worry about yourself, your staff, the brand and business as a whole, your partners, competitors, and of course, your clients. With all this responsibility, losing track of your mission seems almost inevitable. However, it doesn’t have to be. Referring to your firm’s values, your long- and short-term objectives, and your financial projections can help prevent you from falling behind.

Your firm is a business, so you must manage it as such.

Even though you should follow your law firm’s business plan, that doesn’t mean your goals won’t or shouldn’t change. Sometimes, things don’t go as intended, and you must adapt. For example, some marketing strategies may not be as popular with your target audience as intended. In that case, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and see how you can appeal to them.

How Do I Start a Law Firm Business Plan?

Getting started is almost always the hardest part of anything. However, if you start small, it’s easy to build.

When creating your law firm business plan, follow these steps:

Define Your Goals

Having defined goals sets the tone for how you manage and market your business. It may seem obvious to you, but when prospects do a search and land on your website , that might not be the case for them. When you articulate what drives you, these potential clients may be more inclined to look into what you can offer them.

If you’re unsure how to explain your goals for the firm, maybe come back to that later. Figuring out your services, marketing strategies, financial projections, management, and operations may help you come to a more concise conclusion.

Revenue/Value Estimation

Whether you’re asking for funding or want to build the firm from the ground up, you must figure out how to keep the lights on.

You’ll want to have an answer for the following:

  • What are the costs associated with starting a law firm?
  • What is the number of cases you need to break even? Make a profit?
  • What is your profit-loss estimation?

Be precise with these numbers. That way, you can better gauge your success or lack thereof.

Billing Structure

Creating a comprehensive legal billing policy at the beginning will save your law firm a vast amount of non-billable hours and money .

First, you’ll want to get clear on items like your fees. Some firms charge a flat fee. Others charge by the hour. The fee structure can vary depending on the area of practice . For example, if you’re working in personal injury law , especially, you may go the contingency fee route. 

Once you figure out which payment structure to use, you’ll want to create a process for how you’ll get paid. Automating your billing with legal workflows is a simple way to standardize the processes. This workflow should outline items like the invoice creation process, modes of sending the invoice, and how the client will pay. 

PracticePanther’s automated legal workflows can be customized to trigger events throughout the billing cycle so you never have to worry about missing a step. 

Identify the Risks

Just like the risk assessment you give your clients, the same should be done when starting a law firm. Identifying potentials risk during the planning process will help inform your business decision. While risks are not always avoidable, being proactive can limit the shock associated with surprise risks. 

A few potential risks for law firms: 

  • Market share
  • Pros and cons of your pricing structure
  • Demand of services

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What Is in a Law Firm Business Plan?

There’s no set formula for creating a picture-perfect business plan. However, these things may put you on the road to success:

Executive Summary

This section gives an overall view of your plan. It includes:

  • Mission statement, noting your inspiration and drive for your law firm
  • Core values, describing what you’ll use to serve your clients
  • How you stand out, discussing what you’ll bring to the table that others may not
  • A company description, articulating how you got started in law, your educational and professional background, etc.

Refrain from making general, overstated platitudes. Every other firm promises how they’ll strive to deliver the results their clients need. Be specific and tell them how you will act.

Market Analysis

Who will you represent, and how will you get paid? These questions can help you determine how you’ll carry out a market analysis:

  • Target clientele: What demographic do you want to serve? Think of age, location, status, occupation, or gender.
  • Financial projections: How much would this demographic reasonably spend on your services?
  • Industry: What are the trends in this industry? What’s the market size? What’s its potential for growth or lack thereof?
  • Competition: Who are your main competitors? What are their/your strengths and weaknesses?

Law Firm Billing and Finances

What are budgets and revenue going to look like? Think about how much money you’ll need to start up and keep the firm running every month. How many cases will allow you to break even or make a profit?

Assess how much you project to make this year and every year thereafter.

Management Structure

Now is the time to think about how you’ll operate. Yes, you want to create a healthy work environment, but how will you do that?

If you’re opening this firm, you probably have the educational background and experience to hit the ground running.

However, serving clients and running operations are two different things. Are you the right person to manage the firm as a whole? It’s okay if you’re not sure. Maybe you would benefit from hiring an office manager or other employees to keep things running.

Legal Technology

The more clients you take, the more paperwork, documents, and overall assistance you’ll need. You may not need to hire an employee to take care of such matters per se. As such, you may want to consider purchasing law practice management software to keep track of every detail of your business operations. These cloud-based solutions make it easy to work from anywhere while maintaining collaboration with staff or outsourced workers. 

Managing your law firm is made easy with an all-in-one solution . PracticePanther comes equipped with all of the resources your need to efficiently manage a profitable law firm. Native features like custom reporting to track expenses or cash flow, legal document management for accessibility and paperless filing, legal billing software to accurately manage your billing and invoicing, case management to streamline your cases, eSignature to quickly send documents for electronic signature , and online payment processing to get paid faster and enhance the client experience.

Other law practice management platforms may require costly monthly subscriptions for essential business features like online payment processing or eSignature. With PracticePanther — they’re free to activate and included with your account. 

Legal Services

Your services are the bread and butter of your firm. What problems are your potential clients experiencing, and how will you help them?

Here, you can also differentiate yourself from your competitors and discuss the advantages of hiring you.

Law Firm Marketing

When you market your firm, think about how you will present it and entice a prospect to hire you. What services will you provide, and at what cost? Show potential clients that your firm is worth every penny and that you will go above and beyond for them.

Creating a law firm marketing strategy with proven tactics and goals is key. Traditionally, firms have relied on word of mouth. However, to remain profitable — law firms should utilize modern channels such as social media, paid advertising, and search engine optimization or SEO. 

Use your executive summary and market analysis as an initial guide for your marketing strategy then continue to measure and adjust your strategy. 

Sample Law Firm Business Plan

Organizing your law firm’s business plan can seem like a big maze. However, if you have a document template that allows you to break everything down step by step, it won’t be as scary.

PracticePanther offers a white-label template for you to write out your goals for your firm. You can even customize it with your logo, ensuring your professionalism and brand recognition. This feature also stores your business plan in one place. 

What’s more, if you have several potential business plans, you can easily store them within PracticePanther as a template or file . This way, if you need to adjust your plan (which is highly recommended that you monitor your business plan) you can easily access it.

Outlook on the Business of a Law Firm

It’s great to have short-and long-term goals and objectives when you’re forming a law firm business plan. Still, these plans should be flexible and adapt to the market. 

Having an understanding of how to scale and market your law firm with modern processes will ensure the overall profitability of your business. With PracticePanther’s five-minute law firm growth quiz , you can find your growth profile along with a strategic growth roadmap for success. 

Modern legal technology makes it easier than ever to practice and manage a law firm today. Ready to get started? You can schedule a custom demo with PracticePanther to see how our features support your firm’s success.

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Kamron Sanders

Kamron Sanders is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist at PracticePanther, an all-in-one legal practice management software. She is responsible for creating engaging content across multiple channels including social media, articles, videos, and more. Kamron views marketing through a customer-focused lens and equips legal professionals with the information and tools to automate their practice.

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  • Starting a Law Firm

How to Create a Law Firm Business Plan

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Contents: guide to starting a law firm, 1. how to create a law firm business plan, 2. how to create a law firm budget, 3. getting support: networking and hiring, 4. setting up your workplace, 5. creating your online presence, 6. implementing systems and processes, 7. making it official, 8. how to get clients for your law firm, download clio's complete guide to starting a law firm, what is a business plan and why is it important.

A law firm business plan is a document that summarizes what you want to achieve and how you’ll run your business. This summary includes general information about your law firm, why you chose to start it, major goals, the services you offer, a budget, and a strategy for gaining and managing clients.

A business plan is essential to any law firm as it documents, and serves as, a roadmap for the future.

As you think through what it is you want to achieve, what type of clients you want to serve, how much to charge as a lawyer , and what type of matters you want to handle, your business plan may evolve. That’s okay! Your law firm business plan can change as your goals change, so don’t feel pressured to have all the answers upfront.

That being said, the more thought you put into your business plan now, the better you’ll set yourself up for success in the long run.

What to consider when creating your business plan

Before you start writing a law firm business plan, it’s important to take a step back and reflect on what you want from your practice first. For a more specific, meaningful, and ultimately rewarding business plan, consider these three points:

1. What are your goals?

The first and most critical step in writing an effective plan is to ask yourself, “Why do I want to own a law firm ? What do I want to achieve? What’s my definition of success ?”

Starting your own law firm isn’t just about having a job—it gives you the potential to have more freedom and more fulfillment. In theory, owning your own firm gives you more control over your income.

Consider the following questions to get started:

  • What do I want to achieve through starting my own law firm?
  • What’s the impact I want to have?
  • What am I good at?
  • How do I want to service my clients?
  • What problems do I want to help solve?
  • What does success look like after starting this law firm?

Answering these questions might be more difficult than you think, but they’ll help you get clear on your goals for why you want to run a law firm. 

2. Consider how much revenue you’ll need

Now that you have an idea of what success looks like, calculate how much annual revenue you’ll need to achieve those goals—and more.

In 2023, the median pay for lawyers was $126,930 . While this isn’t a small amount of money, after factoring in living expenses like saving for retirement, rent or mortgage payments, student debt repayment, vehicles, emergencies, office lease etc., that number gets eaten away quickly.

More importantly, there’s no extra room for investment in hiring or marketing to grow your law firm. So, it may just be you and you alone until things pick up.

In that case, be generous when estimating how much revenue you’ll need, and write down a number that scares you. You’ll be much better off planning with that number in mind from the beginning.

3. Setting your fee structure

After setting your goals and estimating a few rough numbers to start, it’s time to create your fee structure. 

Your fee structure should include:

  • What others charge on average
  • What practice area you’ve chosen
  • What your business expenses are 

As you might already know, each client is different which means each matter you handle will be different. It could make sense to charge a flat rate for one project but an hourly rate for another. 

Understanding what your competitors are charging and how they’re structuring their pricing is a good starting point to then build out your own fee structure.

Luckily, there are so many incredible tools out there such as Clio’s Legal Trends Report , which can help you understand average hourly rates; a benchmark calculator for hourly rates within your jurisdiction ; blog posts about billing; and more, that make it easy for you to do market research and understand what others are charging.

4. Determine how many cases you need to meet that revenue goal

If you are only handling two or three cases per month, the number you came up with above might look outrageous. It’s not. 

For example, let’s use the 2023 median pay of $126,930 a year in annual revenue as our goal, with a flat fee of $3,000 per client.

$126,930 per year in revenue = an average case value of $3,000 – $3200 = 40 cases per year = 3 – 4 per month.

$126,930 per year might seem crazy if you’re only working a couple of cases per month, but keep in mind that you’re going to gradually work up to it.

The number of cases you’ll need may differ depending on your location and practice area, so do your research to make sure you come up with a realistic case goal (even if it still feels like a stretch).

This brings us to the next part of developing your business plan—writing it.

How to write a law firm business plan

Once you’ve got the starting points of your business plan worked out, it’s time to put pen to paper. 

While your law firm business plan should be tailored to your unique situation, the following list will walk you step-by-step through all key sections you need to have a comprehensive business plan:

Instructional Spot Illustration Guide to Starting a Law Firm

1. Executive summary

An executive summary is a one-page, high-level overview of all the key information in your business plan.

Law firm business plans can cover a lot, so it’s worth having a succinct high-level overview to keep things simple (hint: While this section should come first in your plan, it’s actually easier to write this section last, after you’ve laid out your plan).

Your executive summary should include:

  • Mission statement : One or two sentences describing your firm’s purpose.
  • Core values : What values are most important to the firm?
  • Major goals : What are your firm’s overarching goals and objectives?
  • Unique selling proposition : What sets your firm apart from other firms?

2. Firm description

Next, write a company summary for your firm, something  concise that provides a general overview of your firm, while providing important details describing your practice and clients, including:

  • Service(s) : What type of law do you practice? What types of clients do you serve? Firm values : Restate your mission statement and core values.
  • Legal structure : What sort of business entity are you? Are you in a sole proprietorship or a limited liability partnership?
  • Location : Where is the office geographically located? What areas does the firm serve?
  • Unique selling proposition : What makes your firm stand out? What technology or services give your firm an edge?

3. Market analysis

A little bit of preliminary market research goes a long way. 

Look at bar association listings to see how many other firms in your area offer similar services. Is there a high demand for what you’re offering? If not, how can you ensure you stand out to potential clients? This will greatly inform the message you choose to use in your marketing efforts.

Create a market analysis for your firm, including the following:

  • Ideal client : What demographics (like location, age, occupation), needs, and motivations would signify the best client match for your firm, and why?
  • Industry description : What is the current and projected size of the market your firm is in? What are the trends in your legal niche?
  • Competitive analysis : Who are your direct and indirect competitors, and how are they serving your target market? Where do your competitors succeed? What opportunities are there for your firm?
  • Projections : How much can your ideal clients spend on legal services ? How much can you charge?

4. Organization and management overview

You know that you’re the best person to lead the firm, but does everyone else know it too? This section is your opportunity to provide important details about yourself—and the key players in your firm.

  • Highlight your experience and the educational background details that set you apart.
  • Add the same for other members of your team, if applicable, including what makes them right for their specific roles.
  • If your practice is on the larger size, this section is a great place to add quick visual aids like an organizational chart.

5. Services

Outline the types of legal services your firm provides.

For example, if you practice family law, what will you provide in your portfolio of legal services—cohabitation agreements? Wills/estates? Pre-nups? 

You also want to include who your services are for. For example, you might offer legal tech services to start-up companies and high-tech clients.

When writing about your services it’s important to consider:

  • What problems do your potential clients need your help with?
  • How can your services uniquely help your clients solve their problems?
  • What is the benefit of your services to clients?
  • Why would potential clients choose your firm over another firm?

How to Start a Law Firm Checklist

Everything you need to start a law firm—in one checklist

6. Marketing strategy

Marketing is a critical part of your law firm , and your business plan. It helps you understand how to make your firm stand out from others, how much you need to charge, and how you’ll get the word out and attract new clients. Learn more about how to get new clients for law firms .

Consider including the following in your law firm marketing strategy:

  • Ideal client : Where would you find your ideal client?
  • Marketing goals : Detail what specific outcomes you hope to accomplish through marketing. Goals should include tactical objectives (more clients? Higher billing rates?) and overall objectives (like increased name recognition).
  • Unique selling proposition : Restate what sets you apart and makes you uniquely able to best serve your clients.
  • Competition : Detail who your competition is—and what they’re doing to gain clients. Analyze their marketing strategies and assess where the cost of your services fits in with your competitors.
  • Action plan : List the specific actions your firm will take to reach your target market and achieve your marketing goals (this could include a media/advertising strategy).

It’s also important to consider that your marketing needs will be different depending on the current stage of your law firm. 

When starting your own law firm, then marketing for you might mean a lot of hustle—working referral relationships , identifying groups that you can get in front of for speaking engagements, blogging, and using social media to get your name in front of potential clients.

As you grow (or if you have existing marketing in place) you should be able to estimate the number of cases you will bring in through each channel. Then, you can quantify your marketing cost per client by dividing the total cost of that marketing effort by the number of cases you got from each marketing channel. For example, if you’re the only corporate lawyer in a small town, you’ll need to spend less on advertising than a family lawyer in a larger city.

Once you have an idea of the cost and effectiveness of your marketing efforts, implement a marketing tax on yourself—a percentage that comes out of every single case fee you collect, and that gets invested straight back into marketing efforts. 

This is a simple way to think about how much you need to be charging to fuel your revenue goals. It’s also an easy way to scale and grow your marketing budget.

Once you start mapping out this information, you’ll notice that a system starts to form, which connects your goals, the number of cases you need to bring in, the profit you need to make on each case, the money you need to re-invest in marketing, and the number of people or contract resources you will need to employ to keep growing.

Learn more about how to market your law firm with Clio.

7. Financial plan

The heart of your law firm business plan is the financial plan. After all, when it comes to your business, there may not be a more important question than, “How much does it cost to run your law firm?”

The key is to include as much specific financial information as possible—particularly if you’re seeking funding like taking out a bank loan. As you start out, this financial plan should include numbers for your first year.

This could include:

  • Revenue goal : How much money you want to make broken down by month.
  • Financial projections : What you’ll realistically expect to earn, how many cases you think you’ll have capacity to take on, and what you’ll be charging each client each month.
  • Budget : A breakdown of your expenses and what your money will be going towards each month.
  • Cash flow statement: What you actually earned and spent each month. This is different from your projections and budget and should be updated as the year progresses. You’ll find that you may have budgeted for something that cost you much less than you originally thought or made more in a month than you projected, these discrepancies should be recorded in your cash flow statement.

As you start it’s reasonable to make assumptions based on your goals. You should also review and update this document for your second year, third year, and so on as time goes on.

8. Start-up budget

If you’re creating a business plan for a new law firm, you need a realistic start-up budget. To do this, you’ll need to consider a number of up-front and day-to-day costs, and account for these in your revenue goals.

Here are a few examples of costs to include in your budget:

  • Hardware (laptops, printers, scanners, office furniture, etc.)
  • Practice management software and other technology services
  • Office space (Will you rent, or work from home?)
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Staff salaries (Are you planning to hire an administrative assistant or paralegal?)
  • Utilities (Phone, internet, etc.)

Once you’ve laid out all of these costs, take a second look. Are there places where you could reduce your operating costs, and in turn, increase your profit margins? There are also plenty of tools you can look at to help streamline non-billable tasks and leave yourself more time to practice law. Be sure to look at these options and work them into your operating budget.

Law firm business plan templates

Here are some links where you can find examples of business plans and business plan templates for law firms:

  • Wy’East Law Firm
  • Smith & Jones, P.A.
  • Business Plan Workbook

Final thoughts on how to create a law firm business plan

Having a goal and understanding how to get there is essential for any lawyer deciding to hang their own shingle. Having a written business plan does a few key things:

  • It creates a concrete explanation and breakdown of why you need to work a certain number of hours this week.
  • It keeps you accountable to your goals and commitments.
  • It serves as a comprehensive tool you can share with your firm, investors, and potential partners.

To learn more about how to start a law firm, be sure to check out our complete guide .

And again, remember that technology is a key part of any business plan. Watch how law firms use Clio in this on-demand webinar to learn how to set up an efficient and organized back office.

Written by: Lisa Dimyadi Last updated: September 13, 2023

Set yourself up for success with our free Guide to Starting a Law Firm, with advice from successful founding partners.

How to Make a Successful Business Plan for Your Law Firm

Ramit Kaur

Table of Contents

If you want to start a law firm apart from being passionate about practicing law, you will also need a solid law firm business plan. Creating a law firm’s business plan is the key to success. While you may already have many plans in your head about what you want to name your firm, what your firm looks like, etc. But knowing how to make a law firm business plan is important.

You can’t just start your law firm without having a plan in your mind. It is the first step and you should do your research before you go to start your firm. In this blog we will be sharing how to create a law firm business plan and are the factors to consider and why it is important. 

What is a Law Firm Business Plan and Why is it Important?

In simple words, a law firm business plan is a document that contains all the details about the firm. From law firm branding , marketing to things your firm wants to achieve, and a plan of action for achieving your firm goals.

This plan can include information like why you want to start a firm, what are goals, and the service you want to offer your clients. Not just this, it may also include legal professionals who should be part of your firm and strategy, of how you will gain and manage new clients. A business plan serves as a roadmap for your law firm. 

Having a law office business plan is important because of various reasons, such as: 

  • It helps in defining the short-term and long-term goals of the firm and makes them more achievable. 
  • Having a law firm succession plan will help in attracting more investors for your law firm. It is a powerful tool for convincing investors of funds.
  • A law firm business plan can also help in mitigating risk. Analyze any potential risk and create an action plan to avoid it or handle it. 
  • Helps in aligning key decisions with the motto of the firm. 

What to Consider When Creating a Law Firm Business Plan?

If you are writing a law firm business plan, here are a few things that you should consider: 

Your Firm Goals

Your Firm Goals

The first and most critical question that you need to ask yourself is what is the goal of your firm, why you want to start this firm, what you want to achieve, etc. Starting a firm is not just about having a job. It gives you freedom and fulfillment. But for the success of your firm, you want to establish a clear, firm goal. 

Consider asking these questions: 

  • What do I want to achieve by starting my own law firm?
  • What legal services do I want to offer my clients? 
  • What is success for me? 
  • What problems do I want to solve? 
  • How I want to get clients for my firm
  • What impact do I want to create on my clients? 

Asking these questions is essential, but answering these questions is more difficult than you think. But it will help in clearing your vision.

Revenue You Need For Your Firm 

Revenue You Need For Your Firm

Now that you know what your goals are and what success looks like to you. It is time to calculate what revenue you want to achieve. You will also need to figure out how you will be achieving your revenue goals. The average net profit margin for law firms is around 43%. Apart from salaries, law firms don’t have much expenses. This makes it easier for them to achieve revenue. 

Fee Structure of Your Firm 

Fee Structure of Your Firm

After you have estimated all your goals, it’s time to define your fee structure. 

Your fee structure must include:

  • What others charge on average
  • What practice area you’ve chosen
  • What your business expenses are 
  • How you want to charge
  • How you will accept payments 

You already know lawyers have different types of clients, so it’s not possible to charge everyone the same. You can charge all clients on an hourly basis, some cases might require flat fee pricing. So it will depend on case to case and client to client. You will have to be flexible with certain things. 

Step-by-Step Guide for Making a Successful Law Firm Business Plan

Step-by-Step Guide for Making a Successful Law Firm Business Plan

Here is a guide for making a successful law firm business plan that you should follow: 

  • Start your journey of creating a law firm business plan by conducting strong marketing research. Analyze your competitors and look for opportunities to stand out from the crowd. 
  • Establish realistic goals for your firm. Bear in mind that you are just starting and set goals accordingly.
  • Develop a complete financial plan . It should be clear and detailed. It should include startup costs, operating expenses, emergency funds, and revenue projections.
  • Create a comprehensive law firm marketing plan that covers both the online and offline market. List all the resources that you might need for marketing purposes.
  • Assess the skills and expertise that you will require for your team. Identifying areas for professional development and requirement of new resources. 
  • Regularly review and update your business plan. Keep updating your law firm business plan according to trends in your industry.  
  • Identify any potential risks that your firm may face. Think about both external and internal factors and create a plan for mitigating any kind of potential risks.
  • Outline the services that you will be offering to your potential clients. For instance, are you going to offer family law service, personal injury law , health law or real estate law, etc? 
  • Mention all the legal tech tools that your firm will be using. From legal billing software to practice management software , mention everything.

Final Thoughts On Business Plan For a Law Firm

Having a goal to start a law firm is not enough. You will need a strong business plan to make it successful. The business plan will keep you accountable and help you analyze the performance. A law firm business plan is a comprehensive tool that your firm can use. If you consider all the above-mentioned factors and create a law firm business plan, you can generate revenue and achieve all your goals.

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Seven Sample Attorney Business Plans: Why Attorneys Must Have Business Plans

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  • Business plans are a dying art, especially in the legal profession.
  • Needless to say, business plans are also essential for a lawyer’s career.
  • As the adage goes, if you don't plan your career, someone else will plan it for you.

Seven Sample Attorney Business Plans: Why Attorneys Must Have Business Plans

Many of you work in firms that don't have a business plan for the firm as a whole , let alone your practice group or individual attorneys. And some of you are not privy to the firm's plan, even if there is one.

  • If you are interested in seeing the elements of a lateral partner business plan click here: Partner Business Plans: Key Elements

Even so, that's no reason to forgo developing a plan for yourself. Remember, if you don't plan your career, someone else will plan it for you.

Have no fear. Personal business planning is not about writing a 50-page manifesto outlining every detail of every day of your professional life for the next 10 years . In fact, personal business planning can be as simple as you want to make it, as you can see here with this sample business plan for law practice PDF . You don't even have to call it a business plan -- call it a career plan if you prefer.

No matter how simple you make it or what you call it, personal business planning is about taking inventory of where you are , determining where you want to go and building a roadmap for getting there. Once you have the plan in writing, all you have to do is revisit it periodically to check your course and make any necessary adjustments.

business plan of a law firm

Also, when it comes to planning, the biggest land mines are complexity and procrastination. Try to avoid creating a plan that overwhelms you or anyone you tell about it. And remember that any plan is better than no plan at all.

Strive to keep your plan simple and start taking action. As an attorney, you're well-versed in the areas of analysis and logic. In every work matter, you look at the situation and connect the dots to accomplish the desired objective. Apply the same approach to personal business planning and the dots you connect will lead you to the career you've always wanted.

  • See 30 Ways to Generate Business as an Attorney for more information.

Business Plan For A Law Firm

How do i write a business plan for a law firm, what goes into a business plan, overview of the firm.

  • A mission statement about the firm’s purpose.
  • A vision statement or recitation of medium- and long-term goals for the firm.
  • Important aspects of the firm’s history.
  • Any important philosophies that the firm brings to legal practice.

Market Analysis

Do lawyers write business plans, 1. what are your goals.

  • What do I want to achieve by starting my own law firm ?
  • What is the impact I want to have?
  • What am I good at?
  • How do I want to service my clients?
  • What problems do I want to help solve?
  • What does success look like after starting this law firm?

2. Consider how much revenue you will need.

3. setting your fee structure, 4. determine how many cases you need to meet that revenue goal, how to create a law firm business plan, 1. executive summary.

  • Mission statement: One or two sentences describing your firm’s purpose.
  • Core values: What values are most important to the firm?
  • Major goals: What are your firm’s overarching goals and objectives?
  • Unique selling proposition: What sets your firm apart from other firms?

2. Firm Description

  • Service(s): What type of law do you practice? What types of clients do you serve?
  • Firm values: Restate your mission statement and core values.
  • Legal structure: What sort of business entity are you? Are you in a sole proprietorship or a limited liability partnership?
  • Location: Where is the office geographically located? What areas does the firm serve?
  • Unique selling proposition: What makes your firm stand out? What technology or services give your firm an edge?

3. Market Analysis

  • Ideal client: What demographics (like location, age, occupation), needs, and motivations would signify the best client match for your firm, and why?
  • Industry description: What is the current and projected size of the market your firm is in? What are the trends in your legal niche?
  • Competitive analysis: Who are your direct and indirect competitors, and how are they serving your target market? Where do your competitors succeed? What opportunities are there for your firm?
  • Projections: How much can your ideal clients spend on legal services? How much can you charge?

4. Organization and Management Overview

  • Describe what makes you unique and what sets you apart from other applicants.
  • If applicable, include what makes each member of your team suitable for their particular roles.
  • The organizational chart is a great visual aid if you have a larger practice.

5. Services

  • What problems do your potential clients need your help with?
  • How can your services uniquely help your clients solve their problems?
  • What is the benefit of your services to clients?
  • Why would potential clients choose your firm over another firm?

6. Marketing Strategy

  • Ideal client: Where would you find your ideal client?
  • Marketing goals: Detail what specific outcomes you hope to accomplish through marketing. Goals should include tactical objectives (more clients? Higher billing rates?) and overall objectives (like increased name recognition).
  • Unique selling proposition: Restate what sets you apart and makes you uniquely able to best serve your clients.
  • Competition: Detail who your competition is—and what they are doing to gain clients. Analyze their marketing strategies and assess where the cost of your services fits in with your competitors.
  • Action plan: List the specific actions your firm will take to reach your target market and achieve your marketing goals (this could include a media/advertising strategy).

7. Financial Plan

  • Revenue goal: How much money you want to make broken down by month.
  • Financial projections: What you will really expect to earn, how many cases you think you will have the capacity to take on, and what you will be charging each client each month.
  • Budget: A breakdown of your expenses and what your money will be going towards each month.
  • Cash flow statement: What you actually earned and spent each month. This is different from your projections and budget and should be updated as the year progresses. You will find that you may have budgeted for something that cost you much less than you originally thought or made more in a month than you projected, these discrepancies should be recorded in your cash flow statement.

8. Start-Up Budget

  • Hardware (laptops, printers, scanners, office furniture, etc.)
  • Office space (Will you rent, or work from home?)
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Staff salaries (Are you planning to hire an administrative assistant or paralegal?)
  • Utilities (Phone, internet, etc.)
  • Practice management software or other technology services
  • Partner Business Plans: Key Elements
  • You Need to be Self-Managing and Responsible
  • The Importance of Finding and Creating Demand
  • The Importance of Asking the Right Questions, Self Improvement and Perception
  • Attorney Business Plan Sample 1
  • Attorney Business Plan Sample 2
  • Attorney Business Plan Sample 3
  • Attorney Business Plan Sample 4
  • Attorney Business Plan Sample 5
  • Attorney Business Plan Sample 6
  • Attorney Business Plan Sample 7

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Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

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Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

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business plan of a law firm

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Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

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  • INTEGRATIONS
  • Getting Started
  • Legal Business Tips

How to Create an Annual Business Plan for Your Law Firm

business plan

A law firm is no ordinary kind of business. It can only succeed when the owners and partners are passionate about practicing the law and, equally importantly, how to run its business side. Bringing these factors together requires meticulous planning and the ability to accommodate every brilliant idea that supports the cause.

Most lawyers are time poor so creating an annual business plan for the law firm is often seen as an annoying (but necessary) distraction that is often placed on to one side –  administration, finances, marketing, lease and equipment, and business development, it is a lot. However, a law firm without a solid business plan is doomed to fail or at least have stunted growth.

And yet, these business functions are responsible for bringing in the business that pays the bills. Therefore, a profitably run legal firm must have business elements in front of their mind.

Benefits of an Annual Business Plan

To a law firm, an annual business plan is a utilitarian document that forces the firm to think about and cover all business matters that keep the firm focused on its mission. Here are the three core benefits of creating an annual business plan for your legal firm.

  • It Provides Structure and Defines the Firm’s Objectives

The primary purpose of a business plan is to shape the direction the law firm takes and what it grows into. It defines the management, marketing, and business practices to keep the firm on track with operational milestones and client satisfaction. When properly created and regularly consulted, an annual business plan helps measure the priorities and focus areas of the firm.

  • Clarifies and Delegates Critical Decision Making

Writing a business plan is important as it clarifies the hierarchy of decision-making processes on key aspects of the firm. Decisions such as capital investments, resourcing, leasing, and talent can only be made a handful of times in the year but will affect the firm forever. A good business plan will help identify the critical priorities of the firm and which milestones to focus on.

  • It Helps Secure Top Talents

There is a cut-throat competition out there for the freshest and brightest legal minds. Top firms grow on top talents, and hunting and finding them is challenging. The business structure that the annual business plan provides should cover the firm’s management objectives, as well as guidance on how to hire the right staff. Better still, the business plan can help define the firm’s vision and mission to new team members.

Steps to Create the Perfect Annual Business Plan

An annual business plan is an evolving document that must be updated every year as the conditions and nature of business change. Here are the six steps it takes to create a winning annual business plan for a legal profession firm.

Step 1: Define the Firm and Its Objectives

You will need to invest lots of energy and time to create the perfect annual business plan for your firm. The first step you should take is to write an overview of what the firm is, what it stands for, and why it exists. These will cover the name and location of the firm, its legal structure, areas of practice, partners, and leadership positions. The overview should also include deeper information defining the firm’s identity and aspirations.

As a rule of thumb, the annual business plan should include:

  • The firm’s mission statement
  • Recitation of the firm’s short-term and long-term vision statement
  • Notable aspects of the firm’s history
  • Important philosophies the firm believes in

Step 2: Market Analysis Report and Projections

Like every plan, an annual business plan must include an analysis of the past and a projection of the future markets and how to capitalize on it. This section of the business plan should use the business trends of the last one or more years that affect its practice and consider ways to catch up or keep up with them. Invest more effort in learning how the competitors deal with the same issues and strive to create a better marketing plan.

Step 3: Focus on the Client

To stay competitive, a legal practice firm must understand and value its customers. In this section, you will identify the firm’s target clients and group them based on important characteristics such as demographics, location, and nature of cases. Once these details are outlined, it will be easier for the firm to create a roadmap for the next year and provide personalized and high-quality service to its existing clients.

Step 4: Plan Finances Properly

The firm’s financial plans determine how well it projects to perform. This is pretty much the heart of the business plan. It must detail the firm’s variable and fixed costs, realization rate , collection rate, expected monthly overheads, and assets and liabilities over 12 months. It is also good business practice to prepare a projected monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual profit and loss statement and performance milestones for the same period.

Step 5: Streamlined Operations

In this section, take the time to address key operational issues such as equipment purchases, office leases, technology plans, and talent acquisition. The partners can also meet up and discuss roles and the human resource needs for the firm over the next year. It is also critical to research and discover developments in the law firm software niche and to automate as many of the firm’s operations as possible.

Step 6: Marketing

Many law firms do not grow as fast as they can because they get the marketing part of the business wrong. Consider the importance of marketing and how it can be used to reach new customers and retain existing ones. The marketing plan must include client acquisition targets for the next year and the costs the firm expects to incur in the process.

Final Thoughts

Different firms will have different formats of the annual plan, but the six covered in this guide are the most necessary. An annual business plan can be quite an in-depth document that demands time and attention to create.

Luckily, the benefits it offers are worth the effort for the firms that care about and invest enough in the future. Discover how time management and billing software can help you save time so you can focus on things that matter, such as creating a business plan. Try LawBillity for free for 14-days to see for yourself. 

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Law Firm Business Plan Sample

JUN.03, 2018

business plan for law firms

Do you want to start a law firm business?

Do you plan to start a law firm business? There is no doubt this is an awesome business venture with amazing potential. In recent years, the law firm industry has been experiencing a steady growth of more than 15% per annum. The need for individuals, businesses and companies seeking for lawyer services in order not to get into legal problems has greatly increased. Today, there are many niches you can choose to start your practice on. All you need to have is the right qualification and target the right customers for your law firm business plan .

Executive Summary

2.1 the business.

The law firm will be registered under the names Raymond Associates, and will be situated in Houston, Texas. The law firm will be owned and managed by Alex Raymond who is a lawyer by profession.

2.2 Management Team

Alex Raymond is a lawyer by professional who has worked in the legal industry for more than fifteen years. Before coming up with a law firm business model, Alex worked for many to law firms across the United States and is an accomplished legal business service expert .

2.3 Customer Focus

Raymond Associates plans to offer different top notch legal services to customers in Houston, Texas. The customer focus will cater for different age groups and working class.

Once you have figured out how to start your own law firm, having an idea of the customer you intend to target is important. The customers you plan to target is essential for the growth of the business.

2.4 Business Target

Raymond Associates intends to offer services to a wide range of clientele keen on seeking legal services for their various needs. For a business to grow, it is important to carry out an in-depth research to target the right clientele.

Law Firm Business Plan - 3 Years Profit Forecast

Company Summary

3.1 company owner.

Alex Raymond is a lawyer professional who has worked with famous legal firms in the United States. In the course of his career, he ascended to the position of a seasoned attorney and took the lead role in planning the law firm operations and overseeing all management related aspects.

3.2 Aim of Starting the Business

After having been in the career long enough, Alex noticed there was a lot of potential in the legal industry in his home town Houston. That is the when he decided to move back to home and start a business plan for law firms . With a good business plan for law firms , Raymond Associates will indeed be one of the best law firms in Houston.

3.3 How the Business will be Started

As an expert in legal services, Alex understands what he needs to start the law firm. To set his idea into action, he has worked closely with businesses set-up experts to develop a financial plan for the law firm.

Law Firm Business Plan - Startup Cost

Services for Customers

Raymond Associates is focused on offering professional legal services to different type of clients. According to the starting a law firm business plan, the business is focused on offering the following services:

  • Provide property law services to people facing mortgage, foreclosure and other property acquisition.
  • Offer legal services to people suffering from personal injury. Employees’ injuries at work are extremely     sensitive and need a qualified lawyer to intervene.
  • Provide legal services to couples going through a divorce.
  • Offer legal services to people buying and selling businesses – acquisitions and mergers.

Marketing Analysis for Law Firm Business

For Raymond Associates to meet its market obligations, a detailed market analysis was done to help the business establish itself in the industry and adequately serve the needs of client. This law firm business plan explains the strategy the business will follow to attain its goals. Given the rising demand for various legal services, there is a great opportunity for Raymond Associates to meet its objectives.

5.1 Market Segmentation

Given the increasing popularity of law firms industry, Raymond Associates understands the value of coming up with sustainable marketing strategies to acquire a larger market share. Being one of the largest cities in the United States, Houston is a business hub with many individuals and companies looking for legal services. Based on the market findings and law firm business plan template, the law firm intends to target the following potential customers.

Law Firm Business Plan - Market Segmentation

excellent work

excellent work, competent advice. Alex is very friendly, great communication. 100% I recommend CGS capital. Thank you so much for your hard work!

5.1.1 Couples

Marriage is a good thing but a time comes in life where people want to depart for various reasons. Nowadays, there is a high divorce rate in Texas, and for this reason Alex so it necessary to start a law office business plan to provide divorce legal services. When going through a divorce, you want to use a law firm that know how to handle sensitive issues. Raymond Associates highly trained attorneys and family law professionals will be dedicated to help people going through divorce to successfully navigate the family courts. If you have a family law case, it can be frustrating to sort through the maze of paperwork required to finish your case. Raymond Associates is ready to help though all the steps if filing a divorce, spousal support orders or custody issues among other services listed in the law firm business plan sample.

5.1.2 Property Owners

One of the main services offered by Raymond Associates is foreclosure and mortgage legal services. Whether it is mortgage, foreclosure or other property acquisition, Raymond Associates lawyers will help you go through that. The lawyers will offer the best advice and assist you throughout the whole process. The law firm will help file necessary documents and go through disputes that may arise between the transactions.

5.1.3 Employees

With so many companies and organization in Houston, Raymond Associates sample law firm business plan will target employees. When it comes to legal services involving employee injuries at work, these cases are usually sensitive and need a qualified lawyer to intervene. In most cases, employees feel oppressed in matters in regards to compensation and opt to use a lawyer. This is why Raymond Associates has a well inclusive personal injury law firm business plan to cater for such cases.

5.1.4 Businesses

According to the law firm marketing plan template, Raymond Associates will offer legal services to businesses to buying and selling businesses – acquisitions and mergers. With many individuals buying and selling businesses, it is important to use the services of a lawyer. A good law office will help you minimize taxes and potential liability issues for buyers and sellers figuring out how to structure a deal.

5.2 Business Target

Raymond Associates is getting into a highly competitive environment considering there are a high number of law firms in Houston. However, this small law firm business plan outlines the plan the business intends to use to acquire clients and propel business growth. It is costly to set up a fully functioning law firm, but adequate strategies have been put in place to help the business fully recover its initial capital. After finalizing the starting a law firm business and rolling out operations, the call centerexpects to recoup its initial investment in three years based on a projected 30-40% annual sales growth.

5.3 Product Pricing

While strategizing on how to start a law firm business plan , Alex Raymond together with the assistance of experts has come up with a competitive pricing structure tailored for different services. At the beginning, the call center intends to offer various incentives to attract clients.

When planning to start a law office, you need to come up with a great business development strategy . Alex Raymond has engaged experts to formulate a call center strategy that will be instrumental to steer business growth. He has also invested time to studying law firm proposal examples. The following is Raymond Associates law firm sales strategy.

6.1 Competitive Analysis

Raymond Associates has deployed the latest telemarketing technologies to boost efficiency and seamlessly handle multiple clients without compromising quality. After completing the procedures of how to build a law firm, the business anticipates high competition considering there are numerous similar establishments in Houston.

6.2 Sales Strategy

For Raymond Associates to achieve its intended targets and create a successful law office which is popular with clients, the following sales strategy will be implemented.

  • Hire professional marketing agencies to help advertise the law firm and reach out to potential clients.
  • Organize an official opening party and welcome top industry stakeholders to create awareness about the business
  • Advertise on digital media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Use local media channels such as Television and newspapers to advertise the business

6.3 Sales Forecast

Raymond Associates law firm has put in place various sales strategies in order to meet its targets. According to the law firm business plan example, the sales forecast looks promising for the business.

Personnel Plan

Raymond Associates provides diverse services in order to boost the company’s income. When coming up with a business plan for law firms , it is vital to focus on having a good personnel team to handle business operations.

7.1 Personnel Plan

The law firm is owned by Alex Raymond who will be the overall firm manager for the business. The law office intends to hire the following staff to enable the business carry out its operations.

  • Administrator
  • Operations Manager
  • Two Marketing Executives
  • Five Lawyers
  • Three Advocates

Successful candidates will undergo intensive training to understand procedures and expectations.

7.2 Average Staff Salaries

Raymond Associates law office plans to pay its staff the following salaries in the first three years of operations.

Financial Plan

Alex Raymond law firm has formulated a financial plan that will steer the path to business success. To the business, Alex will use his personal savings and funds from two investors. A loan will be sought to help raise startup capital for the business. Crucial financial information for the business has been indicated in the law firm business plan template free.

8.1 Important Assumptions

Financial forecast for Raymond Associates law firm will be based on the following assumptions.

8.2 Brake-even Analysis

Raymond Associates Brake-even Analysis is indicated in the graph below.

Law Firm Business Plan - Brake-even Analysis

8.3 Projected Profit and Loss

Profit and Loss information for Raymond Associates calculated on a monthly and annual basis is shown below.

8.3.1 Monthly Profit

Law Firm Business Plan - Profit Monthly

8.3.2 Yearly Profit

Law Farm Business Plan - Profit Yearly

8.3.3 Monthly Gross Margin

Law Firm Business Plan - Gross Margin Monthly

8.3.4 Yearly Gross Margin

Law Firm Business Plan - Gross Margin Yearly

Below is the profit and Loss Analysis for Raymond Associates law firm.

8.4 Projected Cash Flow

The diagram below is a summary of subtotal cash spent, subtotal cash from operations, subtotal cash spent on operations, subtotal cash received and pro forma cash flow.

Law Firm Business Plan - Projected Cash Flow

8.5 Projected Balance Sheet

The following is a Projected Balance Sheet for Raymond Associates law firm that shows capital, assets, long term assets, liabilities and current liabilities.

8.6 Business Ratios

Raymond Associates law firm Business Ratios, Ratio Analysis and Business Net Worth are shown below.

Download Law Firm Business Plan Sample in pdf

OGS capital professional writers specialized also in themes such as financial due diligence, technical due diligence , due diligence of the enterprise , due diligence template , etc.

OGSCapital’s team has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs with top-rate business plan development, consultancy and analysis. They’ve helped thousands of SME owners secure more than $1.5 billion in funding, and they can do the same for you.

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Wachtell, Sullivan & Cromwell Aid Capital One’s Discover Buy (1)

By Mahira Dayal

Mahira Dayal

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as legal adviser to Capital One Financial Corp. for the company’s plan to buy Discover Financial Services in a $35 billion all-stock deal.

Sullivan & Cromwell served as legal adviser to Discover.

Capital One’s purchase of Discover is the largest merger of the year, surpassing Synopsys Inc.'s $34 billion acquisition of software company Ansys Inc. The deal is expected to close in late 2024 or early 2025 and is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Sullivan & Cromwell senior chair H. Rodgin Cohen led his firm’s team on the deal, along with corporate partners Mitchell Eitel and Jared Fishman, executive compensation partner Marc Treviño, tax partner S. Eric Wang, intellectual property partner Mehdi Ansari, antitrust partner Joseph Matelis and global competition partner Juan Rodriguez.

Buyers and sellers have grappled with expensive credit, uncertainty investors and a weak economy which made 2023 the slowest year for M&A transactions in a decade.

Wachtell placed second in last year’s M&A League Tables , with $294.8 billion in deal volume, according to Bloomberg data. Sullivan & Cromwell came in eighth position with $194 billion in deals.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mahira Dayal in New York at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Hughes at [email protected]

Learn more about Bloomberg Law or Log In to keep reading:

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Reddit users say share plans 'beginning of the end'

  • Published 3 days ago
  • comments Comments

a person looks at reddit app on a phone

Reddit users have been reacting with deep gloom to the firm saying it plans to sell shares to the public.

The "beginning of the end", "good while it lasted", and "they ruined it", are just some of the comments made by Redditors, as they are known, since the announcement on Thursday .

The company has said its plans are "exciting" and will offer the business opportunities for growth.

However many users worry the move will fundamentally change the website.

Reddit, which was founded almost twenty years ago, is an online forum where users can post questions and comment on topics that interest them.

More than 76 million people, on average, visited every day in December 2023, drawn by features like its recurring "ask me anything" threads, in which participants ranging from anonymous ordinary people to former US president Barack Obama field questions.

Some feel the initial public offering (IPO) which has been filed with US regulators will change the site's spirit.

"When the most important customers shift from [users] to shareholders, the product always [suffers]," said one person.

"It becomes 'what can we do this quarter to squeak out an additional point of revenue', instead of 'how can we make this product better'."

History of protest

It is far from the first time Reddit's most vocal users have expressed displeasure at the platform.

In 2023, thousands of Reddit communities became inaccessible in protest at how the site was being run - in particular controversial charges for developers of third-party apps, which are used to browse the platform.

Some of the biggest Reddit communities then began only allowing photos and videos of comedian John Oliver , following votes from disgruntled users.

But this proved to be short-lived, and Reddit's plan ultimately proved financially beneficial, as it has struck a deal with Google reportedly worth $60m (£47m) so the tech giant can use Reddit posts to train artificial intelligence tools.

The filing does not say how much money the firm is hoping to raise by listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

But it provides a glimpse of the firm's operations, including its struggles to turn its online popularity into profit.

It was valued at about $10bn in a private fundraising round in 2021.

But the company has recorded losses every year since its start, including more than $90m last year.

In the filing, Reddit said it had not started trying to make money seriously until 2018. It reported $804m in revenue last year, up more than 20% from 2022.

Advertising accounted for nearly all of the revenue, but in a note to prospective investors chief executive Steve Huffman said he was excited about opportunities to make the platform a venue for commerce and license its content to AI companies.

"I have never been more excited about Reddit's future than I am right now," Mr Huffman wrote. "We have many opportunities to grow both the platform and the business, the latter through advertising, monetizing commerce on the platform, and licensing data."

Reddit's IPO would be the first by a social media company since Pinterest in 2019.

It comes as financial markets in the US are regularly notching new highs, buoyed by optimism over the economy and a new wave of growth powered by artificial intelligence.

Related Topics

More on this story.

Google to fix AI picture bot after 'woke' criticism

People walk past a Google sign in Mountain View, California on 30 January

Reddit communities go dark in protest at changes

  • Published 12 June 2023

Person holding a smartphone displaying the Reddit logo

  • International edition
  • Australia edition
  • Europe edition

hochul gestures while speaking at podium

New York governor seeks to quell business owners’ fears after Trump ruling

Kathy Hochul says law-abiding businesspeople have ‘nothing to worry about’ after question on state’s commercial climate

The New York governor has told business owners in her state that there is “nothing to worry about” after Donald Trump was fined $355m and temporarily banned from engaging in commerce in the state when he lost his civil fraud trial on Friday.

In an interview on the New York radio show the Cats Roundtable with the supermarket billionaire John Catsimatidis, Kathy Hochul sought to quell fears in some quarters that the penalties handed to Trump for engaging in fraudulent business practices could chill the state’s commercial climate.

Asked if businesspeople should be worried that if prosecutors could “do that to the former president, they can do that to anybody”, Hochul said: “Law-abiding and rule-following New Yorkers who are businesspeople have nothing to worry about because they’re very different than Donald Trump and his behavior.”

She added that the fraud case against Trump resulted from “really an extraordinary, unusual circumstance”.

Hochul’s comments were directed at some New York business leaders who said they were concerned that the attorney general Letitia James ’s case against Trump could deter businesses and investment from coming to the state. Hochul noted James’s case demonstrated how Trump and some allies obtained favorable bank loans and insurance rates with inflated real estate values.

The governor said most New York business owners were “honest people, and they’re not trying to hide their assets and they’re following the rules”.

Hochul said most business owners would not merit state intervention.

“This judge determined that Donald Trump did not follow the rules,” Hochul added. “He was prosecuted and truly, the governor of the state of New York does not have a say in the size of a fine, and we want to make sure that we don’t have that level of interference.”

Trump, who denied wrongdoing in the case and maintained there were no victims, now has 30 days to come up with a non-recoverable $35m to secure a bond – a third-party guarantee – against his real estate holdings to show that he can pay the full fine if his appeals fail.

Alternatively, he could put the $355m into an escrow account but would get the money back if he wins on appeal.

Either way, the ruling is a blow to the developer-politician whose sense of self is tied to financial success. And James has said Trump is actually in line to pay more than $463m when interest is taken into account.

In September, Trump’s former lawyer Christopher Kise argued in court that the decision against the ex-president would cause “irreparable impact on numerous companies”. It would also threaten 1,000 employees within the Trump empire, Kise maintained.

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But the judge, Arthur Engoron, who found the former president liable for fraud and assessed the fine and three-year disqualification from doing business in New York, dropped an earlier ruling to dissolve all the companies that Trump owns in the state that could have led to a liquidation.

“This is a venial sin, not a mortal sin,” Engoron wrote in a 92-page ruling that allowed the Trump businesses to keep operating and appointed two overseers to monitor “major activities that could lead to fraud”.

Engoron said he could renew his call for “restructuring and potential dissolution” based on “substantial evidence”.

Trump has lashed out at the ruling, vowing to appeal and calling James and Engoron “corrupt”.

But James said on Friday: “This long-running fraud was intentional, egregious, illegal.” She added: “There cannot be different rules for different people in this country, and former presidents are no exception.”

This article was amended on 18 February 2024 to correct a misspelling. An earlier version referred to “venal” rather than “venial” sin.

  • Donald Trump
  • US politics
  • Kathy Hochul

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  1. How to Create a Law Firm Business Plan

    While your law firm business plan should be tailored to your unique situation, the following list will walk you step-by-step through all key sections you need to have a comprehensive business plan: 1. Executive summary. An executive summary is a one-page, high-level overview of all the key information in your business plan. ...

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    Law Firm Plan. Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 1,000 lawyers to create business plans to start and grow their law firms. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a law firm business plan template step-by-step so you can create your ...

  3. How to Write a Business Plan for a Law Firm (with Sample

    The lawyer or lawyers who will make up the firm at the time of launch. The location of the firm and the areas it serves. The general approach the firm takes when representing clients. 3. Market Analysis. A competitive analysis is one of the most compelling components of well-written business plans.

  4. How to Write Your Law Firm Business Plan

    Every new law practice needs a business plan. This is a guide to creating one. Here is what should go in your business plan once you've decided about your law firm business model. Section One: Executive Summary. This section provides a succinct overview of your full plan. It should also include the following: Mission statement.

  5. Develop a Law Firm Business Plan (2024)

    A good business plan includes: Vision. Create a picture of what you're building. Values. Identify the rules to guide your team's important work. Law Firm Business Model. What you offer, who you offer it to, and how you'll deliver your services. Targets and Priorities. Clarify metrics that indicate success.

  6. Law Firm Business Plan: Guide & Template (2024)

    A law firm business plan is a document that outlines your business goals and strategies to achieve those goals. It includes your law firm overview, your reason to start your firm, the services you will offer, a budget or funding requirements, and strategies to get and manage your clients.

  7. How to Write Your Law Firm Business Plan (with Template)

    Starting a law firm can be a rewarding and lucrative venture, but it requires careful planning and strategy. A well-crafted business plan is a crucial tool for any law firm looking to establish itself, secure funding, or grow its practice. The business plan will serve as a roadmap, outlining the law firm's objectives, strategies, and unique selling proposition

  8. How to Draft a Law Firm Business Plan

    Most authorities agree that a sound business plan for a law firm should address the following broad areas: Overview of the Firm; This section should include basic information about the firm: its name, legal structure, practice areas and leadership positions. It should also contain some deeper information about the firm's identity and aspirations.

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    Executive Summary. Wy'East Law Firm (WLF) is a boutique technology law firm located in Portland, Oregon. The firm will be lead by Richard Bloom, a seasoned attorney previously with (name omitted)'s e-group. WLF will service all needs generated by technology firms, with specialization on mergers and acquisitions and qualified stock option ...

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    The Harris & Harris Law Firm is a startup up business that provides legal advice and services for clients located within the Scottsdale, Arizona region. The company is founded by Roger Harris and his son, Anthony. Roger Harris has been a partner in a well-established company, Foundations Law Firm, for over twenty years.

  12. Law Firm Business Plan Template + Example

    Key sections in this law firm business plan: All of our sample business plans are complete and include all of the sections that bankers and investors expect to see. Every plan includes the following sections: Executive Summary: A quick overview of your plan and entices investors to read more of your plan. Company: Describes the ownership and ...

  13. Writing a Business Plan for Law Firm

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  19. How to Create an Annual Business Plan for Your Law Firm

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    As an expert in legal services, Alex understands what he needs to start the law firm. To set his idea into action, he has worked closely with businesses set-up experts to develop a financial plan for the law firm. Start-up Expenses. Legal. $7,000. Consultants. $5,000. Insurance. $20,000.

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  24. Wachtell, Sullivan & Cromwell Aid Capital One's Discover Buy (1)

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