Law can be lucrative, but you need to specialize in that which is most likely to bring your burgeoning practice business. Fortunately or unfortunately, personal injury law is oftentimes one of the best places to begin. Perhaps this doesn’t represent your primary, ultimate aim in terms of practicing law, but as a starting point, you can do well here.
One way to start may be offering free consultations. It’s important that you don’t charge for consultations if at all possible, because this shows potential clients that your firm can’t afford to offer consultation for free. A firm offering free consultations communicates its stability. One that charges communicates instability. Still, you will be able to attain a few clients even if you do charge; but if you don’t come through, don’t expect them to speak favorably of you. Especially when starting out, word-of-mouth can be integral.
Your practice will also likely be handling more than one case simultaneously. You know how the courts work: slowly. If you’re not working on multiple cases, you’re likely going to find the costs of operation make it impossible to maintain profitability over time. So you should focus on areas of law that will produce high numbers of clients regularly, and in a way that is manageable for your firm.
Again, personal injury law often fits the bill here. It makes sense to branch out and specialize in as many areas as you can. Finding areas of business that are under-represented can be profitable. But one of the best areas to start from involves vehicular accidents. This is especially true in big cities where, statistically, new prospective clients will develop every day.
Some Numbers To Consider
For illustration, consider what http://battafulkerson.com/property-damage-claim/ has to say: “According to the car insurance industry, the average driver files an auto accident and property damage claim every 17.9 years. That adds up to three or four accidents over the course of a lifetime.” This means in a “town” of 18, every year one individual would have a very high statistical likelihood of having an accident.
So in a “town” of 180,000, you may expect about 10,000 to have some kind of auto accident annually, or between 27 and 28 a day. In fact, there will probably be more than that who have an accident, and fewer than that who actually report it. If you’ve got a practice in a place like Los Angeles, where there are just under four million people, you can expect 200k+ accidents annually, or over 600 a day. That’s a good pool of potential clients for a legal practice starting out.
Some injuries have a perpetual quality to them. A disability, for example, isn’t necessarily an “injury”, but it could be the result of an injury, and is a field of law that is likely to have some crossover with that dealing in matters of injurious happenstance.
An injury could result in a disability, or a disability may be unrecognized and under-served, resulting in unnecessary injury—complications resulting from an unrecognized mental disorder, for instance. If your new legal practice is specializing in injury, looking into disability law makes sense as well.
All these things being said, you don’t want to overload yourself. Have you ever heard the phrase: “Too many chiefs, not enough Indians”? Well, this refers to a group of people where everyone wants to lead, and nobody wants to follow.
By the same token, a legal practice which has endless specialty, but can’t actually deliver, will find itself in a similar circumstance to the group with too many chiefs. So ensure whatever you do, your operation has a “core” to it.
Last but not least, you should work with and learn from other legal practices. This can help you avoid areas where otherwise you would “re-invent the wheel”, and can help you acquire clients that your legal acquaintances can’t take for one reason or another.