Are you about starting a Law firm? If YES, here’s a complete sample Law firm business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE to get started.
Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a law firm. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample law firm marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for law firms. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.
Lawyers would always be in need by people, companies, schools, and what have you. This isn’t unique to any part of the world, because it is the same phenomenon all over the world. For as long as there are people still living on the face of the earth, there would be rancor and disputes, and the need to have lawyers trash out cases would always arise.
It is for this reason that some lawyers have positioned themselves to take advantage of this trend, and have continued to make huge amount of money from the industry. Without mincing words, starting a law firm is a very profitable venture.
A Sample Law Firm Business Plan Template
Table of Content
- Industry Overview
- Law Firm Business Plan Executive Summary
- Our Product and Services
- Our Mission and Vision Statement
- Law Firm Job Roles and Responsibilities
- Law Firm SWOT Analysis
- MARKET ANALYSIS
- Our Target Market
- SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sales Forecast
- Publicity and Advertising Strategy
- Law Firm Financial Projections and Costing
- BUSINESS GROWTH: Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The services of lawyers are needed in every part of the united states of America. Statistics has it that the United States of America has about 165,000 law offices and they generate about $180 billion in annual revenue. These goes to show that starting a law firm is indeed a prosperous business in the U.S, because there is a large market for such business and the industry provides loads of job opportunities for lawyers and other professionals.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job opportunities for legal practitioners will grow at the same rate as the average for all other occupations in coming years; the growth will be fastest in areas such as intellectual property, health care, antitrust, and environmental law et al. No doubt, the growth of the U.S. population and the expansion of corporate America will definitely lead to the growth in the demand for legal services.
All over the globe, before anyone can be allowed to practice law, they are expected to pass the bar exams in the country or state in which they want to practice. In other words, the journey of starting your own private law firm starts when you eventual pass through a law school.
Although a large percentage of lawyers work for big, corporate law firms, but there are still many lawyers who are employed at mid-sized regional firms and even in one- man and two-person law firms. Just like most other industries in the U.S. and in other parts of the world, the legal services industry is globalizing at a swift pace.
Progressively more, bigger law firms are establishing offices in other countries, some are restructuring and repositioning their existing foreign offices, and others are merging or partnering with local law firms in order to position their organization to handle legal aspects of international trade and other related issues.
This recent trend is responsible for creating job opportunities for lawyers with expertise in international relations and cross-border transactions et al. In the U.S. and also in other parts of the world, lawyer firms who know how to position their organization will always be busy handling legal businesses for their clients.
Some law firms may decide to operate a general law business that cuts across various law practices, whilst others may choose to specialize in any of the two major areas of private sector law. They can choose to operate as a transactional (corporate) law firm or specialize in litigation.
Beyond every reasonable doubt, being a lawyer can be extremely challenging and demanding, but at the same time, it can also be quite rewarding. Lawyers have the privilege of providing a vital service to the business world and to individuals as well. Lawyers serve as protectors, advisers, and advocates, which is why they are considered experts in communication, analysis, and persuasion, giving them prestige and leverage in society.
Law Firm Business Plan Executive Summary
Jefferson & MacArthur Law Firm LLP is a law firm that will be located in Inc. 268 13th Street, Suite 1110 Oakland, California 94612. The company will operate as a litigation law firm and also handle other related aspect of law as requested by our clients. Our services will cover areas such as; breaches of contract, securities-law breaches, class-action lawsuits, antitrust actions, employment-related problems, white-collar crime, and any other related cases.
We are aware that businesses these days require diverse and sophisticated legal services. This is why we will position our law firm to offer a wide range of legal services as requested by our clients. We handle offer legal services ranging from mergers and acquisitions to Product liability, from intellectual property to real estate.
Jefferson & MacArthur Law Firm LLP is a client-focused business law firm that provides broad-based experience at an affordable fee that won’t in any way put a hole in the pocket of our clients. We will offer a complete range of legal services to our local, state, national, and multi-national clients and we will ensure that we work hard to provide the legal services and counsel needed by our clients to accomplish their business goals and objectives.
At Jefferson & MacArthur Law Firm, our client’s best interests come first, and everything we do is guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hire attorneys who are well experienced in a wide variety of transactional and litigation matters.
We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely. We will cultivate a working environment that provides a human, sustainable approach to earning a living, and living in our world, for our partners, employees and for our clients.
Jefferson & MacArthur Law Firm will at all times demonstrate her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a firm, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible.
Jefferson & MacArthur Law Firm, LLP is founded by Jefferson Carson and his son MacArthur Carson. The organization will be managed by MacArthur Carson; he graduated from Cumberland School of Law and Brock School of Business at Stamford University.
He has extensive experience in a diverse range of transactional matters, and his legal practice is concentrated in the areas of commercial real estate, commercial finance, construction, and general business contracts.
Our Product and Services
Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP proposes to offer a variety of services within the scope of the law industry in the United States of America. Our intention of starting our law firm is to make profits from the industry and we will do all that is permitted by the law in the US to achieve our aim and ambition. Our business offering are listed below;
- Arbitration & Mediation
- Business Formation
- Business and Commercial Transaction
- Collections and Credit Matters
- Commercial Real Estate
- Corporate Governance and Compliance
- Creditor’s Rights
- General Counsel Services
- Real Estate Consultancy and Advisory Services
Our Mission and Vision Statement
- Our vision is to provide our clients with skilled legal advice in a timely and efficient manner. We strive to handle each matter with accountability and responsiveness, as if we were representing ourselves. We focus our attention on the legal aspects of our client’s business so that our clients can focus their attention on the success of their business.
- Our vision reflects our values: integrity, service, excellence and teamwork.
- Our mission is to provide professional and trusted legal services that assist businesses and non-profit organizations in operating sustainably. We provide expert legal counsel in combination with our own business backgrounds, and deliver valuable services in a timely and cost-effective way.
Our Business Structure
Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP will build a solid business structure that can support the growth of our business. We will ensure that we hire competent hands to help us build the business of our dream. Below is the business structure that we will build Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP on;
- Founder and President
- Patent Attorney
- Legal Secretary
- Legal Assistant
- Admin and HR Manager
- Business Developer
- Front Desk Officer
Law Firm Job Roles and Responsibilities
Founder and President:
- Responsible for providing direction for the firm
- Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
- Responsible for handling high profile clients and deals
- Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
- Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Evaluates the success of the organization
- Reports to the board
- Represents clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings
- Draws up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions.
- Attends court hearings (and doing the preparation beforehand)
- Responsible for negotiating (not all cases will end up in court)
- Explains the law and gives general legal advice
- Responsible for settling disputes and supervising any agreements
- Researching and gathering evidence
- Responsible for analyzing legal documents
- Supervises legal assistants.
- Discusses inventions and processes with inventors or manufacturers and ascertaining whether they are likely to succeed in being granted patents
- Studies and analyzes scientific or technical documents, including previously granted patents, to assess whether an invention is new and innovative
- Writes detailed descriptions of inventions in precise legal terms (patent drafts)
- Suggests modifications or extensions to the definition of the invention
- Applies for patents from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) , often presenting complicated technical arguments
- Prepares responses to reports from patent examiners
- Ensures application and renewal deadlines are met
- Works with solicitors and barristers to defend or enforce uk patents
- Conducts litigation in proceedings at the EPO or in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC), formerly the Patents County Court
- Advises overseas agents on applications for foreign patent applications
- Instructs on whether business activities will infringe someone else’s patent rights
- Deals with assignments of patent when a patent is sold or transferred
- Keeps up-to-date with legal developments in the intellectual property field
- Advises on other intellectual property rights, e.g. designs or trademarks
- Tutors and mentors trainee patent agents.
- Responsible for drawing up contracts and other legal documents for the company
- Welcomes guests and clients by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
- Produces information by transcribing, formatting, inputting, editing, retrieving, copying, and transmitting text, data, and graphics; coordinating case preparation.
- Conserves attorneys time by reading, researching, reviewing, verifying, and routing correspondence, reports and legal documents; drafting letters and documents; collecting and analyzing information; initiating telecommunications; organizing client conferences, and attorney meetings; scheduling couriers, court reporters, expert witnesses, and other special functions; coordinating preparation of charts, graphs, and other courtroom visuals; preparing expense reports.
- Maintains attorney calendar by planning and scheduling conferences, teleconferences, dispositions, and travel; recording and monitoring court appearance dates, pleadings, and filing requirements; monitoring evidence-gathering; anticipating changes in litigation or transaction preparation requirements.
- Represents attorney by communicating and obtaining information; following-up on delegated assignments; knowing when to act and when to refer matters to attorney.
- Generates revenues by documenting and inputting attorney billable time and reimbursable expenses; preparing invoices; tracking payments.
- Maintains client confidence by keeping client/attorney information confidential.
- Provides historical reference by developing and utilizing filing and retrieval systems; recording meeting discussions; maintaining transcripts; documenting and maintaining evidence.
- Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
- Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
- Updates job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities; reading professional publications; maintaining personal networks; participating in professional organizations.
- Enhances department and organization reputation by accepting ownership for accomplishing new and different requests; exploring opportunities to add value to job accomplishments.
- Assists attorneys in preparing for trials and court proceedings.
- Supports attorneys in a legal office.
- Investigates the facts of cases and ensure that all relevant information is considered.
- Identify appropriate laws, judicial decisions, legal articles, and other materials for assigned cases.
- Compiles, analyzes, and organizes information.
- Gathers exhibits.
- Prepares written reports.
- Prepares legal arguments for lawsuits.
- Drafts pleadings and motions filed in court.
- Secures affidavits.
- Assists attorneys during trials.
- Organizes and tracks files from case documents and make them available and easily accessible to attorneys.
- Drafts contracts, mortgages, and separation agreements.
- Prepares tax returns.
- Establishes trust funds.
- Plans estates.
- Supervises other law office employees.
- Delegates responsibilities.
- Maintains financial records.
- Searches legal literature stored in computer databases and on CD-ROM.
- Tracks hours and bill to clients.
Legal Office Assistant
- Works under the direction of lawyers and help them prepare for meetings, hearings and trials. Undertake research projects for multiple cases to determine precedent, drafts or completes legal documents and ensure the correct paperwork is filed with the courts within a specific time period.
- Works directly with clients in a non-advising capacity, such as answering questions, scheduling appointments and making sure all court requirements are met.
- Handles other routine tasks, such as processing and transcribing documents, entering data, scheduling and taking dictation are common duties of a legal office assistant.
- Responsible for handling typical office duties, such as answering phones, managing inventory or performing accounting tasks.
Admin and HR Manager
- Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
- Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
- Carries out staff induction for new team members
- Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
- Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
- Oversees the smooth running of the daily office activities.
- Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
- Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects; assures the completion of development projects.
- Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
- Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for expanding increase sales
- Documents all customer contact and information
- Represents the company in strategic meetings
- Helps increase sales and growth for the company
- Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
- Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports; analyzes financial feasibility for the most complex proposed projects; conducts market research to forecast trends and business conditions.
- Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
- Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
- Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
- Responsible for administering payrolls
- Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
- Handles all financial transactions for the company
- Serves as internal auditor for the company
Front Desk Officer
- Receives Visitors / clients on behalf of the organization
- Receives parcels / documents for the company
- Handles enquiries via e-mail and phone calls for the organization
- Distributes mails in the organization
- Handles any other duties as assigned my the line manager
Law Firm SWOT Analysis
Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP hired the services of a core professional in the area of business consulting and structuring to assist the firm in building a solid law firm that can favorably compete in the highly competitive law industry.
Part of what the business consultant did was to work with the management of the firm in conducting a SWOT analysis and preparing a law firm marketing plan for Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP. Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP;
Our core strength lies in the power of our team; our workforce. We have a team that can go all the way to give our clients value for their money. We are well positioned and we know we will attract loads of clients from the first day we open our doors for business.
As a new law firm, it might take some time for our firm to break into the market; that is perhaps our major weakness.
The opportunities in the law industry is massive and we are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that comes our way.
Some of the threats that we are likely going to face as a law firm operating in the United States are unfavorable government policies, and global economic downturn. There are hardly anything we could do as regards these threats other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for our good.
- Market Trends
Quite a number of distinct trends have emerged in recent times in the legal industry, which is why law firms are positioning their organizations to survive the peaks and troughs of an ailing economy. As a matter of fact, most of these trends aid law firms and organizations to become more creative, competitive, efficient, and productive in a global market. Some other trends in the legal industry could be attributed to changing demographics, attitudes and work styles.
Another trend that is gaining momentum in the legal industry is that clients have the options of seeking legal assistance from a growing number of non-lawyer professionals such as; paralegal technicians, legal document preparers, legal self-help sites, virtual assistants and offshore legal vendors.
As a result of this trend, the decisions about how legal services are delivered which include staffing, scheduling, strategies and most importantly how firms charge for their services – are increasingly being influenced by the clients, and not by the law firms as it used to be in time past.
No doubt, as the cost of legal services continues to increase and as corporate spending falls, new legal delivery methods will continue to emerge and gain momentum going forward. In addition, the market for legal services has shifted from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market.
Lastly, it is now becoming trendy in the legal industry for smaller law firms to merge with bigger law firms and for bigger law firms to acquire smaller law firms; mergers and acquisitions. Many law firms all over the United States are coming to the conclusion that the bigger the better for them.
Our Target Market
Although Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP will initially serve small to medium sized businesses, from new ventures to well established businesses, but that does not in any way stop us from growing to be able to compete with the leading law firms in the United States. We hope to someday merge or acquire other law firms and expand our legal services beyond the shores of the United States of America.
As a full service business law firm, Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP have a variety of practice areas to help startups grow. While we works with a variety of organizations and industries, Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP will also specialize in working with startups, real estate investors, and contractors, manufacturers and distributors, banks, lending and financial institutions.
Our target market cuts across people of different classes and people from all walks of life, local and international organizations as well. We are coming into the industry with a business concept that will enable us work with the highly placed people and companies in the country and at the same with the lowly placed people and smaller businesses.
In other words, our target market is the whole of the United States of America and subsequently other parts of the world. Below is a list of the people and organizations that we have specifically design our products and services for;
- Businesses and Entrepreneurs
- Blue Chips Companies
- Corporate Counsel
- Manufacturers and Distributors
- Real Estate Owners, Developers, and Contractors
- Research and Development Companies
A close study of the legal industry reveals that the law firm market has become much more intensely competitive over the past seven years. As a matter of fact, the supply of legal services has significantly exceeded demand. In other to position to take on the market, most law firms have begun to merger or acquire other law firms.
Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP might be a new entrant into the law industry in the United States of America, but the management staffs and board members are considered gurus. They are people who are core professionals and licensed legal practitioners in the US. These are part of what will count as a competitive advantage for us.
Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be amongst the best within our category (startups law firm) in the industry – meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our objectives.
SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
We are mindful of the fact that there is stiffer competition in the legal market in the United States of America; hence we have been able to hire some of the best business developer to handle our sales and marketing.
Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall goal of the organization. We will also ensure that our excellent job deliveries speaks for us in the market place; we want to build a legal business that will leverage on word of mouth advertisement from satisfied clients (both individuals and organizations).
Our goal is to grow our firm to become one of the top 20 law firms in California, which is why we have mapped out strategy that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force in the. Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;
- Introduce our business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to organizations and key individuals in California and other parts of the U.S.
- Promptness in bidding for legal contracts
- List our business on yellow pages
- Attend expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
- Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with their budgets and still deliver quality services to them
- Leverage on the internet to promote our business
- Direct marketing
- Encourage word of mouth marketing
Sources of Income
Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP is established with the aim of maximizing the profits in the law industry and we are going to go all the way to ensure that we do all it takes to attract clients on a regular basis. Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP we generate income by offering the following legal services for individuals and for organizations;
- Arbitration & Mediation
- Business Formation
- Business and Commercial Transaction
- Collections and Credit Matters
- Commercial Real Estate
- Corporate Governance and Compliance
- Creditor’s Rights
- General Counsel Services
- Real Estate Consultancy and Advisory Services
As long as there are people living in the United States of America and business starting and growing in the U.S., the services of law firms will always be needed. We are well positioned to take on the available market in the U.S, and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income / profits from the first month or operations and grow the business and clientele beyond Oakland, CA to other states in the U.S. and even the global market
We have been able to critically examine the law market and we have analyzed our chances in the industry. We have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projection are based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions that are peculiar to startups in California.
Below is the sales projection for Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP, it is based on the location of our law firm and the wide range of legal services that we will be offering;
- First Year-: $500,000
- Second Year-: $1,000,000
- Third Year-: $2,500,000
N.B: This projection is done based on what is obtainable in the industry,
- Our Pricing Strategy
Hourly billing for legal services is long – time tradition in the industry. However, for some types of work, flat fees make more sense because they allow clients to better predict legal costs. As a result of this, Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP will charge our clients a flat fee for many basic services such as; business formation and document drafting and review.
At Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP we will keep our fees below market rate for all of our clients by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance. In addition, we will also offer special discounted rates to disadvantaged individuals, nonprofits, cooperatives, and small social enterprises.
We are aware that there are some clients that would need regular access to legal advice and assistance; we will offer flat rate general counsel services that will be tailored to take care of such clients’ needs.
- Payment Options
At Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP, our payment policy will be all inclusive because we are quite aware that different people prefer different payment options as it suits them. Here are the payment options that we will make available to our clients;
- Payment by via bank transfer
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via bank draft
- Payment with cash
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will help us achieve our plans without any itches.
Publicity and Advertising Strategy
We have been able to work with our consultants to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market. We are set to take the law industry by storm which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our firm. Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise our property development business;
- Place adverts our law firm on both print and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant TV shows
- Maximize our firm’s website to promote our business
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook ,Twitter, LinkedIn, Badoo, Google+ and other platforms (real estate online forums) to promote our business.
- Offer Pro Bono services as part of our community social responsibility
- Brand all our official cars
Law Firm Financial Projections and Costing
- The Total Fee for incorporating the Business in California: $750.
- The budget for Liability insurance, permits and license: $5,000
- The Amount needed to acquire a suitable Office facility with enough space in Oakland, California for 6 months (Re – Construction of the facility inclusive): $50,000.
- The Cost for equipping the office (computers, printers, fax machines, furniture, telephones, filing cabins, safety gadgets and electronics et al): $15,000
- Cost of accounting software, CRM software and Payroll Software – $3,000
- Other start-up expenses including stationery – $1000
- Phone and Utilities (gas, sewer, water and electric) deposits – ($3,500).
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $40,000
- The Cost of Launching our official Website: $600
- Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al): $5,000
Going by the report from our research and feasibility studies, we will need about $200,000 to set up a law firm in Oakland, California.
Generating Funding / Startup Capital for At Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP
At Jefferson and MacArthur Law Firm, LLP is going to start as a private business that will be solely owned by Bar Jefferson Carson and family. He will be the sole financial of the firm, but may likely welcome partners pretty much which is why he has decided to restrict the sourcing of his start – up capital to 3 major sources. These are the areas we intend generating our start – up capital;
- Generate part of the start – up capital from personal savings
- Source for soft loans from family members and friends
- Apply for loan from my Bank
N.B: We have been able to generate about $60,000 (Personal savings $40,000 and soft loan from family members $20,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $100,000 from our bank. All the papers and document has been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.
BUSINESS GROWTH: Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
It is easier for businesses to survive when they have steady flow of business deals / customers patronizing their products and services. We are aware of this which is why we have decided to offer a wide range of legal services. We know that if we continue to deliver excellent legal services, there will be steady from of income for the organization.
Our key sustainability and expansion strategy is to ensure that we only hire competent employees, create a conducive working environment and employee benefits for our staff members. In the nearest future, we will explore the options of either merging with other law firms or acquire law firms in order for us to increase our market share.
We know that if we implement our business strategies, we will grow our law business beyond Oakland, California to other states in the U.S in record time.
Check List / Milestone
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Incorporation: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts various banks in the United States: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of All form of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating part of the start – up capital from the founder: Completed
- Applications for Loan from our Bankers: In Progress
- writing of business plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Graphic Designs and Printing of Packaging Marketing / Promotional Materials: Completed
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of the Needed furniture, office equipment, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business (Business PR): In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
- Establishing business relationship with key players in the industry: In Progress