How to Find New Clients as a New Lawyer
So you’ve put in all the work and you’re now being called to the bar as a licensed lawyer. Now comes the challenge of finding clients to represent. Below are some tips for the new lawyer looking to build their reputation and client list.
One of the most effective strategies you can use to help build your reputation is to network with other professionals in the law industry. This can include attending prominent conferences in your industry, contributing to legal forums, and even reaching out to established lawyers in your area to meet for coffee. The key is making sure key players in the industry know that you’re out there. You never know when they could have a client to refer or work that could benefit from your involvement.
Look Outside Your Specialization
While it is natural to begin to network with lawyers and law professionals within your specific specialization, it can be very helpful to spread your wings and make connections outside of your speciality as well. If you’re in family law, it can still be helpful to network with a criminal lawyer. You never know how different types of law may intersect on cases and projects throughout your career, so it can be very helpful to know the right people when the need is presented. These contacts outside of your speciality are also even more beneficial when it comes to referrals, as they are much more likely to pass on a client that is not in their field of expertise.
Consider Shared Office Space
If you’re striking out on your own as a new lawyer, acquiring office space can be a daunting investment and might be too risky until you have secured a list of clients. But then again, to be able to put the most professional front forward, it is good to have a dedicated office space to meet clients. This is where shared office space can be the perfect solution. You pay for only the space you need within a larger office and gain access to a large, professional board room and all of the tools and refreshments you will need to properly host your clients. And if you can find a shared space with other lawyers, this is yet another networking opportunity. Down the road, there may be an opportunity to collaborate or to learn from these other lawyers’ experience.
Take Advantage of What Make You Unique
If you have a certain set of unique skills that your counterparts do not have, use that to your advantage. For example, if you are in a predominantly English community and you happen to also be fluent in a minority language in your area, like Arabic or Mandarin, make sure that you advertise that. You may be able to tap into an underrepresented market just by using the unique skillset you’ve picked up throughout your life.
When building up your reputation and client list, it’s important to remember that these things take time and will happen organically. The key is getting yourself out there in a positive light so that people know your services are available for hire.