Comparing the opening of a law office several decades ago with today’s requirements can make one feel nostalgic about “the good old days.” Then, you would rent or purchase some office space close to the courthouse or downtown business activity, hire a competent legal secretary, get a typewriter (Does anyone else remember the ubiquity of the IBM Selectric?), round up some office furniture, stop by the office supply store for a few supplies and you were ready to go. Now, you need to do much of that, but also figure out Internet access (and security), purchase computers, figure out what law office software is required, update your mobile phone plan, create the law firm’s website, buy a scanner, develop written procedures for workflow of digital client files and a host of other items.
On the other hand, today the cash-strapped young lawyer can set up a law practice with a laptop, a smart phone, Internet access and a mailing address and be open for business.
I want to focus here on the numerous differences that lawyers are facing when setting up a law practice today as compared to a few years or decades ago.
The law office should operate much differently in 2015 than it did years ago. Advice from experienced lawyers is perhaps the most valuable thing a new lawyer can receive when starting a law practice. An experienced lawyer leaving a firm to start a solo or small firm practice may have different needs.