Have you ever gazed out of the window in your office, thinking: if only you could go outside and sit in the sunshine with your laptop for a few hours?
Or maybe you’ve sat through one too many interminable conference calls, muttering darkly to yourself that (if only!) you ran the show, you would have had this wrapped up hours ago?
Perhaps you have a fantastic relationship with your clients, but you’re growing tired of your firm’s outdated workplace culture and are itching to do things your way?
You’re not alone.
More and more lawyers are breaking away from bigger firms to set up smarter, leaner, tech-driven operations that can offer clients great services at highly competitive rates, while still turning a profit. Some ambitious young lawyers are even setting up successful firms straight out of their degrees.
And with clients saying that they expect bespoke service, fast turnaround and transparent costs more than ever before, going it alone with a skeleton staff and minimal overheads is no longer something to be embarrassed about – it’s a USP, to be worn as a badge of honour.
The tables, it seems, have well and truly turned. Not least because rapidly evolving new technologies are making setting up your own law firm more possible than ever before.
Here are 3 major reasons that lawyers are quitting their firms to go it alone.
1. They can do things on their own terms
Just why do lawyers need to spend their lives in the office, exactly? Answer: they don’t. More and more, clients want you at their HQ, by their side at the coalface to work through problems together. A small firm can do just that. Traditional firms might be rooted knee-deep in clunky onsite infrastructure, but a smart new company can implement cloud solutions from day one, using mobile workspaces and Cloud Windows solutions to access the documents and applications from anywhere.
This gives you have the freedom and flexibility to be productive from anywhere, streamlining your workload and giving yourself (whisper it) a better work-life balance. You can work side-by-side with clients, whizz through work on the train or even (if you really want to) head home on a glorious summer afternoon and work in the garden in your swimsuit. Just don’t forget to turn off your webcam if you need to Skype…
2. They can give clients what they want
Big firms often struggle to offer a personalised service – and that’s where you come in. As a small team, you can focus on building close relationships, using business cloud services and top-notch collaboration tools to keep clients in the loop, respond on the move, speed up turnaround times and make fees 100% transparent. You can keep down costs and pass on the savings.
Plus, by partnering with a leading business cloud services provider, you can offer clients top-notch data security with industry-leading encryption, adding value through regular cloud backups that keep their precious information safe.
3. Because they can
Setting up a law firm used to be a costly gamble. Nowadays, streamlining your setup means that you can get started for a fraction of the price, speeding past rigid “old school” firms that are stuck in their ways.
The cloud allows you to replace costly infrastructure with manageable monthly subscriptions and slash your floor space requirements in the process. Mobile workspaces mean you can scale up fast during busy periods, hiring remotely to broaden your talent pool. Video conferencing and online collaboration tools let you meet and work with clients overseas without ever getting on a plane. It’s all about being nimble, flexible, forward thinking – and grabbing opportunities like never before.
Of course, like any business venture, launching your own law firm comes with challenges.
You need to know what kind of work to turn down, resisting the urge to take every case that comes along. You need to be clear on ethical considerations, including what kinds of claims you can make in your marketing materials. You have to get to grips with managing your own cash flow, learning that “turnover’s vanity, profit is sanity”.
But, by harnessing the cloud, you can circumvent some of the biggest practical headaches, letting you focus on giving your clients the best service you can.