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Law Firm Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Law Firm Business Plan

You’ve come to the right place to create your Law Firm business plan.

We have helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their Law Firms.

Below is a template to help you create each section of your Law Firm business plan.

Executive Summary

Business overview.

The Harris & Harris Law Firm is a startup up business that provides legal advice and services for clients located within the Scottsdale, Arizona region. The company is founded by Roger Harris and his son, Anthony. Roger Harris has been a partner in a well-established company, Foundations Law Firm, for over twenty years. Anthony Harris is a recent law school graduate who will begin his training under the scholarship of his father. With the extensive list of former clients in hand, Roger and Anthony are confident they can begin open their doors for business and grow the new law firm successfully.

Harris & Harris Law Firm will provide a comprehensive array of services for individuals or business entities who need advice and/or legal representation in court proceedings. Harris & Harris will provide a multi-prong approach to fashion specific solutions for each individual they represent; in that regard, all services are custom-packaged and provided for clients by the lawyers at Harris & Harris. This unique factor will set them above all other area lawyers, as most follow standard processes within the companies where they work.

Product Offering

The following are the services that Harris & Harris Law Firm will provide:

  • Client-centric efforts in every case until resolution is found
  • Unique process to fully explore client options in any dispute
  • Creative and sustainable solutions on a case-by-case basis
  • Prioritization of client needs above all else
  • Dedication to professionalism and honesty
  • Equally dedicated to securing the correct outcomes for our clients
  • Team of highly-skilled lawyers who create winning solutions

Customer Focus

Harris & Harris will target the residents of Scottsdale, Arizona. They will also target medium-to-large businesses within Scottsdale, Arizona. They will target former associates and lawyers with whom they can collaborate in the future. They will target residents who have been served a summons for civil or criminal case appearances, whether as a witness, interested party or a potential defendant.

Management Team

Harris & Harris will be owned and operated by Roger Harris. He recruited his son, Anthony, to join the new firm upon Anthony’s recent graduation from law school. Within the next ten years, depending on performance, Anthony will receive incremental distributions of up to 49% of the company value in private stock. This will be based on Anthony’s performance and growth in the company as his role expands.

Roger Harris was formerly a partner in a well-established company, Foundations Law Firm, for over twenty years. He practiced law in the personal law arena, including wills and probates, trusts and other forms of personal law. He also managed the real estate law team at his former place of employment. Roger’s role in Harris & Harris will be the President, with the primary responsibility of driving new client traffic to the company. Roger has recruited Anthony, Richard Cummings, and Torey Crouch to begin their employment at Harris & Harris, as well.

Anthony Harris is a recent law school graduate who will begin his training under the scholarship of his father. Anthony will specialize in a unique processing of individual cases by creating algorithms that will specify which outcomes will best serve the client. Anthony will also represent clients in court and assist in defense appearances. With the extensive list of former clients in hand and the unique processes they’ve designed for clients going forward, Roger and Anthony are confident they can begin and grow the new law firm successfully.

Richard Cummings, a former associate of Roger Harris, will take on the role of Managing Partner in the launch of Harris & Harris. He will oversee all junior partners and staff, as the total number of lawyers grows expeditiously over the first few years.

Torey Crouch, a former law student with Anthony Cummings, will take on the role of Research & Records Manager, as she will form the background work necessary for all the other lawyers on staff.

Success Factors

Harris & Harris Law Firm will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:

  • Friendly, knowledgeable, and highly-qualified team of Harris & Harris Law Firm
  • Comprehensive menu of services designed to provide specific customer-centric solutions
  • Specializations in real estate, trusts, probate, civil and criminal law are all offered under this multi-pronged services of Harris & Harris Law Firm
  • Harris & Harris offers family discounts and other forms of packages for clients.
  • Harris & Harris offers a “monthly pay” program for clients who need to spread out payments over time.

Financial Highlights

Harris & Harris Law Firm is seeking $200,000 in debt financing to launch its Harris & Harris Law Firm. The funding will be dedicated toward securing the office space and purchasing office equipment and supplies. Funding will also be dedicated toward three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff, rent, and marketing costs for the print ads and marketing costs. The breakout of the funding is below:

  • Office space build-out: $20,000
  • Office equipment, supplies, and materials: $10,000
  • Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, rent, utilities): $150,000
  • Marketing costs: $10,000
  • Working capital: $10,000

The following graph outlines the financial projections for Harris & Harris Law Firm.

Harris & Harris Law Firm Pro Forma Projections

Company Overview

Who is harris & harris law firm.

Harris & Harris Law Firm is a newly established, full-service law firm in Scottsdale, Arizona. Harris & Harris Law Firm will be the most reliable, solution-centric and effective choice for clients in Scottsdale and the surrounding communities. Harris & Harris Law Firm will provide a comprehensive menu of attorney services for any individual, family or business to utilize. Their full-service approach includes a comprehensive array of services that are uniquely prepared for each client.

  Harris & Harris Law Firm will be able to serve the residents and businesses of Scottsdale. The team of professionals are highly qualified and experienced in all aspects of the law and several permutations of legal representation. Harris & Harris Law Firm removes all headaches and issues of securing a comprehensive law firm that is reliable and dedicated to clients, and ensures all issues are taken care of expeditiously, while delivering the best customer service.

Harris & Harris Law Firm History

Since incorporation, Harris & Harris Law Firm has achieved the following milestones:

  • Registered Harris & Harris Law Firm, LLC to transact business in the state of Arizona.
  • Has a contract for 10,000 square feet of office space midtown Scottsdale office buildings
  • Reached out to numerous former clients and contacts to consider Harris & Harris for all their legal representation needs.
  • Began recruiting a staff of five lawyers and three office personnel to work at Harris & Harris.

Harris & Harris Law Firm Services

The following will be the services Harris & Harris Law Firm will provide:

  • Dedication to professionalism and honest dialogue

Industry Analysis

The law firm industry is expected to grow over the next five years to over $75 billion. The growth will be driven by an increased population requiring legal representation The growth will be driven by the increase of income for individuals, which can support the decision to hire representation. The growth will be driven by the increase in faulty or misleading documents, agreements, and certifications. The growth will be driven by legal firms who collect fees for business mergers and negotiations. Costs will likely be reduced as current technology becomes dated and new, higher-performing technological advances are employed.

Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market, customer segmentation.

Harris & Harris Law Firm will primarily target the following customer profiles:

  • Residents of Scottsdale region
  • Businesses within Scottsdale region
  • Former associates and clients with whom they can collaborate
  • Individuals or businesses that have been served with a summons to appear in court

Competitive Analysis

Direct and indirect competitors.

Harris & Harris Law Firm will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.

Diamond & Johnson Defense

Diamond & Johnson Defense is a law firm located in Phoenix, Arizona. The firm was established in 1998 and has three partners who oversee all cases: Robert Anderson, who is a lead criminal defense attorney; Lisa Martinez, who is a criminal appeals and post-conviction relief attorney, and David Collin, an investigations and trial preparation lawyer. The law firm has a total of six attorneys who specialize in criminal defense, and six office staff, who communicate directly with each lawyer on staff.

Diamond & Johnson Defense is known as “The Defendant’s Law Firm” in Scottsdale, as 99% of the law practice is focused on personal law representation in civil or criminal court cases. The law firm charges fees within the top 5% in the county for personal representation. The years of practice have proven to be winning ones for Diamond & Johnson Defense, as over 69% of their clients have been released without any prison time. The team at D & J Defense are known to be highly-skilled at investigations and trial preparation, with several team members who will take on a single case to thoroughly cover every possible defense for each client.

Legacy Law Associates

Legacy Law Associates is well-known as a “compassionate” team of attorneys, specializing in family wills and trusts. With a team of dedicated and experienced attorneys, the firm aims to provide comprehensive legal services that meet the goals of each client or family who need legal services during a difficult season of life. Legacy Law Associates consists of a partnership of two attorneys, Jonathan Dunlap and David Sessions, who established the law firm in 2005 in Phoenix after graduating from law school together. Together, the co-owners seek families who have legal needs after the death of a family member; such as estate negotiations, final documents and closures, trustee assistance, probate searches, and confidential proceedings per the will of any individual. The law firm has hired a private secretary for each partner and is housed in a small office in downtown Phoenix. The firm has not grown since 2007 and does not choose to make that a pivotal goal for their partnership, relying instead on the on-going legal processes of trusts, wills, probate and other related items.

Construction Defect Law Firm

The Construction Defect Law Firm is owned and operated by Chip Jackson and is located in Green Valley, Arizona. The focus of the law firm is to represent homeowners who have determined a new or nearly-new home contains construction defects. In most cases, the home builder has moved on from the geographic region and, even when contacted repeatedly, is unwilling to rectify the situation by repair or monetary refund.

Chip Jackson is a highly-skilled evaluator and contractor within the construction industry. He is able to determine the viability of most construction issues with merely a cursory examination and has proven over the past ten years to be a worthy adversary in the courtroom. He wins 98% of all cases he brings into the courtroom. Chip’s clients are always homeowners who have been victims of construction defects in homes that are typically new or less than ten years old. His skill set includes negotiation outside the courtroom, compelling videos of problematic construction processes, drone footage of damaged rooftops, chimneys and other areas not typically viewed by homeowners and other support graphics that demonstrate the defects of the property.

Competitive Advantage

Harris & Harris Law Firm will be able to offer the following advantages over their competition:

Marketing Plan

Brand & value proposition.

Harris & Harris Law Firm will offer the unique value proposition to its clientele:

Promotions Strategy

The promotions strategy for Harris & Harris Law Firm is as follows:

Word of Mouth/Referrals

Harris & Harris Law Firm has built up an extensive list of contacts over the years by providing exceptional service and expertise to former clients and associates. This group will follow Roger and Anthony to their new company and help spread the word of Harris & Harris Law Firm.

Professional Associations and Networking

Harris & Harris Law Firm will take an active role in all community organizations and networking events, where they can spread the word about the launch and start of their company. The law firm will offer an Open House specifically for association members to acquaint the city of Scottsdale with their new services and location.

Website/SEO Marketing

Harris & Harris Law Firm will fully utilize their website. The website will be well organized, informative, and list all the services that Harris & Harris Law Firm provides. The website will also list their contact information and list their available reservation times to meet with one of the attorney’s for an initial consultation. The website will employ SEO marketing tactics so that anytime someone types in the Google or Bing search engine “law firm services” or “lawyer near me”, Harris & Harris Law Firm will be listed at the top of the search results.

The pricing of Harris & Harris Law Firm will be moderate and on par with competitors so customers feel they receive excellent value when purchasing their services.

Operations Plan

The following will be the operations plan for Harris & Harris Law Firm. Operation Functions:

  • Roger Harris will be the Owner and President of the company. He will engage and manage new client relations.
  • Anthony Harris will be the Legal Outcomes & Research Manager for the company. He will work with clients to craft potential outcomes based on algorithms and research.
  • Richard Cummings will take on the role of Managing Partner and, as such, will oversee junior partners and staff, as the total number of staff lawyers is expected to markedly grow in the coming five years.
  • Torey Crouch will take on the role of Research & Records Manager, where she will support and provide research for all junior and senior attorney staff members. She will also oversee the office personnel.


Harris & Harris Law Firm will have the following milestones completed in the next six months.

  • 5/1/202X – Finalize contract to lease office space
  • 5/15/202X – Finalize personnel and staff employment contracts for the Harris & Harris Law Firm
  • 6/1/202X – Finalize contracts for Harris & Harris Law Firm clients
  • 6/15/202X – Begin networking at association meetings and industry events
  • 6/22/202X – Begin moving into Harris & Harris Law Firm office
  • 7/1/202X – Harris & Harris Law Firm opens its office for business

Financial Plan

Key revenue & costs.

The revenue drivers for Harris & Harris Law Firm are the fees they will charge to clients for the legal services and representation they provide.

The cost drivers will be the overhead costs required in order to staff Harris & Harris Law Firm. The expenses will be the payroll cost, rent, utilities, office supplies, and marketing materials.

Funding Requirements and Use of Funds

Harris & Harris Law Firm is seeking $200,000 in debt financing to launch its law firm. The funding will be dedicated toward securing the office space and purchasing office equipment and supplies. Funding will also be dedicated toward three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff, rent, and marketing costs for the print ads and association memberships. The breakout of the funding is below:

Key Assumptions

The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.

  • Number of Clients Per Month: 125
  • Average Revenue per Month: $325,000
  • Office Lease per Year: $100,000

Financial Projections

Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, law firm business plan faqs, what is a law firm business plan.

A law firm business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your law firm business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.

You can easily complete your Law Firm business plan using our Law Firm Business Plan Template here .

What are the Main Types of Law Firm Businesses? 

There are a number of different kinds of law firm businesses , some examples include: Commercial Law, Criminal, Civil Negligence, and Personal Injury Law, Real Estate Law, and Labor Law.

How Do You Get Funding for Your Law Firm Business Plan?

Law Firm businesses are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and angel investors are also popular forms of funding.

What are the Steps To Start a Law Firm Business?

Starting a law firm business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.

1. Develop A Law Firm Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed law firm business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast. 

2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your law firm business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your law firm business is in compliance with local laws.

3. Register Your Law Firm Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your law firm business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws.

4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your law firm business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms.

5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations.

6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events.

7. Acquire Necessary Law Firm Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your law firm business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation.

8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your law firm business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising. 

Learn more about how to start a successful law firm business:

  • How to Start a Law Firm

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Law Firm Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

law firm marketing plan

Law Firm Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 1,000 lawyers to create business plans to start and grow their law firms. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a law firm business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >

What is a Law Firm Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your law firm as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan for a Law Firm

If you’re looking to start a law firm, or grow your existing law firm, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your law firm in order to improve your chances of success. Your law firm plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Law Firms

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a law firm are personal savings, credit cards and bank loans. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

How to write a business plan for a law firm.

If you want to start a law firm or expand your current one, you need a business plan. Below are links to each section of your law firm plan template:

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of law firm you are operating and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a law firm that you would like to grow, or are you operating law firms in multiple cities?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the law firm industry. Discuss the type of law firm you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.  

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of law firm you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types of law firms:

  • Commercial Law : this type of law firm focuses on financial matters such as merger and acquisition, raising capital, IPOs, etc.
  • Criminal, Civil Negligence, and Personal Injury Law: this type of business focuses on accidents, malpractice, and criminal defense.
  • Real Estate Law: this type of practice deals with property transactions and property use.
  • Labor Law: this type of firm handles everything related to employment, from pensions/benefits, to contract negotiation.

In addition to explaining the type of law firm you will operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to question such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of clients served, number of cases won, etc.
  • Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the law firm industry.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the law firm industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy, particularly if your research identifies market trends.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your law firm plan:

  • How big is the law firm industry (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your law firm? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your law firm plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: businesses, households, and government organizations.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of law firm you operate. Clearly, households would respond to different marketing promotions than nonprofit organizations, for example.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most law firms primarily serve customers living in their same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

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Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other law firms.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes accounting firms or human resources companies. You need to mention such competition as well.

With regards to direct competition, you want to describe the other law firms with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be law firms located very close to your location.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What types of cases do they accept?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide better legal advice and services?
  • Will you provide services that your competitors don’t offer?
  • Will you provide more responsive customer interactions?
  • Will you offer better pricing or flexible pricing options?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.  

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a law firm plan, your marketing plan should include the following:

Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type of law firm company that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to in-person consultation, will you provide virtual meetings, or any other services?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the products and services you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your law firm company. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your law firm located in a busy business district, office building, etc. Discuss how your location might be the ideal location for your customers.

Promotions : The final part of your law firm marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Advertising in local papers and magazines
  • Reaching out to local websites
  • Social media marketing
  • Local radio advertising

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your law firm, including filling and filing paperwork, researching precedents, appearing in court, meeting with clients, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to file your 100th lawsuit, or be on retainer with 25 business clients, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your law firm to a new city.  

Management Team

To demonstrate your law firm’ ability to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.

Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing law firms. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with legal experience or with a track record of successfully running small businesses.  

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you file 25 lawsuits per month or sign 5 retainer contracts per month? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your law firm, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a law firm:

  • Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
  • Cost of licensing, software, and office supplies
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office location lease or your certificate of admission to the bar.  

Putting together a business plan for your law firm is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert and know everything you need about starting a law firm business plan; once you create your plan, download it to PDF to show banks and investors. You will really understand the law firm industry, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful law firm.  

Law Firm Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my law firm business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Law Firm Business Plan.

What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of law firm you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a law firm that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of law firms?

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19 Mar 2020

How to Write Your Law Firm Business Plan

Cari Twitchell

By Cari Twitchell

News Articles Healthy Strategy

Every new law practice needs a business plan . This is a guide to creating one.

Here is what should go in your business plan once you’ve decided about your law firm business model.

Section One: Executive Summary

This section provides a succinct overview of your full plan. It should also include the following:

  • Mission statement.  This statement should be one or two sentences at most, so you can quickly state it off the top of your head at any given moment. It should clearly state your value and offer inspiration and guidance, while being plausible and specific enough to ensure relevancy. For further direction on how to write a mission statement, read this Entrepreneur article .
  • Core values.  Your core values outline the strategy that underpins your business. When written well, they help potential employees and clients understand what drives you every day. When written incorrectly, they include meaningless platitudes that become yet another thing forgotten or ignored during practice. To pack the most punch into your core values, write them as actionable statements that you can follow. And keep them to a minimum: two to four should do just fine. You can read more about writing core values at  Kinesis .
  • What sets you apart.  If you are like every other attorney out there, how will you stand out? This is known as your unique selling proposition (USP). What is it that will convince clients to turn to you instead of your competition? By clearly stating your USP, you identify what it is about your firm that will ensure your success.

Are you feeling slightly overwhelmed by all of this? Then write this section last, as you’ll find much of what you write here is a summary of everything you include in subsequent sections.

Section Two: Company Description

Write a succinct overview of your company. Here is what it should cover:

  • Mission statement and values.  Reiterate your mission statement and core values here.
  • Geographic location and areas served.  Identify where your offices are located and the geographic areas that you serve.
  • Legal structure and ownership. State whether you are an LLC, S-Corp or other legal entity. If you are something other than a sole proprietor, identify the ownership structure of your firm. How does your law firm business model influence the ownership type?
  • Firm history.  If you are writing or updating a plan for a law firm already in existence, write a brief history that summarizes firm highlights and achievements.

This section is often the shortest. Do not spend much time or space here. Touch on the major points and move on.

Section Three: Market Analysis

Done correctly, a well thought out market analysis will help you identify exactly what your potential clients are looking for and how much you should charge for your services. It also enables you to identify your competitors’ weaknesses, which in turn helps you best frame your services in a way that attracts your preferred clientele. You probably already considered some of these subjects when deciding on the small law firm business model, but you need to document them.

Elements of a market analysis include:

  • Industry description.  Draft up a summary that encompasses where your particular legal niche is today, where it has been, and which trends will likely affect it in the future. Identify everything from actual market size to project market growth.
  • Target audience.  Define your target audience by building your ideal client persona. Use demographics such as location, age, family status, occupation and more. Map out the motivations behind their seeking your services and then how it is you are best able to satisfy their requirements.
  • Competitive analysis.  This is where you dive into details about your competitors. What do they do well? Where do they fall short? How are they currently underserving your target market? What challenges do you face by entering legal practice in your field of choice?
  • Projections.  Provide specific data on how much your target audience has to spend. Then narrow that down to identify how much you can charge per service.

A proper market analysis includes actual data to support your analysis. If you are unsure of where to find data, Bplans  has a great list of resources for you to use. And if you would like to read further about conducting a market analysis, check out this article from the Small Business Administration.

Section Four: Organization & Management

This section goes into detail about you and any others who may have ownership interest in the firm. The small law firm business model section here should incorporated into the management documentation. Do not be afraid to brag a bit!

  • What is your educational background?
  • What experience do you currently have?
  • Why are you the right person to run your firm?

If there are other individuals involved, it is a good idea to insert your organizational chart here. Visuals help quickly convey information and break up otherwise blocky text.

Section Five: Services

The Services section is the heart of your law firm business model plan. It is where you dive into all aspects of your services, including:

  • The problem(s) you are addressing.  What pain points do your preferred clients experience? What can they do right now to alleviate those pain points? Answer these questions, and then take the extra step to explain how those current solutions fail to adequately address their problems.
  • The solution(s) you are providing.  This describes how your solutions better resolve your prospective market’s needs. This not only includes the actual work you do, but the benefits that each client will receive based on your work.
  • An overview of your competition.  Describe your competition here. For instance, which other solo attorneys and firms provide the same solutions as you? What are your advantages over these competitors? What do you differently when providing your solutions? How will clients gain additional benefits by seeking out your services instead of working with your competitors?

Section 6: Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy section needs to address the three P’s:

  • Positioning.  How will you position your law firm and your services? What will you say to present your practice in the best light? What short statements can you use to entice a potential client to pursue your services?
  • Pricing.  How much will you charge? How does that fit within the legal industry? Within your niche industry? What do clients receive for that price?
  • Promotion.  Which sales channels and marketing activities will you pursue to promote your practice? Who is in charge of these activities? Even if you plan to build your law firm on the basis of word-of-mouth referrals, you must remember that most referrals will still look for information about you before contacting you. Know where they will look and ensure you are there.

Section Seven: Financials

Last comes the financials section. It is the key component to your plan if you are going to seek funding to get your practice off the ground. It is imperative that you complete this section even if you are not seeking funding, however, as you need to paint a clear financial picture before opening your doors.

Two main items make up this section: budgeting and forecasting (sales and cash flow). Answer these questions to help you address these items:

  • How much starting capital do you need?
  • How much money will it cost to keep your practice operating on a month-to-month basis?
  • How many cases will you need to close each month to break even?
  • How many cases would you need to close to make a profit?
  • What is your projected profit and loss for the year?

This section often incorporates graphs and other images, including profit-and-loss and cash-flow tables. The more specific you get with your numbers, the more likely you are to succeed!

One final note: If your goal is to submit your business plan to potential funders, you want to do everything you can to make sure your plan stands out. One good way to do this is to work with a designer to artfully format your plan. Great presentation can take you a long way.

Originally published 2017-09-23. Republished 2020-07-31.

Cari Twitchell

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Law Firm Business Plan

Executive summary image

If you are a lawyer, chances are you have thought of owning a law firm at least once if not more.

After all, having your firm gives you the freedom of taking up projects that you like and working at flexible hours.

But with freedom comes responsibility, and most of us find the thought of doing everything from onboarding clients to taking care of every detail of their case at least in the initial days quite overwhelming.

But don’t worry! It isn’t as scary as it looks. All you need to run a successful law firm is your sharp wit to deal with cases and a well-written law firm business plan to deal with the business side of your profession.

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Free Law Firm Business Plan Template

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  • Fill in the blanks – Outline
  • Financial Tables

Industry Overview

The global legal services market was valued at a whopping sum of 849.28 billion dollars in 2020 and is expected to rise at a high rate going forward too.

The main changes in the legal industry have been brought about by the introduction of AI which does proofreading and data research jobs with higher efficiency. This lets the lawyers focus on what really matters.

Also, the security and access systems have become loads better due to cloud computing.

What is Law Firm Business Plan?

A law firm business plan is a document that outlines your business goals and strategies to achieve those goals. It includes your law firm overview, your reason to start your firm, the services you will offer, a budget or funding requirements, and strategies to get and manage your clients.

Why Law Firm Business Plan is Important?

A business plan would help you understand what sets you apart from your competitors, and how you can market your USP to your clients.

It also helps you design strategies to reach out to your clients and manage them. It comes in extremely handy for analyzing the loopholes in your business structure.

Moreover, it helps you identify your strengths and work on your weaknesses.

All in all, It can make managing your business a hassle-free and less chaotic process.

Things to Consider Before Writing a Law Firm Business Plan

Focus on your expertise.

Between juggling business and practice, it is natural that practice gets neglected more often than not. But always keep in mind that though focusing on your business is important it shouldn’t come at the cost of skills you need to develop and upgrade to do well as a lawyer.

Also, it is important to decide on a niche so you can dig deeper and become an expert at handling cases of that kind.

Create a proper website

In today’s world being present and active on the internet is as important for your business as being good at what you do.

A strong web presence helps you reach out to your customers as well as builds your reliability for them.

Build your network

Networking is an important aspect of being a lawyer. From getting new customers, getting updates on the legal world, and even collecting evidence if you are a criminal lawyer, a good network can work wonders for your legal business.

The kind of circle you belong to also has an impact on your reputation and image as a lawyer.

Develop soft skills

We all know that confidence and intellect are a lawyer’s best friends. And although it is an ongoing process to develop these skills, it is good to get a head start before you start your business.

Intellect helps you upgrade and pay attention to detail, and confidence helps you sound more convincing and reliable. Both of which are foundational to a legal business.

How to Write a Law Firm Business Plan?

A law firm business plan would be a combination of segments common to all business plans and segments specific to a law firm.

Before you start writing your business plan for your new law firm, spend as much time as you can reading through some examples of  consulting-related business plans .

Reading some sample business plans will give you a good idea of what you’re aiming for. It will also show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their business plans.

We have created this sample law firm business plan for you to get a good idea about how a perfect law firm business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan.

Chalking out Your Business Plan

Starting your own law firm is an exciting prospect for any lawyer. Having your firm gives you more independence, lets you implement ideas you want to, and most importantly, you get to deal with clients firsthand.

And if you plan on starting your own, do so with a proper business plan.

But you might wonder, why do I need a business plan as a lawyer, isn’t my legal knowledge and years of work enough?

The answer is no.

To run a law firm you need a law degree, but to run a successful business you need a business plan alongside your degree.

Law Firm Business Plan Outline

This is the standard law firm business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.

  • Mission Statement
  • Vision Statement
  • Financial Summary
  • 3 Year profit forecast
  • Business Structure
  • Startup cost
  • Market Analysis
  • Market Trends
  • Target Market
  • Market Segmentation
  • Sales Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Pricing Strategy
  • Personnel Plan
  • Financial Plan
  • Important Assumptions
  • Brake-even Analysis
  • Profit Yearly
  • Gross Margin Yearly
  • Projected Cash Flow
  • Projected Balance Sheet
  • Business Ratios

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law firm practice group business plan template

Now, let’s understand how you can complete each section of your business plan.

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary forms the first page of your business plan. It acts as a pitch for your business to potential investors and should consist of the following sections.

  • Objective: This gives an overview of what you wish to accomplish with your business. The objective should be clear and solve an existing problem in the market.
  • Vision Statement: This should state what vision you have for your business. How do you want it to function and how far do you expect to reach with it. You can also include how your vision sits with the current market situation.
  • Financial Summary: This section should ideally consist of the history of your finances and their current state. A proper financial summary helps you gain an investor’s confidence and makes it easier for your business to get funded.

2. Company Summary

Next up we have the company summary section, this segment provides an overview of your company’s structure and its functioning.

This section provides a brief description of the following:

  • Legal Structure: This section would describe the legal terms and conditions your firm functions on, as well as the ownership structure of your firm.
  • USP: This would consist of points that set your firm apart from your competitor’s firm.
  • Services: This section will include the services you offer, the legal procedures you are well versed in, all in all, the client base you cater to.
  • Location: This segment covers your area of service and the location of your firm. A clearly stated area of service, helps you reach the right audience.

3. Market analysis

This segment consists of a thorough analysis of the market situation. It can be split up into the following sub-segments.

  • Market Trends: This would consist of all the prevailing trends in the market. It is important to know market trends because it helps your business keep up with the evolving market.
  • Target Market:  This section would consist of a summary of the market you cater to. Clearly defining your niche helps you reach out to your desired customer base.
  • Market Segmentation: In this section, note down the segments present in the market, as well as what segment of the market your business would fit in. This would help you narrow down the number of competitors you have, the strategies you must follow, and the major and additional services you should offer.

4. Strategy and implementations

In this section, you would include various business strategies like:

  • Marketing strategy You can formulate a marketing strategy depending on your target audience and the easiest and most effective ways of reaching out to them. It is important to formulate your marketing strategy based on your USP and your vision statement.
  • Pricing Strategy It is important to formulate a pricing strategy based on the market trends, the nature of the work, and your target audience.
  • Milestones This segment would consist of the various milestones your business would have to reach to achieve your goal and the strategies to help you reach them.

5. Financial Plan

The financial section of your business plan would consist of the following information regarding your business.

  • Financial history
  • Current State of finances
  • Profit and loss

Download a sample law firm business plan

Need help writing your business plan from scratch? Here you go;  download our free law firm business plan pdf  to start.

It’s a modern business plan template specifically designed for your law firm business. Use the example business plan as a guide for writing your own.

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Law Firm Business Plan Summary

All of the above segments would help you in creating a well-rounded business plan. Starting your law firm with a well-written business plan can make your growth process faster and smoother.

After getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this law firm business plan example into your business plan and modify the required information and download your law firm business plan pdf or doc file.

It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.

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></center></p><ul><li>September 22, 2023</li></ul><h2>How to Write Your Law Firm Business Plan (with Template)</h2><p><center><img style=

Starting a law firm can be a rewarding and lucrative venture, but it requires careful planning and strategy. A well-crafted business plan is a crucial tool for any law firm looking to establish itself, secure funding, or grow its practice. The business plan will serve as a roadmap, outlining the law firm’s objectives, strategies, and unique selling proposition

Law Firm Business Plan - Digitslaw

Why Every Law Firm Needs a Business Plan

A well-structured business plan is imperative for every law firm, regardless of its size or specialization. While legal expertise is undoubtedly crucial, having a clear vision and strategic direction is equally essential. A business plan serves as a guiding light, defining the firm’s mission, values, and long-term goals. This clarity is vital for aligning the entire firm towards a common purpose, ensuring that everyone understands the objectives and the path to achieving them. Without a business plan, a law firm may find itself navigating uncertain waters, reacting to circumstances rather than proactively pursuing its ambitions.

The Key Components of a Law Firm Business Plan

A well-structured law firm business plan consists of several key components, each playing a crucial role in guiding the firm’s operations and ensuring its long-term success. Here are the essential elements of a comprehensive law firm business plan:

  • Executive summary
  • Law firm description
  • Market analysis
  • Organization and management
  • Services 
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Financial plan
  • Start-up budget

Section One: Executive Summary

The executive summary is arguably the most critical section of your law firm’s business plan. While it appears at the beginning, it is often written last, as it serves as a concise yet comprehensive overview of your entire plan. This section should capture the reader’s attention, providing them with a clear understanding of your law firm’s essence, mission, and what to expect from the rest of the document. In your executive summary:

  • Introduce your law firm: Briefly describe your law firm’s name, location, and legal specialization.
  • Mission and vision: State your firm’s mission and vision, highlighting your commitment to serving clients’ legal needs effectively.
  • Your unique selling proposition: Clearly state your USP, and present what is unique about your firm that will ensure success.

The executive summary sets the stage for your entire business plan. It should be a concise yet compelling introduction to your firm’s mission, values, and potential. If crafted well, it can grab the reader’s attention and encourage them to explore other sections in detail. If you feel overwhelmed by this, you can write this section last. 

Section Two: Law Firm Description

This section of your business plan provides a deeper dive into your firm’s background, history, legal specializations, and legal structure and ownership. This section should provide a concise yet informative overview of your firm’s identity and history. Here’s what this section should cover:

  • Mission Statement: Briefly reiterate your law firm’s mission statement. This statement should encapsulate your firm’s overarching purpose and guiding principles.
  • Geographic Location: State out the physical location of your law firm’s office(s). This should include the city or region where your primary office is situated.
  • Legal Structure and Ownership: State the legal structure of your law firm, whether it’s an LLC, S-Corp, or another legal entity. This choice is a fundamental aspect of your business model, influencing ownership, liability, and taxation. If your firm’s ownership is not that of a sole proprietorship, provide details on the ownership structure. Explain how the chosen structure aligns with your firm’s business model, decision-making processes, and long-term goals.
  • Firm History: Provide the history of your law firm. Highlight key milestones, achievements, and notable moments in your firm’s journey. If your firm is well-established, briefly summarize its history, showcasing your accomplishments and contributions to the legal field.

Remember that brevity is key in this section. Don’t spend too much time, just touch on important points and achievements. 

Section Three: Market Analysis

A well-conducted market analysis will not only demonstrate your understanding of the legal industry but also inform your law firm’s strategies and decision-making. It goes beyond understanding your competition; it delves deep into your potential clients’ needs and expectations. 

Through market analysis, you can segment your target market based on demographics, industry, legal needs, and preferences. This segmentation allows you to tailor your services to meet the specific needs of different client groups. It also helps you identify the pain points and challenges that potential clients face. By understanding their concerns, you can offer solutions that directly address these pain points.

Your market analysis should also reveal the pricing strategies of your competitors. By benchmarking your pricing against theirs, you can position your services competitively. You can choose to price higher if you offer unique value or lower if you aim to attract price-sensitive clients. Your market analysis should reveal areas where your competitors may be falling short. Use this information to frame your services as the solution to these weaknesses. For example, if competitors have slow response times, emphasize your firm’s commitment to timely communication. 

Showcase your firm’s USPs that directly address client needs and preferences. If you excel in a particular practice area, have a reputation for excellent client service, or offer innovative fee structures, use these strengths to attract your preferred clientele. Ultimately, a well-documented market analysis not only informs your law firm’s business model but also guides your approach to client acquisition, pricing, and service delivery. It ensures that your legal services align with client expectations and positions your firm for success in a competitive legal industry

Section Four: Organization and Management

Law Firm Business Plan

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This section provides a clear picture of your firm’s internal structure and leadership. Name the key stakeholders in your law firm and what they bring to the table. Highlight any unique experiences or expertise that each partner brings to the firm. This could include prior work at prestigious law firms, involvement in landmark cases, or specialized knowledge in a specific area of law. Explain how these experiences set your firm apart and enhance its capabilities. You can also include an organizational chart that visually represents your law firm’s structure. This chart should showcase the hierarchy, roles, and reporting lines within the firm. By including the names, educational backgrounds, unique experiences, and organizational chart, you paint a comprehensive picture of your law firm’s leadership and structure. This not only builds confidence in your team’s capabilities but also showcases the depth and expertise of your staff to potential clients, partners, or investors.

Section Five: Services

This section is the core of your law firm business plan. Here, you will go into detail about all aspects of your services. Present in simple words:

  • The problem(s) your law firm is addressing and your approach to how to alleviate those pain points? Answer these questions, and provide in detail how your firm is in the best position to tackle this problem. 
  • The solution(s) you are providing. This should describe how your law firm resolves your prospective market’s needs. This should include the work you do, and the benefits that each client will receive if they work with your firm. 
  • Your law firm competition.  This should describe what advantages your law firm has over your competitors? What you do differently when providing your solutions and how your clients will gain additional benefits when they work with your law firm.

Section Six: Marketing Strategy

As you craft your business plan, keep these four essential questions in mind:

  • What Is Your Firm’s Value Proposition? Clearly define what sets your law firm apart from others. This should guide your marketing and sales strategies, emphasizing the unique value you offer to clients.
  • Who Is Your Target Audience? Identify your ideal client profile. Understanding your target audience helps tailor your marketing efforts to reach those most likely to benefit from your services.
  • What Are Your Growth Goals? Set specific, measurable growth goals for your firm. These goals should inform your sales and marketing strategies, outlining how you plan to achieve them.
  • How Will You Measure Success? Determine key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your marketing and sales efforts. Whether it’s tracking client acquisition rates, website traffic, or revenue growth, having measurable metrics will help you gauge your progress and make informed adjustments.

It is also valuable to perform a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) to assess your law firm’s internal and external factors. Describe your online marketing efforts, including your website, social media presence, and email marketing campaigns. Explain how you plan to leverage marketing  to reach and engage potential clients effectively. You should also define your pricing structure and fee arrangements. This may include hourly rates for specific legal services, retainer agreements for ongoing representation, or flat fees for standardized services. 

Section Seven: Financial Plan

If you want to expand your law firm and ensure a steady income, it’s essential to create a financial strategy for your practice. While you might not have all the answers regarding your firm’s finances, provide comprehensive details. Your goal should be to establish a financial plan, particularly for the initial year of your firm’s operation.

Law Firm Business Plan - DigitsLaw

Provide comprehensive financial projections that cover the anticipated income, expenses, and cash flow for your law firm. These forecasts should offer a clear picture of how your firm expects to perform financially. You should also Incorporate income statements, which show your firm’s revenue and expenses, balance sheets that detail your assets and liabilities, and cash flow projections, which illustrate how money moves in and out of your business. These financial statements offer a holistic view of your firm’s financial health.

Explain the assumptions underlying your financial projections. This may include factors like growth rates, market trends, client acquisition strategies, and pricing models. Describe your strategies for achieving growth and how they translate into financial outcomes. This section is critical for demonstrating your law firm’s financial preparedness and sustainability. Investors, lenders, or partners will scrutinize these sections to assess the viability of your firm, making it essential to provide detailed and well-supported financial information.

Section Eight: Start-up Budget

When developing a business plan for your law firm, it is essential to create a realistic startup budget. This involves carefully considering various initial and ongoing expenses and factoring them into your revenue objectives. Here are some instances of expenses to incorporate into your budget:

  • Hardware costs, such as laptops, printers, scanners, and office furniture.
  • Office space expenses, whether you plan to rent space or work from home.
  • Malpractice insurance fees.
  • Staff salaries, including potential hires like administrative assistants or paralegals.
  • Utility expenses, covering phone and internet services, among others.
  • Expenses on practice management software or other tech tools

After itemizing these costs, review them thoroughly. Clearly state the total amount of funding you require to start and sustain your law firm. Explain how this funding will be allocated, including how much goes into covering startup costs and how much is reserved for ongoing operations. Be specific about the purpose of each funding component. 

Additionally, explore tools and solutions that can streamline non-billable tasks, freeing up more time for your legal practice. This not only enhances your overall productivity but also allows you to allocate more time to your legal practice. One exceptional solution that can significantly benefit your law firm operations is a legal practice management software. 

DigitsLaw: The Legal Practice Management Software for Law Firms

DigitsLaw is an all-in-one practice management software that streamlines and simplifies the day-to-day operations of a law firm. Whether you are a small firm or you have law firms in major cities, DigitsLaw can meet the unique needs of your legal practice. Our simple and intuitive tool offers a wealth of features that can make a substantial difference in the success and efficiency of your firm.

Here’s how DigitsLaw can help your new law firm scale:

  • Effortless Case Management: DigitsLaw simplifies case management by centralizing all your client information, documents, and communications in one secure location. This ensures that you have easy access to everything you need, right at your fingertips.
  • Time Tracking and Billing: With DigitsLaw, tracking billable hours and generating invoices is seamless. You can accurately record your time, expenses, and activities, allowing for transparent and error-free billing processes.
  • Conflict Check: DigitsLaw provides a robust conflict check system that assists law firms in maintaining ethical standards and preventing conflicts of interest. By incorporating DigitsLaw conflict check capabilities into your law firm’s workflow, you can enhance your due diligence processes, reduce the risk of conflicts of interest, and uphold the highest ethical standards in your legal practice. 
  • Client Collaboration: Foster better client relationships through DigitsLaw’s client portal . Clients can securely access case information, share documents, and communicate with your firm, enhancing transparency and trust.
  • Legal Document Management: Say goodbye to the hassle of paper documents and disorganized files. DigitsLaw enables efficient document storage, organization, and collaboration, saving you time and reducing the risk of errors.
  • Secure and Compliant: DigitsLaw prioritizes security and compliance, ensuring that your client data and sensitive information are protected at the highest standards.

By leveraging DigitsLaw’s capabilities, you can significantly reduce administrative overhead, minimize errors, and provide a more streamlined and responsive experience for your clients. It’s a strategic investment that will pay dividends as your firm grows and prospers.

Sample Business Plan and Fillable Template

If you’re in the early stages of creating your business plan, we’ve prepared an example that can serve as a reference. You can also download a blank version of our template here. Remember to tailor your plan to your specific requirements and objectives. 

Download your copy of our law firm business plan template HERE

Final thoughts.

In conclusion, crafting a law firm business plan is not just a formality; it’s a roadmap that guides your firm toward success. Whether you’re launching a new law firm or seeking to revitalize an existing one, a well-thought-out plan helps you.  From defining your firm’s mission and values to conducting a thorough market analysis every section of your plan plays a crucial role in shaping your law firm’s journey. It’s not just about impressing potential investors; it’s about setting clear goals, making informed decisions, and ensuring that your firm is well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

As you start planning, remember that your business plan is a living document. It should evolve and adapt as your firm grows and the legal industry changes. Regularly revisit and update your plan to stay aligned with your mission, serve your clients better, and achieve your long-term vision.

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Home Committees, Members & Career Services Small Law Firm Center Overview Small Firm Resources Writing a Business Plan for Law Firm – Law Firm Business Plan Sample

Writing a Business Plan for Law Firm – Law Firm Business Plan Sample

Business plans for lawyers.

New York City Bar Association Small Law Firm Committee

Writing a Business Plans for Lawyers – The Non-Financial Side

1 Why write a law firm business plan?

First and foremost, it’s a Management Tool, It f orces you to think through important issues you may not otherwise consider The recipe to grow your law practice

  • A roadmap, albeit a changing one, with milestones to help reach goals you already know and have yet to define
  • A sales tool to obtain financing
  • A sales tool when looking to form a partnership or join one
  • Some parts of a business plan include stating the obvious, but should not be overlooked because they still form a part of the whole
  • As you write it, ideas come, strategies unfold, beliefs you may have had change
  • It also changes your mindset. You’re no longer thinking about starting a business, you’re now in the process of starting a business.
  • If you write a business plan and put it away in a drawer you have not written one that is feasible or is going to do you any good. Continual updating – whether semi-annual, annual, biennial, whichever is best for you – is your own set of checks and balances.

If you are going to buy a book, look for one that offers general advice and suggestions applicable to all businesses. And, if you choose a software package, eliminate the “techy” things like their numbering system; that is a dead giveaway that you’re using a software program. Also, eliminate sections that are irrelevant!

Suggestion: Don’t just buy one from an online bookstore. Take the time go through a table of contents and thumb through.

Examples available from Barnes & Noble:

  • Alpha Teach Yourself – Business Plans in 24 Hours by Michael Miller
  • Successful Business Planning in 30 Days TM, 3/ed, Peter Patsula
  • The Executive Summary
  • Analysis of Your Market
  • Description of Your Firm
  • Competitors
  • Your Marketing Strategy

No set formula for a successful practice

Before developing a plan for a lawyer, answer the following:

  • Identify your practice niche(s)
  • What skills and experience you bring to your practice
  • What legal structure to use: sole proprietorship, PC, partnership, LLP, etc.
  • What clients you currently have and might potentially acquire
  • What clients you want
  • What business and social contacts you have
  • What other attorneys you can call upon to fill in practice gaps
  • How your firm’s records will be kept
  • What equipment and supplies will be needed
  • What library and other information sources will be needed
  • What insurance will be needed
  • What other resources will be needed
  • How you will compensate yourself
  • Review your current finances re assets, current cash flow, expenses
  • What financing may be needed
  • What financial assets do you have
  • What banking accounts will be needed
  • Review your current non non-financial resources
  • Identify your market
  • Describe your startup plans
  • Where will your office be located
  • What will the name of your firm be

2 The Executive Summary

For some businesses this is the most important part of the business plan because it summarizes what the company does, where it is going and how to get there. Therefore, it must describe the company, the “product” and the market opportunities concisely.

It is written after the plan is complete but is the first and, sometimes, most important part read by investors.

How important this is for a legal business plan depends on your long and short term goals, e.g., whether they are to grow a partnership, join a firm, build up a practice that is enticing for acquisition by a larger firm, etc.

In order to provide that summary, go through a number of exercises:

  • Mission statement – the firm’s purpose and what it will do
  • Major goals
  • Objectives/milestones needed to achieve those goals
  • Vision statement – where you want to go and what you want your firm to become, not just 20 years down the road but where you want to be three or five years from now
  • List what is out of your control e.g., nature of the law business, direction of the marketplace, competition, mergers and acquisitions among clients, and competitors, attorneys and firms already in place
  • Analyze opportunities to face and threats
  • List your firm’s specific capabilities and whatever you believe you can offer that is unique
  • If you are not a solo practitioner, who is the management
  • What is the legal organization
  • What technology will you be capitalizing on
  • What is the marketing potential
  • Describe your basic strategies based on the information you have learned about the legal business, your competition and applicable markets within your field.
  • Provide the basis for why you believe your strategy is the right one for your firm.
  • What markers will you use to change direction
  • Outline what your firm needs to make that strategy succeed
  • Financial projections
  • Back up of those projections with assumptions (so that they can be adjusted as necessary)
  • Summary of revenues by month for at least three years
  • Balance sheet
  • Cash flow statement
  • What actions you’re going to take to carry out the plan
  • What changes will be needed or skills acquired to put the plan to work

3 Analysis of Your Market: The Legal “Business” that Affects You

Purpose: an accurate understanding of trends affecting law practice in general and your specializations, client demographics, client universe.

Keep track of impact factors, obstacles, opportunities and threats to better forecast and build the strategies.

  • Identify who and what firms dominate and where they are
  • What new technologies have already and may yet change the way your practice is done
  • What laws and regulations have and may yet change your practice
  • Describe the overall demand for your specialties
  • What else besides price affects your client decisions to use your services
  • What clients (people or companies) can influence your areas of practice
  • Large firms, mid size, boutiques, solo practitioners
  • In-house attorneys
  • Government attorneys
  • Divide into primary, secondary and, if necessary, tertiary levels
  • Is there substitution, e.g., do it yourself or outsourcing to India
  • List what is available and how it affects your practice
  • Describe how technology is affecting your kind of practice
  • Describe who controls the technologies that affect
  • Describe how you keep up with new technology
  • List all the things that will make it difficult for you to practice in your expertise and locale
  • List the things that will make your exit from you area of expertise or your transition to a different one difficult
  • What can relationships with suppliers do for you
  • Could a supplier become a competitor, e.g.; for articles you write
  • Colleagues and competitors
  • Professional associations
  • Community associations
  • Social and business organizations
  • Current and former clients
  • Former employment colleagues
  • Pro bono colleagues
  • What ways improve your position with clients
  • Does pricing affect
  • What else affects your relationship
  • What kind of follow up do you do after meeting someone who may be a potential client or who can introduce you
  • Writing articles
  • Giving speeches
  • How can you use your other relationships
  • What are the overall costs that affect your hourly, daily or matter rates?
  • Profit margins
  • What do suppliers of your technology, research, information, etc. offer by way of pricing, discounts
  • Are there long term agreements that can be to your advantage/disadvantage
  • Elasticity of demand for the rates you charge
  • If on a regular retainer, are you realizing 100% of your hourly rate, or more/less
  • Identify where the biggest costs of your practice come from
  • Identify fixed and variable costs
  • How to gain economies of scale
  • Identify where you can lower costs
  • Is the profit margin you’re working with the right one for your practice
  • Describe the size of your primary market
  • List the niche markets that can use your expertise
  • Is your kind of practice a growing or shrinking market
  • Identify new growth opportunities in your areas of expertise
  • Economic slowdowns
  • Changing statutes, regulations and decisions
  • Social pressures
  • By product, industry, size, geography
  • Membership lists of trade organizations
  • List of conference attendees
  • By referral of current clients
  • By referral of colleagues, bar association, etc.
  • By referral from competitors with conflicts
  • What untapped market is there
  • What underserved market is there
  • Trade associations made of small companies in the same field
  • Part time general counsel for small companies
  • Trade associations you can join and committees you can volunteer for

4 Describing and Analyzing Your Own Firm

  • It’s not just a law firm.
  • What’s the general history
  • When was it formed and why
  • What is your mission
  • What are your goals
  • What direct experience do you have? Your partners?
  • How relevant is your experience to the current world?
  • How often do you talk to prospective clients
  • What do you current clients feel about you
  • What is the maximum amount of business you can handle yourself without farming it out
  • To whom can you farm
  • Who is your backup when you are too busy, traveling on business, on vacation, sick
  • What is unique about you or your practice
  • Describe the areas you focus on and want to focus on
  • What are the ancillary areas of law that often or usually involved or triggered by your focus area
  • What need does your expertise serve
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of your areas of expertise
  • Identify your own strengths and weaknesses
  • Who are your clients
  • Who among your clients makes the decisions to use your services
  • What stage of business development are your clients in
  • How sophisticated/knowledgeable are your clients
  • Are your clients street smart and/or business savvy
  • Do they use more than one lawyer at a time
  • Long term objectives
  • Short term objectives
  • What problems do you face
  • What problems do your clients face
  • What do you consider milestones
  • What are the legal (statutory, regulatory & case law) trends that will affect it
  • What are the technological trends that will affect it
  • What are the economic trends that will affect it
  • What potential risks and opportunities to be faced?
  • Do you use innovative technology
  • Do you offer superior client care/service
  • Is your hourly, daily, or matter pricing lower than the “norm”
  • Is there a small group of firms or attorneys who offer the same expertise or specialization
  • Are you well known for a book, a speech, an article, news coverage, etc.
  • Are you a trade association or bar association director or active participan
  • Do a SWOT Analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

Strengths & Weaknesses are vis à vis your competitors, rather than your own history Focus on current competition and potential competition

  • Are there advantages to your expertise areas
  • What do you enjoy doing
  • What resources to you have access to
  • What do others see as your strengths
  • What can you improve
  • What don’t you do well
  • What should you avoid
  • Do others perceive a weakness you don’t agree with
  • Are your competitors doing better than you
  • How can you meet a potential client
  • What are the good opportunities – are they new areas, new statutes & regulations, etc.
  • How can changes in technology help you
  • How can changes (or no changes) in government policy affect your area of expertise
  • Are there changes in social patterns or lifestyle that can help
  • What opportunities can open if a weakness is eliminated
  • Family/emotional/physical challenges
  • Technological challenges
  • What is your competition doing you are not
  • How can technological changes threaten you

5 Competitive Analysis and Target Market

  • List law firm/solo practice trends
  • List direct competition
  • List indirect competition
  • Describe the extent of the unserved market for your kind of legal services
  • Who is your client/customer
  • What is your price
  • Profile your primary customer
  • Traits: geographics, demographics, psychograhics
  • List client needs
  • Describe how your fill those needs
  • List primary, secondary and tertiary competitors
  • What services do they offer in addition to yours
  • What do they charge
  • How do competitor firms sell their services
  • What are the competitor strengths
  • What are the competitor weaknesses
  • What size competes with you
  • What other specialties do they offer
  • Who are they representing
  • What is their pricing
  • What are their operational strengths and weaknesses
  • Are they adequately financed
  • How do your competitors advertise or promote themselves
  • What are their conflicts
  • How does your competition market itself
  • Competitive Identification
  • Direct competitor – offers the same benefit
  • Indirect competitor – services the client can get instead of yours
  • Visit and read competitor websites and their advertising, including separate websites by individual partners
  • Subscribe to competitor law firm online or other newsletters
  • Does it use innovative technology
  • Does it offer superior client care/service
  • Is its hourly, daily, or matter pricing lower than the “norm”
  • Are they well known for a book, a speech, an article, news coverage, etc.
  • Are they trade association or bar association directors or active participants

Generate similar info for potential clients to help identify the target that will be most interested in you

A marketing plan must have a detailed description of the target market for your services, an analysis of the trends and conditions of that marketplace and how the trends affect that marketplace

  • Total size of targeted market
  • Historical current and projected growth rates
  • What social, economic &political changes could affect it and your services
  • Describe recent developments in the law that affect your areas of expertise
  • Are there identifiable niches
  • What or will be your clients’ needs and wants
  • How will potential customers find out about you
  • What kind of marketing, if any, are your clients and potential clients receptive to
  • What do existing clients like best about your services
  • Are your target clients consumers, businesses or both
  • Demographics, psychographics, legal service purchasing habits
  • When and how does the client decide to use a lawyer & find a lawyer
  • Does your potential client use the Internet, bar association, trade association, business referral, family referral, friend referral, etc. to find a lawyer
  • What is your client’s level of education and occupation
  • Are they Fortune 1000,500, 100, mid size or smaller
  • Is your client industry specialized and do you know that industry
  • Does the client use more than one lawyer or law firm
  • How long does the client take to decide to use a lawyer
  • Does more than one person at the client make the decisions to use a lawyer, and if so who are they
  • Is the person who decides who is going to provide legal services the one who is going to receive those services
  • What influences your client’s decision to retain a lawyer
  • Is using a lawyer optional, a necessity or a luxury
  • Is a lawyer needed all year round, seasonal or ad hoc
  • How and how well do your clients market themselves

6 Marketing & Strategy

Once you analyze your client needs you can build a comprehensive marketing strategy,

  • What is it you intend to accomplish
  • What is the amount of increase in clients and/or billing that you want to achieve
  • Make each goal measurable and explain each one specifically
  • Set each goal to a planned schedule
  • Be able and prepared to assess all components to revise when necessary
  • Compare these goals to what you believe your competitors’ goals to be
  • Tactical objectives = measurable tasks
  • Create client value
  • Name recognition among your clients and potential clients
  • Client retention
  • Attracting partners or merging into a bigger firm
  • Create a timeline for the objectives or events
  • Determine the time frame for the plan, e.g., every six months, every year, etc.
  • Describe the need for your services from the client’s POV
  • Define the impact on the client of your services
  • Ask whether your clients currently obtain this service more cost-effectively than you can provide it
  • Describe what would compel clients to change from the lawyers they are using to you or to add you to their lawyer rosters
  • E.g., how you will use that list of relationships
  • Marketing Mix – Networking, Advertising, Promotion, PR
  • Inserts in papers
  • Bus, taxi, etc. ads
  • Space in professional and trade publications
  • Street banners
  • New resident welcome kits
  • Trade and trade association show directories and handouts
  • Trade and trade association show sponsorships
  • Coupon mailers
  • Press releases
  • Sponsorship
  • CRM (customer relationship marketing)
  • Cost based = cost plus profit margin
  • Cost plus profit = cost plus fixed percentage markup
  • Market based = use the market norm and add or subtract
  • Ask what the highest price your target market can bear
  • Determine the price elasticity for your kind of legal services
  • Should you offer an introductory rate
  • Age of business
  • Premises/location
  • Competition
  • Cost to acquire a client

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Law Firm Business Plan Template [Updated 2024]


Law Firm Business Plan Template

If you want to start a successful Law Firm or expand your current Law Firm, you need a business plan.

Fortunately, you’re in the right place. Our team has helped develop over 100,000 business plans over the past 20 years, including thousands of law firm business plans.

The following law firm business plan template and example gives you the key elements you must include in your plan. In our experience speaking with lenders and investors, the template is organized in the precise format they want.

You can download our Business Plan Template (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here.

Law Firm Business Plan Example

I. executive summary, business overview.

[Company Name] is a law firm in [insert location here]. The Company primarily focuses on litigation law, but also provides a wide range of legal services as requested by clients. [Company Name]’s legal services range from mergers and acquisitions to product liability, to intellectual property to real estate. Our team of lawyers works with each client to ensure successful outcomes. The Company’s goal is to become one of the leading law firms in the area.

[Company Name] will provide the following legal services to its clients:

  • Arbitration & Mediation
  • Business Formation
  • Business and Commercial Transactions
  • Collections and Credit Matters
  • Commercial Real Estate Law
  • Construction Law
  • Corporate Governance and Compliance
  • Creditor’s Rights
  • Employment Law
  • General Counsel Services
  • Immigration Law
  • Insurance Law
  • Real Estate Consultancy and Advisory Services

Customer Focus

[Company Name] will primarily serve service sector businesses and individual clients within a 20-mile radius of its location. Potential customers in this area include:

  • 1,500 private businesses with annual payroll exceeding $1 million
  • 120,000 individuals

Management Team

[Company Name] is led by [Founder’s name], who has been in the legal industry for [x] years. [Founder’s name] graduated from the University of ABC, where he majored in law. During his apprenticeship in the legal industry, he acquired in-depth skills in practicing law and is well aware of the practices related to the legal industry. Additionally, he worked in a law firm alongside a professional, learning how to manage and run a law firm before starting [Company name].

Success Factors

[Company Name] is qualified to succeed due to the following reasons:

  • There is currently a high demand for legal services within the community. In addition, the company surveyed the local population and received highly positive feedback pointing towards an explicit demand for the services, supporting the business after launch.
  • The Company’s location is in a high-volume traffic area and will thus be highly convenient for a significant number of people visiting nearby.
  • The management team has a track record of success in the legal business.
  • The upscale legal business is a proven business and has succeeded in communities throughout the United States.
  • Market trends such as high disposable income and spending power are propelling the demand for legal services.

Financial Highlights

[Company Name] is currently seeking $170,000 to launch its law firm. Specifically, these funds will be used as follows:

  • Office design/build: $60,000
  • Working capital: $110,000 to pay for marketing, salaries, and lease costs until [Company Name] reaches break-even

II. Company Overview

Who is [company name].

[Company Name], located in [insert location here], is a new, upscale law firm that provides a wide range of legal services to both individual and business clients. The Company has built an impressive reputation for providing superior legal advocacy and delivering consistently exceptional results to the area’s companies, businesses, and professionals. As a solution-oriented law firm, the Company makes it their primary objective to support, guide, and protect their clients.

[Company Name]’s History

[Founder’s Name] is an entrepreneur who has worked extensively with law firms & lawyers to enhance his business development skills on a personal and commercial level. He has restructured the firm to keep pace with the legal developments in the regional and international community by creating ethical, legal practices with a highly qualified legal team focusing on providing comprehensive, professional, and creative legal solutions to fully meet the confidence and expectations of the clients locally and internationally.

Upon surveying the local customer base and finding the potential retail location, [Founder’s Name] incorporated [Company Name] as an S-Corporation on [date of incorporation].

[Founder’s Name] has selected an initial location and is currently undergoing due diligence on each property and the local market to assess the most desirable location for the Law Firm.

Since incorporation, the company has achieved the following milestones:

  • Found office space and signed Letter of Intent to lease it
  • Developed the company’s name, logo, and website
  • Created the list of services to be offered
  • Determined equipment and inventory requirements
  • Began recruiting key employees with experience in the legal industry

[Company Name]’s Products/Services

[Company Name] will provide a variety of legal services ranging from mergers and acquisitions to product liability, from intellectual property to real estate. The Company’s services are listed below:

III. Industry Analysis

The market size of the law firm industry in the U.S. is expected to increase 5.3% to reach $330 billion. The law firm industry in the US is the 2nd ranked professional services industry by market size in the US.

Growth in the historic period resulted from strong economic growth in emerging markets, increased mergers and acquisitions (M&A), a rise in consumer spending/increase in disposable income, and deregulation of the legal industry. Moreover, increasing demand for transactional practice areas, the growing legal tech industry, and globalization will drive the growth.

The increasing number of transactional practices in the upcoming period is expected to drive the legal services market. Transactional practice includes research, preparations, and review of documents for individuals and companies for corporate, tax, and real estate work and mergers and acquisitions.

IV. Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market.

[Company Name] will provide its services to businesses within a 20-mile radius of its location.

Customer Segmentation

The Company will primarily target the following customer segments:

  • Individuals: [Company name] will target individuals who require assistance in terms of legal processes.
  • Businesses: The Company will provide its services to businesses within a variety of sectors that require legal consulting services in [Location].

V. Competitive Analysis

Direct & indirect competitors.

Gold Law Partners In business for 15 years, Gold Law Partners is a leading full service/multi-disciplinary law firm offering transactional, regulatory, advisory, dispute resolution services. With its principal offices in Washington and New York, the firm advises a diverse clientele, including domestic and international companies, banks and financial institutions, funds, promoter groups, and public sector undertakings.

The Company was set up with a desire to bring client service into sharper focus, to provide commercially viable legal advice and committed legal representation to the clients across all sectors. The firm has successfully been able to establish its identity outside its origins, dealing with significant depth in complex domestic and international matters.

Premiere Legal Premiere Legal is an international full-service legal practice that serves the needs of many of the largest multinational corporations. The company aims to combine the highest international standards with local expertise so it can provide seamless assistance to the top corporations in their most important and challenging assignments. Through the network, the company offers a full range of commercial legal services, combined with an in-depth knowledge of local practices, in a total of 18 countries in four continents, including some of the most challenging and fast-growing emerging markets.

R&R Legal R&R Legal is a growing consortium of local law firms, providing a consistent standard of outstanding legal expertise and a considerate, personal service to clients throughout the US. Whenever required, the company will suggest input obtained from specialist barristers and other suitably qualified third-party advisors. The company has good relationships with many accountants, barristers, estate agents, bankers, surveyors, and other professionals, both locally and further afield. This adds depth to the service the company would provide when support and collaboration are needed.

Competitive Advantage

[Company Name] enjoys several advantages over its competitors. These advantages include:

  • Management: The Company’s management team has xx years of business, legal consulting, and marketing experience that allows them to market and serve customers in an improved and sophisticated manner than the competitors.
  • Relationships: Having lived in the community for xx years, [Founder’s Name] knows all of the local leaders, newspapers, and other influencers. As such, it will be relatively easy for [Company Name] to build brand awareness and an initial customer base.
  • Great service at an affordable price: The wide range of legal consulting services offered by [Company Name] nearly equals the most prestigious positioned competitor, [Competitor Name]. However, [Company Name] will offer its services at a much more affordable price.
  • Personal Service: The Company will tailor its service to the client’s requirements. Individuals can choose the way they wish to communicate with us either by email, phone, or fax, and the company will work closely with you to achieve the best result for individuals or the business.

VI. Marketing Plan

The [company name] brand.

[Company name] seeks to position itself as a renowned, upper-middle-market competitor in the law firm industry. Customers can expect to receive effective and efficient legal consulting services.

The [Company Name] brand will focus on the company’s unique value proposition:

  • Expert Management Team
  • Industry Relationships
  • Great Services at an affordable price
  • Providing excellent customer service

Promotions Strategy

[Company Name] expects its target market to be residents and service sector businesses within a 50-mile radius of the [location]. The Company’s promotions strategy to reach the audience includes:

Website The Company will create a professional website for domestic and international business prospects, which will provide easy access to essential information about the company offerings, contact details, and other information. The website will be updated and optimized to enhance the company’s online presence.

Advertisement Advertisements in print publications like newspapers, magazines, etc., are an excellent way for businesses to connect with their audience. The Company will advertise its offerings in popular magazines and news dailies. Obtaining relevant placements in industry magazines and journals will also help in increasing brand visibility.

Public Relations [Company Name] will hire an experienced PR agency/professional(s) to formulate a compelling PR campaign to boost its brand visibility among the target audience. It will look to garner stories about the company and its offerings in various media outlets like newspapers, podcasts, television stations, radio shows, etc.

Social Media Marketing Social media is one of the most cost-effective and practical marketing methods for improving brand visibility. The Company will use social media to develop engaging content in terms of different jewelry designs and post customer reviews that will increase audience awareness and loyalty. Engaging with prospective clients and business partners on social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn will also help understand changing customer needs.

Word of Mouth Marketing [Company name] will encourage word-of-mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clients. The Company will use recommendations and word-of-mouth marketing to grow the customer base through the network of its existing customers. The Company will be incentivizing its existing customer base to encourage their friends to come and try their service for the first time.

Pricing Strategy

[Company Name]’s pricing will be moderate, so customers feel they receive great value when availing of the services they are paying for. The customer can expect to receive effective and efficient legal services at a far more affordable price than what they pay at an already well-established law firm.

VII. Operations Plan

Functional roles.

To execute on [Company Name]’s business model, the company needs to perform several functions, including the following:

Administrative and Service Functions

  • Legal Aides
  • General & administrative functions including legal, marketing, bookkeeping, etc.
  • Executive Assistant
  • Human Resources

VIII. Management Team

Management team members.

[Company Name] is led by [Founder’s Name], who has been in the legal consulting industry for xx years. While [Founder] has never operated a legal firm himself, he has worked extensively with domestic and international clients for different projects. [Founder’s name] graduated from the University of ABC, where he majored in law. During his apprenticeship in the legal industry, he acquired in-depth skills in practicing law and is well aware of the practices related to the legal industry.

Additionally, he worked in a law firm alongside a professional, learning how to manage and run a law firm before starting [Company name].

Hiring Plan

[Founder] will serve as the CEO. To launch the law firm, the company will need to hire the following personnel:

  • Lawyers [Number]
  • Legal Consultants [Number]
  • Marketing & Sales Executive [Number]

IX. Financial Plan

Revenue and cost drivers.

[Company Name]’s revenues will come from the legal services offered to its customers. The major costs for the company will be salaries of the staff, rewarding them for performance and making specialists will be an active part in business retention and development. In the initial years, the company’s marketing spend will be high, as it establishes itself in the market. Moreover, rent for the prime location is also one of the notable cost drivers for the [Company Name].

Capital Requirements and Use of Funds

Key assumptions.

  5 Year Annual Income Statement

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Business Planning for Practice Groups

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Business Planning for Practice Groups

  • the practice's strengths and weaknesses
  • those areas which are highly developed
  • what areas are missing
  • which areas are provided by other firms and therefore cause price competition
  • the type of expertise missing among associates
  • any age or experience gaps that may hurt the group's ability to service clients in the future
  • how the group will gain required expertise in the future
  • retirement of key members
  • the changes or additions required in the professional staffing
  • a major business generator within the practice;
  • an egotistical partner who needed a “title” to differentiate himself or herself;
  • an under-productive partner who had time and interest in management (but not necessarily the skills or credibility to manage); or
  • a partner with a genuine interest in marketing and business development.
  • Overall leadership and direction for the group, including strategic planning
  • Work acceptance, workload management and lawyer utilization
  • Quality control
  • Training and professional development
  • Forms, systems and procedures
  • Financial management
  • Knowledge management, and
  • Business development.
  • Credibility – Credibility is an absolute necessity for any leadership position. It is especially needed in a firm where practice management is a relatively new concept. This is why taking an under-productive partner and making him or her a PGL fails so miserably. The PGL must command respect, at least in terms of practice expertise, experience and integrity. It is preferable that the PGL also have credible leadership abilities, though the truth is that in some firms, the culture has been so individualistic (and autonomous) that there have been few ways to develop or demonstrate these capabilities. He or she should have vision for the practice and a track record as someone who follows through on his or her commitments.
  • Integrity – The PGL should be perceived as fair and willing to put the practice's interest above his or her personal practice. There will be occasions where the PGL must take action to promote the good of the practice, which may not achieve equal benefits for all of the individuals within the practice. At times such as this, the success of the PGL will hinge on his or her ability to engender trust. Group members will be more willing to take risks if they trust the PGL. This includes feeling encouraged to try new things and supported in failure. A PGL with these qualities will also engender loyalty.
  • Organizational skills – This is essential since most PGLs also maintain a significant billable practice. The PGL job is a big one and could easily be full-time, but most firms are not ready to allow an attorney who is usually one of their busiest, most valuable producers to devote so much time. The PGL is both a coordinator in the establishment of an effective practice infrastructure and a director of resources. As a coordinator, the PGL must delegate practice management functions and legal work effectively. As a director of resources, the PGL must ensure that all lawyers and paralegals receive appropriate supervision and feedback in a timely manner, monitor workloads and allocate work appropriately based on expertise, experience and individual personal goals. The PGL should also oversee the development and maintenance of a know-how system for the group's practice. There are a few successful PGLs with weak organizational skills, but they typically have a vice chair or deputy leader of the group or a high-level administrative manager who assists in these essential functions.
  • Ability to build teams – While an understanding of organizational behavior (and a psychology degree) would be useful, it is unrealistic to expect this background or training to be part of the arsenal for most lawyers. Nonetheless, it is still critical that the PGL be able to develop a strong sense of teamwork within the group, though this can run counter to the individualistic and autonomous culture in some firms. Being effective in building teams will help the PGL create a sense of shared ownership and de-emphasizes dominant individual behaviors. To build teams and a sense of shared leadership, it is helpful if the PGL can assess the skills (legal, business, marketing, management and more) of people in the practice group. A good PGL will seek out opportunities to give responsibility and a credit to his or her team. An effective PGL challenges group members to reach new heights by creating environments for them to develop new skill sets and achieve goals. The PGL must be able to reach across offices to pull teams together.
  • Flexibility – While it is important that the PGL be a decisive leader (avoiding groupthink and decision-making paralysis), the PGL should also be receptive to new ideas and ways of doing things.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills – Without effective communication skills, it is difficult, if not impossible, to create an effective team environment in the practice group. If practice group members feel slighted about the exchange of information within the group, it can be de-motivating. The PGL should have strong interpersonal skills, be a good listener and have the ability to relate to group members. The PGL should express appreciation freely and acknowledge the successes of group members. The most effective PGLs are regularly in touch with their group members in a “walk the hall” kind of management approach, even if that means regular travel to visit other offices where the group has members. The PGL should also regularly communicate practice group successes outside the group through interaction with firm management and other group and office leaders. It is the PGL's responsibility to lead the internal “sales” effort for the practice. The PGL must also have a backbone—and not shy away from confrontation when necessary. By protecting the group and its members where appropriate, the PGL will engender trust and loyalty.
  • Ability to motivate – The PGL should be able to inspire group members to take on new challenges, push the boundaries of individual comfort zones and achieve new pinnacles of success. He or she needs to create a healthy camaraderie and friendly competition that makes undertaking these challenges exciting. The PGL must be able to coach and help group members create new opportunities for themselves.
  • Commitment – Assuming the compensation system rewards PGLs for doing their job, the PGL should have the inclination and willingness to spend time managing the practice (at least 400+ hours per year for small groups and sometimes as much as 1000 hours for large groups or those facing very complex issues). He or she must possess a selflessness and willingness to put the group above his or her personal practice.
  • Business acumen – The PGL must be able to understand the economics of the practice. He or she will work with firm management to establish economic goals for the practice group and supervises the practice P&L. The PGL is also responsible for making recommendations to firm management regarding billing rates, pricing strategies, profit margins and client intake issues. To be successful, any PGL must create a leadership team within the practice in which he or she shares particular aspects of practice management with other talented people, particularly those with other strengths.

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Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

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You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives

Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

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Business Development Planning for Law Firms

Business Development Planning for Law Firms

Law school does little to prepare you for the BUSINESS of law. It is essential for you to understand the fundamental components of developing a business plan for your law firm. It won't require an MBA or intensive business acumen; we've created a quick guide to help you get started on a business development plan for lawyers.

Why Should My Law Firm Have a Business Development Plan?

A business development plan will establish a foundation for your law firm's growth and sustained success. It creates a framework so you can not only focus on the future of your firm, but also look back and evaluate what the firm has already accomplished (or hasn’t).

The most successful law firms devote quality time to planning for business development. Preparing your law firm business plan should involve as many lawyers, and employees, as possible. You will want insight from different points of view, and everyone in the firm will have a critical role in its implementation.

If you are a solo practitioner, you can bounce ideas off your colleagues – or reach out to networking groups for mentorship on how like-minded attorneys have developed their business plans.

Business Plan Objectives

The first step is to identify the overall objectives of all partners and stakeholders in the firm. Ensuring everyone is on the same page with how they see the future of the law firm makes for a more straightforward process when writing the business plan.

Examples of objectives or goals partners and stakeholders may have:

  • Growth, whether that be business, personal, or other areas.
  • Serve well, efficiently, economically, and thoroughly.
  • Identify and market strengths or unique services.
  • Increase the firm’s exposure in the marketplace.
  • Enhance the firm’s reputation in the community.
  • Develop and maintain relations with potential referrals.
  • Continue with pro bono and civic work.

Take time to thoughtfully determine your firms’ objectives and goals and refer back to them as you write your law firm business development plan. You can use this guide to help jumpstart your law firm business plan: 

Jumpstart your law firm business plan

The Law Firm Business Plan

At this point, be sure you have dedicated a time table for writing the business plan. The initial time it takes to write a business plan can vary anywhere from a few weeks to a year. However, once implemented, revisit and reassess the plan about once a year.

A law firm business plan is usually structured into five categories:

  • This section provides an overview of your firm. While the executive summary always comes at the beginning of a business plan, most find it easiest to write this section last after all the other pieces are complete.
  • Law firm or partner overviews
  • Value proposition (specialty, tenure, community engagement, etc.)
  • Target market
  • Business objectives
  • Keep this portion clear and concise; many executive summaries can serve as a "cover letter" for your law firm. There's no need to get into anything granular; just include the highlights. You'll be able to go into detail in subsequent sections of the business plan.
  • In this section, you will write a detailed description of your firm, the services you offer, and the areas of practice you work in.
  • leases and equipment,
  • types of software you use,
  • professional liability insurance ,
  • protection against cyberthreats , etc.
  • The market analysis section provides a detailed look at the local business environment, specifically in your practice areas.
  • It's very easy to say that your target market is "everyone," however, this will prove to be an inefficient use of your time. The best law firm business plans understand their ideal clients and cater specifically to them.
  • This section will explain your strategy for reaching your target market.
  • What does your law firm offer that competitors do not?
  • What are your ideal client's needs and wants?
  • Why should a client choose you over someone else?
  • How will clients find you?
  • Marketing strategy can also include pricing, promotional efforts such as advertising, public relations, or social media content creation.
  • This section should contain a forecasted outlook of the next one to five years of your law firm.
  • Balance Sheet
  • You can break up your financial plan into monthly, quarterly, or annual segments. This will allow you to have metrics that you can then use to adjust strategy or efforts accordingly.

Creating a law office business plan can be a laborious exercise. Our suggestion is to think about your firm's attorneys and management team and delegate specific people to specific sections. Finally, come together to fine-tune and collaborate on the Executive Summary.

Use Your Law Firm Business Plan

Not only will your law firm business plan help you gain a clear understanding of how you will run your firm, but it will also provide a valuable tool to share your vision with stakeholders AND clients. Don’t let your business plan collect dust on a shelf – personally contact prospective client’s and send them your plan as part of new business marketing. Let them see what your practice is all about.

If you'd like more information on creating a business plan for law firms, we've created a free template and guide you can download to get started.

  • ">Cyber Insurance
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law firm practice group business plan template

Cyber Liability Self-Assessment

Smart businesses confidently endure cyberattacks because they quantified their risk and planned for it.

  • Lost productivity
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  • Loss of current and future revenue
  • Reputation damage

law firm practice group business plan template

Business Plan Guide for Growing Law Firms

“Law school teaches you about the law, but it doesn't teach you how to run a law practice.”  - Austin, TX-based attorney

So, we put together a guide to help you grow your law firm.

Practice Group Business Plan

The goal of a Practice Group Business Plan is to align practice group leaders on a vision for how to grow and build out their practice area, and then create a process to execute that vision. This template aims to help practice groups focus on key clients, identify their best growth opportunities, and target their best-fit, highest-value prospective clients.

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