Not many feelings rival those I felt when I graduated from law school and passed the bar exam. The same applies to the weight of impending doom most bar exam takers feel while awaiting the results. For me at least, added to this smorgasbord was the feeling of dread that haunted me when the nights were cold and I contemplated my plans for the future. “Even when I do pass the bar exam and become a fully-licensed attorney, I have absolutely no clue how to actually run a successful business all by myself,” I thought to myself as I erupted from a stress dream on my couch, “and on top of that, the height of a global pandemic isn’t exactly the time to be taking such grandiose risks.”
You see, I have cherished and nurtured the idea of running my own law practice ever since laying my eyes on law school long ago. Even as I write this today I yearn for that future to become a reality. But at the same time, I was extremely concerned about the feasibility of hanging my own shingle as a newly christened lawyer.
Working at ONE400, a digital advertising company for lawyers, has made me realize that hanging my own shingle is well within my reach. The lessons I’ve learned and continue to learn are the lessons I’ll apply to manage and grow my own law practice soon enough.
Law school was great for many reasons–it was also a nightmare sometimes for many reasons. It prepared my mind to think like a lawyer and strengthened my resolve beyond what I thought possible of myself before enrolling. It also imparted me with a metric-ton of information. I spent four hard years working and learning every conceivable complication that could arise from a property transaction, personal injury case, breach of contract, failed train robbery… you name it.
I lived and breathed the facts of each and every obscure exhausting case thrown at me as a law student. But the funny thing is that even though I had cut my teeth working at a number of law firms while attending law school, and even though I am now a fully qualified lawyer in the great State of Texas, I initially felt exceptionally underprepared to begin my solo practice journey. Despite all I had been through, all I had conquered, I felt like an imposter.
One aspect of legal marketing is law firm branding. This process not only helps you identify who you are as a lawyer but who you want to be as a lawyer. I no longer need to feel like an imposter; I feel more prepared for a solo practice now.
To even take the first steps towards accomplishing my desire to open my own solo practice, I took inventory of what I know versus what I don’t know versus what I need to know. I then set my eyes on a more realistic goal: learning the skills necessary to run a thriving legal practice. A thriving legal practice, however, isn’t just about knowing the law. Law marketing is critical.
Legal marketing helps you to define your law practice, identify the target audience, create a business development plan, and, essentially, operate and grow your solo practice or law firm.
An old mentor of mine once told me that if you want to become an expert, you need to learn from the experts. Enter ONE400 into the fray.
I had actually come across ONE400 several years ago during law school while making plans to establish my own firm. I was thoroughly impressed with what they were doing as marketing innovators in the legal profession. Then one day shortly after passing the bar exam it dawned on me to look up their website again. I remembered my teachings: if I wanted to market myself as an expert attorney, I needed to learn how to do so from the expert consultants who exclusively work within the legal industry.
They say that perfect opportunities don’t fall out of the sky, but, as if a celestial dove had descended from the sky, I found that ONE400 was hiring an attorney to step into a business development role at the company. I interviewed, met the management team, got the job, and readied myself to soak up as much as I could from the experts.
My time here has been invaluable to me. Among the many things I’ve learned during my tenure, I learned that while expertise is needed, it can be taught–as ONE400 taught me. Confidence, empathy, and a friendly smile are chief when it comes to strategizing and selling.
Make no mistake, you’re always selling. Every conversation, every zoom call that you’re a fly on the wall for, every time you’re at the coffee shop, someone is watching you and making a judgment call right then and there about whether or not to hire you.
The big lesson I learned at One400 is the importance of a legal website: it can build your credibility and authority in the legal industry both online and offline. But the website has to be done right. Just like at the coffee shop, you as the lawyer are being judged based on what your website does/says/performs (or what it doesn’t do/say/perform).
If you are judged as credible, trust will follow. Then: the phone calls and emails to set up a consultation will start coming in.
Working at ONE400 has brought me in contact with other lawyers who waited before contacting us. The common sentiment is this: they wish they hadn’t waited to schedule a law business consultation.
So, to all you new lawyers like me, if you ever have the opportunity to learn from the experts here at ONE400, take it. ONE400 has converted my desire for a solo practice in the future into a reality today. Take it from me, the lessons you learn will help you grow your law practice, making the future bright for you as well.
So, don’t wait hoping things will turn around for your solo practice, contact ONE400 today.