One of the few paths to legal-life balance, it’s no surprise that legal micropractices are becoming a popular career option.
Rejecting the traditional hierarchical big firm model, micropractices are sole operators or small boutique firms which only employ lawyers, with none of the usual admin or financial support personnel.
Enabled by societal shifts, digital technology, and the increasing willingness of clients to try niche firms, micropractices can provide the freedom to become a specialist in your area of interest and have full control over your work-home lifestyle. It’s a totally flexible and empowering way of working with minimal overheads and the ability to run a practice from anywhere, using digital management and finance systems to organise and simplify matters.
While there are many positives, establishing your own micropractice doesn’t necessarily mean working fewer hours, especially during start up. As a sole operator you’re running a business as well as practicing law, so setting up efficient scalable systems are essential to streamline and minimise the admin time that takes you away from clients.
So what are the secrets to running a successful micropractice and achieving the legal-life balance you’re looking for? We’ve come up with a few tips that will put you on the road to success.
Thinking about it?
There’s a few important steps you should consider before rushing into your own practice.
Build your personal profile
- Have solid experience from at least a few years at a big firm to hone your legal skills and confidence
- Build a reputation and personal brand in your area of interest
Build and retain personal and professional communities
- Establish a network of like-minded professionals – contract staff, lawyers, paralegals who you can call on for a big job or collegial support
- Tap into existing business networks and support communities e.g. forums for other working lawyer mums, small business groups
- Develop relationships with professionals in complementary niches
Setting up a micropractice
So once you’re feeling confident you have enough experience and a strong network to draw upon, how do you set up to avoid future headaches?
Take advantage of digital practice technology
- Work smarter with a digital tool that simplifies your matters, so you can get on with practicing law.
- mattero is legal management software perfect for legal practices of all types. This innovative platform streamlines your legal work, saving you time and effort, capturing client information, time, expenses and tasks so you can access everything all in one place.
Automate and integrate
- Use accounting software to reduce admin time. mattero links seamlessly to Xero, one of the world’s most popular accounting platforms, so you can invoice faster, converting fees and expenses into invoices in just one simple click. With the Xero app you can reconcile, send invoices, and view reports from anywhere, anytime.
- Ensure your email program links to your legal management software so all your correspondence is integrated into matter management. mattero connects to Outlook to easily consolidate all your documents and emails.
- Most of your business comes from referral, so relationships are essential. Make time to nurture these and provide authentic personal connections.
It certainly seems boutique micropractices will continue to grow as clients seek more flexibility and specialised niche service. If you’re looking for professional autonomy, personal fulfilment and more legal-life balance, a micropractice could just be a good career move.