Top Tips For Women Looking To Start Their Own Legal Business
For centuries, the legal field was dominated by men. In fact, it wasn’t until 1869 that the US had its first female Lawyer, Arabella Mansfield, admitted to the bar. Following her appointment were decades of campaigns and policy changes that helped pave the way for future legal professionals.
However, despite significant changes occurring during this time, there still appears to be some gender-based discrepancies in the field that must be removed. For example, a 2020 study by the American Bar Foundation found that the percentage of working female lawyers has risen from 32% to 37% over the past ten years. While the figure is on the rise, it’s clear the legal profession must still undergo some rapid changes to permanently shatter that infamous glass ceiling.
One way in which these issues can be tackled is relatively simple. More women need to stand at the head of law firms, championing their own work instead of that of their male counterparts. With that in mind, here are some top tips for women looking to start their own legal business.
Learn to back yourself. Running your own law firm will not come without its challenges, and as a result, self-confidence is key. In order to encourage other people to believe in you – from partners to clients- you need to first believe in yourself and know that you have what it takes to succeed. While this confidence can be difficult to acquire, it will make it near impossible for people to doubt you or for their doubts to take hold within your own mind. When times get tough, remember how far you have already come. You’ve got this.
Do your homework. Before launching any business, entrepreneurs must do their research to ensure that they put their best foot forward. Therefore, it’s important that you do your homework ahead of launching your own legal business. For example, while you may already have several legal qualifications under your belt – you should also ensure you know everything there is to know about running a business. For example, you should familiarise yourself with the biggest challenges law firms face so that you know how to deal with them ahead of time.
Focus on what you are good at. If you want your law firm to succeed, you need to ensure that the services you offer align with your interests, passions, and skillset. For example, you should begin your journey by focusing on providing a very specific service to your clients. For example, you may choose to focus on employment law, further tackling gender bias in the workplace. Alternatively, you might want to support people through the divorce process. Either way, by focusing on what you are good at and what you know best, you can help carve out a name for yourself – and your law firm.
Know how to market your brand. All companies need a good marketing strategy behind them if they want to succeed. While word of mouth and referrals will go a long way in establishing credibility, it will be hard to grow your client base from this alone. However, there are plenty of ways to market your brand yourself without bringing in an external provider. For example, you can market your company through social media- developing a strong online presence that will draw in new clients. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to utilize the fact that this is a woman-owned business – as this is something that many female clients would love to hear.