Learning about the potential benefits and challenges of running your own law firm can better equip you to make an informed decision as to whether or not the path is right for you. To assist our readers in making this decision we’ve turned to the work of Juan Monteverde. The securities attorney runs his own firm, Monteverde & Associates, which focuses its work on protecting shareholder rights. Below you’ll find information on starting your own firm as well as examples pulled from the work of the attorney himself.
Perhaps the first thing to be aware of when considering whether or not to start your own law firm is that such an undertaking is a combination of a business venture and the practice of law. For some attorneys, that may not be a desirable combination. If you’re really interested in the practice of law but have little to no experience in running your own business, it’s worth asking yourself if you’re equipped to undertake the business side of such a venture. If you don’t already have the expertise, then starting your own law practice may present a host of challenges that you’ll need to overcome in order to be successful. Being honest about your abilities in the area of business can go a long way here.
Of course, even if you don’t currently have much expertise in the field of business, there are many ways to help build your skills in this area. If you’re a practicing attorney who’s considering starting your own law firm, it may be worthwhile to look into an educational resource on the business aspects of the venture. There are plenty of resources out there on this topic, such as formal courses, books, and related materials. This is one of the reasons that being honest with yourself about your abilities upfront can be so important — it can help you know what areas you may want to improve upon.
Developing leadership skills
Starting your own law firm likely means you’ll have staff members or other individuals that you’ll want to direct at times. These people can help you carry out the numerous functions of running your own firm, but they’ll also likely look to you for guidance on how to best serve your needs. Providing this guidance can be daunting if you don’t have much experience in acting as a leader in the workplace or other areas of life. Taking on additional responsibilities in your current work can be one way to help you bolster your skills in this area. By doing this before you start your own firm, you can help to better equip yourself for a more seamless transition into a leadership role when it’s needed.
The work of Juan Monteverde provides a great example of this and can further underscore the benefit of taking on leadership roles in advance of starting your own firm. After building a solid foundation of professional expertise through education and early positions as an associate, the attorney was able to move into a leadership role at a firm at which he worked. That role saw him heading up a team of attorneys and staff members to work on a large number of legal actions at once. Through this role, he was able to develop his ability to lead others and coordinate teams with many different members and moving parts. The set of skills would prove invaluable when he eventually made the move to start his own firm.
One hallmark of a good leader can be their ability to delegate work. While it can be important to develop your business acumen in advance of starting your own business, it’s also fine to acknowledge that the focus of your work is still the practice of law. After all, a practicing attorney typically spends years of their life honing their expertise in law and but relatively few tend to devote the same amount of time and energy to the field of business. With that in mind, though it can still be important to have familiarity in business, it can be fine to look for opportunities to delegate this work to business professionals.
This can manifest in a number of ways but it can be as simple as hiring or contracting individuals who are already skilled in providing business administration services to law firms. These individuals may have a greater ability to know what forms or documents need to be filled out to keep your firm up and running. They may also be familiar with important regulations and other guidelines for a law firm in your jurisdiction.
Benefits of work
While much of our focus so far has been on properly preparing for the challenges that may present when starting a law firm, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also touch on the potential benefits of running your own firm. These benefits, ultimately, can be one of the main reasons an attorney chooses to start a firm in the first place.
One of the main benefits of starting your own firm, which we can see in the work of the securities attorney, is the ability to devote yourself wholly to your particular area of legal expertise. The attorney’s law firm is concentrated on protecting shareholder rights, which relates to the attorney’s focus in his professional life on the world of the stock market and practicing law to protect his clients’ interests. This targeted approach to crafting a law career can sometimes be more feasible when starting your own firm, rather than going to work at another firm that may not be as good of a fit.
Starting your own law firm can be a very rewarding endeavor, though it can also be difficult to carry out successfully. Because of that difficulty, it can be helpful to look to the example set by others who have succeeded in this work in order to learn from their accomplishments. The information highlighted above, along with the work of Juan Monteverde, can be a helpful resource if you’re thinking about embarking on the journey of starting your own firm. Consider using this information to help inform your decision as to how to move forward with your career in law.