Starting a law firm can be daunting. Checklists and Mind Maps and planning resources outline the tasks involved, but the minutia can overwhelm. For some, the planning process gives rise to analysis-paralysis, as the quest for a perfect launch delays launching at all. And for those who come to solo practice as a last resort, putting to paper income projections (a big fat zero) merely heightens feelings of hopelessness.
Believe it or not, the details of starting a practice – where you’ll locate and the corporate form you’ll adopt and even where you’ll find clients – don’t matter, at least at the outset. What’s most important is (1) your vision of what you want to accomplish and why you even want to practice law, and (2) identifying a few tangible baby steps to start you on your way, and jolt you out of either malaise or the endless cycle of tail-chasing, start-up activity.
To help you focus on what matters, I’ve created the MyShingle.com “Back of the Napkin Business Plan.” The plan distills these tasks into a half-sheet of paper and offers up a couple of inspiring quotes to keep you motivated. Print it out and take to the beach or on a quiet hike – or scribble up your own back of the napkin, using these somewhat more sophisticated tools courtesy of this terrific website, TheBackoftheNapkin.com. Because once you settle on why practicing law matters and what you you want to create, the rest of details will fall into place, more easily than you ever could imagine.