Clients Hiding in Plain Sight: Find the Lawyers Who Work Solo

2nd Oct 2014

She chose to go solo, and it worked. Now she needs help moving from high income to HNW.

She chose to go solo, and it worked. Now she needs help moving from high income to HNW.

The Great Recession had a huge impact on the legal profession. The traditional career paths up through big law firms dried up, and a number of law firms closed. And clients started taking a closer look at all the billed hours, which has led to price pressure.

This favors the small 1-5 person law firms who can offer lower billable hours, and many more lawyers are taking the solo practitioner career route.

Solo Practices offer an FA prospecting opportunity.

You may find a profitable segment of potential clients among lawyers who have opened their own firms. This young lawyer, reports making more money after just two years than he would have as a young associate (and associates start well above $100,000 annually, so he is already a high-potential client!)

  • Once they get their loans paid off (which takes planning that you can provide), they will quickly have to have a plan in place to start converting a steady portion of their income into wealth, as they will have no pensions or partnership ‘shares’ to rely on in retirement.
  • Plus, solo practitioners who are already established will need better guidance on just how to exit their business (see this post about that, or this one.)

Your counsel can be of great value to these independent lawyers in converting income to wealth, and setting themselves up to properly handle extracting wealth from the practice when they choose to exit.

  • They may also be looking for ways to take care of the small team of paraglegals and administrators who may have been working for the lawyer for years. (Hint: Setting up a micro-business defined benefit pension program can address that problem.)

Critically, as you know, independent lawyers also know a lot of other self-employed lawyers, because they rely on each other for business. A lawyer client of ours stated it pretty clearly:

“I refer business to other lawyers who specialize in areas of the law that I don’t. And they have me on their short lists for referrals in my specialties. We have a strong network of mutual support.”

If you can tap into a network of independent lawyers, you may find you become a specialist, too: In handling the particular financial planning needs of a large group of self-employed, high-income (HISE) lawyers!

Putting a target list of 100 local independent lawyers should not be more than a few hours’ work online, and working your current client list to connect to sole practitioner lawyers they may know.

What do you think? Have you explored lawyers in solo practice as a source of clients? What were the challenges? What approaches worked best? Did you find it easy to use your network to connect with them?  How did you turn your first lawyer client into several?

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