A Guide to Opening Multiple Law Firm Locations

Choosing to expand a growing law firm is an exciting but challenging undertaking. Every business owners’ dream is to see their business grow and succeed, and with that, they may be faced with opening multiple locations. With the right strategy, entering a new market can open the doors to new heights and maximize the potential for any law firm.

Let’s delve into key considerations, from assessing readiness level to navigating legalities and establishing a strong presence in a new market.

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Evaluating Readiness

Assessing Your Firm’s Strength

Likely the most important prerequisite when considering expansion is to determine its financial viability. Take a look at the overall financial picture of your firm and ask yourself these questions:

  • Will opening a new location raise my profits?
  • What is the cost of expansion, can I afford it?
  • Does expansion line up with my business’ goals?
  • How will my current operation support the expansion process?

Your firm’s management structure must also be considered when thinking about expansion. It was good enough to get you to this point, but think about what improvements can be made and how the same structure’s dynamic may change with an additional location.

Gauging Client Demand

Researching your future market is crucial for successful expansion. Take into account the overall size of the market you’ll be expanding to. Look at existing competitors, is there a gap in legal needs that is not currently being served? Can your firm serve that gap? When entering a market with a ton of competitors in your field, how will you stand out from the crowd? Are you ready to match the marketing funds that other successful firms have implemented?  Be sure that there is plenty of growth potential for your new firm to flourish.

A good example of this strategy was done by the personal injury attorneys at Bridgford Law. With a speciality in handling fire litigation, their offices covering California and Hawaii took advantage of a gap in the market. Their strategic offices poised them to become a key partner for cases such as the Coastal Fire and Maui Fires.

Building Your New Team

Staffing your new office requires careful planning and selection. Here’s what to consider:

Recruiting Talent

It’s not always feasible to stretch your team of partners out to a new location. Just like the firm itself, your pool of talent must grow too. Develop a strategy to attract qualified attorneys and support staff that’s familiar with the local legal system. If expanding to a new state, this can be especially challenging as licensing requirements and legal knowledge will differ. Hiring someone accustomed to the target market will always be easier than training and accrediting existing staff for a new location.

Building Culture

Develop a plan to integrate the new branch of the team into the firm’s existing culture and maintain a cohesive identity across locations. Higher levels will have to work together to establish and maintain this identity across the firm to make sure there is buy-in from top to bottom of the management structure.

Law firm
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Creating a Seamless Client Experience

With multiple locations, it can be challenging to maintain the same quality of service delivery for your clients. However, putting in the work to provide a consistent and positive client experience is crucial for success across the board.

Leverage Technology

Invest in communication tools to facilitate open collaboration between offices. This may be less important for those operating in different states, but an open communication structure can still provide plenty of value to a business. Additionally, make sure your customer relationship management software (CRM) is capable of taking on more clients and more locations.

Standardize Practices

Consider developing standardized procedures for case management, client communication, and billing to guarantee consistency across your operations. This will ensure that a client’s interaction experience with your business will remain the same from location to location.

Take Your Law Firm to New Heights

By carefully considering the factors that go into expanding business, you can foster sustainable and successful growth for your law firm. Take the time to map out your growth journey. With adequate planning, you and your firm will be set up for success.