Starting a law firm in Massachusetts – all you need to know

By Margaret Worlidge posted Sun May 09,2021 11:06 PM


The prospect of starting your own law firm can be both exciting and frightening at the same time, even if you are a very experienced and skilled lawyer. You will need to decide on an area of law that you want to practice, find and set up your office, hire the right staff, and acquire clients. 

Once your law firm is opened, your work does not stop there. You will need to grow your practice, build connections, and win cases, but even though the process can be quite complex, it can be very rewarding both financially and on a personal level. 

If you don’t know where to begin, the tips below may be a good starting point, so keep reading to find out more about opening your law firm in the state of Massachusetts. 

Take a look at the numbers

We’ll be straightforward with you – starting a law firm can be quite costly. You need money to pay rent, invest in your office, pay wages, and cover all the expenses of opening a business. Before you start thinking about the name and location of your new law practice, you need to assess your financial needs. 

Consider how much money you will need in order to cover monthly expenses and how many billable hours you need to generate in a month in order to cover those expenses. This will help you decide the rate you should bill your clients at, as well as how many people you can afford to hire. 

Hire the right people

If you want to, you can start your practice all by yourself, but your work will be a hundred times more difficult. This is why it is advised you surround yourself with a team of legal professionals that can help. 

Hiring a receptionist and legal assistant will help take some of the pressure off of your shoulders and improve the workflow. Additionally, a paralegal will also help with drafting court documents, review records, conduct research, and much more. 

To make sure your documents are always in order and witness testimonies are kept in proper form, it is advised you also look for a legal transcriptionist. If you don’t afford to hire an in-house transcriptionist, you can look for legal transcription services from a dedicated company. They can help free up administrative work and ensure your documents meet the standards.

Get it over with the formalities

You are a lawyer, so you already know there are a lot of legal aspects you need to take care of before opening your practice. You will need to find a name for your firm and register it, but keep in mind that adding “and Associates” to your name without having any associates in your practice will be against the Rules of Professional Conduct, which you don’t want happening. 

After choosing the name, you will have to form the legal entity and choose the organizational structure. If you are alone, choose a sole practitioner, but if your firm has multiple members, you can choose a partnership, LLC, or even a professional corporation.