Law firm business plan

  • 28.3.2024
  • Written by Vladyslava Rykova
  • Category: Business

Developing a competent business plan for a law firm is becoming not just a desirable, but an extremely necessary step. Not only the successful launch of a company on the market, but also further development, competitiveness, and the ability to withstand numerous challenges depend on its quality. The introductory part of our article on business plans for law firms touches on the main aspects and principles of drawing up this important document designed to build a strategic path for the development of your business in the legal field. We will look at what elements a business plan should contain, why each of them is important, and how to properly prepare a company to successfully conquer the market, while ensuring its long-term stability and growth.

Law firm business plan

Why every law firm needs a business plan

A business plan for a law firm is not just a formality or a document for investors. It is a fundamental tool that performs several critical functions:

  1. Strategic planning. A business plan helps define a company’s strategic goals and develop specific plans to achieve them. It allows you to formulate the mission and vision of the project, which is important for the consistency of the actions of the entire team. Where the mission is the main goal or purpose of the organization, and the vision is the vision of the future of the organization in the long term – for example, what do we want to become in five years.
  2. Market analysis. To successfully compete in the legal services market, you need to deeply understand its structure, trends, client needs and competitors’ actions. The business plan forces this analysis to be carried out before full-scale operations begin.
  3. Attracting resources. To start and develop a business, external funding or investment is often required. A business plan demonstrates to potential investors and credit institutions the seriousness of intentions, understanding of the market and realistic financial forecasts.
  4. Risk management. Identifying potential risks and developing strategies to minimize them is an important part of business planning. This helps the law firm be prepared for possible difficulties.
  5. Assessment and control. The business plan establishes specific success criteria that can be used to monitor progress. This allows strategies and operations to be adjusted in a timely manner in accordance with changing market conditions or internal company factors.

Main components of a business plan for legal services

To develop an effective law firm business plan, it is important to pay attention to the following key components:

  1. Project Summary: A condensed summary of the key aspects of the business, including the law firm’s mission, vision, major goals, and unique selling points. Although this section is located at the beginning of the document, it is recommended to write it after all other sections of the business plan have been developed. In fact, this can be a short summary of all sections of the document. These 2-3 pages should be the strongest pages in your document. Many investors may look at the subsequent sections superficially, but it is the summary that they will study in detail and thoroughly. This is your chance to make a first impression.
  2. Company Description: Detailed information about the company, including history, legal status, ownership structure and organizational structure. You should also describe the types of legal services that you plan to provide. Lawyers love precise wording, so if you are compiling a large list of services, they should be combined into groups. And also estimate the possible average bill for each of the groups, and this work will be useful at the stage of drawing up a financial plan.
  3. Market analysis: in-depth analysis of the market situation, including identifying the target audience, researching customer needs and preferences, as well as competitor analysis. Here are a couple of basic approaches. Look for companies that you really like. And you will try to adopt their practice. You can also take projects that you don’t like for analysis. Demonstrating that they are doing something wrong, and that you have found a better solution. Or a combined method. Consider different projects, take a little bit from each, add your own features and create something individual for yourself. It is also important to identify market trends and opportunities for growing your business.
  4. Financial Plan: A detailed analysis of the financial aspects of the business, including projected revenues and expenses, break-even point analysis, and projected financial statements. The final calculation table should include the p&l of the project, profit and loss forecast. For a certain period, most often from one to five years. This section should also mention the initial capital required to start a business and sources of raising it.
  5. Risk management: identifying potential risks that may affect the business and developing strategies to minimize them. This may include legal risks, risks of lost profits and operational risks.
  6. Appendices: This section can include any additional materials that support or supplement the information presented in the main sections of the business plan. Example applications may include resumes of key personnel, detailed technical descriptions, legal documents, or market research results. The optimal total volume of the document can be 40-50 pages.

These components form the basis for a carefully thought-out business plan that will guide the law firm through all stages of its development. This document can also be shared with the project team. Listening to recommendations to strengthen your strategic plan. However, it is important to remember that there can only be one leader in a team, and it is he who is responsible for the success of the implementation of the plan. You can use the work done as fish. Gradually updating and adding information to include volatility in market conditions. Consideration of each of these aspects allows not only to ensure the stable functioning of the company from the very beginning, but also helps to adapt to changing market conditions, strengthen its position in the market and sustainable growth. Also, an important task of this work is to teach yourself to plan. And here it is not so important whether it is right or wrong, because with any project there is always a risk that everything will not go according to plan. But the experience gained in planning and including in your reflections different scenarios for the development of events and methods of response will be very useful.

An example of a business plan for a law firm. Namely, how you can design the title page, what structure you can choose, and what data can be reflected in the project summary.

Law firm business plan Law firm business plan Law firm business plan Law firm business plan Law firm business planLaw firm business plan

Project concept

Completing the first section of the business plan about the description of the company may also include the Project Concept subsection. Here you can not only tell about the essence of the project, but also include the business model.

The business model of a law firm describes how and on what the project plans to make money. Along the way, describing how and what value it creates, or what problem it solves. Determining how a law firm interacts with clients and what services it offers.

An example of a law firm project concept. Namely, how you can formalize one of the subsections of a business plan, which can be called the project concept.

Law firm business plan Law firm business plan

For clarity, you can even come up with a fictitious situation of who and how can apply for help in this project. ChatGPT can act as an online assistant in this matter, and it can also illustrate with drawings.

Example of inclusion of a clear example in the Concept.

Law firm business plan Law firm business plan

This example demonstrates how you can approach the design of a business plan not just dryly, but also creatively. Visualization of the customer journey (Customer Journey Map) can also be drawn up when describing the Sales Funnel in the marketing plan. Essentially, this is the same client journey that was described earlier in the example of a fictitious law firm, but without an invented character.

Market and competitor analysis

How to conduct a market analysis for legal services

Analysis of the legal services market begins with a deep understanding of current market conditions, including demand, supply and key players. To do this, it is necessary to collect data on the size of the market, its growth dynamics, the demographic and psychographic characteristics of potential clients, as well as which legal services are most in demand.

There are two simple tasks in working on this section.

  1. First, understand that there really is a market for these same services. And that the market size is larger than the piece of the pie that you plan to grab. For example, using the TAM, SAM, SOM method, where TAM (Total Addressable Market): assessment of the total volume of the legal services market, for example, by country. SAM (Serviceable Addressable Market): An assessment of the market segment that your company can realistically serve. This may include, for example, customers of a certain geographical area or a certain industry. SOM (Share of Market): An estimate of the percentage of the market that your company can capture within a certain period of time. And including sound logic, SAM should be less than TAM. If you plan to capture the market more than it is, this hypothesis needs to be substantiated with something. In this case, you need to prove where exactly you will get the market capacity, which is not yet on the market.
  2. The second task of working on market analysis is simply studying all the latest relevant information. To stay informed. Because it happens that in the process of working on a business plan, the vision of the project may partially change.

After collecting and analyzing this data, you can draw conclusions about the prospects of the legal services market in Ukraine and determine a strategy for entering this market for your company.

It is also important to study the activities of competitors: their strategies, pricing, marketing approaches and level of customer service. This analysis helps identify gaps in the market that have not yet been filled, or areas where better or specialized services can be offered.

Very often, real work on a business plan begins with this subsection. Collecting information about competitors. In fact, the order of work on the document does not matter. But the chain of cause and effect can develop just like this – we looked at competitors – we found out their description and list of services – we formed a better idea of what services you plan to provide – we took their price list as a basis – we compiled our own price list (which we combined into groups of basic services and average check, which can still be edited after drawing up the financial model) – found useful current articles about market size and trends – and moved on to other sections of the business plan. Andrey Lipchevsky

Defining your unique proposition (USP)

The unique selling proposition (USP) of a law firm is what distinguishes it from competitors and makes the offer attractive to clients. Determining your USP begins with an analysis of your own strengths, specialization, team experience and features of the services provided.

It is important to understand what exactly the target audience may value: it could be unique expertise in a certain area of law, an innovative approach to providing services, a high level of customer service or a flexible pricing policy. The USP should be clear to potential customers, clearly distinguishing the company from its competitors.

Law firm business plan

Marketing strategy and promotion

Effective channels for attracting clients for a law firm

The choice of effective channels for attracting clients depends on many factors, including the specifics of the legal market, the target audience and the features of the services offered. Online marketing, including search engine optimization (SEO), contextual advertising and social media marketing is a powerful tool for attracting clients seeking legal services online.

In parallel, offline channels, such as participation in professional events, public speaking, and working with industry media, can effectively increase brand awareness and trust in the company.

Referral marketing, based on recommendations from satisfied clients, also plays an important role in attracting new clients to the legal practice, since personal recommendations are often perceived as one of the most reliable sources of information when choosing legal advice.

In addition, developing a professional website and actively blogging with information useful to potential clients can significantly increase a company’s online visibility and strengthen its reputation as an expert in its field.

Pricing strategies for legal services

Pricing strategies for legal services must take into account both the company’s internal costs and clients’ perceived value of the services. One key approach is to set prices based on the cost to the client of the services provided, which may vary depending on the complexity of the case, the reputation of the specialist, or the uniqueness of the proposed solution. At the same time, flexible pricing, offering various service packages or subscription services, can attract a wide range of customers, giving them the opportunity to choose the optimal price-to-volume ratio. With comprehensive services, it is possible to build up a client base over time, without the need to search for new clients at all. Although in order to cross this stability threshold, most often you need to go through a long journey of real practice.

It is also important to consider the competitiveness of prices in the market so that the offer is attractive and at the same time provides a sufficient level of margin for the law firm. Transparency in pricing, where the customer understands upfront what they are paying for and what results they can expect, builds trust and customer satisfaction, which in the long term promotes loyalty and a positive reputation for the company. In this case, most often the initial price list for services in the first year of operation can be reduced by 20-30% of market prices to gain experience. And gradually raise prices to market prices, and when sufficient expertise is achieved, raise them further.

Free marketing consultation
for attorneys and lawyers

Operating plan

The management and operations structure of your law firm

The structure of management and operations of a law firm underlies its successful activities and influences the efficiency of all internal processes. It should be designed in such a way as to ensure a clear distribution of responsibilities and effective communication between employees. Ideally, the management structure should facilitate rapid communication and decision making, as well as facilitate monitoring of task completion and quality of work.

Depending on its size and specialization, a law firm may include various divisions, such as a legal department, a marketing and sales department, an accounting department, a human resources department, and an IT department. It is important that each department has clearly defined functions and interacts with others to ensure consistency throughout the company.

In fact, the structure of the project can be very individual. Some entire departments can work remotely. For example, the marketing department can take over a good marketing agency. The tasks of the sales department can be assigned to a secretary or assistant manager. And the manager himself can act as the chief lawyer, or even a lawyer. Accounting can also be outsourced, or, on the contrary, it can grow to a decent size of full-time assistant accountants headed by the chief accountant of the enterprise. Subject to market testing and understanding that many clients find it beneficial to order comprehensive support rather than one-time legal services. And in addition, accounting support, tax optimization, and outsourcing these tasks to a law firm.

Law firm business plan

Financial plan

Projected income and expenses

Forecasting the income and expenses of a law firm is an important process that allows you to assess its financial viability and plan activities for the coming years. To forecast revenue, it is necessary to analyze the potential volume of work based on the current client base, the expected attraction of new clients and the average cost of services. It is also important to take into account possible changes in the demand for legal services, which can be caused by both external factors (for example, changes in legislation) and internal ones (for example, an expansion of the range of services).

The expenditure side of the budget should include fixed costs, such as office rent, employee salaries, depreciation of equipment and software, as well as variable costs associated with the implementation of specific orders (for example, costs for contractors or specialized databases). It is also necessary to take into account the costs of legal marketing and advertising, because without actively attracting clients, increasing income will be difficult.

If we are talking about opening a law firm from scratch, including renting an office, then you can also add one-time costs to the expense model. Purchase of the same equipment, office equipment, possibly additional furniture.

At the same time, if the task is to present a business plan to a potential investor or partner, then the amount of investment should be indicated. This amount, in turn, includes not only one-time costs, but also the necessary finances before reaching the break-even point. This is the difference between income and costs until the moment when income becomes greater than costs.

Risk management

Identifying potential risks for your business

Risk identification includes an analysis of external and internal threats that may negatively affect the activities of a law firm. External risks include changes in legislation, economic instability, the emergence of new competitors in the market and changes in demand for legal services. Internal risks may include service quality problems, leakage of confidential information, management deficiencies and financial difficulties.

Risk minimization and management strategies

Risk minimization and management strategies in a law firm are aimed at reducing the likelihood of negative events occurring and minimizing their consequences for the business. Key strategies include:

  • Development of a comprehensive risk management planthat identifies potential threats to the company’s operations, methods for identifying them, and response strategies.
  • Implementation of an internal control and audit system for timely identification and adjustment of processes exposed to risks.
  • Insurance against possible financial losses associated with professional activities, liability to third parties, as well as risks associated with loss of assets and business interruption.
  • Development of an action plan in case of crisis situations, including recovery procedures after them.
  • Training of employees in the basics of risk management and the specifics of actions in crisis situations.
  • Diversification of income sources, which reduces dependence on one market or service.
  • Legal protection, including intellectual property protection, concluding insurance contracts and other legal security measures.

The use of these strategies allows a law firm not only to reduce the likelihood of risks occurring, but also to improve its readiness to effectively manage them.

Tips for presenting your plan to investors and partners

When presenting a business plan to potential investors and partners, it is extremely important to focus on the key aspects that may interest them in your project. Here are some tips to help make your presentation a success:

  1. Clarity and Specificity: Be clear and specific in your presentation of your ideas. Avoid generalities and focus on specific data and facts.
  2. Highlight your USP: Clearly define and highlight your company’s unique selling proposition. Show how your company differs from competitors and what benefits an investor or partner will receive.
  3. Focus on finances: Demonstrate a detailed financial model of your business, including projected revenues and expenses. Prepare different scenarios and show how you plan to reach the break-even point and make a profit. It is also important to think about the psychology of communication with an investor. There is a possibility that there may be bargaining during the negotiations. Each investor wants to invest less of his funds from the declared total investment amount, while receiving a larger percentage or share from the company.
  4. Prepare answers to possible questions. This will help demonstrate the depth of your preparation and seriousness of intent.
  5. Use all possible channels to find an investor. It’s worth starting with friends and acquaintances. Tell them your idea and try to convince them of the relevance of your project. If this is not relevant to them, then ask for advice on who they think might be interested. Then you can switch to open sources. Social media. Venture funds, grants, accelerators. The essence of this approach is to enter into real negotiations with the investor with several more options in stock. When delaying negotiations, you can always hurry up the investor a little by informing him that you are also conducting parallel negotiations with another investor, and his intentions are more convincing.
  6. Use visual aids: Pitch Decks, graphs and tables can greatly improve the perception of information and make your proposal more convincing.
  7. The last item on the list, but not least, is an attempt to make friends with artificial intelligence. For example, cooperation with ChatGPT, which will not be able to develop a full-fledged business plan for you, but will be able to strengthen the work done, or speed up the process. In this case, especially for lawyers, it is worth remembering the precedent where a lawyer was fined $5,000 for including false citations from cases generated by ChatGPT. All data must be checked very carefully.

Conclusion and steps to action

How to start implementing your business plan

Starting the implementation of a business plan requires a clear understanding of the priority steps and tasks. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Make a plan for the upcoming work. This includes the structure of the document. Sections and subsections
  2. Set your priorities. Determine which aspects of your plan are most critical and start there. This could be registering a business, searching and training personnel, developing a product or service.
  3. Form a team. Find reliable and qualified people who share your vision and can contribute to the development of the company.
  4. Secure funding. Explore various sources of funding, including loans, investments, grants, and begin the fundraising process based on your business plan.
  5. Start marketing and sales. Develop and implement a marketing strategy to start attracting customers and generating sales.

Implementation and consistent adherence to a business plan will allow your law firm to achieve success in the market, ensure sustainable growth and development, and attract new clients and investors.


  • Vladislava Rykova, head of the MAVR marketing agency, expert in legal marketing
  • Andrey Lipchevsky, CEO Lipchevsky Consulting
Custom Gravatar
Vladyslava Rykova

Expert in legal marketing. Head of marketing agency MAVR.

Business degree “Master of Business Administration” (MBA).

Є питання? Не відкладайте, отримаєте відповідь прямо зараз Задати питання