Opening Your Own Law Practice

  • March 11, 2021
  • Cameron Fiske, C.S.

Every generation of lawyers and prospective lawyers encounters various hardships with the practice of law. Today, those who aim to enter the profession face daunting challenges in terms of rising law school tuition, as well substantial administrative bar call fees/and or lawyer licensing costs.[1] Further, it can be quite challenging to find an articling position.[2]

In the early years of practice, it is difficult for many litigators to obtain courtroom experience due to the extraordinary expense involved in taking cases to trial or to long motions.[3] Since the advent of the internet, reliance on technology has served to increase the size and complexity of files.

More broadly, the current COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected us all, and it has led to increased anxiety and social isolation. Some have lost their previous employment, and others struggle to adjust to working at home.[4]  

While these considerations paint something of a grim picture, there are many reasons to be optimistic about entering and establishing oneself in the legal profession. Many enjoy and will continue to prosper while practicing law in boutique, medium, and larger firms, as well as in government institutions or NGOs. This article is aimed at those who have an interest in or who may be considering establishing their own law practice. The reasons for pursuing that option are many and varied; the ways and means of doing so are equally varied. Regardless of one’s motives and aims, it is the author’s intention to provide an overview of how one may choose to go about opening a law practice, and to examine some of the difficulties that solo or small firm practitioners face. Hopefully, by examining some of the issues involved in opening one’s own law firm, this article will help to make for a smooth transition for those pursuing that course.