Sep 2022
How to leave your law firm – the right way 

So, you’re looking to make the move away from your law firm. You’re not alone.

We’ve found that more lawyers are evaluating their current situations and thinking about quitting law firm jobs. Did you know that by 2026, a predicted one third of lawyers will be self-employed 

You may be feeling anxious about the jump, worried about how to keep your clients happy and protect your reputation. So we’ve provided some top tips to help you when it comes to how to leave your law firm, to make the transition to legal consultancy as smooth as possible.  

Top tips for how to leave your law firm and build your legal consultancy business  

Think about what you want and need  

Before you make the jump you need to consider what it is you want and need. At Carbon we’ve designed a platform that gives you everything you need to get your legal practice off the ground. When you join, you receive administrative, financial, operational, logistical and marketing support. But this might not be for you, so ask yourself some good, hard questions and remember to separate your ‘wants’ from your ‘needs’. (Incidentally if you want brand freedom to build your own law firm, then check out Bamboo, our sister company!). 

Talk it out  

The next stage is to talk to other people that have made the leap to learn from their experiences. What did they or didn’t they do? What do they wish they’d known? You can take a look at some of our Carbon Stories from partners that made the move from traditional law firms to legal consultancy with Carbon Law Partners.  

Plan it out  

The business planning stage is essential. This goes back to the ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ questions you’ll have asked yourself earlier. Set out what you want to achieve, why and how. Demonstrate that you know the market you’re trying to reach and demonstrate how your strategy will fit in alongside competitors. Above all, keep it clean, clear, realistic, measurable and short. 

Show me the money  

One of the most important things you’ll want to consider, before making any fixed decisions about leaving the law job, is what you need and want to earn. But also, what you think you can achieve. At Carbon Law Partners, for instance, you receive up to 70% on any clients you generate and can also earn 10% on any clients you pass on to colleagues. If you are looking at joining a legal consultancy, then understand their fee split model and use this to do your financial forecasts. Make your accountant your new best friend. At Carbon Law Partners, our concierge service ensures you have access to those who have been tried and tested by others in the community.  

Consider your clients  

If you’re a great lawyer – and all our lawyers are great here at Carbon – clients will follow you. So whilst planning, consider who your clients are and what they do. What do they usually spend on legal services and how could this change? What’s your relationship with the client and any key decision-makers? What sort of work have you done for them to date and what areas of growth are there? If you don’t have a client-base to bring with you, at Carbon we also actively encourage lawyers to make referrals to one another, which might provide a passive income as you are starting up. Consider how you can work to build your own practice and put this in your business plan.  

Talk to your clients  

The next, important, step is to consider how you’re going to let these clients know you’re moving. Invest some time and effort in this stage. Clients are going to want to know that – should they move with you – certain guarantees are in place. What are you doing to ensure the same quality of expertise and service? What’s in it for them if they show you loyalty? Some clients will be happy with an email, others will need to speak to you (sometimes at length – if there’s an ongoing matter). Share your “why” as well as your “how”. Explain both the nuts and bolts of how things will work as well as the added value this new arrangement will bring. And if you’re worried about this stage, talk to those that have already done it… again. 

It’s time to think about marketing  

By this point you may already have taken the leap, quit your law firm job, and you’re considering your next step: Marketing! From growing your client-base, to enriching existing relationships to developing links with referral sources. Our Carbon marketing support can help with this but give some thought to things like your marketing literature, what you want your website profile to say, social media profile (and training), what articles you could write to showcase your expertise and experience, networking events and how you plan to handle client care on an ongoing basis. All our legal consultants at Carbon are incentivised to develop their own business as this is where the greater fee split is to be found, and we believe that with the right training, tools and support, everyone can be a good marketer. 

Let’s talk about equipment and support  

One of the benefits of joining the Carbon Law Partners community is access to all the secure, advanced technology that you’d expect from a big law firm. This means everything from Microsoft 365 through to our cloud-based practice and case management system, PLC, Lexis Library and utilising more of the platform’s benefits. But you’ll also want to consider the other things you need (and their cost). Office equipment such as laptop, printer, phone and so on… furniture, books, stationery. Don’t worry, once again, you aren’t alone and we’ve got a whole load of this covered, from providing secure branded email addresses and private telephone numbers, call handling, IT support and more. And let’s not forget things like junior and administrative support, training and career progression, as well as a great community – because we believe in working for yourself, not by yourself. 

How do I join Carbon?  

Want to learn more about leaving your law firm behind? Take the plunge and contact Carbon today