How To Start A Law Firm

LeanLaw Gray buildings next to white text

By: Gary Allen


LeanLaw’s founder, Gary Allen, has had a successful law practice for over 30 years. he has a bird’s eye view of how pricing pressure and other changes are shattering the traditional practice model centered around the billable hour and paper-intensive workflows. Lawyers need to adapt to this new reality to achieve a healthy, lean law practice. Lean Practice focuses on slashing the firm’s overhead burden, which opens the door to more flexibility, greater satisfaction, and a more rewarding practice. And survival in the marketplace. This guide is your roadmap to starting a lean law firm.


This guide is for lawyers and support staff, especially from small and solo law practices, who want to lower costs and create efficiencies, and also have more time for what’s important, whether that’s family, fun or community service. This guide will help you get in the right mindset, pick the right technology and software, and learn to use it all successfully. Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think and we’ll help you get your new law firm launched!


This is a step-by-step guide. In the first installment, we’re posting the first two chapters:

What Is A Lean Law Firm? Why Does A Lean Practice Matter?
We will update this page as we create more posts that help you plan for a Lean Practice. Bookmark this webpage for reference. Feel free to connect with us to ask questions about creating a Lean Practice. And if you want to get an alert when a new post goes live.

What Is A Lean Law Firm?

People throw around the term “lean” — but what does it really mean? Before we dig in deep, we thought it best to define a lean law firm. It’s not an ethereal idea – we put it in concrete terms so that you can put a plan in plae and measure an achieve your goals. This chapter will clearly define what a lean law firm is.


Why Does A Lean Law Practice Matter?

Creating a lean law firm is not just about saving money. It’s about the ideals like quality of life and justice for all. It’s about making legal services more affordable at the same time as creating more cash flow. Yes, they are compatible. If you know why you’re creating a lean law firm, you’ll be more apt to follow through on the steps.

Go to chapter #2


Foundational Methods

There are some foundational standards that will keep you on track for getting your law practice to be Lean. Think of these rules as a touchstone: if you get distracted or disoriented, you can always come back to these best practices, rooted in your technology to make the best decisions for the operations and workflows of your law firm.

Go to chapter #3


Quick Start Guide

When you initiate a new law firm, one of your first decisions will be about software. Which is better for me: All-in-one practice management solutions (e.g., Clio) vs. modular tools built for specific functions (eg, LeanLaw, Box.com, QuickBooks, GApps for work)? Picking the foundational tools is a critical first step. Every day you will send and receive emails, create documents and bill for your time.

Go to chapter #4