What to keep in mind when starting an independent practice
Chat with Advocate Vikas Pandey, who quit his job from top company to start his own practice. It May help young lawyers who just want to Start!
Ever since I graduated from school, I have enjoyed a wide variety of experiences. I have had the good fortune of starting my career with top company, where I trained with some of the finest person and learnt how to be a professional. I handled large client. On the way I developed a strong desire and passion to be able to start something on my own.
Moving out of my Comfort Zone
One of the first things that I learnt when I left my job to start my own work practice, I had been looking at the world through rose tinted glasses. Thinking and converting into real both are two different aspect of the life. There were others who told me about the people who had tried to start their work, failed miserably and then could not even find a job again
But I noticed that once I did take the step, there is none hope to survive in Delhi. There were none of people to hold my hand and show me the way. But I knew, there are quite a few very successful advocates and legal practitioners out there done sometimes more remarkably left cushy jobs to follow their dream of having their own practice. Then I started to read religious book and philosophy of the life (Close associated with Swami Vivekananda, J KrishnaMurti and Osho book at the same time The Ramayana and Holy Book Gita), I start to watch video and movie based on real hero character. Where I learn and understood the internal conflict and self–doubt that I was going through and gave me invaluable guidance which helps me to see the light at the end of the tunnel,
So if you are in a jobs or law firm and have decided to start your own business or independence practice there could be few steps that may help you following:
- Save, Save and Save
- Definitely give yourself a few months.
- Preparing the mind
- Ask anyone else who has taken the same path before and they will tell you right out, your life will change once you have left the safe way. Of course there are many types of jobs and how you feel will depend on the structure of the jobs as well as how long you have spent there. I had always been very confident and proud of introducing myself to people. I feel that people recognize your work and give its reflected glory. But once that identity goes, you are no more. But when I was in court feeling arose that you are just an advocate like the thousands around you. What’s more, the other advocates are more street smart than you and have something you don’t have yet – clients. Prepare yourself to re-invent your identity and image. You will have to build your reputation and goodwill.
- You will find yourself working just as hard (hopefully and eventually) when your work load increases. There are no longer any concept of weekends, all days merge into each other. Remember, shorter timelines for delivery and lower fees are the only USP that you have to offer in the period while the world figures out that you’re a legal.
- KEEP THE FAITH
- To be truthful what you do and be patient open to receiving help. Believe in God you would found plenty of very wonderful advocates and lawyers, who are very supportive towards ‘youngsters’ and happily act as mentors towards young advocates and lawyers. One thing that I am very proud of myself take my pride, quickly get over my past identity jobs and seek guidance from people who had been doing this before, including people who are younger than me. I started to learn practical lessons and tips on various issues, such as client handling, self–projection, preparing for a matter keeping in mind the concerned judges, settling upon the fee rates, and the way to remind clients and seek payment of the same.
I knew at the time of taking my first steps towards business and independent practice, I started to associate myself with eminent senior counsel and other advocates in their work so as to be ‘in – practice’. I had started pitching for work and trying to impress upon people the fact that a new lawyer was soon going to be available to take care of all their legal needs.
Need to draw limitation in your practice.
One of the key questions that people would ask me is “what kind of work do you do?” and my immediate response would be “Everything”. But I didn’t know a better answer at the time. I was actually preparing myself to do all sorts of legal work.
Over a period of time, immediately after my “Everything”, I decided to add, “I do both litigation as well as transactional work” One of experienced colleagues heard my response and advice. “Branding is important. People don’t like to believe that ‘everything’ is possible. Give them a boundary and a framework. When you give them your limitations, your capabilities also become believable; and if you haven’t discovered your limitations yet, invent them.” This is one of the most important and beautiful lessons in human psychology for me