When do two lawyers become a law firm?

—–Original Message—–
From: ********@********.com
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 10:07 AM
To:[email protected]

We are in
the process of putting together a small firm, so do I state I’m a solo until
that office is totally up and running? Right now, the marketing I’m doing is for that firm…meaning that I’m
the main rainmaker, and my partner is the one who will focus on back end. How
to proceed here?



Technically, you can be a firm just by deciding you are a
firm. From a liability standpoint it
would be a straight partnership with no formal operating agreement which could
be a mess if you & your partner were to split up before taking care of that
bit of housekeeping. But I don’t think
you’d be misleading anyone if you made reference to your "law firm"
or even your "partner".

you could parlay that into a pretty compelling marketing story when you’re
helping clients form their own business entities, and draft operating/shareholder
agreements and all the things they never want to bother with until it’s too
late. You could tell them you empathize
with the feelings of just wanting to get on with the business already, and that
you & your partner even made that mistake yourselves when you first opened
your firm together. But that you can
tell them from personal experience how much better you both felt and were able
to focus more energy on building the business once you got that housekeeping
out of the way. Sort of gives you a way
to push your clients into doing the right thing without making it seem like you
are judging them or making them wrong, if you know what I mean.

 My partners & I operated How To Make It Rain on a
handshake for months in the beginning. And
it was really a relief to finally get everything down on paper, find out where
we had been operating with some different assumptions, understandings, etc. and
get them cleared-up. In my experience
with my own clients back when I had an active business practice, many of them
delayed taking the step of formalizing everything out of fear that they may
discover their partner is really on a completely different page. But once everything is clarified, the
business can really make progress because everyone can start rowing in the same
direction with confidence.

 Anyway, I know this reply went beyond the scope of your
question but I hope it helps.




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