3 Reasons You Need A Law Firm Juris Number

Going solo?

You have a personal juris number. It’s perfectly fine. I mean, it works. You can file appearances, sign pleadings, and appear in court. It does all of the things you need it to do. cropped-DSCN0938.jpg

One of the rules of building your own practice is to build for success. If something is worth doing it is worth doing right – from day 1.

Here are 3 reasons you need a law firm juris number:

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10 Rapid Fire Answers About Opening Your Own Law Practice

Here are 10 rapid fire answers about opening your own law practice:

1. What websites should I read? 

In no particular order: Lawyerist, Solo Practice University, Above the Law’s Small Firm Page.

2. Do I need an iPad?


3. What kind of scanner should I buy?


4. Where should I locate my office?

Near your clients or the clients you want.

5. When should I hire someone?

When doing so makes you money.

6. What should I ask my accountant?

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10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Going Solo

Deciding to hang your shingle is tough.

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself before going solo:

1. Am I better off working for someone else? Some very good lawyers benefit from the corporate structure of a firm and would be lost without it for a variety of reasons including support, money, and things being done for you.

2. Can I be my own boss? Being your own boss is hard. Sometimes you’ll be too hard on yourself. Other times not hard enough. 

3. Where am I going to get clients? Clients are the lifeblood of any practice.

4. What is my support system? Oh you’ll need help. Who in your family or circle of friends will be there to support your decision?

5.  Do I have enough money? Surviving the first year is tough. Undercapitalization will lead to loads of stress and bad decision making.

6. Does a partnership make sense? One the plus side having a partner feels like the safer decision and it can be. Having someone else to split the work with is great. However, entering into the “wrong” partnership can take a toll on your business and well being.

7. Is my spouse on board? Your spouse is your partner in this. Is she comfortable with going without a paycheck? Does she understand the risks/rewards?

8. What can I outsource? I built my firm’s entire back office, website, and social media presence. I knew I could do those things. Setting up quickbooks, figuring out taxes – I hired an accountant.

9. Am I prepared? You shouldn’t just go from idea to shingle. You should study, execute, and then hang your shingle. Follow good advice.

10. How am I going to deal with success? You will succeed. What’s your plan for dealing with it?


Ryan McKeen is A Connecticut Attorney he can be reached at (860) 471-8333

4 Things You Need To Know About Renting A Law Office

Are you thinking of renting a law office?

Deciding to go out on your own is MCKEEN LAW FIRM 014-2 weba big decision. Once you’ve made the choice to start a firm – deciding on an office is probably your second big decision.

This post doesn’t deal with finding an office. It deals with 4 things you need to know about renting your first law office. These terms may very well differ from residential terms that you are used to.

Click below for 4 things you must know:

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Buy This Pen For Your Law Practice

Are you going solo? Opening your own firm?

Everything matters. You must sweat the details. Right down to the smallest details. Perhaps especially the smallest detail.

Your firm is going to be great. Your pens should be to. Your clients are going to use them to sign important documents.

Buy this pen for your law practice, the Pilot G2 (blue ink):

It screams that you care. That you care that your clients are writing with a smooth instrument that moves across paper with grace.

I’m not paid by Pilot. This isn’t an ad. You will be amazed how many times your clients comment on this pen. Having this as an office plan shows your client that you care. And the details matter.


Ryan McKeen is A Connecticut Attorney.

Going Solo: 4 Unexpected Expenses

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know. – Don Rumsfeld

Going solo?

When you start a law firm for the first time, one of the hardest things to get a handle on in the planning phase of your firm is your monthly expenses. What’s this going to cost? How much do I have to make in order to bring money home?

When you start your law firm there are going to be a lot of expenses that fall squarely into the “things we know that we know” bucket. You are going to know a lot of your expenses. For example, you’re going to know your rent is $______ or your phone service is $_______. These are easy numbers to know.

Then there is “there are things that we know we don’t know” bucket. You don’t know how much paper you are going to use in a month. You don’t know how many times the shredding service is going to come. There are many of these kinds of expenses. But most of them are of the small variety assuming you are a solo or small firm.

The last category is the killer. It is the unexpected bill. These are bills that take you from having a great month to breaking even – the “unknown unknowns”.

In this post, I’ll share with you some unknown unknowns of the early part of my practice. Plan for these four expenses:

1.  Deposit For Electricity

Both times, I’ve opened accounts for electricity, my provider has required me to pay a 6 week estimate of usage as a deposit. A deposit that is refunable after a year of on time payments. Last week, I cut a check for $600 for my deposit.

2.  Commercial Eletricity Can Be Spendy

It is hard to make any blanket statement about electrical rates. But I’ve paid significantly more for commercial rates than I have for residential rates in the same area. Check with your supplier before opening. See what the difference is in price per kwh. It can add up. The first commercial electricity bill that I received was shocking.

3. Malpractice Premium Jump

When you first hang your shingle, malpractice premiums are relatively low. They are a claims made policy and the world of possible claims is small. Between years 1 and 2 of my practice my premium jumped 35%. I had planned for a 5 to 10% jump.  Speak with your broker about this. Plan for it throughout the year. It is much easier to save a little every month than get hit with a large bill all at once.

4.  Sponsorship Expenses

Local businesses sponsor all sorts of things and you will too. When you start you’ll be out and about. Meeting all sorts of folks. You need to do this. It is vital to the success of your business.

But maybe even before your first fee comes in, you’ll get asked to sponsor something. It will be some worthy cause put forth by some worthy contact. You’ll feel bad not doing it.

My advice on this is to pick one cause and focus your sponsorship on that cause. At McKeen Law Firm, our biggest sponsorships are to “The Race To Fill The Pantry” and “Achilles CT“. For every other cause, I basically buy the small ad in the program.

There’s no right answer but have some plan to deal with this pressure. When you are starting out $250 here and $500 there really adds up.



Ryan McKeen is A Connecticut Attorney. He can be reached at (860) 471-8333



Starting A Law Firm? You Need A Supplier

Opening and running your own practice involves a lot of things. One of those things is buying stuff. The stuff you need to run your show. Stuff like pens, paperclips, coffee, and tape.

Anything that saves you time and money – makes you money.

One of the best things that I’ve done for my practice in this respect is getting a WB Mason account. They offer same day delivery in most cases at prices lower than major office supply stores and Amazon.

Getting what I need quickly and inexpensively means more time to focus on what matters – family and clients.

I get nothing for this post. I’m not paid by WB Mason. This is a post that I wish I had read years ago. So I wrote it.