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You're starting your legal practice: what equipment do you need?

You did it. You have graduated college, passed the bar exam and are now determined to open your own law firm. After getting a business license and finding a space, there are still a few things you will want to check off your list before declaring that you are open for business. Specifically, there are items that you will want to find, purchase or rent to have in your office that will make your life easier.

 

Furnishings

An office is nothing without seats for yourself and your clients. Making sure that your office is furnished will help you secure clients and keep your business in order.

  • Desk and chair: Your office is likely where you will spend most of your workday, even when you aren't seeing any clients. Having a desk that you like, and a comfy chair can work wonders on your mood and productivity.
  • Bookshelves and cabinets: You will likely need to reference books or materials while working. It is important to have a law library close by, but it is also good to have a bookshelf full of books that you reference most often and filing cabinets full of documents that you need for record-keeping.
  • Chairs: Without chairs for your clients, you cannot have them in your office. Making sure you have a few chairs for them will help them stay comfortable while coming to you for legal services.

Equipment for your office

Having a furnished office is not all that you will need in order to start helping your clients. You will also need some basic office equipment.

  • Computer: It is likely obvious that you will need a computer to do business. It is up to you on what type or style you choose, but it will be helpful to have Office Suite, Adobe Acrobat and accounting software installed. These additional resources are beneficial in helping you stay organized and on top of your duties.
  • Printer, scanner, photocopier: It isn't always possible to stay completely paperless at all times. Having a printer with scanning and photocopying capabilities will come in handy when a client wants a copy, or you need to send a document out.
  • Telephone: This one is a no-brainer. Depending on the number of clients you have, a cell-phone may be sufficient. However, when launching a website, you may not want your personal cell as a contact number. Having an office phone strictly for business may be a wise decision.
  • Other supplies: Having the right supplies to furnish your desk is essential. Do not make the mistake of forgetting a label maker, filing cabinet and 3-ring binders. Having pens, sticky notes, notepads, a stapler and three-hole punch will make your life easier.

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