Fundamentals of Starting a Successful Law Firm - Mark Rockwell

Have you ever felt like wanting to run your own law firm, but law school was not able to teach or prepare you for this kind of business?

There are many reasons lawyers wanted to know how to start a law firm business. Some want to run their own course and be their own bosses. Others want to have a more flexible schedule. And others realized that even if they work hard, they still do not make enough profit.

Whatever the reason is, starting a law firm may be exciting. However, like every other business, it can also be very overwhelming. You must have adequate knowledge and skills before starting one.

In this episode, Mark Rockwell shares his unique approach as a lawyer and entrepreneur to building a successful business—from what and who you need, to the attitude you must have.

If you want to learn more about the approach of starting and building a successful law firm business, then this episode is for you.

Here are the reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Understand the key essentials before planning to build your own successful law firm business from Mark Rockwell.
  2. Know the basic fundamental concepts you need to follow to run your business successfully.
  3. Discover Coach Rockwell’s formula for running a successful business: FACE (Focus, Accountability, Clarity, and Execution).

Resources on Building a Successful Law Firm

Episode Highlights

Early Career of Mark

Mark Rockwell started his career as an entrepreneur despite his legal background.

  • In 2007, Mark Rockwell started a healthcare company and learned the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) process.

Mark aspired to impart EOS knowledge to young businesses.

  • The most vital element in his law practice is his experience as a business person.

Moshe: “You don't have to be a lawyer to know how to run a business. But you do have to know how to run a business to make money as a lawyer.”

Law Firm as a Business

Many attorneys take offense in the concept that a law firm is a business. If you want to run a successful law firm, perceiving it as a profession will only impede your business growth.

  • You can be a law practitioner in a large law firm if you embrace it as a profession.
  • Hiring a CEO to direct your law firm is possible as long as it aligns with the philosophical attitude of the management.

Investing In a Law Firm

Mark Rockwell: “Most of the clients would assume that you're making probably far more profit than you actually are. As you and I were talking beforehand, many law firms are not profitable.”

  • Investment in financial management software, high-tech equipment, and a proper accounting place is vital in starting a law firm.
  • You can start a relatively small investment as a single practitioner.
  • According to Mark Rockwell, an aspiring law entrepreneur should insure their capital by carrying their own salary for six months to a year.  
  • They also need to set aside at least $25,000 to $50,000 for other types of equipment and software. 

Hiring Assistants

Mark Rockwell: “Fortunately, in an era of virtual, it is easier than it used to be because an aspiring attorney has the ability to access the online help that they probably would not have had access to, even as recently as three or five years ago.”

  • Hiring a virtual assistant is a stepping stone in offloading administrative tasks.
  • Cumulatively, we tend to waste 10 to 20 hours on micro-tasks which can be delegated to assistants at a modest rate.
  • Keep track of the hours spent doing administrative tasks.
  • The offloading rate can be translated to another 15 or 20 hours of billable hours. 

You Need to Have Capital

  • It does not have to be a million dollars, but you have to have sufficient funding.

Marck Rockwell described capital as a fuel: “capital for this journey is no different than putting fuel in your tank. You would never consider leaving New York City and heading to Pennsylvania on an empty tank. It would be ludicrous to think that you're going to drive a couple of 100 miles, but you're going to start with only enough gas in your tank to take you to the edge of town.”

Mark Rockwell’s “Four Achievements”

Mark shared his basic fundamental concepts to follow if you are running a business and to run it successfully: FACE (Focus, Accountability, Clarity, and Execution.

  • Focus: If you are a bright, talented person, you tend to be attracted to bright, shiny objects. So we need to learn to focus.
  • Accountability: When you have people in your staff working alongside you, we must understand what we are accountable for. 
  • Clarity: We have to be clear about our values, our purpose, our clients, our target market, and our goals.
  • Execution: How you execute other fundamentals to achieve your goal is important.

You have to Focus on Just One Area

Mark Rockwell stresses the importance of focusing on one thing before jumping to another.

  • The lack of focus and follow-through might cause you to go through repeated failures. 
  • Settle down in one area first. 
  • It does not have to be the area of law that you love; you just have to focus to become successful.

You Have to be Committed and Accountable

Mark Rockwell: “I believe most failures are the result of no cadence, no rhythm, follow-through, and we commit to something. And then three months later, we check back, and then we will be surprised, nothing has been done.”

  • To achieve your goal, you have to conduct a weekly check-in meeting with your staff and gauge it with your goals.
  • You have to ask each individual to volunteer and explain what needs to get done the following week

Mark Rockwell argues that we humans tend to create long lists of tasks that, in the end, overwhelm us mentally when we don’t accomplish them. 

Create a Plan

Mark Rockwell suggested having quarterly plans and goals. 

  • He shares that they conduct two-day planning sessions before the beginning of the year to discuss and review their performance for the past year and the goals for the next.  
  • Prioritize the things that need to be. 

Mark Rockwell: “So if someone said to me, what's the first step I need to take and being successful, I would say, sit down and think through what is the most important line of business or activity that interests you. And then set aside the rest, even if you're tempted because you cannot focus on more than one or two things at a time. It's just you can't.” 

About Mark Rockwell

Mark Rockwell is a lawyer and entrepreneur. Mark Rockwell passed the bar exam in the State of Washington. Mark Rockwell worked as a lawyer before venturing into the field of business. 

Now, as the owner of Coach Rockwell, Mark Rockwell offers unique approaches to help his fellow attorneys build their own businesses. 

To learn more about Mark Rockwell and his business, visit

If you want to schedule a coaching appointment with Mark Rockwell, you may call 503-784-7205 to leave a message at

For more episode updates, visit my website to reach out to him, he would offer one-hour coaching for free!

So head on to his website now or dial 503-784-7205!

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