Starting a Practice in New York

Are you considering opening your own firm? Are you a recent law school graduate just starting out? Are you considering leaving your place of employment and starting your own practice?  New York State Bar Association Law Practice Management resources can help you start, build and grow your firm.

Starting up a solo or small firm has its own unique financial, technical and practical concerns, but beginning a practice also has its own set of rewards, fulfillment and accomplishments.  To maximize your chances for success, you must have a plan. Whether you are considering a change or whether you are a recent law school graduate, Law Practice Management CLE programs will help you explore your options.  From choosing a business entity to choosing office space and attracting new clients, get practical and useful tips to help you succeed.

Starting a Practice in New York | Going Solo 
"One of the best CLE programs at NYSBA.”  

This program provides an overview of what it takes to own your own practice. From choosing a business entity to choosing office space and attracting new clients, get practical and useful tips for starting a practice in New York.  Focusing on solo practice, program topics include: setting up bank accounts; general accounting information; tax concerns; setting up IOLA accounts; client retainer agreements and intake forms; collecting payments; leaving your old firm; handling referral business; the ethical issues of using the Internet to market your practice; social media considerations; increasing your list of contacts; and much more.

View the program archive online, on demand.  

Checklist for Starting a Practice in New York State (PDF)

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Starting Your Own Practice in New York | Basic Business Skills for Starting and Running a Successful Practice
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This program sells out each year and based on member feedback we are pleased to offer the program as an online, on demand CLE. 

Download the program archive.

Recent programs on Starting a Practice in New York available on demand
Get the information you need and earn MCLE credit

  • Starting Your Own Practice in New York | Video and Materials Online, On Demand
    From choosing a business entity to choosing office space and attracting new clients, this program provides practical and useful tips for starting a practice in New York.  Focusing on solo practice, topics include: choosing a legal entity, working from home, office equipment, choosing a practice area, work-life issues, finding clients, time management, managing and organizing your practice, marketing your solo practice ethically and effectively and much more.

    Starting a Practice in New York | Video and Materials Online, On Demand
    Topics include: Choosing a Business Entity and Creating and Financing Your Law Practice – What You Need to Know, Attorney Escrow Accounts, IOLA and Ethics, Insurance Considerations, The “Virtual Law” Office – Practical Considerations/Reality, Organizing Your Practice – The Importance of Creating Systems and Procedures, Leveraging Technology in Your Practice, Basic Human Resources – Questions and Answers, Marketing Your Practice – Ethical Considerations

    Building a Successful Practice | Video and Materials Online, On Demand
    Program covers an array of topics from controlling paperwork to managing employees. Speakers will help you move forward with growing your business.  Topics include: Business Considerations: Grow, Merge, or Stay the Same, Practicing Ethically, Billing and Collection, Using the Internet and Social Media to Build Your Practice, Hiring Associates, Paralegals, and Support Staff


Comprehensive resources for attorneys in solo or small firm practice in New York State - everything from marketing advice to sample engagement letters, insurance information to business continuity planning, work-life balance to selecting software and hiring staff.

Review the Report of the Special Committee on Solo and Small Firm Practice

Review the Report of the Task Force on the Future of the Legal Profession

Information about Escrow Accounts and IOLA

Attorney Escrow Accounts - Your "must have" book
Attorney Escrow Accounts comprehensively covers the most common situations where attorneys handle client funds and discusses the legal and ethics issues encountered in handling clients’ funds. The Third Edition provides an expanded discussion of related issues and updated case and statutory law, as well as a more comprehensive appendix featuring relevant statutes, rules and ethics opinions.

Technology Resources for You and Your Practice

Enhance the efficiency and lower the cost of your practice with special discount programs for NYSBA members. From insurance and financial services to discounted office products, your NYSBA membership gets you dramatic savings on important services for all your practice needs. 

Marketing Your Practice and Business Development 

Information and programs on attorney advertising, ethics and business development


Join the Lawyer Referral Service ( and add your name to the list of attorneys receiving referrals from the State Bar.  Contact Eva Valentin-Espinal, Lawyer Referral Coordinator at, for eligibility.

The LRIS staff receives more than 100 calls per day from members of the public seeking legal assistance. These calls are screened by our staff to elicit pertinent information regarding the nature of their legal problem. Callers that would be more appropriately helped by other organizations, such as other bar referral services, legal aid societies, or governmental agencies are given contact information for these offices.  

Callers needing the advice of an attorney, and who can afford to pay a private attorney, are referred to LRIS panel members on a rotating basis. They are told to expect a ½ hour in-office $35 consultation fee, and to be sure to mention that they were referred by the New York State Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service.  After the initial consultation the attorney sets their own fees. 

Attorneys are notified by e-mail when a referral has been made. A hard copy of the referral with follow-up questions is mailed to both the client and the attorney. 

*Participating attorneys must have an office in one of the following counties:  Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates.  

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For more information about Starting a Practice in New York, contact Katherine Suchocki, Director, Law Practice Management at 518-487-5590 or