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Selecting a name for your new law firm

I’ve always been a big advocate of blazing your own path as a lawyer. Indeed, I strongly believe that every attorney has the power to personally create the most rewarding possible career for themselves. If you are unhappy in your legal career, you should do something about it and make the changes necessary to increase your job satisfaction. For many people, myself included, that path has led me to founding my own law practice. If  you have recently made the jump, or are considering founding your own law practice in the near future, you’ll need to consider a name for your new business.

Aside from the lack of originality, there is nothing wrong with naming the practice after yourself. Indeed, it’s an age old tradition in the legal industry. Still, you’ll have to consider, do you want to name the business “The Law Practice of John Doe” or “The John Doe Law Firm” or “John Doe & Associates” or “The Law Offices of John Doe” or even simply “Doe Law.”

That said, there has been an increasing trend towards naming firms with more original, descriptive names such as Legacy Law Group or Simplicity Law. You might want to consider incorporating keywords from your practice areas into the name. So, for example, if you practice family law, consider incorporating those words, “Family Law,” into your firm name. However, if you choose to go with a creative, descriptive name for your practice, be sure that your name is not in any way misleading or in violation of the rules of ethics in your jurisdiction.

Personally, I was divided on the issue. I considered naming my law practice either “The Law Office of Matthew Hickey” or “Music Tech Law.”  Ultimately, I opted for the more traditional route and named the firm “The Law Office of Matthew Hickey,” but use “Music Tech Law” as my url, and as a slogan on my business card.

Regardless of whether you choose to name your practice after yourself, after your practice area, or by using a creative title, be aware that increasingly the trend is towards keeping your name concise. Large firms once known by multiple partners’ surnames are increasingly shortening their brandname to include only two surnames. For example, the firm where I first began my legal career was Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker. While I was still working there the firm adopted the shorter Wilson Elser for most purposes. It was probably a smart move. The shorter name is easier to remember, works as a short url, and, honestly most people referred to the firm as “Wilson Elser” anyways even before the shorter name was formally adopted.

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