JD Blogger has a great article with ten tips for hanging out your own shingle. I particularly like their efficient suggestions to keep overhead low. I would add to this list to narrow your focus area. Many attorneys fail because of a "take anything that walks through the door" policy. You need to specialize and brand in order to receive referrals (and not be in competition with everyone else). This will also allow you to become the best at your niche.
And do choose your niche wisely. If you are starting a firm without a book of business, Plaintiff's employment law, criminal defense, bankruptcy and personal injury clients will often never have worked with an attorney before. They will be looking for an attorney that is competent and believes in their case.
You will also want to build a referral network. Groups like TENEsquire in Los Angeles allow attorneys to efficiently network and build a referral base. And have a good time while doing it!
Are you ready to hang out your shingle or take your firm to the next level? A four week group class is forming in April for support in building your law firm practice. For more information, please contact me.