How to Start a Law Firm in Florida: A Comprehensive Guide

Aspiring lawyers in Florida seeking to establish their own law firm may have questions about the process and requirements.

Starting a law firm offers rewarding opportunities but requires careful planning, preparation, and adherence to regulations.

This article offers essential tips on how to initiate your law firm in Florida, covering various relevant topics.

How to start a law firm in Florida
How to Start a Law Firm in Florida: A Comprehensive Guide.

 

Can A Non Lawyer Own A Law Firm In Florida?

In Florida, lawyers cannot share legal fees or form partnerships with non-lawyers if legal practice is involved.

Only licensed lawyers can own or operate law firms in the state to protect the public and legal profession from conflicts of interest or exploitation.

However, there are exceptions allowing lawyers to work with non-lawyers in specific roles like paralegals or staff.

Lawyers can share office space and participate in referral services with non-lawyers while adhering to ethical rules.

What Type Of  Lawyers Make The Most Money In Florida?

Average lawyer salary in Florida: $100,420 per year, varies based on experience, location, specialization, and demand.

According to Indeed.com, some of the highest-paying types of lawyers in Florida are:

OccupationSalary Range
Law school professors$128,000 – $194,000
Trial lawyers$120,000 – $215,000
Tax attorneys$99,000 – $189,000
Employment and labor attorneys$81,000 – $100,000
Real estate attorneys$80,000 – $147,000

Well-paid lawyer types include medical, intellectual property, and corporate attorneys.

However, when choosing a legal specialty, consider interests, skills, goals, values, and market demand and competitiveness. Salary isn’t the sole factor.

Can You Become A Lawyer In Florida Without Going To Law School?

To become a lawyer in Florida, you need to graduate from an accredited law school with a Juris Doctor degree and pass the Florida Bar Examination.

However, there are some rare exceptions that allow you to become a lawyer without going to law school.

These include:

  • Admission on motion: If you’ve practiced law for at least 10 years in a state with reciprocity to Florida, you may apply for admission without the bar exam. You’ll need to pass the MPRE and meet character and fitness requirements.
  • Certified as a foreign legal consultant: If you’re qualified and licensed to practice law in a treaty country with the US, you may apply for certification in Florida without the bar exam. However, your practice will be limited to advising on your home country’s law or international law. Passing the MPRE and meeting character requirements is necessary.
  • Registered as authorized house counsel: If licensed in another state but not in Florida, you can register as house counsel in FL without the bar exam14. Must pass MPRE and meet character/fitness requirements. Limited to serving your employer or its affiliates.

Who Regulates Law Firms In Florida?

The Florida Bar is the official agency of the Supreme Court of Florida responsible for regulating the practice of law and lawyer discipline in the state.

It enforces the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, which govern professional conduct and competence.

Services include legal education, ethics opinions, lawyer referrals, pro bono, diversity, inclusion, and public information.

The Bar’s division of lawyer regulation handles inquiries and complaints against lawyers through various departments, including intake, branch offices, grievance committees, diversion, discipline, and professionalism.

Working with the Supreme Court, Board of Governors, and local committees, they ensure ethical compliance and protect the public and judicial system’s integrity.

Conclusion

Starting a law firm in Florida is a rewarding but challenging career choice, requiring careful planning, preparation, and compliance.

This article offers insights on ownership, salary, education, and regulation.

For more help or questions, contact The Florida Bar or consult with an experienced lawyer.

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