Be That Lawyer: Niche Practice for Lawyers


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A presentation on niche law practice.

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Be That Lawyer: Niche Practice for Lawyers

  1. 1. Be That Lawyer! Make your firm memorable with a niche practice. Carolyn Elefant,
  2. 2. In a competitive marketplace, how are you going to stand out from the crowd?
  3. 3. Spam? TV Ads? Billboards? Cheap Lawyer for Hire
  4. 4. niche --a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing
  5. 5. A niche can be… A geographic segment of the market A demographic segment of the market A subset of an existing substantive practice A means of delivering services (e.g., unbundled legal services)
  6. 6. A niche must be… Unique Specialized Memorable!
  7. 7. Some examples found online….
  8. 8. A niche is not… Bargain basement rates! Reasonable doubt at a reasonable price! “ The lawyer who returns phone calls!” Bad business model Slogan What lawyers should do!
  9. 9. Why a niche?
  10. 10. Niches are delicious….easy roll out, low cost. (Inc., 5/20/10
  11. 11. Target Your Audience ashington DC Competition Niche
  12. 12. Riches in Niches If you're the best in the world, the market cares. The secret, if you have limited resources (don't we all) is to make 'world' small enough that you can actually accomplish that. --Seth Godin, The Dip
  13. 13. Holy purple cow, brother! A store with only cupcakes! I hear ya, Brother! I’m drooling! Niches ignite, excite & delight - both lawyers & clients
  14. 14. Isn’t a niche going to be too limited? Small % of revenue, but shines a light on your entire practice
  15. 15. Aren’t all of the good niches taken?
  16. 16. Examples of Niche Practices NOT Found Online…. <ul><li>Social media in the workplace lawyer </li></ul><ul><li>Single mothers by choice lawyer </li></ul><ul><li>Estate planning for single parents </li></ul><ul><li>“ Cloud” law </li></ul><ul><li>Outside counsel for solo & small law firms </li></ul><ul><li>Lawyers representing the [XXX] cultural community </li></ul><ul><li>Outsourcing to India </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual law practice for the military </li></ul><ul><li>Lawyer for home based businesses </li></ul><ul><li>Criminal defense of computer based crimes </li></ul><ul><li>Medical malpractice in women’s health </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiation of electronic rights for book authors & freelancers </li></ul><ul><li>Bully law - victims & accused </li></ul><ul><li>Blogger lawyers </li></ul><ul><li>Family law for domestic partners </li></ul>
  17. 17. 4 Steps to a Quick Niche Practice
  18. 18. Step 1: Which Niche?
  19. 19. Considerations for Choosing a Niche *Personal interest *% of time desired to devote to niche *Existing contacts within niche area *Substantive capabilities - existing or ability to procure. *Ability to re-purpose existing capabilities (if adding a niche) *Geographic capabilities
  20. 20. Step 2: What’s the Itch for the Niche?
  21. 21. Resources for Figuring Out the Demand for a Niche *Google trends, www. google .com/trends *Census data, *Chamber of Commerce information * * * * *Speak with colleagues
  22. 22. Step 3: When To Switch to the Niche?
  23. 23. Different Approaches…. Will it be a transition to a full niche - or just a partial practice niche? Do you want to grow into the niche gradually? Do you want to formally launch the niche? (if so, don’t do it in summer!)
  24. 24. Step 4: How to Pitch the Niche
  25. 25. Marketing your niche practice Notify existing clients Identify tradeshows or trade press Participate in niche specific listservs and social media communities Create an ebook for niche specific practice Online webinars and video Local cable TV? Respond to HARO requests or contact the media yourelf Start a blog & purchase niche-specific names If local niche, explore Google Local, FourSquare and other local search engines Collaborate with other lawyers in the niche who don’t compete
  26. 26. Step 5: Ethics and the Niche
  27. 27. Ethics Issues With Niche Practice Caution about advertising as a “specialist” In niche practice of national scope, watch out for UPL issues In niche that may involve non-lawyers, be attentive to rules on fee-splitting and referral fees
  28. 28. Thank you! Contact: Carolyn Elefant [email_address]
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