Posted on January 17, 2013 · Posted in General

It would be easy enough to simply join a generic law firm and take whatever cases come your way. If you really want to enjoy your work, however, you’ll figure out what sets you apart from the other millions of attorneys out there. When you do this, you’ll have a better time at work because you’ll have “better” clients to serve.  Here’s how and why to do it.

1. Accept that you can’t be everything to everybody. This is something that everybody, regardless of profession or vocation will struggle with. Trying to be everything to everybody keeps you from being truly something to someone.  It divides your attention and keeps you from becoming truly excellent. You don’t want to be one of those lawyers for whom clients are faceless piles of cash for his bank accounts do you? That’s what will happen if you don’t focus.

2. Figure Out What Your Strengths Are. Every new lawyer wants to be an expert in every area of law. Unfortunately this is very rarely possible. For example, maybe you’re really good at reading people but are terrible with numbers. Wouldn’t it make sense, then, to focus on trial law instead of on tax law? Are you fascinated by technology, the Internet and entrepreneurship? Perhaps your focus should be on intellectual property law. Don’t let anybody tell you that focusing on just one or two things is a terrible idea. After all, look at Mr. Steven Guynn. He didn’t get to where he is by taking on all areas of law. He focused on corporate, investment and market law.

3. Specialization makes you more attractive to clients while generalization makes you less. Think about your “elevator pitch.” Do you really want to say “I do a little bit of everything” when describing your services? Or do you want to be able to legitimately call yourself an expert? It’s easier to pitch yourself to a potential client if you can verify your expertise in a subject or niche. Even better, specialization attracts higher profile clients. This helps you build your practice.

4. When you pick an area you actually enjoy and understand, you’ll have a better time at work and you’ll be more dedicated to your work. This makes you a better lawyer for your clients because you’ll actually care about the outcome of the case they have hired you to take on. This makes you more valuable to your clients and they’ll remember the personal attention and enthusiasm which will make them more likely to hire you (and recommend you to their friends and colleagues) if they ever need legal representation again.

There are all sorts of reasons that specializing in a specific niche of law is a good idea. Your niche is what will help make you special and set you apart from all of the other generic attorneys out there. So that leaves just one question: about what are you truly passionate?