March 01, 2013

Building a Niche Practice: Go Small to Go Big

Jeramie Fortenberry

It’s no secret that the legal marketplace is in turmoil. The combination of tight-fisted consumers, an oversupply of lawyers, and increased competition from nonlawyers has created the perfect storm in the legal market. In this competitive environment, lawyers must distinguish themselves from the competition in order to claim a bigger piece of the pie. One way to do this: Build a niche law practice.

What Is a Niche Law Practice?

Put simply, a niche practice is a focused practice. Niche practitioners don’t try to be all things to all people. Instead, they focus their time, energy, and marketing efforts on a discrete segment of the legal market.

There are several ways to carve a niche out of the broader market. Some niche practices focus on practice areas, such as bankruptcy or personal injury law. Others focus on demographics, such as age, gender, occupation, income level, ethnic background, or marital status. Still others combine both practice area and demographic considerations—say, immigration law for athletes or estate planning for high-net-worth individuals. But in each case, the practice is focused on a distinct market segment.

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