By Anonymous • December 18, 2018•Careers, Firms and the Private Sector
Many law schools are telling students to “find their niche.” Some students take it to heart, while others prefer to take a more general approach to their practice.
Whether or not you choose a niche is a personal decision. But it’s important to understand the advantages and potential disadvantages of specializing in a particular field of law.
Understanding Niche and Micro-Niche Practices
Today, we have niche and micro-niche law practices. The differences between the two are subtle but important.
Here’s an example:
- Niche Practice: Personal injury lawyer
- Micro-Niche Practice: Mesotheliomia lawyer
As you can see, a micro-niche is very specific, which means that you will need to have specialized knowledge in one key area. Having such specialized knowledge could make you a more attractive option for certain types of cases.
We’re going to talk about the pros and cons of choosing a niche, and this includes choosing a micro-niche.
The Pros of Choosing a Niche
There are numerous benefits to choosing a niche, and at this stage, it’s harder to find general practice law firms than niche firms.
The primary benefit to choosing a niche is expertise. Expertise will help you attract more clients. If someone were injured while on the job, would they rather work with a general practice lawyer, or a lawyer who specializes in workers’ compensation?
When you choose a niche, you become an expert in that field, with more knowledge and experience in the area than other lawyers. As an expert, you will have the skills and tools to overcome challenges specific to the cases in your niche.
Positioning yourself as an expert will help you build credibility and trust with your potential and current clients.
Choosing a micro-niche may narrow your target audience, but some hyper-focused practice areas provide lucrative opportunities – particularly those related to emerging technologies.
When you choose a niche, it also becomes easier to market your practice. You know exactly where to focus your efforts, and you know exactly who to target.
The Potential Cons of Choosing a Niche
Of course, there are some disadvantages to choosing a niche or a micro-niche. Perhaps the greatest disadvantage is that you limit yourself to one or two areas of the law. That may be fine for some lawyers, but others may want to branch out and work with a wide range of clients on a wide range of cases.
Additionally, you may find that having such a narrowed focus makes your career unfulfilling or monotonous. And if you choose to change your niche, you have to start back at square one, building your credibility and reputation from scratch.
Choosing a niche is absolutely a personal decision, and you may find that it is not the right choice for you. In the early days of your career, you will likely have the opportunity to test the waters and work with different types of cases and in different areas of the law. These early experiences will help you determine whether you want to niche and which practice areas you may want to focus on in your care