What does it take for an attorney to stand out?
Many new lawyers face an uphill climb in establishing their practices. Clients looking for representation typically value experience and reputation above all else. No matter how intelligent and talented you are, it is an extremely competitive industry that is not especially welcoming to new blood looking for work out of law school.
However, that does not mean you should give up on your dream of building your own law firm. With a little ingenuity, perseverance, and knowledge of the landscape, it can be done.
Here are a few of the keys to stand out as a law firm.
Your first concern needs to be finding an area in which you are suited to specialize. Too many beginning lawyers fail to define themselves and their areas of expertise. Choose an area of law that interests you and make yourself into an authority on it. This hard work will pay off in the long run with a clearly defined section of the market to draw from.
People don’t often think of the law as a customer service industry, but that is exactly what it is. The stereotypical lawyer is smart, but sneaky with no true concern for their client, only the fee they will be paid. Of course this isn’t usually the case.
Most lawyers care passionately about what they do. However, one way you can set yourself apart from the competition is providing the best possible customer service. Great customer service is easy to say, but hard to do.
Treating your customers well leads to repeat patronage and even referrals. Good word of mouth is a powerful tool for a growing business. Establishing lasting meaningful relationships with your clients and ensuring their complete satisfaction will help you build a solid base of support over time.
Another important consideration is to use outside resources to help grow your practice. Practicing law is hard enough without having to master marketing, website design, SEO, and other skills. Hiring an outside law marketing firm is essential for anyone hoping to stand out as a law firm. They can ensure that you are using the most up to date technology and strategies in the industry, giving you an inside edge over your competition without the forethought to hire an outside firm.
The final and most important key to help you stand out as a law firm is simple; Don’t settle for anything less than being the best in your field. That will take a lot more than talent and knowledge. You have to be willing to work harder than everyone else around you. The sheer amount of work you put in and the passion that you have for your profession is what will separate you from your peers.
Unfortunately for those who are looking for a shortcut to success, there is no substitution for good old fashioned hard work. Those who care the most about succeeding and are willing to put in those long hours, will eventually achieve their goals.
photo credit: Glynn County Courthouse