Many lawyers want to start their solo careers as a general practice, thinking that they will attract more clients if they offer a variety of services. However, when it comes to marketing strategy, lawyers who focus on one practice area create a stronger brand and are more successful in the long run. The right solo practice could involve a personal interest, fill a hole in the market, and/or provide previously unavailable online or unbundled services. The important thing is for every lawyer starting a solo practice to create a business plan and do research before choosing a field of law. Recent law school graduates and lawyers leaving big practices alike need to find their niche area of law for success.
In this episode of New Solo, Adriana Linares interviews law practice management professor Stephanie Kimbro about lawyers starting solo practices, areas of law to consider going into, how to start market research for a business plan, and ways to differentiate a practice from the existing market. Kimbro suggests lawyers find specialized niches based on their interests such as online dispute resolution, veteran law, or immigration law surrounding a specific community in order to engage with their clients and market their services. For lawyers without a niche, she suggests alternate billing, unbundling legal services, integrating technology, and researching market needs for prospective clients. Instead of worrying that technology is replacing legal jobs, lawyers, and specifically solos, need to change the way they think of services, fees, and law firm marketing.
Stephanie Kimbro is an adjunct professor for many law schools including Wake Forest, Conchord, Florida Law School, and Michigan State. She primarily teaches the use of technology in law practice management, unbundling of legal services, and virtual law practice. Prior to working with Burton Law, a virtual law firm, Kimbro operated a web-based virtual law school in North Carolina for six years and delivered unbundled estate planning to clients online. In addition to her virtual law practice, she is a technology consultant and serves on many prestigious law committees.
Special thanks to our sponsor, Solo Practice University.