Law is a business all about people. People often use the services of lawyers when they have some sort of crises, such as a lawsuit, bankruptcy, divorce, guardianship issue, or a DUI arrest. They also hire us on happy occasions such as when purchasing real estate or assisting in an adoption proceeding.
I guess then it should come as no surprise that other attorneys tell me that conventional advertising does not generate the bulk of their business. It seems it really is all about who you know. With that in mind, I have sent announcements to all of my nearest and dearest, in my family, and business community, to let them know that I am in business.
A former boss once told me to tell people that I am simply A LAWYER, because to say that you specialize in any one area could cost you valuable business. I agree, but it is only human nature to prefer or have a talent for a certain niche. My niche is Estate Planning & Elder Law. While I am happy to assist in a real estate closing or a simple Consumer Protection dispute, I find helping families to be very personally rewarding. It is also a constantly changing area of law, and each case presents a different challenge, particularly if you are dealing with difficult personalities in the family dynamic. (hmmm, that's a whole post in itself!) I guess I would say I lean toward Probate & Family Law, both because of my work history in that area, and because of my own inclination, but it's certainly not ALL I do..
Anyway, this issue of "what kind of lawyer are you?"came up this morning at a networking meeting that I had joined through Meetup.com. The meeting itself was very productive, as I did meet several people whose business I or my clients certainly would need: Realtors, Financial Planners, a Counselor/Life Coach, etc.
In general, people don't really understand how I could do Criminal Defense and still write their mother's will (and health care proxy & power of attorney, because to neglect them would be malpractice, in my opinion). People do like to pigeon-hole one another, and I need to resist doing that to myself. I like the idea of doing a little bit of everything, while sub-specializing in what I know best.