Today's Seasoned Solo Practitioner: How to Market Your Experience, Reputation and Value
The law field is at a turning point. A recent article in the ABA Journal reported, "The legal profession is undergoing a massive structural shift-one that will leave it dramatically transformed in the coming years." The shift stems from a combination of events including new laws and changes in enforcement, the mobility of businesses and individuals, as well as new competition from non-legal firms such as accounting and real estate and the availability of legal documents online. The average person today requires more legal representation than ever before and how they choose their legal representation has changed too. The attorneys who have the most to gain are probably those like you: a mid-career solo practitioner or a lawyer at a small firm. Why? Because consumers want you!
You, the mid-career solo practitioner, are quite literally the core of the legal profession. On one side are those young attorneys who have recently passed the bar and are trying to make their way. What they lack in experience they make up for with web savvy, technology skills, and aggressive online marketing tactics, but it is your experience the consumer wants. On the other side are large firms with significant marketing and advertising budgets, a small army of junior attorneys and paralegals pushing a high volume of work, and a team of technical experts to help them advance online, but consumers are wary of high costs, inattentive or indifferent care, and marginal results.
So why do consumers want you? Here are a few reasons why today's consumer seeks the seasoned solo practitioner.
At this point in your career you have a solid base of experience in your area of expertise. You have over twenty years dedicated to the practice of law, both at big firms and as a solo practitioner. You are as accomplished and seasoned as the big firm partners with a proven track record and a solid reputation to bank on.
Today corporations and companies hire large law firms because they typically require expertise in many different areas of law. Individuals, on the other hand, hire attorneys -- not law firms -- to handle a particular legal issue. When people search for an attorney, they tend to look for one that's close to them, generally within thirty miles, and they start online with an Internet search. They search for attorneys who concentrate in the particular area of law they need, generalists need not apply. People want to read reviews, testimonials, and representative cases that connect with their own legal issue and help establish the attorney's credibility and reputation.
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