You have heard me speak of branding in this blog before. The Little Book Series from the American Bar Association covers specialized areas of practice from multiple titles, including the following from their website;
- The Little Book of Golf Law, Second Edition
- The Little Book of Elvis Law
- The Little Book of Skiing Law
- The Little Book of Fitness Law
- The Little Book of Horse Racing Law
- The Little Book of Holiday Law
- The Little Red Book of Wine Law
- The Little Book of Coffee Law
- The Little Book of Hunting and Fishing Law
- The Little Book of Cowboy Law
- The Little Book of Movie Law
- The Little Book of Foodie Law
- The Little Book of Music Law
- The Little Book of Fashion Law
- The Little Book of Boating Law
- The Little Book of BBQ Law
- The Little Book of Basketball Law
- The Little White Book of Baseball Law
Add to this group, Skateboard Law! If you don’t believe me, check out http://zuppkelaw.com/jordan-zuppke/ where you can find a recent graduate who promotes himself as “the Michigan skateboard lawyer”. And he does a wonderful job of selling the concept and he as someone uniquely qualified to understand the issues associated with skateboard legal matters. Think about it – municipalities with parks devoted to skateboarding, manufacturers with defects in design, neighbors who are concerned about noise or other nuisances associated with skateboarders, malls or other areas where skateboarders are prevented access. All of this raises the specter of possible litigation associated with skateboards.
Find your passion and make that your practice!
To do that you need to identify your niche and find your audience after you define that audience. Then write about it. If you are a skateboarder and have an understanding of the principles and deficiencies of various products in the industry, then you want to reach individuals who may have been injured using them. How do you do that?
Write about it!
There are dozens of magazines (in print and online) which are devoted to skateboarding. And many of them are looking for quality copy to include in those publications. How hard is it to research recent cases and trends in case law associated with product liability or premises liability and skateboards? What legislation is afoot or recently passed limiting the use or restricting their use in public areas? Does it disproportionately affect economic or social classes of individuals? Who might be interested or affected? That is a potential audience. What do they read, where do they assemble? That is where you want to appear.
Produce Content and Stay Active
What are you passionate about? Can you convert that to an area of practice that addresses the pain point of a particular audience? This is not an easy path to follow as it will take imagination, determination and consistency when you are establishing yourself as the go to person for your specialty. You will eventually be the one making law in your area of practice. You will be doing presentations before interest groups who are affected by your area of practice and you will be sought after once you have become established. Even more important, you will distinguish yourself and cease to compete with others as there will be no others with the degree of expertise that you have developed. You will not compete on price and chances are that your territory will expand well beyond your geographical reach if your specialty has strong appeal and application to people’s lives.
The world is changing and we need to be able to change with it. Certainly technology has changed the way we live, engage in business and how we interact with one another. Those changes mean that we need to be adapting to the practice of law in ways that were never dreamed of in the past. Take hold of the opportunities that are available, but first you have to see them to take advantage of them. Self driving cars, drones, artificial intelligence, operation of business in the cloud are just a few of fairly recent developments that offer new opportunities in practice and greater flexibility in how we practice law. If you find you are practicing law in the same manner and covering the same areas of substantive practice as you were 5, 10 or more years ago, it may be time to reevaluate your situation to see if you are missing out on new opportunities. If you have not started practice and you are still in law school, you might want consider going solo. If you want to determine if solo practice is for you, read my recent publication available from the ABA, Solo Lawyer By Design, A Plan For Success In Any Practice. And of course, follow and subscribe to my blog for more ideas on how to be successful in your practice.