Most law firms choose to focus exclusively on one type of law. They may choose personal injury, family law, criminal defense, estate law, business law, or even a more niche area like intellectual property, entertainment, or environmental law. The general consensus tends to be that a law firm works best when it does just one kind of law.
To me, this consensus seems misguided. To begin with, law firms often stick with one kind of law because it provides them with more experience in that area. However, few cases are exclusive to one particular area of law. A criminal case can affect your child custody agreement; a personal injury can affect your ability to pay alimony. It makes sense for law firms to bring in lawyers with familiarity with a variety of different areas of the law, so that someone on staff can answer any questions that may arise during a case.
Law firms may also feel that focusing on one kind of law allows them to increase their recognition in this one area. However, I think this overestimates how much individuals in a community who aren’t involved in the law actually pay attention to law firms. When they know a law firm, they know it by its reputation for results, not by the type of law they practice.
And that really gets to my main point. A law firm does best when it is known for helping a community.
Take, for instance, Adams Law Firm. They are known not for their personal injury law skills or their family law skills, but as a law firm that is focused on helping their community in Katy, Texas and around Houston. That focus and dedication to the community they live in speaks more about their quality as a law firm than anything else.
When the average person thinks about a law firm, they don’t think about whether they only work in this kind of law or that kind of law; they think about how they and others they know feel about that law firm on a very basic level. Do they trust the law firm to look out for them? That trust, that belief that the lawyers at that firm are always putting the client first, is what is central to bringing in clients. The way to build that belief is not by limiting the ways your firm helps the community, but by expanding it.
Experience is important, and you never want a law firm to advertise it can handle cases that it doesn’t have experience with. However, that shouldn’t dissuade more law firms from following the path of Adams Law Firm and opening their doors to all the kinds of cases their community deals with.
The more you help your community, the more that community will pay you back. Embrace their more expansive needs, and you’ll find they repay you by putting their trust in you, no matter what kind of legal assistance they need.