Imagine for a moment being a client, trying to select a lawyer for a representation in a case you may or may not fully understand, in which you likely have no expertise at all. And imagine that your case is one of your top priorities: a divorce or child custody case, a bet-the-company business case, or setting up the business you’ve been building in your mind for years. How will you choose a lawyer you can trust?
The U.S. is blessed (or cursed, depending on your perspective) with huge numbers of lawyers, many of whom are skilled in their practice areas, who strive for excellence in everything they say and do in service to their clients, who seek to provide exceptional client service. And yet, to the outsider, lawyers in the same practice area tend to sound very much alike. How does a client choose?
A question for you to consider this morning: what sets you apart from other lawyers? Is it your expertise in a very narrow niche? Is it the perspective you bring to your cases? Is it the dedication you exhibit to your clients? Or something else? How would a client see what you identify as your distinguishing mark? (Maybe you should ask several clients — and if that suggestion feels even slightly threatening, ask yourself why.) And really drill down. Don’t allow yourself to accept a weak, watery distinction.
This raises and important and sort of an existential question: What do you stand for as an advocate? How would a client know?