My posts this week have focused on ideas you can implement to achieve  your own definition of success. On Monday I posted: Are You “All In?”  Several lawyers I coach contacted me and said their theme for 2012 is to be “all in.” Yesterday I posted: You Gotta Have This to Succeed. ‘This” is the burning desire to achieve something definite. Today, I want to share thoughts on how to decide on the “something definite” in the context of an area of law practice

If you are not certain about the area of law you want to focus on, begin by thinking about the intersection of your passion, your talent and a potential client needs. The area of law you choose should be one that is not already crowded with lawyers competing for the same work. You need passion to be “all in.” Obviously you need to be talented in the area to attract clients. And, you want to work in an area of law that is growing. Finally, you do not want to be the 100th lawyer in your city focused on the same area of law.

To figure out potential client needs I suggest reviewing the 2012 Legal Industry Predictions: Bob Denney’s Annual Trend Report. In that report, some of the “red hot” areas include:

  1. Banking
  2. Healthcare
  3. Energy
  4. Intellectual Property
If you read the report, you will find the list of “hot” areas and “getting hot” areas.

As many of you know, in 1978 I went through this same thought process. At the time I was one of many, many “commercial litigators” in Roanoke, Virginia. I decided that the intersection of my passion, talent and client needs was highway construction law. At the time very few construction lawyers had an interest in this narrow area. So, it turned out to be perfect for me.

I have coached lawyers who have a burning desire to become an outstanding:

  • Equine lawyer
  • Agricultural lawyer
  • Healthcare lawyer
  • Fashion lawyer
  • Computer fraud lawyer
  • Green construction industry lawyer
  • Covenants not to compete and trade secrets lawyer
  • Wine lawyer
  • Sports lawyer
  • Women owned businesses lawyer
I could go on, but you get the idea. Find that specific area of you that is the intersection of your passion, talent and client needs. If you have found an area and it is unique, please share it with me.