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How to Niche Down Your Legal Business

Unveiling the power of niching down your legal business with Hunter Garnett and Sasha Berson.

11 min


Apr 4, 2024
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The old saying, “jack of all trades, master of none,” is an expression you don't want applied to you. While versatility has its place, "narrowing" your practice will benefit you more in the long run. Rather than viewing specialization as a limitation, you need to focus on a specific area. Then, clients will come to you as the go-to for that area. Your marketing should also surround that niche; over time, your name will become synonymous with it.

In this article, we'll look at approaches for niching down and the benefits of narrowing your focus. Listen to the new Grow Law Firm podcast episode for more insights on making the most of a focused model. Host Sasha Berson interviewed Hunter Garnett, the managing partner of Garnett Patterson, about how their firm achieved success by limiting its scope.

What Does It Mean to Niche Down?

Legal niching down refers to the process of specifically targeting a particular area of law or a specific type of client within the legal industry.

To niche down, law firms must identify their unique strengths and the areas of law that they are most passionate about. They must then focus their marketing efforts on that specific area of law and create a unique value proposition that sets them apart from other law firms. The three main elements of niching down are:

  • Segmentation: This involves identifying and dividing the legal market into smaller, more specific segments based on geographic location, practice area, or other relevant factors.
  • Targeting: This involves evaluating the target audience's demographics, psychographics, and pain points to create a tailored marketing strategy.
  • Positioning: This involves creating a unique and compelling value proposition that sets the law firm apart from other law firms and establishes them as the go-to experts in their chosen area of law.
What Does It Mean to Niche Down

How to Narrow Your Legal Niche: The Top 7 Methods

There are several options to narrow down a practice area strategically. From defining your client persona to narrowing your practice area and staying connected with your community, these strategies will help you gain clarity on how best to succeed.

1. Define Your Buyer Persona

A buyer persona refers to creating a fictionalized profile of your ideal clients - the specific type of customer you want to serve. This involves detailing their demographics, pain points, priorities, and characteristics. It's something we at Grow Law Firm ask all of our clients to do as soon as we get started.

How to niche down when defining your persona:

  • Leverage any existing data of a specific person along with market research.
  • Map out attributes like age, gender, location, annual income, business type/size if commercial, common legal problems faced, purchase habits, and more.
  • Develop a short biography to personalize them.

An example may be, "Susan is a 45-year-old small business owner in manufacturing. She has 12 employees and makes $3M in sales annually. Susan fears employment lawsuits and wants a layered advisory partnership for HR compliance issues." With a clear persona in mind, you can tailor your offerings, messaging, and strategy accordingly.

2. Narrow Down Your Practice Area

Rather than trying to handle a wide range of legal matters, choose one specialized field to devote your efforts to. Focus on developing profound expertise in that singular practice area. Evaluate which legal field best suits your strengths and interests. Personal injury? Family law? Intellectual property?

This gives you industry knowledge that those who generalize cannot match. And remember, potential clients will better understand the specific help you can offer when you niche down your law firm. It is better to focus singularly on personal injury, for example, rather than attempting a scattered approach across multiple legal disciplines.

3. Align Niche with Your Priorities

Align Niche with Your Priorities
Choose a specialization in law that aligns with your experience and resonates with your long-term motivations to ensure focused competence and avoid burnout.

Beyond simply choosing areas you have experience in, it is important to select a segment that resonates with your motivations for doing this work long-term. Defining your objectives, values, and motivation helps ensure a focused competence aligned with why you became an attorney in the first place. Choosing a specialization solely for profit potential without an inner passion can result in fatigue. At Grow Law Firm, we believe success coincides with passion.

4. Meet All the Segmentation Criteria

When identifying your niche market segment, strive to find a particular group that meets your criteria. It should be precise enough to support a specialized legal practice properly. An effective segmentation satisfies important characteristics:

  • Measurable - Select a niche where success can be clearly measured in metrics like case numbers, revenue, retention rates, etc.  This allows for a clear evaluation of market potential.
  • Accessible - The right niche should involve clients you can readily connect with in your market region. Most of your clients will be in your vicinity, making it easy for you to serve them.
  • Substantial - Target a niche constituting a substantial percentage of potential clients sufficient enough to sustain the business long-term.
  • Accord - Stick to a niche where your skills and interests align naturally with client requirements. This, in turn, builds strong relationships.

5. Be Connected with Your Community

Actively becoming involved in your local community is crucial for a lawyer. It will help you naturally connect with potential clients and referrals. Be present wherever your target market segments gather, whether at schools, sporting events, or community centers. Establish yourself as an accessible, friendly fixture of the neighborhood.

Find ways to associate through shared interests and build rapport over mutual hobbies or pastimes. Look for organizations aligned with your demographic, too. Spend time engaging with groups centered on activities you enjoy, like a particular sport. Making meaningful connections through volunteer work serves your clients and small businesses alike.

Finally, consider communities without excessive legal representation. Wherever your efforts take you, active participation has numerous benefits - from brand visibility to helpful referral partners. Commit fully to the region you serve and its residents will commit to your services in return.

Thriving as a Community-Engaged Lawyer
" The more folks that you help, the more potential referral partners that you have."
— Hunter Garnett

6. Target Your Audience

Make sure to specifically target your marketing efforts based on the key attributes of your desired clients. Learn the attributes of your ideal customer and tailor your approach accordingly. The fundamentals of community building stay the same—customize your efforts based on the similar characteristics between you and your intended market segment.

Align partnerships and sponsorships with organizations directly relevant to their interests rather than generic sponsorships. For example, sponsor a soccer league catering to local Spanish speakers instead of only larger events.

7. Use Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a powerful tool for reaching out to potential clients and staying top of mind. Whatever you do with the social media platform, you should convey it in a non-spammy way. You could use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram to support content marketing efforts, reminding your target audience of your expertise and building trust.

Another effective marketing strategy is to use email to target your former clients. A platform like Facebook allows you to collect email addresses and build a niche audience of people who have already shown interest in your services.

Furthermore, make at least six quality touches annually, whether informative industry updates or friendly check-ins. Avoid hard selling and focus on building a long-term understanding of your services. Research shows it takes numerous subtle impressions for someone to consider you when needing legal assistance fully.

Approaches to Narrow Down Your Law Firm Practice

Imagine zeroing in on your strengths, maximizing your profits, and providing top-notch service to your clients. That is what niching down your law firm practice does. With the right strategies, you can make this vision a reality. Let's discuss some of them below!

— Demographic

One way to effectively narrow your law firm practice is to target specific demographic groups. Closely examine the needs and attributes of particular age ranges, cultures, socioeconomic statuses, or other population segments. Focusing on the distinct legal issues relevant to a targeted demographic allows you to tailor your services uniquely. You gain a deeper understanding of serving their unique challenges through specialized expertise.

— Location

Determine the specific location or regions you want to focus on based on factors such as population density, economic conditions, and competition. For example, you could decide to only take cases within your city, county, or state to minimize travel demands. Partnering with localized specialists also enhances your ability to meet client needs comprehensively. Getting involved in local organizations and events spreads authentic awareness of your niche law firm among potential clients within your defined service area.

— Practice Area

We have mentioned this various times in this article, but it's always worth repeating. The main idea behind this approach is to choose an area of law that you are strongly interested in and experienced in and then specialize in that area. For example, you might choose to specialize in family law, business law, or intellectual property law.

— Cost Range

The focus on specific cost ranges involves identifying the specific price point or range of prices that your firm is comfortable with and targeting clients who are seeking legal services within that range. You can target high-networth clients who are willing to pay a high fee for premium legal services. You may also choose to represent clients who are looking for pro bono legal services. All that matters in this approach is knowing how to source the clients.

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Benefits of Legal Niching Down

There are various benefits of niching down for law firms. We've mentioned quite a few in this guide, but let's go into detail on 3 of them!

— Faster Growth

Legal niching down allows you to quickly establish yourself as a market leader in your niche and attract clients who are specifically looking for your services. As a result, you can experience faster growth and expand your client base more quickly than if you were practicing in a wider range of areas.

Additionally, niching down enables you to market your services more effectively to your target market and create marketing materials and campaigns that are tailored to their interests and concerns. This can help you stand out from the competition and establish a strong reputation in your niche.

— Easier to Target

Niching down allows you to speak directly to the individuals who are most likely to require your legal services, increasing the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. For example, if you niche down to practice immigration law, you can create blog posts specifically targeting immigrants or businesses that employ them. This way, you get to answer their internal questions, which aid the hiring process.

"You do not need a very large market to be successful."
— Sasha Berson

— Higher ROI

Niching down your law practice allows you to dedicate all of your resources to understanding that niche's nuances, inside and out. This amplifies your value proposition to clients, enabling premium pricing relative to overhead costs. Your workflow is also streamlined for productivity. The demand for your services may rise, leading to higher case volumes that drive greater overall profitability. The returns and high profit margins from a niche specialization make it an attractive strategy for goal-oriented legal professionals.

How to Unlock the Power of Focused Practice with Hunter Garnett, Managing Partner at Garnett Patterson Injury Lawyers

Learn how to unlock the power of a focused legal practice with Hunter Garnett on the Grow Law Firm podcast. Drawing from his experience transforming a general litigation firm into an employment law powerhouse, Hunter discusses the vital importance of niche specialization, community involvement tailored to your target clients, and continually nurturing relationships through personalized outreach over time.

"I think one of the keys to success is boiling down to the smallest niche that you can."
— Hunter Garnett
Watch full-time video
Hunter Garnett

Hunter Garnett

Managing Partner atGarnett Patterson Injury Lawyers

Hunter Garnett is the Managing Partner at Garnett Patterson Injury Lawyers, a reputable law firm in Huntsville, Alabama. He has a proven track record of success representing personal injury victims. His academic journey includes successfully completing his undergraduate studies at Mississippi State and excelling in law school at Samford, where he graduated with honors and achieved a top-class ranking.

Hunter's commitment to excellence is evident through his active involvement in various clubs and leadership roles during his educational years. Outside his legal profession, he enjoys horseback riding and outdoor activities on his mini farm.

The Potential of Niching Down Your Legal Practice with Grow Law Firm

As you focus on your preferred area, be it personal injury, litigation, or trial, try using the methods and approaches mentioned in this article to establish yourself as an expert in your field, increase your credibility, and generate more leads and clients. Let's be clear- this process is not a one-time thing! It requires ongoing effort to ensure that you're effectively reaching a specific market and providing them with the services they need. If you're looking for support in your efforts, you can partner with a professional marketing agency for lawyers like Grow Law Firm.

We understand the importance of niching down and can provide you with the strategies and tools you need to succeed. Our team of experts specializes in law firm SEO, PPC, and web design, taking a comprehensive approach to attracting new clients to your firm. Contact us today to start bringing in more leads to your firm.

Hunter Garnett is the Managing Partner at Garnett Patterson Injury Lawyers, a reputable law firm in Huntsville, Alabama. He has a proven track record of success representing personal injury victims. His academic journey includes successfully completing his undergraduate studies at Mississippi State and excelling in law school at Samford, where he graduated with honors and achieved a top-class ranking.

Hunter's commitment to excellence is evident through his active involvement in various clubs and leadership roles during his educational years. Outside his legal profession, he enjoys horseback riding and outdoor activities on his mini farm.

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