Finding your niche in the law is not what happens while you are in law school. We all took classes that related to particular areas of the law, yet, when we graduated, most of us didn’t know what we wanted to do, what niche area of the law was the best fit for us. Often, an attorney’s area of practice and career path is determined by the first job he takes. I can’t tell you how many lawyers I have talked to who took a great sounding job only to find that they disliked the legal practice area they were working in.
You have invested a significant amount of time and money in becoming an attorney, wouldn’t it be a good idea to invest a bit more effort to proactively choose the area of the law where you will spend your legal career?
What to Do:
- Think through the questions set out on the Managing Your Legal Career Page: “What do I want out of my life? “, “What do I want out of my career?” and “What Are My Talents, Skills and Interests?”Take sufficient time to fully consider these questions over a period of days or weeks. Setting the vision for your future is critical.
- Determine what your options are. It may be possible to rule out certain areas of law that you know are not a good match. You may be able to refine your search based upon such factors as where you will be living, your spouse’s career path, how you did in law school, financial goals, lifestyle considerations, etc. A criteria filter can be very helpful. Let me know and I will send you a criteria filter form. Make a list of all practice areas you are interested in investigating.
- Make and follow a plan. You need a systematic approach that sets out the specific steps to follow to make the determination of your niche law practice area. Your challenge is that you haven’t done this before, you don’t know how to go about it and work and life just keep getting in the way. It is easy to procrastinate, to focus on your current workload and tell yourself that you will get around to it later. Or you might do a little bit of investigation here and there when you have time. That won’t work.
Coaching for Lawyers.com can help. In my 25 years of law practice I handled cases in a number of different practice areas. Since 1997, I have coached attorneys who work in additional law practice areas. My personal legal experience plus the knowledge I have gained from coaching other attorneys is a valuable resource. I can work with you to prepare a written plan to conduct the initial research and support you through the investigation and analysis of the legal niche areas developed. Through regular coaching sessions and accountability I will keep you on track to achieve your goal: finding your practice area, your niche in the law.