Choosing A Narrow Practice Niche Made My Solo Law Firm More Successful

By Law Firm Suites - November 5, 2014
Choosing A Narrow Practice Niche Made My Solo Law Firm More Successful

This week in Things I Wish I Knew, Solo attorney, Joleena Louis, explains how narrowing her practice to a niche area ended up having a profound effect on her solo law firm.

When I first started my practice I received referrals from friends and family members for a variety of legal issues, none of which included my actual practice area of family law.

I have to admit that in the beginning it was tempting to take on some of these cases primarily because I needed the money.

Fortunately, I was warned by other solo’s that this was not a good path to take if I wanted quality referrals.

Knowing Where I Wanted to Practice, But Not Being Specific Enough

solo law firmI knew from the beginning that I was not going to be a general practitioner and that I was going to practice family law exclusively.

However, family law is a very broad area so did I need to dig deeper to find that niche? Would I not get more work if I kept it general?

I started out taking any family law case that came to me and I had a very difficult time narrowing down my ideal client; when referral sources would ask me what type of cases I was seeking, I would just say any type of family law case.

While this lead to referrals for my solo law firm, many were poor quality and were not willing to pay my fees.

Making a Change and Specifying My Ideal Client

I knew I had to make a change if I wanted to get better clients.

I started by thinking about the cases that brought me the most satisfaction and I found that I really enjoyed working on custody matters, especially fighting for fathers who wanted equal parenting time.

Custody cases are expensive so my best clients are professionals because they typically have the resources to go forward.

Finding My Niche and Its Effect on My Referrals

solo law firmOnce I knew who my ideal client was it was easier to share that information with referral sources who in turn were able to give me better quality referrals.

Due to this influx of quality referrals, I am able to charge a higher fee.

Obviously, I do take on other types of family law clients or cases, but I now describe a specific type of case that has my preference.

A referral source may know several family law attorneys, but they now think of me when they come across this particular type of case and it has done great things for my career as a solo attorney.


Not choosing a niche practice area is one of the 7 deadly mistakes that prevent law practice success.

Learn how to avoid the other 6.


shared law office space Joleena Louis is a matrimonial and family law attorney at Joleena Louis Law, a firm she founded after leaving a boutique matrimonial firm in Brooklyn. Joleena is a client in Law Firm Suites’ start-up program in Downtown, New York. Her weekly blog series Things I Wish I Knew… explores her thought process and experiences in her transition from small law firm employee to successful solo practice entrepreneur.

About Law Firm Suites

Law Firm Suites is the leading NYC shared office space for solo attorneys and small law firms. At Law Firm Suites, attorneys get headache free sublet office space, virtual office rentals and litigation hotel services. Law Firm Suites has two locations in Manhattan, one in White Plains NY, and one in Annapolis MD. Law Firm Suites' community of self-employed lawyers are eager to help colleagues succeed, and routinely exchange over $2.5 million in legal business every year in each LFS business center. Connect with Law Firm Suites on Twitter and .

One thought on “Choosing A Narrow Practice Niche Made My Solo Law Firm More Successful

  1. Adam Scheinbach
    on said:

    Joleena,
    Your recent column, Choosing A Narrow Practice Niche Made My Solo Law Firm More Successful, was at least the second piece of yours that I’ve read and found helpful. Your column about BNI I read at my BNI chapter meeting testimonies and I credited you as writer.
    ~Adam

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