You probably had a multidisciplinary law school course offering insights from “law and” another field. Legal scholarship benefits from the fresh perspective of scholars with experience in economics, psychology, or literature; students benefit because these classes are fun. Professors enjoy teaching at the intersection of their interests inside and outside the law.
Guess what? The same thing makes for an interesting law practice. If you’re looking for a practice area that will bring you joy, visit the intersection of “law and” your life outside the law.
Emily Robertson, mentioned in my last post, is a great example. Emily worked for nonprofits before law school, then “fell into working for attorneys who only worked with nonprofits.” One thing led to another and Emily realized she wanted to build “a practice centering on nonprofits” because she liked working with them. To paraphrase Captain Picard, she has made it so.
Another source of inspiration may be the intersection of your clients’ needs. Karen Hazel worked as a Wall Street executive for 15 years before moving to Minnesota, at which point she started a consulting business. The experience “taught me a lot about the demands, challenges and rewards of running a business. As such, business law seemed a natural segue” after law school. When her business clients often “needed family law support, especially in dissolutions that involved divisions of family businesses,” Karen started practicing at the intersection of family law and business law.
And Virgil Bradley’s commitment to veterans’ legal needs brought him to his family law niche. “Veterans seldom make enough money to hire an attorney that is familiar with issues particular to them in Minnesota’s family courts,” says Virgil. “As a disabled combat veteran I have chosen to focus my practice on providing affordable assistance to other veterans in navigating the legal system.”
Are there people (or businesses, or organizations, or causes) you care about in your life outside the law? They may have unique legal needs—and may be waiting to find someone passionate about meeting them.
Do you know a lawyer with a cool niche from their life outside the law? Give them a shout out in the comments – I may check in with them for a future post.
By Karin Ciano