Specialization – good or bad?

As I tell people all of the time, I’m a personal injury and workers compensation attorney in Rock Island, Illinois. Our firm does personal injury, workers compensation, and medical malpractice. That’s it. No wills, no divorces, no criminal law, etc.

Some people believe that specialization is bad. I guess this is the old-time view of the country lawyer who was a one-stop shop. One example of someone who disagrees with me is Susan Cartier-Liebel. She believes that having too few practice areas makes you look like the people in this pretty funny video.

I, on the other hand, believe that being too much of a generalist makes you look like this:

Virginia injury lawyer Doug Wessel would agree with me… one of his tips for getting good settlement results in personal injury cases is “don’t dabble.” I don’t agree with all of his tips, but I think the “don’t dabble” logic applies to other areas of the law.

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1 Comment

Filed under Law Practice Management

One response to “Specialization – good or bad?

  1. Just for the record, I am against ABA Sanctioned specialization certification where you are so invested monetarily, required to take testing and more and the Bar Associations are dictating the percentage of your business you must maintain in that practice area in order to be ‘specialized’ that if you decide to shift gears for whatever reason (including a change in economic trends) someone else holds the strings to your business model. I also believe that in the beginning of your solo practice you need to be open to the opportunities that present themselves and not pre-determine your professional destiny. This is very different then saying everyone should be a generalist. However, I do appreciate your perspective and am glad you are finding the success you are with your practice area choices.

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