Post #909 – January 3, 2022

The Most Lucrative Growth Is Industry Focused: 

But ONLY If You Get Granular

(this is an excerpt from my forthcoming book – Industry Specialization: Making Competitors Irrelevant)


We all know intuitively that we need to have our firm grow but the subject of growth can be a tricky topic such that it becomes important to have an informed perspective on how to think about it.  Growth creates healthy practices, strong firms, opens up opportunities, excites and attracts good lateral talent, and rewards partners.  But do we really know how to achieve it?


One approach is to pay attention to which clients you pursue and particularly when you look at clients through an industry lens.  I would argue that in order to truly identify growth opportunities you need to drill well below the traditional industry level.  And I would suggest that those few firms that have focused at all on developing Industry Practices invariably miss-the-boat when they position themselves at too high a level to establish themselves in a manner that really attracts the better potential clients.  


And why does this happen?  Because, and I am not going to blow smoke at you here – law firms and lawyers do NOT understand the intricacies of Industries.


As but one example. even some of the Legal Media that I would expect to know better, have me shaking my head.  The Legal 500 is seeking submissions for its US Ranking of law firm practice and industry groups.  The purpose of these rankings is “to help in-house lawyers and legal teams find the right advisors.”  Amongst the list of Industries in which you can enter your firm to be considered include “Environmental” and “Native American Law.”  Important areas of practice to be sure, but are these really industries and especially when you cannot help but add “Law” to the title?  Then their categorizations go on to include “Media, Technology and Telecoms” . . . all lumped together as one industry?  Digging deeper you can find “Cyber Law” (there is that “Law” term creeping in again) and “Fintech” included under this heading.  


Little wonder when it comes to understanding industries, that some of our law firms seem confused!


You are welcome to read the remainder of this article in the latest issue of Legal Business World page 38: 



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