ast Thursday, a friend asked me to find a lawyer for them or to get a referral from a lawyer so they could get counsel on a niche legal issue in a large metro area in another state.
No matter what anyone tells you, locating the right lawyer is not easy, and usually comes via relationships.
So I reached out to a lawyer I knew in that metro area to see if they knew of such a lawyer or knew of a lawyer who may. No luck.
As way of context, lawyers get work by referring work to other lawyers, it builds a network.
Any lawyer would be glad to take my call asking for a referral to another lawyer. And that lawyer would be glad to take the call of any lawyer in their community asking for the same thing. It’s how they get referrals – by referring work out.
When I came up empty on a referral, fortunately I knew the name of NAELA (National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys), an association of attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of older Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities.
It was an elder law niche issue for which I needed a referral. And lawyers who are members and leaders of niche associations are good places to start a search.
It took me hours wading through NAELA’s poorly developed directory with some lawyers having some information about themselves and others having none. Often the information was such that only a lawyer would know what it meant, and even then the info was not that helpful in selecting a lawyer here.
Unfortunately, it was much the same for law firm websites when I got to them from links on NAELA’s site. Though I did email three lawyers last Thursday night and Friday morning. Only one responded.
Imagine if a lawyer blogged on elder law issues, perhaps more particularly on the relevant niche. The more they blogged, the more likely they would have hit that niche.
I do a search on the niche in that metro and I find that lawyer, their blog and their insight on the issue. Within seconds.
Case closed. The lawyer gets the call.
Lawyers worry about where there work is going to come from. Lawyers pay countless dollars for websites, SEO and directories.
Why not just share what you know by answering the questions you get in your practice. Do it once a week – about 30 minutes is all – and you have fifty answers a year.
It’s not not hard, it’s called blogging – and you’d make it much easier for people looking for your help as a lawyer to find you.