I have read an article where it stated that a niche practice is best because you cannot try to be all things to all people. My initial reaction was nodding my head in the motion of yes; then I quickly realized how funny that statement would be to most paralegals whether or not they were working in general practice or a specialized area. That is exactly who we are; all things to all people. How many times were you the mail person, secretary, supervisor, customer service and the list goes on and on; sometimes, all in one day?
However, I have to agree with this statement as it relates to starting a virtual paralegal business. If an attorney is looking to hire a paralegal to help with his bankruptcy practice; what is the likely chance he is going to hire a corporate paralegal with bankruptcy skills as oppose to a paralegal that specializes in bankruptcy. It is very likely; given the chance both paralegals would do a great job. There are paralegals that have started in one practice and have moved on to different practice areas throughout their careers. However, the attorney is going to be the most comfortable hiring the paralegal that is currently practicing bankruptcy or has practice for several years.
The way to handle your multiple skills and practice areas when starting a niche virtual paralegal business is to evaluate the following:
- Your years of experience and your comfort level offering those services on a continuous basis. Some paralegals switch practice areas because they did not enjoy the work.
- What services can you offer remotely that has the potential to be profitable?
- Focus on demographics, such as age, gender, occupation, income level, ethnic background, or marital status for your practice area. For example, a family law paralegal focusing on French speaking clients.
- Is there a demand in the market for your services? There may not be a lot of positions advertised for some practice areas; but that does not mean there is no demand. Contact attorneys and law firms who specialize in those areas and offer your services.
As your practice grows; you can expand in other practice areas that compliment your current services. Niche practice can help raise your profit per client by demonstrating expertise. Many clients will pay a premium for specialized skill set.