Expanding Your Rural Practice: A Case Study (Part 1 of 4)

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Every practice, rural included, is always looking to expand. As technology increases the comfort that potential clients have in using email and phone calls to get needed assistance, the potential client base is no longer limited to your town or county. So how can a rural practice attract clients from outside their tradional geographic market and take advantage of ruralsourcing? In a series of posts, I’m going to share the steps that I’m taking to grow my own niche practice and add global clients to my rural practice.

1. Offer a unique service.

Even though being a rural attorney may necessitate some level of general practice, you can offer a unique service. I had two reasons for becoming a lawyer. The first was that I had a passion for teaching, but little tolerance for teaching those who had no interest in the subject. It became clear to me that I was not cut out to teach in the classroom. But, one of my favorite things about practice of law is explaining the law to clients who are far more invested and interested in the answer than even I could be. This is something I have the privilege of doing everyday in my rural practice. Another reason I became a lawyer was because it seemed to me to be the only profession that offered a wide enough range of subject material that I might have a shot to use my undergrad degree in German. The surprising thing is that even with a practice in rural Minnesota, I have been able to use my second language in a handful of files. Everyone has a unique ability that adds to their legal training. With technology expanding our potential client base, rural attorneys may be able to find clients that need those abilities.

2. Be passionate about it.

Passion can get you to be a great lawyer. Your unique ability may be related to your passion. And, if you become passionate about an area of law, you will automatically be up for the extra research and marketing involved in adding a niche area to your rural practice. For me, I found my legal passion in law school. I spent a month during the summer with a German transactional attorney and learned just how different foreign law can be in regards to estate planning and probate. I became fascinated in international estate planning and helping transnational individuals and families deal with the multitude of issues that arose in the “simple” act of estate planning.

So, how does an attorney in rural Minnesota add something like international estate planning to her practice? That’s something I’m working on. But, I’m looking forward to future posts to share what I’ve done and explore things I haven’t yet done to add my passion niche area to my rural practice.

What about you? What passion niche areas do you have? How have you found ways to reach clients that have a need for your unique ability?

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/toasty/1540997910/)

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