Question of the Week
When The Going Gets Tough, What’s the Best Niche Practice?
Posted Apr 8, 2009 12:10 PM CDT
By Reginald Davis
We know times are tough.
Many lawyers are finding their in-boxes empty and their bank accounts draining.
Yet law is a vast field; there are nooks and crannies, practice niches that could allow lawyers to stay in the work they love.
So we’re asking, in the spirit of aid to your fellow attorneys, for your suggestions of places to look and legal skills to hone in these recessionary times.
When the going gets tough, what's the best niche practice?
Answer in the comments below.
Read last week's question: Who’s to Blame When Turnover Is High?
Posted by Associate Anonymous: "My mid-sized firm has a fairly abysmal turnover rate. I’m a third-year associate, and I’m considered “mid-level” here because no one makes it past year six. I’m one of those paralyzed associates who has fallen behind on hours. Why? Because I got thrown into a practice area that no one else in our firm practices in (the other lawyer who did this was a sixth-year associate who left shortly after I was hired). Left to sink or swim, and I’m sinking. I am given work that would be handled by much senior associates at other firms and given absolutely no guidance in doing the work. As a result, I put in a 60 hour work week and I’m still underbilling. I know I share the blame here - I could work even harder and try even more - but after a while you kind of give up. The response is Pavlovian.
My firm thinks everyone who leaves here does it because they want more money or just don’t want to do the work. Truth is we’re burned out and frustrated. I would take a lower-paying job that requires me to work just as hard or harder if I thought there was a chance at actually learning something. Law school does not teach lawyering, and until it does law firms have to actually train and mentor new associates."