Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Becoming The Expert

Clients don’t buy our technical competence as lawyers. They buy solutions to their problems. In short, they buy us. Rarely can potential clients distinguish levels of competency between lawyers anyway, except in the most extreme cases.

Technical competence in criminal law simply gets our foot in the door. It’s the minimum needed to get in the game. Criminal lawyers can learn all of the strategies and tactics they need to attract prospects and convert them to paying clients. However, it all breaks down if the lawyer is not technically competent. Eventually, the word gets out and will result in fewer referrals and poor word of mouth.

Beyond technical competence, however, the Bryan/College Station criminal defense lawyer must set out to be THE expert in their field. When the lawyer becomes THE expert, they become the problem solver and the go-to guy.

Set out to become the expert. Take the difficult cases. Work hard. Persevere. Stay on the cutting edge. Lawyers can set a goal to become board certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Seminars and journals are other ways to improve expertise. Consider a trial college. Never stop learning. Constantly seek to improve. Finally, one of the best and quickest ways to become an expert is teaching, like teaching a criminal law course to paralegals at a local university.

But becoming the expert is still not enough. Once we've got it, we need to let others know. More on becoming known as the expert later.


Empresskimz1 said...

Technically competence??? What exactly are you talking about here?

Stephen Gustitis said...

Technically competent means being a proficient lawyer. Understanding the law and being able to successfully apply the law to the facts of your case. But like I said in the original post, clients want (and need) more than this. They need people who understand their problems and can help them solve them. Thanks for commenting.