You know that Elder Lawyers don’t always handle trusts and estates for their clients, and vice versa. But unless they have had personal experience in this area, the general public doesn’t know the difference between an estate planning attorney and an Elder Law attorney. What does your practice do when a client needs representation in an area that’s not part of your firm?
Some attorneys are comfortable switching gears between practice areas, while some firms have trusted relationship with colleagues who they refer clients to. At some point, though, you may find that you are turning away work that you might want to keep in house.
One way to increase the number of queries, prospects and ideally, new clients, is to add these practice areas to your marketing mix. If your site needs a few more pages of practice area content, send us a support ticket and let’s discuss making your practice more robust.
Is it realistic to add a new practice area? Only if it is organically related to what your clients need. We know that there are estate planning attorneys who have relationships with real estate attorneys because often their clients ask about selling the family home, and it’s an easy segue. A similar case can be made for tax law, which is extremely important to estate planning. There are estate planning attorneys who have extremely in-depth knowledge of tax law and this makes them valuable assets to high net-worth clients.
Elder Law is the practice area that most estate planning attorneys think of when they consider adding a new practice area. Some firms will bring in a paralegal who is experienced with Medicaid applications and develop a relationship with an elder care coordinator who can assist clients or their parents as they move through this process. However, these services need to be offered on a consistent basis to make sense for your practice as well as for your clients.
It is not always easy to add a practice area, but it can be done, if it aligns with your overall law firm mission. Equally important, make sure that this new practice area is something that you can be very good at. Otherwise, you would be better off developing a relationship with an attorney who you trust and hopefully referrals will be a two-way street.