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Solo In Chicago

...empowering the Second City's entrepreneurial legal community

Friday, June 15, 2007

The profitability of domestic relations law

Along this same vein of thought, is there a strong business justification to ever practice in the domestic relations field? Note from the last post, this is currently our largest practice area. But, everything one reads about lawyer profitability says that family law is the worst area for profitability. You never see the big firms practicing family law...and this is the reason right? I certainly know about the struggles to get fees paid in these sorts of cases.

With us there's the issue of do we want to let go of this "branch" before we have another profitable area set-up. And I can think of many non-monetary reasons to be in this practice area, but is there ever a good business reason to do it? How can we make family law work from a business standpoint?


At 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I've been following your recent posts on specialization. I certainly believe its the way to go. As for the question about whether domestic can be a profitable specialty, I can answer in the affirmative from my personal experience and from that of several of my colleagues.

I guess it does depend on your definition of profitability, but if mid 6 figures is what you're looking for then it is very doable.

You reference collection problems in this area - the accounts receivable in my office is $0! Don't believe you can't practice domestic without those problems. It's not true.

My advice to you is not necessarily to cut out the other practice areas (although I have), but in your marketing, you should focus on one area at a time.

For example, if I practiced in two different areas, I would have two different practice specific blogs. If I ran a yellow page ad (which I don't), I'd focus on one practice area for each ad. Don't mix your messages.

Feel free to contact me if you'd ever like to discuss this stuff further. I enjoy "masterminding" with other solo and small firm practitioners (for that matter check out my new practice management in marketing blog where I discuss these exact topics).

Love your blog, by the way (I've linked to it from that site).

Michael Sherman

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Peter said...

Thanks for your comment Mike. Nice to hear you're doing well in domestic relations. I'd be happy with mid-six figures and maybe more so with $0 accounts receivable.


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