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Yussuf Aleem and Jacob Slowik

Our chapter on ethics is not a throw-away chapter. For a business-niche-driven, small law firm, there is great benefit and strategic power to making the small sacrifices it takes to hew to ethical guidelines. We’ll share with you how to include ethical considerations into many of your firm’s activities and gain the meaningful business advantages from doing so.

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Yussuf Aleem and Jacob Slowik

We present ideas about how to sustain a new firm well into the future. Sustainability is often overlooked when all eyes are on handling cases and growing a new business, but if it is ignored, all the time, money, hopes, and work you’ve invested in your venture can be brought down fairly quickly. These will be the principles and practices of nurturing the long-term health of your new firm.

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Yussuf Aleem and Jacob Slowik

In this chapter we describe our story and how we came to understand the fundamental strategy to which we attribute our success. We identify this strategy as business niche specialization. We describe how we used business niche specialization to our advantage, why business niche specialization is ideal for independent law firm and career success, and how to pick the right business niche for building a successful law practice. This chapter sets the foundation of the book – the business niche specialization strategy – which supports the remaining chapters’ discussions of other business tactics and practices complementary to this strategy.

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Yussuf Aleem and Jacob Slowik

Are you a lawyer who’s fed up by the grueling hours, the scarcity of respect and a lack of opportunities to build your career for the long term? Are you a law student who’s graduating without a solid job prospect? Do you seek a way to gain agency over the future of your legal career? Do you suspect that the conventional wisdom about a legal career is flawed? Do you feel that there must be a better route to career prosperity as a lawyer? We are going to share how we flipped the script on the conventional legal career “wisdom” and built a multimillion dollar law practice in a few short years, before turning 30. We will teach you how to use the lessons we learned to take control of your legal career and grow your own independent law practice using the strategy and tactics identified and explained in this book.

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Yussuf Aleem and Jacob Slowik

In this chapter, we examine a critical decision in the process of starting a business niche law firm: whether or not, and with whom one should begin a partnership. We identify three key factors which are critical to partnership compatibility: trust, complementarity of skills and motivational alignment. We then detail the hows and whys of vetting a prospective partnership for long-term likelihood of compatibility and future success.

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Yussuf Aleem and Jacob Slowik

Conventional legal career wisdom holds that the best place for most lawyers to launch their career is a highly coveted position at a BigLaw firm. This conventional wisdom has given rise to several myths about the legal profession and your legal career options. These myths serve to reinforce the status quo, but these are merely myths. In this chapter we debunk four of the major myths of the BigLaw-dominated legal career wisdom. These myths concern (1) your ability to obtain job security, (2) your likelihood of attaining financial success and prestige, (3) notions of riskiness, and (4) the preferred type of specialization, which is the cornerstone of the conventional system and which has potentially the most detrimental effect on a lawyer’s career. Understanding these myths will prepare you for the next chapters where we teach a different, better path to take control over your legal career.

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Small Law; Big Success

How to Use Business Niche Specialization to Grow a Multi-Million Dollar Law Practice

Yussuf Aleem and Jacob Slowik

Harvard Law-graduate authors Yussuf Aleem and Jacob Slowik built a multi-million dollar law practice before they were 30 years old using a novel strategy of business niche specialization. They have now written the story behind their success so that other attorneys can learn from their methods and grow their own successful practices. Drawing on the authors’ own experiences and lessons with illustrative examples and real-life applications, the book teaches how they used a novel strategy of business niche specialization to quickly grow their law practice amidst a rapidly changing global economy.
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Yussuf Aleem and Jacob Slowik

We turn to the tactics we have utilized that enabled us to successfully execute the business niche specialization strategy. While several of the tactics described in the book are applicable to all lawyers and law firms, the specific set of tactics discussed in this book are uniquely suited to a law firm with a business niche specialization. In this chapter, we discuss business development for your niche-centric law practice. We examine what is essentially a business development playbook that will help you grow your business quickly, methodically and effectively. From investing in educating yourself about your niche, to developing relationships, to using smart marketing tactics, you won’t have to wait long to find your law firm thriving.

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Yussuf Aleem and Jacob Slowik

In this next chapter, we reveal several billing practices that we’ve found to be extremely valuable and essential to a small law firm startup. We identify flexible billing strategies that fit the small size and that will make the firm more attractive to your potential clients. And we discuss essentials to planning and to communication within your organization that will help you avoid pitfalls and make the most of your company resources.

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Yussuf Aleem and Jacob Slowik

In this chapter, we share the best practices we have found for hiring and managing staff and by doing so, supported the healthy growth of our law firm. We discuss practical implications of using contractors and interns, working together with local counsel and implementing contingency planning as it pertains to staffing. We then focus on the principles we’ve identified to help us manage and motivate our team.