Are you a lawyer who wants to—ya know—lawyer?
It’s easy to feel like there’s no place for you in the future of law, especially if you’re a solo. When you look for advice on building a law firm, often you only see information on topics like hiring a team, search engine optimization, processes and services that fix the access to justice gap…
So much advice, but all directed toward a business model that doesn’t interest you at all.
If that kind of advice makes you feel out of place, let me help you build your practice as a known expert.
More specifically, let me show you how to become a known expert in 90 days.
Welcome to the 90 Day Known Expert series.
Wait, what is a “known expert”?
In simplest terms, a “known expert” is a composite of those two words:
- Known: A known expert has gained visibility among decision-makers that can influence her career. That visibility is not merely celebrity; it’s rooted in the social capital and influence she’s built as a source of substantive insights.
- Expert: A known expert realizes that visibility is important, but expertise involves delivering actionable insights to the right people. This responsibility is not merely an act of faith. Experts follow the method of expertise, a version of the scientific method that is both proven and demonstrable.
Becoming a known expert means having the prestige and know-how to deliver insights that no one else can.
Getting there means walking a walk that few others have the commitment to walk. You don’t get to that elite level without obsessive dedication to a problem that keeps you up at night, that drives you to read, that compels you to write.
You can’t become a known expert without following the method, so we’ll talk through it.
How do you become a known expert?
More than any other activity, writing will make you a known expert.
I want to generalize that to say “publishing” rather than “writing.” I understand that some lawyers struggle mightily to write. If you have dyslexia or tend to learn better through some other medium, don’t become discouraged. You can publish in other ways.
But writing does something special to your mind. It causes you to process, to analyze, and to synthesize differently.
You’ll write to explain what you already know, and to uncover what you don’t. If that kind of writing is in you, we’ll find it.
In the 90 Day Known Expert series, you’ll learn a structured process for learning and writing. By creating robust, thoughtful content, you’ll become the expert you say you are and find support around you.
Why turn this advice into a series?
There are three primary reasons for the 90 Day Known Expert series:
- Modeling behavior: I need to develop my own expertise. I love sorting out this problem of how would-be experts actually get there. By turning my insights into a workable program, I can show you how to do the same. Robust content like this is how you’ll become the expert you’d like to be.
- Filling a void: I see so much advice for entrepreneurial lawyers. Maybe that’s a distinction that doesn’t make sense yet, but in the book Lawyer Forward, I argue that solo attorneys have two highly-profitable business models available to them. While there is advice for one type (audience-building solopreneur), I see very little for the other (expert freelancer). I hope to resolve that.
- Introducing support: My work as a writer is to combine data and storytelling in a way that changes minds. I’ve done this for a while and have learned how to prioritize my time, to repurpose myself, and to write persuasively and transparently. At Lawyer Forward Media, we’re turning that accumulated knowledge into original content services for lawyers. The 90 Day Known Expert series is my way to introduce the program.
So what will you learn from the 90 Day Known Expert series?
By the end of this series, you’ll know how to create a program for developing and demonstrating expertise through your writing.
You’ll learn how to identify your expert positioning, to lay out a path for gaining substantive expertise and avoiding imposter syndrome, to publish so that your expertise is seen and appreciated, and to collaborate with others so that you don’t spend all day chasing new work.
If you want to do that work yourself, you will know exactly how to do it.
If you’d rather have help, the team at Lawyer Forward Media and I will help you achieve your known expert status. Reach out to us to learn more about our support services and let your voice attract prestige and a steady flow of work at a price premium.
This series will tell you how you can do it, and we can help if you need us.
This series is being released primarily as a podcast. You can listen to the episodes here.
If you prefer text, keep an eye on the Lawyer Forward blog. We’ll be releasing a new post each day to keep you on track.
But before we get into tactics and homework (and there will be homework), let’s start with principles in the next several posts…