Advanced education in niche practice

Nick Augustine, J.D., is the principal of Pro Serve Public Relations, a PR firm serving the law and finance industries. Nick advises and assists attorneys in transition based on his experience in law, legal marketing, public relations, and his Secured Solo Practice model. Nick shares career growth strategy and experience with legal job seekers.

Attorneys in transition increase their chances of getting hired if they possess pragmatic knowledge that makes them more valuable in niche practice areas. The best lawyers navigate areas they know well. Consider that even community college programs in certain fields can give lawyers an added boost and outlook.

Workers’ compensation lawyers who undertake education on physiology and medicine are better able to understand and litigate cases where health and ability to do work are at issue. You don’t need to be a licensed physician to understand how bones break and heal, for example. Medical malpractice and personal injury are also practice areas where many lawyers work to become educated in the underlying matter.

Securities and corporate attorneys should have a business background to effectively represent clients and advise on transactions and litigation. You don’t need an MBA; however, if all you need to do is hire forensic experts when what’s most important is being able to read and understand their report. To a corporate finance officer, a lawyer presents unique value when they understand the world of finance and markets.

Health care is a unique field and attorneys handling litigation and transactional work are light years ahead when they understand and appreciate health-care administration. Lacking understanding in the fundamentals of public policy can make health-care practice unnecessarily difficult. The lawyers who embrace health-care policy and its implementation can help make the system work better and should write extensively, for public benefit.

Just as lawyers participate in continuing legal education courses, other professions offer advanced training and cross-disciplinary learning opportunities. Take for example, the Chicago School of Trading. Did you know that in six months, you can learn the ins and outs of equities trading? If you’re a securities lawyer this is a good way to drill down into finance and make new friends who can be helpful resources when you need industry contacts or advice.

Think of your resume as well when taking on more education, you might be better able to gain admission to schools you otherwise wouldn’t have applied when first going to college and law school. If you take a refresher or professional studies course at a school with a large alumni base you might find yourself attending a new set of events.

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