Pitfalls Of Pigeon-Holed Attorneys 

October 11, 2019 by

These days, everyone seems to be looking for a niche — an area of specialization where they can plant their stake in the ground and lay claim as the foremost expert.

We don’t do that.

It’s not because we lack expertise or because we want all the business we can get our hands on (although that last part may be slightly true). It’s because we’ve seen the value that comes from experiencing different perspectives — and because we believe that being a great lawyer doesn’t mean you need to be an expert in a given field. You’ve got to be an expert in communication.

Think of it like teaching: The most gifted mathematician isn’t necessarily the person you want teaching 12th-grade calculus. While that person may know everything there is to know about math, what you need is someone who can communicate complex concepts in a language a less-knowledgeable audience can understand. You have to be a master translator, which is a markedly different skill than being able to solve for X.

Our strength in the courtroom isn’t in the fact that we’ve all got MBAs on top of our JDs. We don’t traffic exclusively in construction litigation or medical malpractice. We do a little of everything because what we’re good at is taking in a lot of information and boiling it down to something that can be effectively conveyed to a jury of different backgrounds and perspectives.

That’s our sweet spot, whether it’s a case involving brain surgery or heart surgery, products liability or deceptive trade practices.

How did we get good at that? We don’t farm out anything we do. That 4,000-page document in the pile of evidence? We read every word ourselves. We interview all the players involved in a particular case. We talk to subject matter experts. We educate ourselves on the details and nuances. Then we figure out how to break all that down and tell the story of what happened in a way that makes sense, no matter who you are.

As a result, when we say we can do business litigation and healthcare litigation and municipal work and employment law, we can. We do. And the benefit of hiring attorneys who aren’t pigeon-holed into one area of specialization or another is that you get a diversity of perspective that lends itself to favorable outcomes. Each case reveals certain insights into strategy and presentation, and we can apply all of that to the next client who walks in the door — no matter what he or she needs.

In every case, both sides are dealing with the same universe of evidence, and yet each has a different perspective on what that evidence means. Without fail, it’s the side that knows the evidence best that wins. It doesn’t take a special degree or a dedicated niche. It takes digging in and doing the work.

And that’s what we do best.

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About the Author

Sara R. LincolnCo-Founder, Attorney

Sara Lincoln is the co-founder of Lincoln Derr and serves at the helm of the firm leading all practice groups through active counsel, litigation, and advising. She is known for her tenacity in the courtroom and focuses her practice in the areas of complex business and medical malpractice litigation. Ms. Lincoln is a proud fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers– one of the greatest honors for trial lawyers practicing in North America.

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