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Attention New Attorneys: Target the Underserved Middle Class

By Deanne Katz, Esq. | Last updated on

Building a client base requires knowing who needs legal services and isn't getting them. One of those groups may be the middle class.

Large firms provide services for rich companies and wealthy individuals. Legal services organizations represent low-income communities. But the middle class don't often have a good option when it comes to finding legal services.

The problem is that it's not a specific practice but a large economic class. How do you attract that kind of client to your business?

One of the best things new grads can do to attract middle class customers is offer lower prices than large and boutique firms can afford to.

Middle class patrons can't pay huge hourly fees for their legal needs but they can afford $50-125 per hour, reports the ABA Journal.

Those rates aren't necessarily as prestigious as a large firm but they will pay the bills. Practices serving the middle class have lots of room to grow since the client base isn't going anywhere.

Still, the rates an attorney can charge a middle class client are substantial lower than would be expected at a prestigious firm. Any firm still needs to make a profit.

The way to flourish on smaller hourly rates is to cut overhead. Don't spend money on large office space or support staff until you have the income to afford it.

Offering services to the middle class doesn't have to mean just general practice law either. Specialists are just as necessary in areas like business, divorce, and landlord-tenant which affect middle class people as much as anyone.

For new grads looking for an area of practice to move into or established attorneys looking to expand their business, the middle class could be the perfect opportunity. Just make sure your marketing strategy is attracting the right customers.

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