In recent years, boutique and even mid-sized firms have begun to offer increasingly specialized ranges iStock_000017359643Smallof legal services. One notable example in this regard was recently the subject of an article in The Philadelphia Business Journal.

Helbraun Levey & O’Donoghue was established in Manhattan in 2005 to meet the specific needs of one industry and one industry only: bars and restaurants. The firm’s areas of specialization include small- to medium-sized enterprises that require leases and contracts, licenses, and assistance with litigation. With six lawyers and a growing reputation based primarily on word of mouth, the success of Helbraun Levey and O’Donoghue in New York prompted the firm to open a second office in Philadelphia.

It has been recognized for many years that legal specialization can attract new clients and expand a firm’s range of services to existing clients. There are two major categories of legal specialty: focusing on particular legal areas, such as tax law or intellectual property, and offering legal services to specific industries and disciplines, such as oil and gas, or real-estate development.

As the challenges increase to traditional methods of legal practice, we are seeing increasingly creative forms of legal focus. A 2009 issue of CBA Practice Link cited new areas of specialty that include “cottage law” and “elder law.” The viability of niche firms like Helbraun, Levey and O’Donoghue demonstrates that the possibilities for specialization are limited by only the imagination.

I welcome your thoughts on this or any other matter, either by leaving a comment on this post or by contacting me directly by email.