Q: I am a third-year civil litigation partner in a large law firm. A number of my fellow litigation partners have decided to specialize in specific kinds of litigation, such as intellectual property, real estate, environmental work, antitrust, and the like. But one of the reasons I was attracted to litigation in the first place was that I thought it would allow me to be more of a general practitioner. Lawyers used to say that a good litigator could try any kind of case. Have times changed? Should a litigator specialize?

A: Yes, times have changed. While good arguments can be made in favor of remaining a generalist, developing a niche expertise, especially for a young lawyer, is a sound strategy in today’s market. Of course, there’s the financial incentive to develop an expertise: Like it or not, “experts” still command higher fees than their generalist counterparts.

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