Niche marketing describes a firm narrowing down its focus to stand out from a marketing perspective. There are many advantages to carving out a niche legal practice. Marketing to a specific area is more cost effective, separates you from the pack, emphasizes your uniqueness, conveys a concentration on a particular area rather than a general practice, and can foster a belief that, by limiting yourself to a chosen field, you will be up-to-date on the latest precedents and well-versed in nuances that could elude a generalist. However, marketing to a niche is vastly different from marketing against a niche, particularly if clients are rejected on the basis of sex.

Florida attorney Kenny Leigh made national headlines recently when CNN ran a story titled “Law Firm Fights Only for Men.” The segment included video of Leigh’s billboard featuring the Web address and in large print and capital letters “DIVORCE: MEN ONLY.” The segment featured two attorneys, Richard Herman from Las Vegas and Avery Friedman from Cleveland, who commented on the advertising. Herman said that it is not discrimination for a private law firm to limit its representation as Leigh does, but questioned whether this firm is better than any other law firm in representing men, concluding that, “The answer is probably no.” He also asked if it provides an advantage for a man to go to this firm, again answering his own question, “Probably not.” Friedman said, “I am heartsick at this kind of approach, conveying to the public that, don’t trust the courts, don’t trust the judges, come to us, we’ll take care of you solely because of your gender, because you’re a man. I think that’s awful.”

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