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Steven Gursten speaking on “Innovative Lawyers” at Avvo Lawyernomics 2015 Conference

May 13, 2015 by Steven M. Gursten

A niche specialization in truck accident litigation has disrupted the traditional law firm model by focusing on top subject matter experts who practice around the U.S.

new law firm model
My main law firm is Michigan Auto Law. It’s an 18-lawyer firm.  We’ve stayed away from the lawyer advertising wars that people are bombarded with on television, billboards, radio and buses. In our own quiet way, we’ve become the go-to law firm for many lawyers around Michigan, based upon the results we’ve reached for our clients over the years.

The concept was relatively simple: Don’t worry about advertising or out-spending other personal injury lawyers in the state. Just strive to reach the very best settlements and trial verdicts each year, and combine this with care and communication. Then let other lawyers around  the state refer us the motor vehicle accident cases they come upon.

I took this idea and about three years ago, I launched a new law firm with a cutting-edge business model and two out-of-state attorney partners. The idea behind this firm similar to Michigan Auto Law: Bring together lawyers who are true subject matter experts in a very specialized area of law, achieve the best possible results across state lines, and let other attorneys refer to us serious truck accident cases.

And it worked.

My new  law firm is called the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable. Last year, we recovered the top-reported truck accident settlement in the U.S. – a $34 million settlement reached after the first day of trial in Ohio. With this new law firm, we’re leveraging friendships and relationships with lawyers in most states and big cities into a thriving business opportunity.

And we’re having a lot of fun doing it.

There’s nothing about truck wreck litigation that makes these cases so unique that the concept behind this new type of law firm can’t be duplicated.

Today, I’ll be sharing tips on how lawyers in other areas of law can do the same at the Avvo Lawyernomics Legal Marketing and Business Conference, which runs May 13-15 in Las Vegas.

I believe that with increasing specialization in every practice area of law today, combined with the Internet breaking down marketing barriers, this new law firm model makes more sense now than ever before. I believe it’s a natural evolution for attorneys and offers tremendous opportunities at a time when most lawyers are struggling and where, let’s face it, the supply of lawyers seems greater than the demand.

I wrote about this  on my Avvo Lawyernomics blog when we first started out.

What makes the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable so unique

There is a big difference between the traditional “Big Law” firm model and our new law firm.

The “Big Law” firm model is comprised of random collection of lawyers who practice in completely different areas of law. It’s based on one-stop shopping, where lawyers try to cross-refer clients  to other lawyers in different departments to generate additional business for the firm. It was created before the Internet. It was all based on the premise that people need to rely on an attorney they knew to help them find a new lawyer in a different area of law.

Our new law firm model has a very different premise. With the advances in technology, people can do their own searches to find the most qualified lawyers to hire.   In only a few searches, they can find lawyers who are considered the top attorneys in their respective legal fields.

Our second premise is that a small group of specialized lawyers working together on cases offers significant advantages. State boundaries mean less and deep subject matter expertise and experience means more.

Since we started the Truck Roundtable, we can offer far more experience than any traditional injury law firm that most consumers would hire. Remember, in many personal injury law firms, a lawyer may see only one or two truck accident cases every year, or every couple of years. In contrast, we’ve likely now litigated more than 700 truck accident lawsuits to settlement or verdict.

The most important reason this new model works is because we’re having fun. I’m working together with two good friends on cases that are intellectually interesting and very serious. How many lawyers can say that these days?

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