Richard Middlebrook, President & CEO at Middlebrook & Associates, shares the importance of niching down and staying true to who you are.
Three Things You’ll Learn:
- The importance of standing up for what you believe in
- The benefit of setting expectations with clients
- Why you must remain true to who you are
Doing the Right Thing
Handling everything from first time DUI offenses to DUI second-degree murder cases, Richard Middlebrook has been a part of over 250 trials in his 27-year career. Richard wanted the control to do the right thing, which led him to his long career in criminal defense.
Richard believes that those who are given power have the responsibility to use it wisely. Unfortunately, he discovered quite quickly that there are many prosecutors who are very easily swayed by political pressures.
Richard only contacts clients when necessary and tries not to overwhelm them with check-ins. He asks his clients to contact him if they ever have a problem, and to reach out to him directly if they ever have a concern. He never sets up the expectation that there will be weekly communications until the case is moving along—a process that can sometimes take 6–9 months.
By verifying that his clients understand the situation early on and answering any questions in their initial meetings, Richard eliminates any cause for concern or misunderstanding.
Jack of All Trades, Master of None
Richard says it wasn’t until he met with a business consultant that he recognized the revenue increases that can come with specialization. Then, he began the process of finding his niche as an attorney. After realizing that his passion lay within DUI, he stopped accepting new family law cases and focused on criminal defense.
In his experience, making yourself stand out by concentrating on one area of expertise may improve your opportunities.
“By giving up the idea of being a jack of all trades and a master of none, I became extraordinarily successful and my practice doubled in the first six months.”
An Ethical Practice
Richard prides himself on running an ethical practice, putting his clients at the forefront of his business. He also believes you should stand up for what you believe in—that going against your values because it’s easy or convenient won’t earn you admiration. He says clients come to attorneys who follow through on their word and support them during a tough period in their lives.
“It takes you a lifetime to build up a reputation, and a minute to lose it.”
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