You may not want a Pizza, Pasta, Taco, Sushi Lawyer

You may not want a Pizza, Pasta, Taco, Sushi Lawyer

You may not want a Pizza, Pasta, Taco, Sushi Lawyer 150 150 Lauren Ellerman

Do you know those restaurants that claim to be “known” for everything? The ones that say Pizza, Pasta, Tacos and Sushi on the sign?

Or, Worlds Best Donuts and Hot Dogs? Unless you are 7 years old, the combination of vastly different cuisines, methods of preparation, and ingredients leaves most adults worried that a place that tries to cater to everyone, isn’t really that great at any one dish.

In sum – trying to please the masses, makes it difficult to be good at one single, extraordinary dish.

Then think of the places you love that makes only one thing – but make it so well, that people come from all around. Like your favorite small batch ice cream parlor, or Thai place, or taco truck. Sometimes – doing one thing really really well is exactly the kind of expertise you are looking for. (PS – no, we aren’t located in LA – we are in Roanoke, Virginia – but this video of tacos made me smile, and hungry, and made me wish someone here would do a best taco trucks in Roanoke video).

So why I am talking tacos on a legal blog (other than the obvious reason that tacos are the best)?

Because for once, lawyers and tacos have something in common – specializing is usually better for the customers / clients.

Some lawyers list 27 practice areas on under their bios. I looked at one yesterday where this very accomplished attorney had over 20 areas of specialty listed, and I thought to myself “WOW  – either their marketing gal went a little overboard or he is really not a specialist in any of those 27 practice areas.”

Does someone with 27 practice areas, specialize in anything? In my experience, no way.

For fun, I wanted to show you the difference between an attorney that specializes, and one that claims to DO IT ALL:

Criminal Medical Malpractice / Serious Personal Injury
Real Estate Litigation Business Tort Litigation / Non Competes
Small Business Admin. Loans  
Nursing Home litigation  
Bed Bug litigation  
Medical Malpractice  
Non-Compete litigation / business tort  
Serious Personal Injury  
Drafting Employment Contracts  


Get my point? Our firm only handles a few kinds of cases – BUT we do them well. We know our craft, the players, the rhythm of litigation, etc. We don’t claim to know it all and I certianly don’t practice in every area I once took a case. Why? Because it’s better for me and my clients if I know one or two things very well.

In sum – when looking for a lawyer, maybe ask those with the pizza, pasta, taco, sushi profiles – what they do the most of. Ask what % of their practice is in that court, with that kind of case. If the answer is less than 25% – keep looking. Find someone who knows their stuff.

And never, ever eat tacos at a place that also sells Pizza and Sushi. Trust me.


About the author

Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at

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