I took to the [virtual] streets of New York City again in a quest to find more  professionals in saturated industries that differentiate with a fierce value proposition. The formula is simple: Pick a big city and a crowded industry, and highlight top talent that is earning that title through their ability to differentiate. This time, I sought out a dense field, attorneys, with over 175,000 resident lawyers in the state of NY.

Differentiating through their individual expertise, digital branding, content narrative, or specialized services, these attorneys & respective firms are setting the 'bar' (pun intended), which will hopefully inspire you to think differently, whether you're in a crowded industry or not. 

#1. Jon Avidor -- Startup.Law

Differentiator: [Startup]Law as a Service

With fee offerings like subscription-based pricing, fee deferrals, equity compensation, and flat fees, Startup.Law is laser-focused on targeting those in the startup and venture growth sector. Their 'formation-to-exit' strategy allows them to assist clients with launching profitable ventures and accelerating business growth.

Expertise: corporate formation & governance, M&A, real-estate private equity, priced equity financing

The boutique firm is embedded with SilverTech Ventures (the tech arm of billionaire investor Larry Silverstein) and is known to service a limited client list by referral only. Founder Jon Avidor is best known for his work with white-shoe M&A leader Sullivan & Cromwell in NYC and tech powerhouse Goodwin LLP in Silicon Valley representing companies like Goldman Sachs and Replay Technologies in high-profile transactions.

#2. Len Gray -- Gray Legal

Differentiator: digital empowerment 

From their trendy domain name to their highly digital web experience, Gray Legal defies the stereotypical 'legal' website, while still evoking a trust with the visitor. It elicits the type of response that makes you say, 'Hey, I'd like to grab a drink with these guys & gals.

Expertise: corporate, IP, employment, commercial, fashion & entertainment

Partner, Len Gray, is all too familiar with the pain points of legalities when it comes to starting your own business, having founded two companies on his own. After working in Big Law, he took all of his knowledge and created a modern "digital legal firm" for the new age CEO. His biggest selling point? Gray Legal aims to be a 'full-service' boutique for their clients, handling the areas of law they're most likely to encounter in their first few years.

#3. David Sorin -- McCarter & English Attorneys at Law

Differentiator: client intelligence 

McCarter & English distinguish themselves by providing business analysis and client intelligence as part and parcel of their legal counsel. They monitor industry changes that can impact their clients' business goals and make sure their client-first philosophy is part of every strategy and business recommendation they make. They're trend hunters -- and that's really cool. 

Expertise: venture capital financing (VC), intellectual property (IP), cyber, data privacy 

With approximately 400 lawyers in powerhouse cities like Washington, DC, Boston, and New York City, McCarter & English Attorneys at Law have been in business for over 170 years and their vast legal experience shows in the services they offer.

#4. Dmitriy Ishimbayev -- Ishimbayev Law Firm

Differentiator: packaged payment plans 

Offering payment plans for startups requiring legal services, the Ishimbayev Law Firm differentiates themselves by providing packaged law services to meet the needs of their target market. 

Expertise: startups, cryptocurrency, IP, corporate, internet & technology, franchise

Founder Dmitriy Ishimbayev's accolades speak for themselves - being named a "Super Lawyer Rising Star" by Thomas Reuters, a distinction reserved for only 2.5% of all attorneys in the New York Metro area. His model provides clients with a packaged-style payment plan, perfect for the CEO on a tight budget.

#5. Matthew Murphy -- Murphy Bova LLP 

Differentiator: client empowerment as a service

The team at Murphy Bova LLP want to be more than just legal counsel. They want to be your business counselor and empower you to grow your company to exceed your expectations. Think of their approach to business development and client relations as client empowerment as a service.

Expertise: entity formation, equity agreements, franchising, debt & equity financing, M&A, venture

Murphy Bova focuses on not only protecting their clients' legal interests, but also facilitating in closing business transactions. They work with everyone from entrepreneurs and startups to small businesses and high-growth companies to assist with both their legal and business needs.

#6. Bill Samuels -- Scarinci Hollenbeck

Differentiator: cost-effective solutions and alternative fee agreements

The team at Scarinci Hollenbeck understand their clients' top priorities are results and price. To this end, they offer alternative fee agreements and cost-effective solutions to ensure they're maximizing their efforts on behalf of their legal clients.

Expertise: corporate, environmental, IP, labor & employment, litigation, trust & estate

Bill Samuels is a seasoned intellectual property attorney who devotes his practice to tailoring strategies and protection plans to achieve each respective client's goals and business objectives. As such, he's armed with deep experience in strategy development, defense, enforcement, and maintenance of intellectual property protection plans. 

#7. John Benemerito -- Benemerito Attorneys at Law

Differentiator: ease of legal understanding on hyper-focused markets

Benemerito Attorneys focus on exceeding their clients' expectations while making the legal process easy to understand (which can be quite difficult, to say the least). Their down-to-earth approach makes them a 'go-to' for startups and entrepreneurs.

Expertise: corporate and securities law 

Benemerito Attorneys at Law focus solely on working with entrepreneurs and startups. Their clients are from a range of industries and range from bootstrapped startups to multi-million dollar companies. 

#8. Matthew Moisan --. Moisan Legal

Differentiator: client alignment and providing diverse core competencies

Moisan Legal's competency depth is a true strength. They offer a deep range of services to their clients, who are some of the top entrepreneurs in the region. You can tell Moisan genuinely cares about the startups they work with.

Expertise: entertainment, licensing, IP, contract, VC financing, M&A

Based in Manhattan, Moisan Legal represents companies and individuals who challenge the norm, demand creative thinking, and value strategic planning. Their clients span every stage of the traditional tech stages within a variety of verticals. 

#9. Sarah Corstange -- Corstange Law Group 

Differentiator: fee transparency

Working in immigration law for startups and small businesses, Corstange highlights on up-front pricing, which is a huge selling point. Startup founders and small business owners won't be surprised by rising legal costs for their immigration cases, thanks to an easy-to-understand fee schedule.

Expertise: Immigration law

Corstange Law Group offers creative immigration solutions for founders, employees, and investors throughout the startup lifecycle. Clients span a wide variety of verticals including Adtech, Edtech, Social Media, AI/VR, E-commerce, Fintech, Medtech and range from bootstrapped solopreneurs working in the proverbial garage, to global companies seeking growth capital. 

Understanding how to differentiate yourself in a crowded market is critical for business success -- successfully navigate those waters here and just imagine how much easier it will be in a niche category. These 9 show that not only is differentiation possible, it can be a crucial selling factor when building a thriving product, business, or brand.

Published on: Feb 17, 2018