Expert witnessing can be an excellent way for professors to supplement their incomes. Expert witnesses earn hundreds of dollars per hour for their time (I recently had a marketing professor in my class who billed his time out at $650/hour). Best of all, most expert witness work consists of research, document review, report writing and other activities which can be performed at off hours and from the professor’s home office. We recommend the following for university professors who would like to serve as expert witnessing:
- Get some training on how to be an effective expert witness such as that offered by SEAK, Inc. Much of an expert witness’ referral base is typically driven by word of mouth based on past performance – so successful expert witnesses need to perform at a high level.
- Identify a niche to testify in where there is a sufficient amount of cases and where there is a lot of money at stake.
- Get the word out and make the legal community aware that you are available to do this type of work. This can be done in many ways such as:
- Listing yourself in expert witness directories such as SEAK’s Expert Witness Directory, JurisPro and ExpertPages.
- Identifying the lawyers who are most likely to use experts in your niche and reaching out to them.
- Listing yourself with expert witness brokers/middlemen such as TASA and ForensisGroup.
- Optimizing your Linkedin profile so that lawyers can find you.
- Speaking to legal groups.
- Developing a search engine optimized web site.
- Writing in legal publications and online publications that rank highly on Google.
For more on how to market and grow your expert witness practice see How to Market Your Expert Witness Practice: Evidence-Based Best Practices (SEAK 2011).