How does client development work?

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PLATONiC
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How does client development work?

Postby PLATONiC » Sat May 15, 2010 1:58 am

As a law firm associate, especially in the litigation department, how on earth do you develop a book of business? Even at the senior associate level, if you're not the one whose in charge speaking to the judge in court, it seems highly unlikely that you'll be able to develop a book of business.

How does a partner go about looking for business anyway? Do they call people to ask if they need legal services? Do they join organizations/associations? Any insight would be appreciated.

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Dustin.
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Re: How does client development work?

Postby Dustin. » Sat May 15, 2010 2:09 am

I knew an estate planning attorney who said the majority of his time was spent "networking".

He was a member of various social groups and organizations and that seemed to be how he would get new clients.

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PLATONiC
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Re: How does client development work?

Postby PLATONiC » Sat May 15, 2010 2:15 am

This sort of worries me, since partners are still required to bill enormous hours at a law firm... I'm afraid that 1800+ billable hours plus another 800 hours of pure networking might kill my life.

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Drake014
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Re: How does client development work?

Postby Drake014 » Sat May 15, 2010 2:57 am

PLATONiC wrote:This sort of worries me, since partners are still required to bill enormous hours at a law firm... I'm afraid that 1800+ billable hours plus another 800 hours of pure networking might kill my life.


You don't network 800+ hours all the time. In the beginning, you need to work on networking. Eventually, you need to expend very little effort for the referrals.

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PLATONiC
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Re: How does client development work?

Postby PLATONiC » Sat May 15, 2010 10:22 pm

Drake014 wrote:
PLATONiC wrote:This sort of worries me, since partners are still required to bill enormous hours at a law firm... I'm afraid that 1800+ billable hours plus another 800 hours of pure networking might kill my life.


You don't network 800+ hours all the time. In the beginning, you need to work on networking. Eventually, you need to expend very little effort for the referrals.


I'm curious as to how powerful referrals can be, especially for a litigation practice. Whereas businessmen constantly deal with transactions, litigations are not as common. But really, do partners call companies to solicit legal work?




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