For Assoicates

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twenty 8

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For Assoicates

Postby twenty 8 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:33 pm

I started to ask this anonymously but I do not think anyone at my firm is into TLS. Nevertheless I need to be a bit restrained.

I am about to bring on a client whose company is conservatively valued in the many millions. It is interesting how all this came about but unfortunately I cannot reveal much. If this opportunity had happened a year earlier I probably could have hung up my own shingle since the income will likely top 1 mil.
So my question is for [younger] associates who brought in a whale. How did you handle it? In retrospect is there anything you would have done differently? How did it move you up the partner level (where the money is)?

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Re: For Assoicates

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:56 pm

Someone at my firm brought in a client as a first year. And the firm seemed to be under the impression that the work was coming our way regardless. They wouldn't even broach the subject of negotiating bonus on the basis of him having the opening entry. Associate is pretty pissed, but what can you do. I am guessing you weren't really ready to hang a shingle and neither was he.

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twenty 8

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Re: For Assoicates

Postby twenty 8 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:43 pm

My story is much different. A year ago I fortunately met someone while they were on vacation and she asked me for my contact info (at that point I was just someone who had been “offered” at a distinguished state firm …so yes, shingle was really not an option then). Flash forward, bottom line is that she ditched her firm (wild story that I cannot disclose). I just now managed to secure her as a client and I don’t want to regretfully look back and say, I appreciate the on the back, but I should have…

At this point, as is, I think her company would one of our top 10 clients (with a potential of much bigger things). With an eye toward partnership, how have other associates best played landing a big client?

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Re: For Assoicates

Postby Johann » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:55 pm

The problem with the partnership thing is that if they don't make you partner right now (which they aren't going to do) there's really no way to make them later and expedite it. If yo uare a first year and want to be a partner after 5 instead of 7 years, when year 5 comes they're going to judge you based on your recent business brought in, not this client. I think that's why it's usually common to just have the revenue generated from the client tied into a bonus at X% of revenue. I've heard 30% in small firms as pretty standard and 10%? in bigger firms. Your firm might already have a policy for referrals.

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twenty 8

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Re: For Assoicates

Postby twenty 8 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:45 pm

Unfortunately, I agree. No one is going to say join the million dollar club today, you’re a partner. However, I believe that this client will be huge (as in we'll need to hired X more attorneys) and if I head up that group, it might carry me to the Promised Land.
As my dad used to say, it’s all about relationships, if that and good work holds true, hell who knows. On the other hand they could sell the company next month.

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Re: For Assoicates

Postby 09042014 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:54 pm

twenty 8 wrote:Unfortunately, I agree. No one is going to say join the million dollar club today, you’re a partner. However, I believe that this client will be huge (as in we'll need to hired X more attorneys) and if I head up that group, it might carry me to the Promised Land.
As my dad used to say, it’s all about relationships, if that and good work holds true, hell who knows. On the other hand they could sell the company next month.


Why does this client have such a hard on for you? As far as I can tell you are a first year? The client isn't going to seriously trust you to manage their matters independently are they?

If they are, you better work extra hard to keep control of that shit as much as you can. That way your partnership prospects are way better since the client will be part of a mobile book of business.

But if you are just facilitating the client taking up firm and you won't control it, then that is a lot harder. Whoever is running it will develop a relationship with the client.

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Re: For Assoicates

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:09 pm

twenty 8 wrote:My story is much different. A year ago I fortunately met someone while they were on vacation and she asked me for my contact info (at that point I was just someone who had been “offered” at a distinguished state firm …so yes, shingle was really not an option then). Flash forward, bottom line is that she ditched her firm (wild story that I cannot disclose). I just now managed to secure her as a client and I don’t want to regretfully look back and say, I appreciate the on the back, but I should have…

At this point, as is, I think her company would one of our top 10 clients (with a potential of much bigger things). With an eye toward partnership, how have other associates best played landing a big client?

Honestly I don't think your story is different at all. At all. Either your client is a moron or the fact you had a well-known firm standing behind you was a factor in their coming to you.

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Re: For Assoicates

Postby 6lehderjets » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:19 pm

You're not gonna get substantive advice on this forum because nobody here as been in your position. Who cares if the client only came to you so you could connect them with someone else in the firm? You're in good position so leverage it to your advantage. No they probably wont make you a partner, but ask for a bigger bonus or if the work is significant enough, ask for a substantial role that was you can maintain and build your existing relationship with her.

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Re: For Assoicates

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:13 pm

You're not gonna get substantive advice on this forum because nobody here as been in your position.


Wrong.

OP--How this stuff is handled is very firm specific. Some firms completely laugh off even credible business brought in by junior associates, some firms get pissed when junior associates try to bring in blue chip clients, some firms will accept the client but will try to drive a wedge between you and that client so that you're not necessary for that relationship (i.e., so that if you left, that book wouldn't leave with you) and other firms gladly accept the relationship, let you be the point person, but still pay you your regular salary.

If you're looking for your salary plus some sort of monetary recognition for bringing the client in, talk to other associates at your firm. More often than not, there's going to be some political maneuvering involved and how you negotiate for positioning with the powers-that-be at your firm is very specific to your firm.

Nevertheless, watch your back big time. the opportunities for backstabbing are immense here. at the very least, id do a conflicts check on the potential client and put some soft feelers to see if the firm would be at all opposed to taking the client on. ive had many potential clients who wanted to come onboard but couldnt because the firm was just opposed to it. that's life.

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Re: For Assoicates

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:10 pm

If you're looking for your salary plus some sort of monetary recognition for bringing the client in, talk to other associates at your firm. More often than not, there's going to be some political maneuvering involved and how you negotiate for positioning with the powers-that-be at your firm is very specific to your firm.

Most relevant advice in this thread. I had an opportunity to bring in a client recently (ended up not working out but that's irrelevant). I went to an associate I trusted, and with whom I had previously discussed the matter (how does one bring in a client?). He recommended I go to junior partners (and one or two in particular) because they let you have a bigger piece of the pie and allowed you to retain greater control of the case and be the point person for the client. That's what you want. Talk to associates you trust and who have some experience with this.

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twenty 8

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Re: For Assoicates

Postby twenty 8 » Sun Aug 17, 2014 3:31 pm

As a first year (second year come September), it’s all one big learning experience. My potential client came in and met with the partner heading this new satellite office. Partner did one hell of a presentation. We signed up the client. Client has a number of very successful franchises (mainly in malls/plazas) and could be extremely huge in no time (think Victoria Secret success)….just hoping that the client doesn’t sell prematurely (has received a number of premium offers).

While my firm embraces a “collective success” view I will be given a modest percentage override. The best part is that I will head up this project (or at worst be in-the-loop). As far as the politics noted above. The partner for this office picked me to transfer here (our rapport began during my SA and carried over), so it’s all good.

My next hurdle is securing the necessary docs, etc., from the outbound law firm. I hear it’s pretty SOP, but nevertheless, I believe this will be anything but SOP. It’s a very emotionally charged situation. Has anyone here dealt with taking over a key client from another firm?

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Re: For Assoicates

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:15 pm

twenty 8 wrote:As a first year (second year come September), it’s all one big learning experience. My potential client came in and met with the partner heading this new satellite office. Partner did one hell of a presentation. We signed up the client. Client has a number of very successful franchises (mainly in malls/plazas) and could be extremely huge in no time (think Victoria Secret success)….just hoping that the client doesn’t sell prematurely (has received a number of premium offers).

While my firm embraces a “collective success” view I will be given a modest percentage override. The best part is that I will head up this project (or at worst be in-the-loop). As far as the politics noted above. The partner for this office picked me to transfer here (our rapport began during my SA and carried over), so it’s all good.

My next hurdle is securing the necessary docs, etc., from the outbound law firm. I hear it’s pretty SOP, but nevertheless, I believe this will be anything but SOP. It’s a very emotionally charged situation. Has anyone here dealt with taking over a key client from another firm?


wow, good job. you did one hell of a job, and just a couple of q's. are u in litigation?, and how did u first bring in this client? or how did u get to know this client well enough that he trusted you?. any advice u would like to give ?

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twenty 8

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Re: For Assoicates

Postby twenty 8 » Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:47 pm

Given that it was someone on vacation, in this case I simply got lucky. Food for thought, what I noticed is that even those securely engaged with a law firm can find themselves in a quandary when they suddenly have to find a replacement firm. With that in mind, if you happen to be at the right place at the right time….luck may find you!

Finding clients is a challenge, especially if your firm concentrates on corporate litigation and doesn’t accept or pursue walk-ins. I can say that being a country club member was key.... join then pick up a racket or golf club and see what happens. Also, never hurts to swing by the lounge.



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