Thursday, June 14, 2007

Turn Practice Development into a Peer Experience

A common question from associates is, "How can I promote my practice to other lawyers at our firm?" A fair question. The logical and sound thinking is that a young lawyer might get more referrals internally if lawyers in other practice areas knew of the skills they could leverage for clients. Here are a few ways you can accomplish the task of internal networking, and one method I recommend above the others.
  • Ask and give a five minute presentation at practice group meetings (other than your own) about how your expertise could benefit their clients if the need arises.
  • Schedule one-on-one meetings with partners and associates in other practice groups.
  • Schedule one-on-one meetings with relationship partners representing specific clients that you've determined have great need for your expertise.
And, my preferred method:
  • Schedule meetings (one-on-one or as a group) with your peer attorneys in other practice areas. A peer attorney is one whom shares significant affinity to you. If you are a fifth-year -- seek out other fifth-year's. If you are being considered for partner track -- seek out others on the same track. You're a single parent -- seek out other single parents, etc.
The people most open to helping you build your network and business pipeline are those that can most relate to your situation. Inside a firm these sort of bonded alliances can be your greatest resource for growth.