January 16, 2017
Make it your first priority to understand substantive and stylistic preferences.

Seven questions every associate should ask — part two

  As discussed in part one of this post, the biggest reason associates fail is not because of poor work ethic, lack of technical skills, or personality differences. Instead, it is that associates do not understand what is expected. Understanding expectations is a big part of meeting them.   This post continues with advice from big firm partners relating to working on projects, researching, and presenting […]
December 30, 2016
Questions superstar associates know the answer to

Seven questions every associate should ask – part one

The biggest reason associates fail at law firms is generally not due to poor work ethic, lack of technical legal understanding, weak writing skills, or personality mismatch. Instead, it is that associates do not know what is expected of them both in terms of the substance of particular projects as well as the overall stylistic preferences of partners.   To ensure you do not fall in that […]
November 30, 2016
To be exceptional serve clients and partners in the way they want to be served.

A key to becoming a superstar associate

Superstar associates say that, despite popular belief, being successful is not dependent on working hard, establishing that one can handle as much responsibility as is thrown at them, having high levels of enthusiasm, or cultivating mentors. While certainly helpful, top performing associates do not credit any of these items as necessary for their success.   So, to what do superstar associates who consistently achieve high levels […]
October 28, 2016
Become an expert in others by asking thought provoking questions and listening to the responses.

Four keys to crushing any networking event

Many lawyers think networking events are a waste of time because they rarely meet new clients there. One possible reason why these lawyers have trouble is that they approach these events with the misguided goals of trying to sell themselves and obtain client leads. They emphasize what they do and how valuable they are. They may ask about others but they are primarily self-oriented and most […]
September 27, 2016
Being relatable is the key to crushing presentations, exceeding client expectations, and attracting new clients.

Being relatable

Being relatable is one of the keys to being a successful lawyer. When mastered, being relatable can help you to: Deliver an engaging presentation to any audience. Understand and deliver work product that exceeds client and partner expectations. Attract new clients. The steps to being relatable are similar whether you are speaking, providing legal services, or talking with prospects. Just substitute audience for client/partner and presentation […]
August 25, 2016
Focus on the customer, e.g., the employer, the partner, the current or perspective client.

It’s the customer, stupid

Law students want dream jobs. Law associates want to be stars and make partner.   What is one “secret” to securing the dream job and excelling once there? A key to both is to focus on the “customer.” Easy enough, right? In the law students’ case, the customer is the future employer. In the associates’ case, the customer is the partner or the client.   There […]
July 29, 2016
Listening is the key to providing exceptional service.

Listening — a key factor that makes an effective lawyer

LegalJob is often asked similar variations of the same question. What do great lawyers do that mediocre ones do not? How can I persuade potential employers that I should be hired? How do I distinguish myself from the competition both in term of applying for the job and once there? The answer to all these questions is to “LISTEN MORE.” Listening is so crucial, there is […]
June 29, 2016
Understand the client's business (think like an auditor), and provide value for the dollar (deliver and then speak in terms of what the client values).

More of what clients want — part two

More nuggets from the Clientelligence book and the four activities that deliver the most value according to the author who interviewed thousands of C-level executives. The first post examined the first two activities – Commitment to help and Client Focus. This post reviews the other two — Understanding the Client’s Business and Providing Value for the Dollar   Understanding the Client’s Business  
May 22, 2016
Serve the heck out of folks in the way they want to be served

More of what clients really want – part one

What if you could get inside the heads of senior executives at large companies and discover what they value most in the lawyers they hire?   Well, now you can…   …thanks to a new book, Clientelligence: How Superior Client Relationships Fuel Growth and Profits by Michael B. Rynowecer.   The book is well written and provides significant insight as to what clients who invest in […]
April 30, 2016
Focus on what the listener might care about.

Reframing your biography

How many times have you had to sit through someone reading a biography of a speaker or be on the receiving end of someone’s so-called “30-second commercial” with the thought of “why do I care?”   Many well tell you that most people probably do not care where you went to school, how many fancy titles you have had, whether you worked for a Fortune 100 […]
March 26, 2016
Encourage the client to share with your personal and customized approach, thoughtful questions, and active listening.  Dig deep, have the long view, and befriend the client’s supporting cast.

Become an expert in the client

The key to generating clients and maintaining them is to provide exceptional client service. In the legal field that includes, of course, solving issues creatively and efficiently. But, just as important, exceptional service requires that one become an expert in the client, including deeply understanding the client’s challenges (professional and personal), aspirations, and needs. If a client or prospective client feels that you get her and […]
February 21, 2016
Understand the client and its preferences and solve current and future problems.

What the best lawyers do

The most effective lawyers hit out of the park when it comes to client service. What do they know or do that others do not? There is lots of good information out there about what clients want – whether it is industry specific, such as this article covering “What clients want from CPAs” or a bit more general, such as this article emphasizing the importance of […]