LegalJob was recently asked about tips for rainmaking.


Q:  I am a young partner at a big firm and I have been told that I will need to generate my own projects in time.  Any ideas for me?


Answer:  This is a topic for multiple posts and LegalJob will feature information in the future from current big firm partners on this subject.  In the meantime, here are three general ideas to get you started:

  1. Seek advice from firm rainmakers.  Target at least five successful partners in your firm to learn from.  Note that the partners do not have to be in your group, or even your office.  Before speaking with them, learn everything you can about their clients, how they got started, etc.  Then, being sensitive to their time commitments, offer to treat for coffee, breakfast, lunch, or drinks — whichever makes sense and be up front with your purpose which is to learn and seek advice from them.  Come prepared with thoughtful questions and perhaps your short/long term plan to discuss (depending on how receptive he or she is).
  2. Prepare a thoughtful, five-year plan.  Building business will require a long term time commitment.  Plan (or have some general idea about) your lunch engagements for the next several months (who are you going to target and how), writing projects, speaking opportunities, ABA roles, roles in business organizations, educational courses such as selling or writing, etc, other ways to develop your specialty, government opportunities worth pursuing, etc. 
  3. Connect with a rainmaker from a different practice group.  If possible make yourself indispensable to a successful partner in another practice area and think of creative ways to add value to his or her existing clients in your area.  A variation would be to do outstanding work for this partner and then brainstorm together how you can help his other clients in your area.