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So you want to be a rainmaker?  How is it done at the AmLaw 100 firm (or anywhere)?

There are lots of opinions and good advice on this subject out there.  Here are some thoughts from LegalJob:

Speak and write regularly (what marketers call “developing your brand”).
To maximize your results, LegalJob suggests you spend some time thinking about where best to speak and write and make sure the substance (and style) is of the highest quality possible. 

  • Time is limited so it will be helpful to be somewhat discerning about which events you speak at and which publications you submit articles to.  Obviously, you want to target places accessible to potential clients that will be interested in your services and able to afford your billing rate.  You also should have as a goal to try places/publications where you would stand out.   For example, speaking on an ABA panel is good experience but speaking to a room full of lawyers in your practice area is not likely to generate new clients.  Instead consider attending a trade conference for an area in which you practice.  For example, a tax lawyer who has expertise in deals might consider attending an event hosted by the National Association of Bond Lawyers.   For publications, a litigator with lots of experience in the bankruptcy area may consider writing a piece for a bankruptcy journal.
  • The work product should be as close to perfect as possible.  Consider taking a speaking and/or writing course if you need work in either area.  Everyone could probably benefit from a class.  If unsure, talk to an established partner at the firm and have him or her assess your skills and provide feedback generally (concerning what you could improve) and specifically (concerning the specific article or speech you are working on).  Consider writing and article with an established partner at the firm as a co-author.

Actively seek referrals.
Referrals can come from various sources.  Increase the likelihood they will come from:

  • Existing clients by doing good work and following up with clients when project is done and softly asking for them to recommend you if comfortable for them. 
  • Colleagues by making sure folks at the firm know your particular expertise by reminding them regularly with an e-mail blurb of your recent successes/experience in the area).  Strike a balance between regular updates and information overload.
  • Friends (and in particular decision makers at companies but even those that are not decision makers that may know someone) by making sure they know your particular expertise.  Again, strike a balance between regular updates and information overload.

Demonstrate expertise to existing firm clients.

Perhaps your firm has a large client that uses its employment lawyers but not its tax lawyers.  In that case, tax lawyers may want to consider offering to provide a couple of hours of tax advice pro bono.

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