It is a safe claim that you, like many lawyers, get eighty percent of your work from twenty percent of your clients, aka whales.  As the image depicts, having one or two whale clients who anchor your practice and consistently refer meaty or voluminous work will effectively provide your legal practice with value, industry and knowledge expertise, stability and economic success.

To maximize your profitability, you want to have at least one whale in your influential twenty percent of clients. Too frequently, you might not analyze your work in terms of having whales and, at worst case scenario, take your steady and lucrative mandates for granted.

Practising law is a business and time should be your biggest ally as it is one of your dearest assets. Regardless of which billing structure you use per client matter, one of your mainstay responsibilities and motivations in your practice management should revolve around spending and tracking your time and efforts effectively and precisely.

Your hours reflect a comprehensive canvass of your practice: new clients and work that you have brought into your firm; your work ethic and loyalty to the firm; your expertise, leadership and business development efforts; and your ability to service the needs of clients and other lawyers in your firm.

It is fair to say that you do not originate work by simply asking for it.

Instead, having a business plan that includes a section on new business is an effective platform from which to build your business and keep track of your originations.

It is no small feat to land a new client. To underline your efforts in business development undertakings, you want to ensure that you share and highlight appropriate information when listing your current origination status, enabling you to exhibit your expertise and experience when forecasting your future wins.

This first video in the new After It Rains blog will focus your efforts on how to act like a rainmaker, regardless of where you currently sit in the making rain cycle.

Business development is no longer the special domain of a few skilled partners.

The economic downturn effectively exposed law firms to the reality that all lawyers need to actively take responsibility for their role in their business and client development initiatives.

Developing business is not an anointed rite of passage or a time-stamped phase.

12

Feb 2016

Have a Plan

After it rains, you want to have a plan in place that will consistently focus you on your business advancement, enabling you to better control your personal and professional success. Your plan is your living business development, leadership and practice management testament.

There is no better tool than a business plan to leverage your business development initiatives and your firm’s core values.

Your plan acts as the profitability framework for your branding initiatives and business development, marketing, practice management and leadership directives.

Welcome to 2016 and After It Rains, a new, practical blog from Pinstripe that picks up from the former Making Rain video series, which has now concluded after a successful six-year run.

After It Rains targets all things related to your successful business: developing your personal and professional brand; attracting new clients; and growing and maintaining your business relationships. Pinstripe’s new blog will not only focus your efforts on making rain and developing your business; it will also enable you to realize your professional goals after it rains.

15

Dec 2015

Make Merry

What better time than December to review your work and satisfaction level with your accomplishments. Having a year’s canvas with which to gauge your abilities and success enables you to determine whether you are profitable and enjoy what you are doing and with whom.

Look at your year’s hours, break them down by matter, type of work and client. Where did you spend your time? What work were you doing and for whom? Did you enjoy this work? What other work would you rather be doing?

As your clients’ trusted advisor, you want to consistently meet and hit your mark and add value, like a trusting blinking light.

You will not win trust with a scattershot hunter attitude, where your actions indicate your tendency to shoot from the hip, close your eyes and hope that at least one of your efforts will stick. Nor will you be effective as a sniper, where your efforts are so focused and blinded to meeting the exact answer that you cannot pull the trigger because it is never good enough.

When communicating, consider adapting the personal mantra: pause, acknowledge, and then act responsibly. Even pausing seconds will help re-focus your intentions.

It gets down to training yourself to control your natural tendency to be impulsive. You don’t want to get into the habit of overreacting to every situation, whether shooting from the hip, having loose lips or, even worse, causing others to anticipate your tendencies to do so. Before you open your mouth, or write and tap with your fingers, pause to anchor yourself.