To begin, here are a few things that are true about Big-law:
(1) A partner at Law Firm A regularly has his briefcase sent to his home in a limo.
(2) Law Firm B is chock full of lawyers of all faiths and backgrounds, but holds its summer outing at a country club known for being ”restricted”.
(3) Attorneys at Law Firm C take a helicopter from the 34th Street helicopter port in Manhattan to a hearing in Connecticut, and then bill the client for it.
The names of the firms and the lawyers are not named to protect them, but all of the stories are true. And they have gotten everyones attention, all for the wrong reasons. The first person have obviously never heard of a bus, or a taxi. The second firm has evidently never heard of a thing called tact, or good taste. And as for the third people, well, lets just say that they no longer appear on Company Y’s preferred outside counsel list.
I guess there is a thousand things to say about different techniques of networking and getting business. Because law firm marketing departments use innumerable strategies to try and get ”in” with prospective clients. People go to and through any number of these programs and trainings and junkets and beauty pageants and kimono openings during their firm days, and I know everyone else has as well.
Here are a couple of ways that people have tried different strategies, and they actually ended up working.
One is to become closely aligned with a partner who has a pretty large client. Then wait for that partner to retire and leave the helpless client to the longstanding associate. As for the rest of the associates in the firm, this is pretty useless. The first associate hit the jackpot, but the rest are left stranded.
Another way is to do so much close work with your client that the client just starts to give its work directly to the associate. So, as the rest of the class is still on their own, so are you.
While this may be a sad and dark picture of sales possibilities, its really your decision. If you put in the right amount of effort, you will eventually get out what you put in. And if you use the right marketing departments to it’s utmost, you will obtain the dossiers on potential clients, everyday you will be in contact with your potential clients, you will use anything in your arsenal of power to seek potential clients, and you will never stop. And even if you aren’t the networking and marketing type, you will bust your tail for a client, working for hours and hours on good work, ensuring that your client knows you on a personal level, and the more senior you are, maintaining direct contact with your client. Believe this or not, firms don’t always judge partner candidates on ”books” of business, they judge them for their ridiculously hard and diligent work for the firm.