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Solo In Chicago

...empowering the Second City's entrepreneurial legal community

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

How to build your practice: ethically & effectively

Went to a pretty decent CLE at the CBA yesterday on practice building. I actually had to leave a bit early but it was still pretty useful. They had a three different panels with Nancy Roberts Linder, Nancy Roberts Linder Consulting moderating.

These were my takeaway points:

1. Leverage Client Relationships. They gave us a breakdown of where clients come from as follows: 40% referred from former clients; 30% bankers/accountants/other lawyers; 15% direct marketing; 15% lawyers social world. I have recognized the critical importance of referrals from current and former clients. But these stats are eye-opening if you're overspending on perhaps general marketing. I'm still not where I want to be on "end of representation marketing."

2. Client Advisory/Alert! This is just some sort of legal update to clients when say the law changes in an area or something. The further point that my firm doesn't do well is just to have client groups in a mailing list or database so a certain subject's Alert goes out to family clients only, or whatever.

3. Big questions to be asking. What do you want your practice to look like? How will you get there?

4. Non-legal activity involvement. Some discussion was had about joining service organizations, ect. Nothing new there. But one further item suggested was to join or chair the membership committee of your Rotary club or whatever group. That's a step I need to consider. Then you're sort of the mentor to every new person coming into the group.

5. Attend Referrer events. I haven't decided how to play this angle quite. But the gist of it is to attend say an accountants conference if you're an estate planning attorney. Or maybe a National Association of Realtors event if you do real estate. I think I can trade in one of the many legal CLEs for this type of thing.

6. You've got to be Googleable! Try it. If you put your name or firm into Google what comes up? Here's Peter Olson Illinois Attorney: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Peter+Olson+Illinois+Attorney. Better than I thought!



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