I love coaching associates. Why? Put simply, associates are eager to learn and open to new ideas.
Here are 16 things I tell them. If I coached you when you were an associate, share anything additional you remember:
- The only security you have as a lawyer in a law firm is clients.
- The earlier you start to learn, practice and implement client development efforts, the earlier you will see results.
- If you are able to practice law in an area you are passionate about or for clients you are passionate about, you will find joy in your career.
- Plan your career with some end in mind. Where do you want to be five years from now?
- You can never find time to learn or to develop business. You have to make time.
- Clients do not care about what you do. They care about how what you do helps them with problems, opportunities and changes.
- Clients want to hire lawyers who have confidence inspiring personalities.
- You only get one chance to make a good first impression.
- The principles of client development have not changed. The tools to implement those principles are changing every day. Keep up with the changes in tools.
- Figure out your strengths and focus your client development efforts there.
- But, you will only get better at client development by taking small steps to get comfortable doing things outside your comfort zone.
- Clients do not want to hire lawyers who are “needy” or “greedy.”
- Search for the something that sets you apart and try to become “best in the world” at it.
- Clients want to do business with lawyers they know, like and trust. Make your friends your clients and your clients your friends.
- Make client development a habit. Try to do something no matter how small each and every day.
- Finally, and maybe most important: Each and every day, try to become a better lawyer and think of ways you can more effectively help your clients achieve their goals.