You can start your own client development networking group. That is what Holly Draper did after a presentation I gave to the Collin County Bar Association.

I wrote about the presentation in my blog: Small Firm and Solo Lawyers: This One is for You and I posted my slides from the presentation on SlideShare: Client Development for 2014 and Beyond.

Holly is a family law lawyer and writes a Family Law Blog. Holly and her husband Rob, have two children, Abby and Jake, and a golden retriever, Sophie. She is active in her church, enjoys playing and watching sports and loves to travel.


After learning about the coaching group she started, I asked Holly to share her idea with you.

Back in January, I attended the Collin County Bar Association’s “Making Your Practice Work” seminar. I’ll admit that I did not have the highest of hopes for the seminar, but everyone needs their CLE credit, right? So, I went, and boy was I glad I did!

Overall, the speakers were fantastic, with a lot of great information on such topics as using technology in the courtroom, e-filing and Cordell’s presentation on client development.

I started my own practice back in 2008, and things have gone just fine. I never had a business plan, and I puttered along with just enough business to pay the mortgage and take the occasional vacation. My business never soared, though. After listening to Cordell’s talk, I left the seminar really motivated to put a plan into action and make my business flourish.

One of the ideas that Cordell suggested was to brainstorm 25 ideas for client development. Twenty-five ideas should be a piece of cake, right? Wrong. The first five ideas came easily, but I really had to dig to get even close to 25. (I confess, I actually only came up with 22 ideas.)

Cordell’s next suggestion was to put those ideas into categories based on the amount of work required and the potential return for each idea. Several of my ideas were to get involved with various networking groups, but in the past, the return for my time just was not there. Those ideas made it to the scrap heap.

I realized that most of my quality referrals came from other attorneys, but I was not aware of any networking groups specifically for attorneys besides the bar associations. Nothing against the bar associations, but they usually have family law attorneys coming out of the woodwork. I really was not sure that would be the greatest place for me to grow my business.

Out of my brainstorming, I came up with the idea to start an attorney networking group, with the membership limited to one attorney per practice area. I put a post on Facebook to see if anyone else might be interested. Immediately, several attorneys said they wanted in.

Next, I had the receptionist at my virtual office e-mail the other attorneys at the office to see if they were interested. Sure enough, several of them were. As I put the word out through various avenues, the response was overwhelming. Attorneys loved the idea!

On March 6, we had the first meeting of North Texas Attorney Networking, and it was a smashing success!

Group members all agreed that we would get to know each other personally and professionally, and we would look to each other first when we needed to make a referral. Not only would this lead to more business for each of us, but it would also allow us to refer family, friends and clients to excellent attorneys that we actually know in other areas of law.

This idea is just in its infancy, and we are still working out the kinks and figuring out the best way to move forward. But, after just one meeting, I can confidently say that this brainstorm generated a winner!

Holly has created both a networking group and a coaching group. I am convinced that the lawyers in her group will share their successes, their challenges and their opportunities. In the process, they will get to know each other, help each other stay focused and have fun together. If you can’t participate in one of my coaching groups, try this and I will be happy to help you.