Several years ago I met with Thomas, a lawyer I was coaching. He said:
“Cordell, whatever you do, please don’t tell me I have to write or speak at industry meetings for client development.”
I told Thomas:
“You can be really successful and never write one article or give one industry presentation.”
Fast forward to a couple of years ago. I received an email from Thomas. In the email, he told me he had originated over $3 million in business that year. Near the end of the email, he told me he had given his first presentation.
What is the point of sharing that short story with you?
Each lawyer I coached is unique. Each lawyer I place now is unique.
Each lawyer has unique talents, goals, and challenges. So do you.
The point of individual coaching is one size does not fit all and my job was to help the lawyers I coached uncover their unique talents. As a recruiter, part of my job is to discover each lawyer’s unique talents
You may have a senior lawyer who is advising you. He may think what worked for him is exactly what will work for you. It may, but just as likely it may not.
While each lawyer I meet is unique, I believe rainmakers have certain attributes and do certain things. I wrote about it in my column in The Practical Lawyer.
How you can best spend your time will be determined by a variety of things, including:
- The kind of work you do
- Your experience
- The amount of non-billable time you have
- Your interests and talents
- Your personality type
- What you want to accomplish
Some lawyers like Thomas should be out in the community networking and/or active in the Bar. Other lawyers do not have the time or desire and would rather go home and be with their family.
Some lawyers should spend time developing a social media presence and relationships. Others should spend time meeting with clients and referral sources in person.
Some lawyers should spend time developing new clients. Other lawyers should spend time focusing on their existing clients.
Some lawyers should market externally. Other lawyers should market internally.
Some lawyers should focus on being a subject matter expert. Other lawyers should focus on being a “trusted advisor.”
If you want to build your practice, you should focus on the attributes in my article and figure out your unique talents, goals, and challenges and spend your time most appropriately.