While the calendar year might not turn for another four months, the new “bar year” is here. Of course, for some of us, the New Year is now—with Rosh Hashanah falling days after my upcoming ALI webcast. It is a time of reflection and planning, and also atonement for the one or two sins that I may have somehow committed in the past year. This is a good time for evaluating your current business development efforts and determining which you’d like to continue or change in the coming year. Regardless of personal philosophy, your network is the centerpiece of business development. Many firms will now be asking you to figure out your BD plan for 2019, including budget requests. This is also one of the primary times of the year when lawyers put a little more effort into “non-billable” activity and involvement. I always say that the key periods are post-Labor Day until Thanksgiving; and again from post-New Year’s Day (the January 1st edition) until Memorial Day. We work most of our magic in those two sweet spots on the calendar.
Join me for this live ALI webcast on Friday, September 7, 2018, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Eastern. In one hour, pick up a CLE ethics credit and learn about the best ways to build your network within the ethical boundaries that we all follow in our respective states’ Rules of Professional Conduct. We’ll also go through the recent changes to the ABA Model Rules as they relate to marketing, advertising and solicitation in 7.1-7.5, just approved by the House of Delegate in August during the ABA Annual Meeting.
The success of your networking efforts isn’t measured in the number of contacts you obtain, but how contacts translate into business. Expanding your network often hinges on an ability to take advantage of networking opportunities in informal, professional, and online environments, without overstepping any ethical boundaries. Are you maximizing the return on investment (ROI) for your networking efforts?
Make no mistake, everyone has a different approach and style to the way they develop business. I’ll discuss what I’ve seen work and fail for many of the law firms that I’ve guided over the last 20 years or so. Many of us have our networks of people we have personally met, know and love. There is also that virtual network of key contacts in which our relationship is purely through social media. Cultivating referral sources is easy for some, and painful for others. How we handle our contacts is equally important—after we’ve gone to the trouble of developing them. For many, participation in professional associations, CLEs and publications offer opportunities not only for exposure, but for adding new members to your contacts folder. It never hurts to go think about your networking, and how you might improve it moving forward.
Don’t miss this hour-long webcast offering proven strategies for obtaining and maintaining professional contacts.
- Setting goals for contact building and tracking ROI
- When and how to ask for contacts, meetings, new business, and more business
- Ethically leveraging current clients to secure new clients
- Planning your elevator pitch
- Review of current and proposed changes to the ABA model rules for advertising and solicitation