Making it Rain: How to build a successful book of business

Making it Rain

Making it rain, building a successful book of business

The highest paid attorneys focus on practice areas that are in demand, year after year. Prodigious rainmakers build a big book of business logging endless billable hours.  Corporate attorneys typically do a lot of private equity deals and mergers and acquisitions. That feeds a lot of lawyers at the firm, no firm is going to want to lose you, and that is reflected in your compensation.

Job titles at law firms may not necessarily lead to higher compensation. Law firms reward results, an attorney’s book of business is the most significant factor when considering compensation or adding on a new partner.

“As a legal recruiter, I’ve placed many big dogs with the top law firms. — Shari Davidson, President On Balance Search Consultants. Going In-House is not the panacea, create your own destiny by building a powerful book of business.”

How to build a successful book of business

Building a book of business takes time, here are some great tips on how the best make it rain:

Quality not Quantity
Develop several long-term relationships, that you are in personal contact with all the time. The relationships must be mutually beneficial so that you send legal work to your connection and they put you in contact with people who can send work to you. Five to ten close relationships are worth much more that 500 LinkedIn connections.

Take Care of Existing Clients

About 80 percent of lawyers’ business comes from their existing client base. Current clients account for the majority of your business, don’t neglect your existing relationships. Make sure you promptly return calls and emails. Think about your client’s business, what affects them, and how you can help them today and tomorrow. Regularly exceed expectations. Lawyers are leaving money on the table by not building relationships.  A valued and trusted adviser brings in more business from your existing clients.

Improve your Value Proposition
Develop a strategic business plan that highlights your strengthsBill for value added, not time spent. Clients want to know you care about their business, that they are not just a number. Strong relationships last, they bring in more business and strengthen your reputation. Be good to your referral sources,  some of whom will be your own law firm. Take special care of clients who were referred to you, future referral sources are based on the success of how well they feel they were served.

Hone your Skill-set
Professional development never ends —  digital marketing is a great resource for gaining new clients. Work with a public relations firm to build trust and authority to establish your firm as a leader in the field of law you specialize in. Hone your critical-thinking and problem-solving skills beyond the practice of law.

Attorneys aren’t going to become the best-paid at their firm without working hard for it, that’s not enough. Look for ways to think outside of the box for that next big client. Keep your eye on what’s important —  focus on being a team player who has the best interests of the law firm. Build your book of business and understand your firm’s corporate culture, just don’t get caught up in the politics.

 

About On Balance Search Consultants
On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson is president of On Balance Search Consultants, she advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm.

Contact us today call 516.731.4300 or visit our website at https://www.onbalancesearch.com.

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader.  Please consult your legal council for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media and any legal restrictions regarding the law.
 

Sources:

Coe, E. How to Become The Highest Paid Partner At Your Firm. Retrived on March 24, 2016 from http://www.law360.com/articles/680150/how-to-become-the-highest-paid-partner-at-your-firm. Law 360.
Quinn, J., Baresh, B. How you can build a better book of business. Retrieved on March 24, 2016 from http://www.law360.com/articles/742196/how-you-can-build-a-better-book-of-business. Law 360.

How to Make It Rain: 
Social Media Marketing for Lawyers

Making it Rain for Lawyers using Social Media Marketing

 How to Make It Rain: Social Media Marketing for Lawyers

Leveraging Social Media

 Gone are the days of attending endless events every week. Now let’s be clear, nothing beats nor will ever replace face-to-face networking. Social media extends your message to your prime prospects, amplifies what your firm specializes in, making the process of business development more efficient and effective.

If you want to make it rain, the best way is to optimize your social networks and leverage them properly.  “

You may have heard that in order to be ahead of your competition, you must be able to accept change.  A common assumption held many law firms is that social media is just a fad, soon to die out.  It has been almost 10 years since the inception of Facebook and it is bigger now than it has ever been. Major social channels such Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus reach and engage with millions of people world-wide. And new channels are being embraced by people all the time — Snapchat, Vine and Periscope are bursting onto the scene and companies are investing increasing larger percentages of their marketing efforts behind social media.

In order to remain competitive, your law firm needs to accept that the ways business gets done is changing. Embrace the change, or get left behind.

Download the entire white paper, it’s free. Enjoy!

Photo Cred.

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader.  Please consult your legal counsel for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Reciprocity: What States Can You Practice Law?

Reciprocity: What States Can You Practice Law?

Legal recruiters explore every best option when searching for a new firm for our attorneys. Looking out-of-state gives your search an edge, and opens up additional financial, lifestyle and several intangibles that are a good fit for you.  There are several states where you may be able to practice law without having to retake the bar exam.

The bar admission process is complicated and varies from state to state.  For those taking the bar, the Uniform Bar Exam gives lawyers the “portability” to practice in several states.

Uniform Bar Exam
Many states are unifying the process of bar admission through the use of the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). New York is the latest state to adopt at least part of the UBE and joins Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Missouri and North Dakota were the first states to administer the UBE in February 2011 followed by Alabama in July 2011. New York, Iowa, Kansas and New Mexico will begin administering the UBE in 2016.

The UBE is a set of three testing devices prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The UBE concentrates on general legal concepts as opposed to intricacies of any particular state’s laws in an effort to provide a uniform way to measure performance across the country.

The UBE is comprised of the Multi-state Bar Exam (MBE), which is a set of 200 multiple-choice questions on Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Federal Civil Procedure, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts; the Multi-state Essay Examination; and the Multi-state Performance Test. States can utilize some or all portions of the UBE and set their own scoring criteria. Every state except Louisiana currently administers the MBE portion of the UBE. Some states, like California, administer the MBE together with state specific essay and performance test features.

In theory, the UBE fosters portability of law licenses, especially with respect to states like Minnesota and Idaho that accept passing UBE scores from any state within a certain window of time (between two to five years). But this practice is limited to a select group of states, and even in those states you will need to sit for the bar exam or find another way to get admitted if you apply outside the window of time wherein your UBE score still counts. Moreover, other states that administer or plan to administer the UBE (like New York) require applicants to take a separate course and test on state subjects for admittance.

Reciprocity By State —

Never assume that because a state has reciprocity means you should not contact that state to ensure you are qualified to practice law in that state. The information provided here is to be used directionally.

Please Note: The listing detailed below is up to date, however states may have changed their policies since this chart was last updated. Check with the reciprocity state bar to make sure you are licensed to practice law in any state.

Reciprocity by state

Multiple State Admissions
In order to maximize employability and have the ability to take clients in different states, many attorneys opt to take multiple bar exams right away after law school. This is particularly useful for attorneys who live in metropolitan areas that sprawl into different states (such as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut).

Federal Courts Bar Admissions
Still more varied are rules that govern whether someone can practice federal law in one of the 94 federal district courts spread across the country and U.S. territories. Admission requirements differ from district court to district court, but admission generally involves at the very least paying a fee and taking an oath. Many district courts require an attorney to be admitted to practice before the state courts of the state in which the federal court sits.

reciprocity

Reciprocity by State
By no means uniform, the following details what the states positions are regarding practicing law in their jurisdiction:

Arkansas — Admission by motion went into effect in October 2004.

States that presently do not offer reciprocity: 

  • ALABAMA
  • ARIZONA
  • California — shorter bar examination in other jurisdictions after four years
  • DELAWARE
  • FLORIDA
  • Georgia — shorter bar examination in other jurisdictions after twelve months
  • Idaho — shorter bar examination practicing in jurisdictions five of last seven
  • KANSAS
  • Louisiana — admits lawyers from other jurisdictions under special criteria
  • Maine — shorter bar examination practicing in jurisdictions three of last five
  • Maryland —  shorter bar examination practicing in jurisdictions five of last ten
  • Mississippi — bar examination practicing in jurisdictions least five years
  • MONTANA
  • NEW JERSEY
  • NEW MEXICO
  • NEVADA
  • Rhode Island — shorter bar examination in other jurisdictions after five of last ten years
  • SOUTH CAROLINA
  • Texas — admits lawyers from other jurisdictions under special criteria and bar examination

The following states have no formal reciprocity but provisionally admits lawyers who have practiced law for five years of the seven years immediately preceding their applications for admission without taking and passing the base State’s bar examination:

  • Indiana
  • Iowa

States who admit lawyers without examination if from an accredited ABA law school and obtained certain minimum scores on the Multi-state Bar Examination and the Multi-state Professional Responsibility Examination:

  • District of Columbia
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota

States that have to reciprocate with base States lawyers provisionally without examination:

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia — from reciprocal states after five years of practice
  • Georgia — from reciprocal states after five years of practice
  • New Hampshire — reciprocates with ME and VT
  • Massachusetts — after five years of practice from ABA law school or authorized by statute
  • Maine — reciprocates with NH and VT
  • Missouri
  • Michigan — actively practiced law for three of the five years preceding
  • Minnesota  — actively practiced law for least five of the seven years
  • North Dakota — actively practiced law for least four of the last five years
  • Ohio — actively practiced law for least five full years of the ten years prior
  • Oregon — reciprocates with ID, UT, WA and WY
  • South Dakota — actively practiced law for least five full years
  • Tennessee — actively practiced law for least five full years
  • Utah — reciprocates with ID, OR, WA and WY
  • Vermont — reciprocates with NH and ME and practiced least five of the preceding ten years
  • Virginia
  • Washington — reciprocates with ID, OR, UT and WY
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming — reciprocates with ID, OR, UT and WA

 

About On Balance Search Consultants 
On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent to make the transition to the right firm.

Contact us today call 516.731.4300 or visit our website at https://www.onbalancesearch.com.

 

Sources:

Swenson, T. (December 2010 / January 2011). Career Transitions: How to Avoid Taking Another Bar Exam When Relocating. The Young Lawyer, Volume 15, Number 3. American Bar Association.

Retrieved on February 24, 2016 from http://attorneys.uslegal.com/licensing-of-attorneys/reciprocity/.

Barnes, H. A Comprehensive Guide to Bar Reciprocity, What States Have Reciprocity for Lawyers and Allow Yo to Waive the Bar. retrieved on February 24, 2016 from http://www.bcgsearch.com/article/900046195/A-Comprehensive-Guide-to-Bar-Reciprocity-What-States-Have-Reciprocity-for-Lawyers-and-Allow-You-to-Waive-into-the-Bar/.

Image Cred.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Secrets to Success

Secrets to Landing a Successful Partnership

Law firms are looking for attorneys who can hit the ground running. The best legal recruiters are seeking for top candidates who can bring a book of business to the table, immediately. Work with your legal recruiter to identify the law firms that are a good fit for you.

Define Your Value Proposition

  • What is your mission?
  • Who are your clients?
  • Clearly communicate your abilities.
  • What do you need to continue to develop your book of business? (i.e. platform, practice niches, geographic locations,  marketing etc.)

Identify with your recruiter firms that will support and grow your practice. 

  • First and foremost, when considering and being considered by a law firm, think about how compatible you are?  Beyond revenue.
  • Learn about the law firm’s culture, will you be happy here?
  • How will your skills and niche further the goals of the firm? And vice versa.
  • Develop a one-sheet — what you can bring to the company and why?
  • Work closely with your legal recruiter to come up with creative solutions to securing the best offer from the law firm.

Understand the Needs of your Future Law Firm

Often times a law firm is looking for a specific skill-set, a specialist who will complement their footing in that particular practice of law.

  • How do you plan on making or saving money for the firm?
  • Leverage your worth. Learn as much as you can about the interested firm — before and during the process.
  • Understand how far a law firm is prepared to go to acquire your area of expertise.
  • Focus on the value of the entire deal: responsibilities, location, travel, and flexibility in work hours, opportunities for partnership and perks.

Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Final Thoughts

Rainmaking is all about building relationships, and lawyers should keep in mind that developing a solid network and book is never ending.  Attorney’s need to strategically nurture business relationships:

  • From inside their firm
  • Past and current clients
  • Personal and professional contacts
  • And focus on an industry or geographic location

Invest time in your future,  participate in industry conferences and other networking events. Put yourself in a better position to learn and be considered for new opportunities.

This is the first installment of an ongoing series of insider tips on growing your law practice. See you here same time, same channel, same station. 

 

About On Balance Search Consultants
On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent to make the transition to the right firm.

Contact us today call 516.731.4300 or visit our website at https://www.onbalancesearch.com.

 

Sources —

Photo Cred: http://singlemindedwomen.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/smw-negotiating-severance1.jpg

Gallo, A. (March 9, 2015). Setting the Record Straight on Negotiating Your Salary. Harvard Business Review.

Coe, E. (February 25, 2014). Female Attorneys: Here’s How To Make It Rain. Law360.

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader.  Please consult your legal counsel for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Photo Cred.

What Makes A Recruiter Great? 

Recruiting For Legal Firms

Legal Recruiting

Recruiting can be hard for every industry. You may find yourself in need of new staff and administrators, but have no idea where to look or how to attract the right crowd. You may be deploying your job offers online, but nothing is coming back. The workload is mounting for your current employees and you need to find a solution fast. As a LAW FIRM you are essentially attempting to sell yourself, as a business and a potential culture and work environment, to a potential CLIENTS. As a candidate you are looking to find a A LAW FIRM that will not only pay you well, but also be an enjoyable experience.

Make sure your find a recruiter who has a track record of placing people at the best firms. Go with the most respected legal recruiters. If they take you on, you’re in luck. 

Work with the best, it is common knowledge in the legal profession that candidates who work with one recruiter have an overwhelmingly higher rate of success than those that use several recruiters.

Be honest with your recruiter, be as transparent as you feel comfortable about the interviews you’ve had, this information may be useful in identifying what firms desires your skill set. Recruiters have relationships with many of the firms, by disclosing who you’ve been in conversation with helps to get you in front of the senior partners of those firms who may of overlooked you.

A thoroughly screened candidate reveals their strength, which the best recruiters use to selectively place you in the firms for a perfect fit. Every lawyer knows that any seemingly un-important information omitted if discover and deemed significant will be viewed as deceitful and will most likely sabotage your chances of being considered.  A rigorous vetting helps to hash out any potential flags a prospective firm might otherwise reject the prospect for. Often the answers ally any concern, but that’s why the screening is so necessary.

Here are the top questions you need to be prepared to answer . . .

  • Why you are considering a move?
  • Your interest in the specific firm.
  • Your academic achievements.
  • An expansive description of your work experience (detailed narratives discussing cases and outcomes).
  • Why you have made certain job changes in the past, with thoughtful explanations.
  • Any special awards and or values that may set you apart from your colleagues.
  • Other relevant personal information.

All of the above aforementioned questions help you the candidate define your value proposition. Why hire you? Why you are a stand-out? Also of import is a comprehensive cover letter that is specific to a firm, typically several pages. Never underestimate a well thought out value statement. Lawyers are great in the court room, especially when representing themselves. When it gets down to any firm weighing in on your qualification, they will vet all of your documents, including your value proposition.  The more ammunition you provide the better your chances. Simply blasting your resume out there will do more harm than good.

Lastly, your recruiter should ask you for a deal sheet or significant transactions sheet if you are a Corporate, securities, real estate, or attorneys should provide a deal sheet or significant transactions sheet to your recruiter. Litigators should provide the recruiter with a couple of recent writing samples of mostly your own work. The recruiter should have examples of deal sheets, depending on your practice area, to assist with your detailed transaction list.  Let your recruiter review these pages, another set of eyes is always a good idea, plus there may ways to improve your deal sheet. This also helps the recruiter to formulate a strategy on how to proceed.

WHEN EVER POSSIBLE IT ITS GOOD TO meet your recruiter in person, it’s much more conducive to developing a stronger, more trusting, and overall more successful outcome.

Keep in constant contact with your recruiter. This is important, give your recruiter your full attention. Make yourself available should there be a need. Take control of your search, give direction and pick up the phone and make sure your expectations are being met.

The primary objective of the recruiter is to match the skills of potential job seekers to the firms that value those skills. 

 

About On Balance Search Consultant
On Balance Search Consultants LLC specializes in recruiting for legal firms, specifically the partner search process. One of On Balance’s President Shari Davidson, has had almost a decade of expertise. She has been able to assist with recruiting programs for Fortune 500 companies and has had a success rate of about 99% in the last five years. Looking for work in NYC, On Balance has extensive contacts in Manhattan successfully placed top attorneys at the best firms. On Balance is able to evade useless expenses that companies so often waste on recruiting.

 

Sources:

Photo credit

Retrieved on January 18, 2016 from http://zgrecruiting.com/wayback-wednesday-professional-recruiting-5-factors-of-time-practice/. Payback Wednesday – Professional Recruiting: 5 Factors of Time and Practice. Swig Group Recruiting.

Retrieved on January 20, 2016 from http://www.bcgsearch.com/article/60699/How-to-Select-the-Best-Legal-Recruiter-and-Maximize-the-Effectiveness-of-Working-with-One/. How to Select the Best Legal Recruiter. BCG Search.

Give your Law Firm that Competitive Edge

Finding that Competitive Edge

Finding that Partner who brings a successful track record and integrity to take your firm to the next level — starts with finding a great recruiter. What does your firm do that sets you apart from the pack? What’s the culture of your firm? Why do your best stay on with you?

That’s your firm’s competitive advantage. That is how you will land the right candidate who meets the criteria that you and your recruiter carefully map out. Partnering with a recruiter is a strategic step to lateral recruiting.  The recruiter should be communicating your story.

Strategy first, last and always. There are several strategies and tactics that can help you to find the best fit for your firm:

1. Your Story.
The story must be authentic, important and compelling. Your message must connect potential partners in a way that get’s them to sign on with your firm.

2. The Value Proposition.
At your next company retreat ask your partners to identify the firm’s core points of differentiation. Define your value in human terms, not in business terms. Don’t discount the little things. You want to retain your best lawyers while attracting new talent.

Here are a few powerful points for consideration:

  • What is your retention rate of Partners? Associates?  Staff?
  • Is your firm committed to marketing?  Who is on your marketing team?  How does this team assist in publishing articles, coordinate speaking engagements,  create strategic partnerships with associations etc.?
  • How do you integrate new Partners to the firm?
  • Do you have ongoing leadership development training to improve Partners skills?

Prepare simple communication tools that make it easy for your recruiter to tell your story. Follow the rule of Cs: Clear, Concise, Concrete, Correct, Coherent and Courteous.

Create 4 one page summaries:

  1. Create a Talking Point Sheet.  A Talking Point Sheet is a one page summary sheet of the firms highlights ( Firm’s Rankings, PPP, Awards, Value Proposition, History of Firm and anything else of import ).
  2. FAQ sheet that answers the top questions of prospective partners.
  3. Summary-Sheet for each practice group critical to the firms strategic goals ( hyperlink to key partners biography pages and recent hires ).
  4. Finally, share two or three success story’s of one of your top partners that joined the firm.

Make 2016 a great year, get busy identifying what makes your firm great.  Strategically share the information to attract new talent.

About On Balance Search Consultants
On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent to make the transition to the right firm.

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader. Please consult your legal counsel for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media, legal recruiting and any legal restrictions regarding the law.

Source:

Love, S. (April 19th, 2015). Getting the Edge in Recruiting Partners. Retrieved on January 18, 2016 from http://www.attorneysearchgroup.com.

Photo Cred.