“This book tells you all you need to know about how to get on.” The Times

“Relatively few books have been written with assistant solicitors in mind, about how to succeed at the business of being a lawyer… fewer still have devised a programme for so doing that runs alongside a book. This book does both.”Law Society (The Law Management Section)

5 star rating HR Magazine

The Big 3 (brand, business & leadership) Blog

Business development 101

The most basic rule of business development is something lawyers often forget. It’s this: tragic as it may seem, clients don’t care about what you do. Instead, they stubbornly persist in caring about their own problems and needs. (Very strange (not!), but true . . . )

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So you wanted to avoid sales...

I’ve met many lawyers who chose their profession for its intellectual challenge—or (still more frankly) because they “wanted to avoid anything to do with sales”! But, in the latter case, the joke’s on them because as lawyers we must sell ourselves—and our services. Unfortunately (at least for these lawyers) we’re still in the sales business.

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Teach and build a relationship

Frankly, don’t you often find it easier just to do something yourself rather than delegating—especially if you have to spend time teaching the other person how to do it?

The old proverb about teaching someone to fish may be true, but sometimes it’s actually the harder option. All the same, in the long run, it might still be the best choice: because it not only makes you more efficient, but also helps you to build relationships.

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Two (often forgotten) basics of looking for a job

In better markets, many lawyers secured their jobs on the basis of strong academic qualifications rather than, necessarily, their interviewing skills. In the current market, interviewing skills can (in fact, will) make all the difference. Since many talented professionals are now in the market for jobs they would otherwise not have pursued, the competition is still tougher, and you can’t assume that you’ll be chosen on the basis of your credentials or intelligence alone. Instead, you need to show why you are genuinely interested in the position, how your skills and experience would add value to the firm, and what assets you bring above and beyond the competition. In essence, you need to work on your interview skills.

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Know your client's business

I was giving a seminar to a group of IT lawyers within a prominent firm when—as a former IT lawyer myself—I began discussing some business development strategies allowing such lawyers to involve themselves more, both within the industry and within their own client base. Shockingly, it became clear to me that most of these lawyers were very adept at the “law” but quite clueless about IT and the business of technology. I couldn’t help comparing their attitude to mine, when I was in their position.

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