When it comes to business growth, the age-old saying, “It’s not about what you know, but who you know,” still rings true. Remember, since business revolves around people, the right individuals must know about YOU!
Continue reading to explore the reasons behind networking and discover effective techniques for building deeper relationships. These relationships will bring you new clients who align perfectly with your expertise, personality, and legal practice areas.
Benefits of Networking for Lawyers
Law school was not intended to teach you how to engage in small talk at social gatherings or on video calls. Consequently, you may question the value of stepping out of your comfort zone. However, expanding your sphere of influence can offer numerous benefits in the legal industry and professional community.
Expanding your sphere of influence has numerous benefits:
- Growing your practice
- Setting yourself apart in the legal industry and professional community
- Increasing visibility
- Networking with like-minded power partners who refer clients
- Connecting with professionals who can serve as a valuable resource
- Learning from successful attorneys and business owners
- Sharing your experiences and mentoring others, fosters a sense of duty and reciprocity.
Networking for Lawyers Rules
#1 Develop relationships with colleagues
Build relationships with other professionals by connecting with individuals or businesses who may require legal services. Attend industry events, join professional associations, and actively engage in networking activities to establish meaningful connections with these professionals. Regularly communicate and collaborate with them to understand the legal needs of their clients and provide appropriate referrals. Make sure to have their updated contact information in your CRM system.
#2 Be grateful
When you receive a referral, always thank the referrer regardless of whether the lead turns into an actual matter. Keep them informed about the progress of the referred case, respecting client confidentiality. Expressing gratitude for the referral/introduction reinforces the relationship and encourages further referrals in the future.
#3 Participate in themed events
If you want to expand your professional network, acquire expertise, and bolster your reputation, you need events. You should participate in conferences, seminars, and workshops within your practice area. The more visible you are during discussions, the more attention you can attract. Try giving presentations or publishing articles, this can also be a channel for recommendations and clients.
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Connect with attorneys who specialize in fields that can generate business opportunities for you. For instance, when an IP lawyer assists an entrepreneur with an IPO, they might be approached by the client for a recommendation regarding a corporate or estate planning attorney. By forming a reciprocal referral relationship, both parties can benefit from an increased number of cases.
#5 Be part of good deeds
Become a co-host or co-sponsor of pro bono initiatives, charity events, and community service projects. This way you can demonstrate your commitment to positive initiatives in the community. A more practical benefit is the opportunity to make new contacts and potentially gain new clients. You can choose between local or global initiatives, whichever suits you best. This may also be affected by your activity profile. Install free Firefox VPN to gain access to international communication channels. In addition to accessibility, a VPN provides security.
#6 Be part of a bar association
Join local, regional, and national bar associations or legal organizations applicable to your practice area. Participate in committees, take on leadership roles, and actively engage in events and initiatives. These associations provide networking opportunities and assist lawyers in establishing connections with others in the field, thus fostering potential referral opportunities.
#7 Exchange recommendations with other lawyers
Lawyers in different firms who specialize in complementary practice areas can serve as valuable referral sources. For instance, if you practice construction law, you can seek referrals from a family law attorney. This collaborative approach benefits both parties as they refer clients to each other without competition. Additionally, it is crucial to nurture relationships with firms of all sizes. The big firm/small firm pipeline serves as an excellent referral source for lawyers. By being top of mind with your contacts, you position yourself as the lawyer they think of when encountering matters that are either too small or do not align with the big firm’s focus.
Communication with colleagues has many benefits, but it does not come without our efforts. You need to work in this direction and valuable connections will gradually appear. You can’t know which contact will be more or less valuable. This means it is foolish to ignore opportunities.