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Business Development

3 Ways to Up Your Game as a Legal Professional

By David Ackert on January, 29 2019

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David Ackert

Law firms are becoming increasingly complicated institutions. Whether the firm is acclimating from a recent merger or simply bolstering its infrastructure, coordinating the efforts of the lawyers, their administrative staff, and the marketing/BD professionals who support them is more challenging and more critical than ever.


Legal professionals (specifically those involved in business development and marketing) have the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the firm's business objectives. After all, many of the firm’s key clients are already the result of a carefully crafted proposal or the practical advice during a coaching session. Given the important role they play, how can a marketing or business development professional accelerate their impact? Here are 3 ways to go from “good” to “great.”

  1. Advance your skillset. Just as lawyers turn to CLE for continuous development of legal skills, legal marketers can use the new LMA QuickStart Online Course for on-demand training on a variety of useful topics. I was on the Educational Advisory Committee as this platform was being developed and had a chance to review many of the modules. It’s a great professional development resource for junior-to-mid level marketers.
  2. Provide evidence. Lawyers don’t respond to “good ideas” as much as they do empirical evidence. Use data visualization platforms like Practice Viewer to bolster the clarity and credibility of your next proposed initiative. You’ll find that even a skeptical decision-maker can be compelled if the data makes a business case for change.
  3. Don’t take things personally. If you plan to be at the top of your game as a legal professional, develop a thick skin. Remember the lawyer who never responded to that important email you sent last week? There was likely no discourtesy intended. When lawyers are stressed out about a client’s needs, internal matters naturally get pushed down their list of priorities. If you're finding it hard to establish consistent communication, change your approach. Maybe the baby boomer partner will respond better to a phone call or a personal visit than an email or text. Ask each of your lawyers about their communication preferences: frequency, format, and time of day.

You may not hear it as often as you’d like, but remember that you play an integral role to the success of your firm. Seek out ways to increase the value you provide so that your contribution is held in higher regard by your lawyers.

Authored by David Ackert

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