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Sep 24, 2014

Law Firm Business Development – Individual Attorney Personal Branding


I am the owner and founder of a 7 attorney personal injury plaintiff firm in the southwest. Over the years we have become the "go to" PI firm in the area. We have an extensive advertising program including TV, radio, and other mediums. I bring in all the business and the other six associate attorneys are primarily worker bees. I have discouraged business development by the associates and now as I approach my retirement years I am realizing that this may have been a mistake and it make take more than a "firm brand" for the firm to transition to the next generation. I would appreciate your thoughts.


While I believe that a solid firm brand is important and can provide practice value when you transition and retire from the practice of law the failure of your attorneys to develop their own brands or identities will make the transition more difficult and could even result in your firm becoming a "one generation law firm". Clients of law firms tell us they hire lawyers – not law firms. Even through you advertise – your reputation and rainmaking skills have had a lot to do with your success. Your associates must develop their reputations and hone their rainmaking skills as well and you need to help them do this. Here are a few ideas:

  1. If you do not have a marketing plan for the firm – develop one. This will help focus the firm's initiatives and serve as the glue for individual attorney personal plans.
  2. Announce that business development is important and that business development goals and plans will be developed for associates and incorporated into performance reviews and compensation determinations.
  3. Initiate business development training sessions for associates.
  4. Require each associate to prepare a personal marketing plan (business development plan) each year. These plans should be goal driven with specific SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and on a date specific timeline), approved by you, results monitored quarterly, and incorporated into annual performance reviews and compensation determinations.
  5. Get your associates networking, writing blogs and articles, speaking, and press coverage when possible on case results.

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John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC



Posted at 07:53 AM in Marketing, Succession/Exit Strategies
Tags: - Individual, Attorney, Branding, Business, Development, Firm, Law, Personal

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