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Successful Networking for Lawyers –How to cultivate connections for success

networking law firmsAttracting new clients is a critical element for every lawyer. It can be done passively – with recommendations passed by word of mouth or – actively, through self-promotion. Lawyers – who are service providers – should act to promote, brand and market themselves as such. Self-promotion is the way

One key aspect of self-promotion is the lawyer’s ability to create a reputation. This can lead to new customer recruitment, inter-alia, through the development and expansion of social and business networks. In this post we offer a number of methods to help attorneys build and improve a successful networking strategy

A) “It’s all about give and take” the ultimate goal of networking is to connect with people who can help you in the future, whether by providing additional income, leads, contacts, or testimonials.

However, as with all relationships, networking requires maintenance and investment. Therefore, be a giver. Aiding your contacts today lays the groundwork for your future. The seeds you will plant today are the crops you will reap in years to come


B) Diversify Most lawyers don’t take an active approach to marketing. Rather, they rely on existing customer recommendations, or at most hand out business cards at work function. This is not the way

Methods to contact should be proactive and diverse; invest in meeting friends (who can access their other friends), neighbors, relatives and colleagues; you never know who will be your next client. The more people you meet, the stronger your chances of recruiting new clients

C) Vary your location Lawyers tend to congregate in the same places: conferences, lectures, etc. for the purpose of meeting and connecting with new clients. This is not the only way. Diversify your environment outside working hours. For example

Plan a breakfast with acquaintances from different disciplines: colleagues, close friends, business associates, and so on. You will be amazed how interdisciplinary encounters can contribute to building a successful network… Meet at sports events or watch sports together… Volunteer at events and so on

The more diversified the venue, the more people will get to know you beyond the legal profession. When combining personal relations with professional recognition, additional income is only a matter of time

attracting new clientsD) Learn to present yourselfmake sure to come across as professional, enthusiastic and confident when presenting yourself to potential clients or connections. People love to see others speak confidently and enthusiastically about issues that are important to them. By doing so, your name will be the first to ‘pop-up in conversations related to your practice

For example, when an acquaintance from your network needs an attorney with your specialization, your name will be on his lips

E) TargetingThe type of networking outlined above is very general, requiring the ability to speak with many people across various disciplines and in various contexts. Clearly, not everyone is comfortable with this. For the more introverted networker, concentrate your efforts on audiences relevant to your practice. This can be both Online and Offline, as suits

From the comfort of your office you can make new contacts via a social network, such as LinkedIn. If you feel more adventurous, head out to a sector-specific conference or event

F) Who is my target? Remember, we are all humans (even lawyers!…) do not be afraid to reach out to those who hold senior positions. Win their attention, deploy small-talk as needed, but be prepared to explain in plain English (or Hebrew) how you can help

There is no advantage to approaching high level professionals full of your own nerves and doubts. Keep the conversation respectful, striving for an impression of professional equality. Do not hide from powerful people; to succeed, your network must include people with power and influence

For conclusion Often, networking is a lawyer’s Achilles heel. Most legal professionals wish that business would just ‘magically’ come to them. For the introverted lawyer in his cozy office, high energy socializing with strangers can present a fearful prospect

Those who do make the effort will be richly rewarded. When it’s time for new customer recommendations, finding a mentor, or accessing new resources – its best to get out of your office chair, get out there. After all, law is a social activity

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