Business Development for Lawyers

Instructor: Sean Kennedy

Sean has 8 years experience as a supervisor and has an MBA with a concentration in marketing.

Business development for lawyers allows you to enter into new opportunities to make your law firm successful. In this lesson, we will discuss the importance of retaining relationships, and ways for you to gain new clients.

Business development

Jerry is a new business owner and wants to open a law firm but is not sure what starting his business entails. Business development is the process of expanding your firm, entering a new market, or introducing a new product or service. Business development for lawyers is about keeping current clients satisfied and finding ways to get new ones. As a lawyer, it is essential for you to maintain strong relationships with your clients and develop the skill to attract new ones.

Retaining Clients

Keeping your current clients helps build your firm. Satisfied customers will not only continue coming back to you, but they will use word of mouth to your benefit. Word of mouth happens when a client talks about your services with other people. You want to make sure you leave customers with a good impression, because this is a positive form of marketing for your business.

To retain clients, a lawyer must nurture the relationship with each client and also be able to defend clients, to their best of abilities, in court. People who feel they cannot trust you are very difficult to retain as clients.

Jerry just opened up his own firm for the first time, and he has decided to run the firm by himself, without any help from other lawyers. He is so concentrated on getting new clients that he does not spend enough time maintaining relationships with his current customers. Jerry may get more new customers, but it doesn't make sense to neglect your old clients, because they can continue to bring you not only their own business but also business from their friends and family. Jerry must retain his current clients; otherwise, he may receive bad reviews online, or even worse, lose business.

Finding Opportunities

As a lawyer, it is beneficial to find new opportunities to expand your business. It is possible to operate a firm alone, but it is helpful to join in partnership with one or more lawyers to help attract more clients. By developing a partnership, lawyers can come together and share resources. Having multiple partners also allows for you to offer different services to customers. For instance, if you are a divorce lawyer, it may make sense to partner with a criminal lawyer, because you will not be competing for each other's customers.

On the other hand, as a solo lawyer, it may be difficult to hire someone to help with marketing or any other aspect of the business because your firm's income may not allow you to pay the person. If you enter into a partnership, there will be more money available to be able to market your business more efficiently.

Using the Internet to Gain & Communicate With Clients

Your website is where customers go to get information about the services you offer. If there are multiple lawyers, a customer can go to your website to see what each one specializes in. You can even start a blog to bring information-seeking customers to your website. Your blog might include articles that pertain to law and will draw customers in.

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