Learning to Make Rain

Job security is largely gone in the legal profession. Building a practice is the only way to ensure your longterm marketability. While many lawyers still build very successful careers as service partners, it is the the partners with portable business who hold most of the playing cards.

The challenge for most associates, however, is that no one teaches them how to begin originating work. In fact, at most large firms, partners tell associates to focus on client work. Few associates are being encouraged to market themselves and most are given incentives to bill long hours. Associates are generally not compensated for activities that are designed to build the associate’s reputation or business connections.

In the short run, you may build your political capital at a firm by being a great service provider. But it you want to rise to the top, start learning how to generate business. The National Law Journal has a good article to help get you started. And by the way, it is never too soon to start.

Do not expect instant success. In fact it may take five to ten years before you begin to see marketing results. But once you develop a marketing mindset, you can begin to lay a foundation for the business development success that will provide you with much more job security in the future.

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