GPSolo Magazine - October/November 2004

Product Review
The Rainmaking Machine: Marketing, Planning, Strategies, and Management for Law Firms
By Phyllis Weiss Haserot

The Rainmaking Machine is a serious marketing strategy book for law firms. Consider it your new playbook for expanding your practice. Although the book may not be primarily geared to solos, the marketing concepts are applicable to any firm, no matter the size.

The book, published by Thomson West, first appeared in 1989, and two completely new chapters have been added every year. The most recent set was published in 2004. Priced at $147, it includes the hardbound volume (Chapters 1-19) and a binder containing all supplements through 2004: new chapters (Chapters 20-51), new front matter, and a cumulative index. When you purchase the set you are automatically subscribed to receive the annual supplements (including new front matter and cumulative index), priced at $116. You can opt out of the subscription (i.e., return the supplements) at any time.

The author, Phyllis Weiss Haserot, is president of Practice Development Counsel, a business development and organizational effectiveness consulting and coaching firm established in 1982, and its newer division, AuthenticWorks. She is also a regular management columnist for the New York Law Journal.

Each chapter begins with a brief synopsis and concludes with valuable exhibits. Because each chapter contains short sections on several interrelated concepts, it is easy to locate the information you are looking for. The exhibits at the end of each chapter summarize valuable information by listing key chapter concepts and by providing checklists, surveys, and assessment exercises as well as guidance on how to implement a particular marketing task.

Rainmaking Machine explores the relationship between marketing and the ethical considerations that all attorneys must keep in mind while working to expand their practice. Other chapters address such issues as marketing on the Internet, maintaining high-quality services for your clients, and positioning your firm to compete for new clients and new projects. If your firm doesn’t have a web page yet, or even if it does, check out Chapter 39 for a list of the most common mistakes made on the web.

Even those attorneys who are well versed in marketing techniques will find this book useful. There is an entire chapter devoted to brushing up your marketing skills, re-examining leadership issues, and challenging past business plans.

Marketing your firm and the services it provides has become an essential part of the practice of law. Whether your firm has a dedicated marketing staff or you are your own marketing staff, the Rainmaking Machine provides essential information on how to effectively grow your firm’s practice. Now, get out there and get wet!

Elizabeth R. Ashley is an attorney in Lakewood, Ohio. She can be reached at


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