April 16, 2014 Articles

Interview: Business Development Advice for Lawyers

The best fishers know where to fish.

By Steve Fretzin

In a recent conversation with Joe Yastrow, we discussed business development and how to become more effective doing it. For over 30 years, Joe has been with Laner Muchin, one of the top labor-and-employment law firms in Illinois, with about 40 attorneys.

One of Yastrow’s earliest memories regarding business development came from a lesson learned from his father relating to fishing. “He told me, ‘Nobody ever caught a fish without putting a line in the water,’” Yastrow says. “In addition, I quickly learned that you have to know where to fish in order to ensure supper is on the table.”

These analogies hit home for Yastrow, and from a new-business standpoint he hasn’t gone hungry since. As we took a deeper dive into a discussion, we realized that good fishermen and good business developers share several key principles to success.

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