Imagine that a man in a wheelchair comes to your law firm asking for legal help after being catastrophically injured by a negligent bus driver. Or your firm’s litigation partners are gathered around a large gleaming mahogany conference-room table, along with key corporate officers who are trying to decide whether they should hire your firm in a critical intellectual property dispute. Or one of your office’s family lawyers is trying to convince a client with major diversified assets that you are the right firm to handle his anticipated divorce.
These instances all have one element in common: They require marketing to land the client. Most law schools don’t teach business development, and many lawyers treat it with disdain. But most of us find ourselves, at one time or another, looking across the room at the potential client. We know that ours isn’t the only firm that person has approached.