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Practice Management

Building a Client Base: Top Tips from Legal Practitioners

Jeremy M Evans


  • Legal practitioners from different areas of practice weigh in with their best advice for building a client base.
Building a Client Base: Top Tips from Legal Practitioners
Larisa Rudenko via iStock

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How and where we practice matters. Who we practice with and why we practice also matter. More specifically, who we genuinely connect with and who we trust has meaning and consequences. Our success in business and the law is not only dependent on what we know but also on who we know. Without clients, we cannot practice law. Clients are like the fans at a sporting event or audiences in a movie theatre, or maybe vice versa. Clients and attorneys need one another to survive.

How do clients meet attorneys? How do attorneys meet clients? Several practitioners from different areas of practice weighed in on the following question: “What is your top tip on building a client base?” 

Arguably, relationships are the most important part of your practice. You will never know who has the power to connect you with new business, so you must try your best to ensure everyone from your opposing counsel to your colleague down the hall not only thinks of you as a good lawyer but also someone of good character worthy of a referral or an introduction.

—Kanika Corley, partner, Akerman

Communicate. Emails and texts are easy; pick up the phone or meet face to face. Personal relationships and the development thereof move the needle more than anything else.

—Robert A. Hacker, owner, Robert A. Hacker, Attorney at Law + Sports Media Consulting

The more you give, the more you receive. Your focus should be how you can refer cases to your colleagues, rather than thinking about how they can refer them to you. The rest will work itself out.

—Louis J. Shapiro, certified criminal law specialist

Always do your best work. Referrals from satisfied clients are priceless. Nothing helps you build a client base faster than happy clients. Happiness engenders loyalty, which leads to more referrals.

—Toni Y. Long, managing partner, The Long Law Group

With estate planning, reputation is key. Our firm works really hard to establish a close relationship with all our clients and this has really helped form our referrals and client base.

—Chantal Duisters, partner, Duisters & Parvizi, LLP

Take care to be genuine, authentic, and fully present when you engage with people.

—Carmen Caserta, attorney

The results on how clients and attorneys connect with one another are simple but profound: relationships, communication, a giving spirit, great work product, and genuinely connecting and engaging with people, regardless of circumstances. If we could all implement those five tools in our practices, we will be more successful and our clients will be happier.