Client Development Training for Associates.
While many law firms say business-building skills are an important element in the partnership track, it seems training in this area remains an issue. The BTI Consulting Group's newest research with Law Practice Today readers found that nearly 54 percent of responding firms do not have any formal business development programs in place for associates. However, 20 percent of the firms evaluate associates' business development initiatives as part of the key criteria when considering them for partnership. "Business development is the number one marketing goal at law firms in 2007," explains Marcie L. Borgal Shunk, a principal at BTI. So how do associates factor in? "A number of firms are boosting their business development initiatives by incorporating associates into the process. Writing articles, attending networking events and becoming involved in community organizations are the leading ways associates are helping their firms boost business development activities."