Often lawyers have the misconception that they don’t need to market their services—that if they are good at what they do, clients will just come to them
Atlanta, Georgia (Vocus) March 4, 2010
Since January 2009, over four thousand lawyers have been laid off—along with an unknown number of additional “stealth layoffs”—because the firms lack sufficient business. In addition, in the last two years several well-known, large firms, including some that have existed for over a century, have collapsed.
According to Julie Fleming, nationally recognized speaker, legal business coach and consultant, and owner of Life at the Bar LLC, a good understanding of marketing techniques determines which lawyers keep their jobs and which firms stay in business.
“Often lawyers have the misconception that they don’t need to market their services—that if they are good at what they do, clients will just come to them,” Fleming says. “In addition, many dislike the idea of selling and will tell anyone who will listen, ‘I didn’t go to law school to be a salesman.’”
Despite this prevalent sentiment, marketing is essential to building and maintaining a law practice. “Mere legal skill is insufficient for success in practice today,” Fleming says. “Lawyers must learn to how to bring in new business on a regular basis.”
As a lawyer with over a decade’s experience practicing in firms ranging in size from one to two thousand lawyers, Fleming understands the tribulations her clients face. Through her own experience and in dealing with clients experiencing similar situations, she has developed law-specific techniques for preventing firm failure, attracting new clients, and maintaining a successful practice. Her book, The Reluctant Rainmaker: A Guide for Lawyers Who Hate Selling, details how lawyers can build successful, satisfying, and sustainable practices.
Fleming offers both individual consultations and group training to help lawyers build their business development skills. Her programs, which range from a one-day intensive consultation to regular support over a six-month period, include in-depth analyses of current practices, multiple telephone business consultations per month to review progress, e-mail and telephone support, review of written materials such as articles for business development and cover letters, and in-person consultations.
She also speaks frequently on business development and practice management for law firms and bar associations. At the American Bar Association annual meeting, Fleming will present a Presidential Showcase Program entitled “Seven Secrets Every Lawyer Needs to Know to Thrive Even during a Recession.” These seven secrets, which are also covered in a written report available by request from her website along with other free resources, offer simple but effective solutions to lawyers’ everyday concerns.
About Julie Fleming, J.D., A.C.C.:
Julie Fleming is a nationally recognized speaker, legal business development coach and consultant, founder of http://www.LifeAtTheBar.com, and creator of Five Foundations of Time Mastery for Attorneys. Her recently published book, The Reluctant Rainmaker: A Guide for Lawyers Who Hate Selling, contains time-tested content, recommendations for specific business development situations that attorneys face, time management solutions. Fleming is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and practiced patent litigation before founding Life at the Bar LLC in 2005.
Visit the Life at the Bar LLC's website: http://lifeatthebar.com/
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