New BTI Research Reveals Top 3 Attorney Business Development Activities in Today's Economy

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BTI Consulting Group releases research which ranks top business development activities

We're proud to make this report available to the community, and we'll be discussing its findings with our clients in great detail.

Now more than ever, law firms are focused on ensuring that the dollars they put towards operational costs, including marketing and business development, are being spent as wisely as possible. Given this concern, BTI Consulting Group today released an extensive study identifying which of the business development activities commonly employed by attorneys and their firms make the most favorable impact on the corporate counsel who hire them.

Asked to evaluate ten business development activities on their likeliness of leading to consideration for hire, corporate counsel ranked peer referrals, scheduled in-person meetings, and quotations as an expert in the media as the top three, respectively.

BTI's study, "The Attorney Hiring Zone: Top Activities to Increase Your Chances for Winning New Business," was commissioned by Hellerman Baretz Communications and is based on data gathered from 270 one-on-one interviews with senior-ranking legal executives representing 28% of the Fortune 1000 and 15% of the Global 500. The other ranked activities include, in order: presenting at a small educational seminar, practicing at a well-regarded firm, authoring an article in a business trade publication, speaking at a prominent event, being the subject of a feature article, advertising, and participating in casual in-person meetings.

"This research gives law firms an invaluable understanding of the specific activities that can help get them hired," said Michael Rynowecer, President of BTI Consulting Group, which, along with the rankings, released a 15-page report analyzing the findings in detail. "The research helps evaluate business development activities and points to some of the rare opportunities in today's market."

BTI's findings include:

  •     57% of corporate counsel will consider hiring a new attorney based on a single peer referral, the most valuable business development tool.
  •     As a group, credentialing activities (i.e., being quoted as an expert by the media, speaking at seminars, and authoring articles) enjoy a "cumulative effect" (being quoted several times in the media, for instance, has a greater positive effect on legal service buyers than being quoted once).
  •     BTI research shows that with the "cumulative effect," an attorney quoted three times in the media can achieve nearly the same trust factor from the quotes as they would from a single peer referral.

"We all know the value of differentiating firms to compete, but until now there was a limited understanding of which strategies and tactics work best," explained John Hellerman of Hellerman Baretz Communications. "We're proud to make this report available to the community, and we'll be discussing its findings with our clients in great detail."

A copy of the report is available online at:

Working with the world's leading law firms, consulting firms, and financial services companies, Hellerman Baretz Communications ( creates PR-based business development campaigns that turn professionals' expertise into new business opportunities.

The Boston-based BTI Consulting Group ( is the leading provider of strategic market research to law firms and professional services firms. BTI conducts the only continuous benchmarking market study in the legal services industry based on more than 2,200 independent interviews with corporate counsel and key decision makers hiring law firms.


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