law firm business development

If you’re a lawyer, the most important thing you need to know about law firm business development is that you don’t know much about law firm business development. Lawyers, after all, are trained to practice law, not manage a business. If you want your business to grow you need to turn to those who are experts in the subject.

Five Things You Should Know About Business Development for Your Firm


1. Law Firm Business Development is Not Marketing

A mistake I see time and time again is failure to grasp the difference between business development for lawyers and marketing. Simply put, the latter is about selling your product (your firm) by matching services to client needs, while the former refers to the expansion of your client base, building new revenue streams, and generating referrals. Without business development, marketing is in vain, which is why it is important to not confuse one with the other and ensure you have clear, strategic plans for both.

2. Client Relationships are Key

Word of mouth is the number one way to bring new clients through the door. The most effective way to get word running is to develop a client-centered business approach. It is vital to understand your client’s perspective, address their needs, develop a client-centered thought process, and, most importantly, practice clear and timely communication.

3. Lateral Expansion is Essential

The best avenue for developing your firm’s business is expanding laterally and cross-selling to existing clients. This means both building client service plans and adding new areas of practice. In the first, you draw on your strongest asset: the relationships you already have and recommend additional needed services; in the second, you identify practice areas of interest to your existing clientele and hire or upskill accordingly.

4. You Have to Play the Game

In 2021, digital networking and online reviews and referrals are essential ingredients not just to success but to survival. Learning to work the levers of power in a field that has increasingly moved online is fundamental to business development for lawyers. Simply being familiar with SEO is no longer enough. In today’s legal world you need a complete SEO campaign supported by regular blogging. In addition, you need a coach that can ensure you are hitting key performance indicators (KPIs).

5. Have a Coach

The best players of any game are those with the best coaching. This is as true of tennis as it is of business. In the legal world, coaching comes in the form of consulting for law firms. An attorney consultant is an expert in business development who can oversee your firm’s growth so you can see to the task of lawyering—and nothing else.

Hiring & Empowering does not just provide consulting for law firms but also provides curated programs to get your firm up to speed. In our 66-Day Law Firm Turnaround, for instance, I select an elite group of high-performing firms seeking to get to the next level. Through personalized programming and one-on-one coaching, I help your firm to achieve consistent cash flow, proven systems, a solid vision, more confidence, less fear, and, most importantly, more time than ever before.

Are you ready to take control of your law firm and propel your success to a new level? If so, schedule a call with me to see if your firm would be a good fit.

employee playbook


Everything you need to turn around your people, processes, productivity and profitability is right here in this free e-Book.


Feel like your people—and their productivity—are a mess? Don’t worry, this book has your back! Download this book for free and follow our advice about how to empower your employees to step up and lead!

You have Successfully Subscribed!