A Litigator is an attorney or lawyer that often specializes in taking action against a person or organization. They are often referred to as a trial lawyer and may well only work with clients on a single project. This can mean that they don't feel the need to market themselves actively or build long term relationships. Deborah Farone of Farone Advisors, argues quite the opposite and in a recent article in Bloomberg Law highlights the need for litigators to be 'fostering relationships, maintaining a profile, and providing service and insights to potential clients, even when there isn’t a lawsuit involved'
The article helpfully points to 7 steps that litigators can take to incorporate business and client development into their armoury:
Create a Plan and Set Goals
Even the best litigators need a plan and if the firm doesn't have an overarching strategic one, then a practice plan is a good start. This will hold people accountable within the group as well as provide assurances that there is a plan in place. Any goals set can then help inform future business decisions in an adaptive framework.
Understand Where Your Clients Come From
Looking forward to new clients may well mean looking back at past clients. Revisit a list of previous clients and determine how they came to you. Are their referral channels that work better than others and if so then this should be the focus moving forwards.
Build a Profile
It is important to build and then maintain your profile. Look at where clients and future clients operate- for instance, make sure your profile is up to date on Linkedin and look to regularly use the platform. Taking on targeted speaking engagements, publishing articles, and attending conferences are other useful tactics.
Keep Up With Government Policy Changes
Deborah suggests monitoring changes in policy and other legal developments enables you to keep clients ahead of the curve while helping you gauge where your own practice may be headed. It will also form a great basis to showcase knowledge and know-how when writing insights.
Create Searches to Track Clients
On a basic level, use Google alerts or searches to track and watch companies that are of interest. This will give you an idea of pending litigation. On a more generic level, look to track specific topics and industries.
Ensure Younger Litigators Develop Contacts
Lawyers don’t magically develop the skill to foster business once they are named partners and so it is really important for young litigators to train in the art of business development from the off. Developing contacts early on in life at a law firm will mean that younger members of the team will be able to contribute to business generation goals.
Stay in Touch with Clients
It is important to stay in touch with clients even in the quieter times. Develop a person-to-person relationship where possible and showcase your human side. This will ensure that they will reach out when they next need you at a different organization.
Very practical and easy to implement advice indeed.