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LMA New York: BD SIG - How to Build, Scale, and Improve your Law Firm’s Client Service Program – Panel Discussion

Yesterday, I was able to spend my morning attending an LMA panel discussion in NYC held by their business development SIG. The discussion touched on how a firm can develop an even stronger client success program to expand client relationships to both enhance and retain revenue. The fantastic speakers included Elise Holtzman as the Moderator (Founder of the Lawyer’s Edge), Matthew Olsen (Director of Business Development, Litigation at Hunton Andrews Kurth), Monica Ulzheimer (Business Development Associate Director, Litigation Area at Alston & Bird) and Andrew Scott (Director of Marketing and Communications at MTS Health Group).

Here were my key takeaways:

Your Law Firm’s Client Service Program should be used to serve your clients to the very best of your ability. It should drive profitability, and efficiency and leverage your advantages across your firm. As Andrew said it can be formal or informal. The key at Kirkland was to focus on and prioritize their key clients.

The key benefit of creating a Client Service Program is to create 'stickier' clients who are more loyal to you.  From an attorney standpoint, you get more dollars in your column and credibility added for growing a client from point A to point B.

Advice on how to introduce a client service program:

  • Build internal support
  • Define goals
  • Establish the business development team's role
  • Matthew said “Find a client that fits the model and find a partner that will be a champion. Then the next step is to schedule a call.”
  • Andrew said "Either run the program plan through management and let it trickle down, or you tell the Partners what the plan is and state that you're going through with it with or without them."
  • Monica said “We introduced our formal launch of the client service program at our partner weekend retreat.”
  • Matthew said, "You can ease into it, you don’t have to fully introduce it on day one. You can start with a call with one partner and grow from there".

All agreed that you know you have succeeded when Partners you have not talked with about your program come to you and say they want to be part of it.

Great event LMA NYC!!


"A Law Firm’s successful Client Service Program creates a stickier client and a more loyal client”. Monica Ulzheimer, Business Development Associate Director, Litigation Area at Alston & Bird


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