Four Keys to Teaching Young Partners How to Build Their Business

, The Am Law Daily


With a law firm's success—and perhaps even its very survival—dependent on the revenue it is able to bring in, firm leaders need to do a better job of teaching their lawyers the art of the sale.

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What's being said

  • Bruce Heintz

    Sound and practical advice from a been-there-done-that professional. To my mind, you've certainly broken the code regarding law firm marketing training. I particularly liked your suggested tax lawyer pitch, "I prevent the government from taking my clients' money." Truly begs for a follow-on business conversation. Helpful article.

  • Ann Lee Gibson

    Ed, your "true north" article orients lawyers and law firms back to the very basics that can transform their services and reputations from fungible to best in class. I know full well the workability of your advice--the training you recommend and the skills they can deliver DO increase firm revenue and profits, often dramatically so.

    But the same training and skills are also at the heart of any effective firm programs to:

    * Increase effective partner diversity
    * Improve partners' morale and their communication with each other
    * Help the firm improve its offerings to align them better with clients' changing needs
    * Gain support for firm leaders and strategies to get their firms back on track
    * Garner support for the concept that healthy competition lies OUTSIDE the firm, not within

    The practice of law is predicated on clients trusting their lawyers and their advice. Why don't more law firms help their young lawyers understand better how to make this happen? What a waste of human capital it is that all firms do not.

    Thanks again, Ed, for your excellent advice.

  • not available

    This article makes a compelling business case for sales training. The vast majority of law firms however don't offer training because of the belief that sales skills cannot be taught. There is a widely held myth that you either get it or you don't. In Daniel Pink's new book: "To Sell is Human" he dispels this myth of the natural born rainmaker. IBM proved that you can teach sales and account management to even the most introverted computer science graduates. IBM's sales training still remains the platinum standard. These skills to serve and retain clients should be a mandatory course in law schools. The skills might even help the C student get a job.

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