Building Your Book: The Nuts and Bolts of Business Development | Summary and Q&A

February 27, 2018
American Bar Association
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Building Your Book: The Nuts and Bolts of Business Development


Learn the key strategies for successful business development, including self-assessment, finding a niche, effective networking, and creating a personal brand.

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Key Insights

  • ✋ Lawyers should focus on marketing activities that have the highest probability of success in reaching their target audience.
  • ❓ Developing a niche and becoming known for a specific area of expertise can differentiate lawyers and attract clients.
  • 🧑 In-person networking and referrals are essential in building a client base.
  • 🧍 Creativity and personal branding can make lawyers stand out in a competitive market.
  • ❤ī¸â€đŸŠš Effective pricing strategies involve focusing on the value provided and emphasizing the end result for the client.
  • 🛩ī¸ Joining small trade associations where you are the only lawyer can provide opportunities for networking and establishing expertise.
  • 🏛ī¸ Building a personal brand involves consistently delivering value, being authentic, and building trust with clients.


welcome to building your book the nuts and bolts of business development sponsored by the American Bar Association moderating the program today is Kathy Morris Kathy is founder of under advisement limited and former director of career counseling and placement for Northwestern University School of Law former director of the ABA Career Resource Cente... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the number one mistake lawyers make in building a book of business?

The biggest mistake is not having a sufficiently defined target audience, leading to random and non-strategic marketing activities. Lawyers need to know exactly who they want to market to and develop a plan to reach them effectively.

Q: How can lawyers differentiate themselves if they have multiple practice areas?

Lawyers with multiple practice areas should create separate marketing plans for each area, focusing on the specific needs of clients in each practice. Clients want specialized expertise, so it's important to communicate how you can help them in each area.

Q: Should lawyers focus more on traditional marketing tactics like public speaking and publishing, or technology-based approaches?

Both traditional and technology-based marketing tactics can be effective. It's important to assess the preferences of your target audience and choose the methods that will reach them most effectively. Building a personal brand through various channels is key.

Q: How should lawyers approach selling to potential clients in person, without appearing pushy?

Instead of focusing on selling, lawyers should focus on building relationships and understanding clients' needs. By asking insightful questions and demonstrating a genuine interest, lawyers can earn trust and demonstrate their value.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Lawyers need to have a well-defined target audience and develop a strategy to market to them effectively.

  • Self-assessment is crucial in identifying what sets you apart from other lawyers and how you can provide value to clients.

  • Building a focused marketing plan, including online and offline tactics, is essential to attract the right clients.

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