Women Lawyers and Building Business Differently

At this time of the year when we celebrate Mother’s Day, women lawyers and the challenges they face are particularly on my mind.  As you may be aware, I started the Best Friends at the Bar project fifteen years ago to address those challenges and help young women lawyers advance in the profession.  Although the project has grown to address all young lawyers, regardless of gender, women lawyers and their challenges remain a great emphasis for me.

One of those challenges is still and always has been developing business.  This article from Bloomberg Law sheds some important light on that subject by suggesting that women lawyers must build business differently. Rather than trying to take on the subject all at one time, the suggestion is akin to running a marathon, one mile at a time and adopting a long-game strategy.  Although the long game may be the ultimate objective, the short game of making business development front and center each day is recommended, with the focus on creating collaborative client teams that include trust among partners.

This may be challenging because the path to law firm partnership and law firm leadership is often dependent on business development.  For women lawyers, especially mother lawyers, there are a lot of other daily responsibilities in competition with business development.  And only so many hours in every day.

The author, a business growth strategist, recommends building a book of business by focusing on strong networks (rather than large networks) and adopting a new “networking paradigm” dependent on a strong network of colleagues, clients and referral partners who are familiar with your experience and the unique way you serve clients.

Also key is emphasis on common interests you may have with prospective clients and supporting the growth of colleague practices.  Daily interactions and meaningful conversations are the building blocks of those kinds of collaborations.  As always, paying attention to what is going on in the worlds of others forms the basis of building trusted relationships.

Although business development may seem like a daunting task, the good news is that women are particularly good at this kind of relationship building.  Most women lawyers start on first base in the process — one step closer to bringing it home!

Check out the article for more specifics.





This entry was posted in Career Counselors, Law Firm Managers, Law Students, Practice Advice, Pre-law, Young Lawyer. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.