Marketing is important for the long term health of any legal practice. Even if you are in a ‘traditional’ firm where marketing is undervalued, it will still be important to you personally. Marketing is important for every lawyer in terms of developing their own practice and their personal career development.
The value of young solicitors is no longer just measured in the extent of their legal knowledge or their excellence in practising the law. It will depend on their ability to develop close working relationships with their clients, retain those clients and develop more business from them (if this additional business is for other departments them we are talking about cross selling) and their ability to attract new clients and new business.
Young solicitors will be measured in terms of their recognised status in their area of practice (as documented in the legal directories which are usually based on client and peer feedback) as reflected in the legal and specialist media. They are measured in terms of the quality and extent of their personal client and contact lists.
You have a tough job. You must achieve tough daily chargeable hour billing targets. You must update your legal knowledge, stay abreast of new legal and market developments and maintain suitable CPD levels. You must train, supervise and inspire the younger staff who report to you. You must also develop your own practice. Rather than being an extra demand on your already pressured time, marketing – when used properly – can help you identify the best opportunities and focus your limited time on the right ones to achieve maximum effectiveness. Marketing can help you win better clients and better work at a better price – it can help you escape the miserable place of low quality work with high pressure on fee rates.
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As always, if there are particular topics you would like me to address in the future, please let me know. You will also find a source of more and up to date information on a broad range of management and marketing issues in the professions by checking out the blog where I also post regular reviews of books that might be helpful.