Baltimore Local Program Recap: Small to Mid-Sized Law Firms Think Tank: Part III (Collaborative Business Development: What Opportunities Exist?)

By Janessa Shaikun, Director of Marketing at Franklin & Prokopik and Alice H. Simons, Marketing Communications Manager at Hudson Cook, LLP

It is no secret that business development is an integral part of running and growing a successful marketing department. However, obstacles such as man-power, leadership buy-in, attorney’s willingness to participate, and departmental business development knowledge/experience can make this difficult – especially at small to mid-size firms.

Attorneys need to be involved in their associations and organizations beyond their baseline membership. Marketing and business development teams should encourage them to join committees, write articles, seek out speaking gigs, attend both educational and networking events, and co-sponsor events with other professional services firms to create strategic partnerships and referrals.

Firms should also consider associate business development programs, as lack of training and feeling like firms are not invested in their careers are drivers of associate churn rate. Lateral hire integration programs can be extremely useful; consider having senior associates help present at lunch-n-learns.

As indicated in Part I, CRM usage is crucial. One firm encourages usage by not reimbursing expenses unless information about the trip, client outing, etc. is entered. Similarly, their attorneys don’t get funding in the budget if they do not create a business development plan.

Check out Parts I and II for an in-depth dive into managing marketing components on a limited budget and client feedback programs.

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