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Bar News - January 16, 2009


Networking Resolutions for the Newer Lawyer

By:

Jennifer L. Parent

Itís time for those New Yearís resolutions! Start 2009 off with some marketing and networking commitments. Whether you are a solo practitioner or in a small or large firm, marketing and networking are necessary to sustain a successful practice.

As a newer lawyer, you should learn to make marketing and networking part of your daily routine. You will likely not become the top rainmaker in your firm overnight. But donít get discouraged. Networking is about establishing and cultivating relationships and that takes time. Some of the best rainmakers have been at it for years. If you are persistent and patient, the work you put in now will pay off later.

Develop an individual marketing plan for 2009, and stick with it. Be flexible and modify your plan for your practice and work schedule.

Here are a few marketing and networking ideas for newer lawyers to consider in building their practices. Pick one or two and make them part of your resolutions.

  • Write an article on a topic of interest or a substantive area of the law.
  • Find opportunities to speak. Present at a CLE, participate on a panel, or ask questions from the audience at an event.
  • Get involved in the Bar Association. Join a section or attend the New Lawyersí events and the Midyear and Annual Meetings. Join a local or specialty bar. Other lawyers can be great networking resources.
  • Bring business cards everywhere.
  • Join an organization or participate in an activity you enjoy. Do not join just to join or to get business. Make sure it is something you care about.
  • Look to your existing networks. Your family, friends, and law school colleagues are all important networking resources.
  • Prepare an "elevator speech." All lawyers should craft an "elevator speech" that tells people in 30 to 60 seconds about their practice. Donít use lawyer-speak in describing what you do. Memorize and practice your speech and vary it for the occasion.
  • The best form of marketing is to do great work for your existing clients. Clients can be the best referral source for new work.

Jennifer L. Parent, of the McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton firm in Manchester, is a past chair of the New Lawyers Committee, and recently completed service on the NHBA Board of Governors. She also was active in the Young Lawyers Division of the ABA. In 2007, she was named as one of the New Hampshire Union Leaderís "Forty Under 40" Business Leaders.

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