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Business development- how important an element is it in a lawyer’s job?

The profession has changed dramatically over the years.  Almost every role we are instructed on requires an element of business development. Solicitor’s who have a flair for client development and retention coupled with a successful billing history, are the Lawyers who are leading the way at job interviews.So how do you get the experience and how much time should you dedicate to this part of your job?Many law firms are giving trainee Solicitors the opportunity to take part in marketing activities and business development as well as dealing with the day to day aspects of legal work. If this opportunity it is available and encouraged, it is something that you should definitely embrace. Taking an active role in groups and societies for networking purposes will add value to your CV.

Business development and marketing is fast becoming one the key components of any legal job. The ability to develop existing clients and referrer relationships along with the ability to win new clients is a major draw to many firms. Successful lawyers have an understanding of the marketplace in which they operate, an understanding of their clients’ legal needs and an in-depth knowledge of their competitors. They will develop empathy, rapport and trust with clients.

There are many ways in which to develop business, from general publicity and advertising, newsletters, seminars and networking events to social marketing such as Twitter and LinkedIn. The ability to cross-sell is an effective sales tool for law firms. Good relationship and account management will pay dividends.  Do your commercial clients need private client services? Often the opportunities internally can be limitless.

So if the opportunity presents itself, grab it with both hands. The ability to demonstrate a flair for business development and marketing will impress any potential employer.

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