The Importance of Lawyer Professional Development
Professional development is an essential component of any profession. Continuing to stay abreast on new field developments, novel technologies, and improving skills are all beneficial to the employee and the employer. Especially in terms of marketing and business development, some experts argue that these skills are required in order to be competitive. In addition to protecting the firm with Legal Liability Insurance, consider the following tips to promote professional development.
Building Credibility- Rapport and credibility takes time to establish among clientele and can be easily compromised. Consider if personal appearance is appropriate for the clientele the firm represents. When meeting with clients abstain from fidgeting or sitting during presentations. Most importantly, ensure all communication is flawless so as to deliver quality materials to clients.
Building a Network- It is in the firm’s and lawyer’s best interest to be actively involved in the community and be invested in relevant matters. Events, social media, and professional organizations can help to network and meet like-minded individuals.
Building Credentials- According to the American Bar Association, lawyers are credential-conscious and schools, honors, and awards are valuable in the field. If there is an area of struggle such as reading financial statements or business law, consider taking additional courses. Further, heading a committee and publishing articles and presentations can improve a resume, as well.
Building Client Relationships- Ask questions, get to know the client, attend lunches with partners, and meet with people whenever possible. Nurturing client relationships can promote business for the firm and build a reputation for the lawyer. Further, tailor communications to appeal to that certain client. For example, if a certain client prefers to communicate via email rather than the phone, take note and make an effort to follow through.
Build Value- Follow up with clients consistently and contribute to the firm’s bottom line. As marketing is an expense for law firms, the ABA recommends getting involved with efforts to win business, assisting in proposals, establishing business training and coaching for lawyers, and discussing strategy for improvement.
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