It takes more than just being a great lawyer to climb the ranks and make partner. Much to many lawyers’ disdain, it takes winning your own clients and building a solid book of business to even be considered as a candidate. For this reason, all lawyers who want to get on the partnership track need to add ‘expand client base’ to their to-do list. This article stresses the importance of business development for lawyers and gives essential tips on changing your mindset to become a great work winner.

Business development for lawyers matters!

Business development for lawyers doesn’t always come naturally. Sometimes, it results in efforts that bring no results, while other times, no efforts are even made because of a fear of what the result might be.

This is crazy as it is so crucial for both business growth and also career progression!

Whether you particularly like business development or not, there’s no denying that it is necessary and that it needs to get done one way or another, especially if making partner is your goal. (Get maximum effectiveness from your business development with this attitude)

3 benefits of having a positive business development mindset

Telling yourself that you need to focus on business development isn’t enough. To become a great work winner, you need to foster a positive business development mindset so that you actually start wanting to complete the tasks. Only when you do this will you start doing them consistently.

Thinking about the big picture can help motivate you day-to-day, so here are 3 major benefits of having a positive business development mindset to keep front of mind:

  1. A commitment to business development creates a steady stream of clients.
  2. A steady flow of business means more income, even a bigger bonus or a raise.
  3. A steady flow of clients means that you can start choosing the types of clients and work that you actually want.

When you think about the fact that committing to business development ultimately puts you in the driver’s seat for controlling your income, the type of work that you take on, and your quality of life, all of a sudden, you want to make the efforts each day to work on business development.

6 ways to change your mindset

Our mindset is a powerful tool so naturally, it can be difficult to change.

When it comes to business development for lawyers, here are 6 ways to start shifting your mindset to a positive one:

    1. Be clear about what you want – write down exactly what you want to achieve and how you’ll know when you’ve achieved it. By simply having your goals in front of mind, you’ll be making decisions every day to help you get there.
    2. Make a realistic plan – you know what you want to achieve so what do you need to do to get there? Create a roadmap of your journey toward your goal and plan three small steps that you’ll take each day. You’ll soon start to see the progress and in time, your achievements will grow into a positive belief and then into an attitude. 

Click here to download your FREE networking plan (email required) taken from the bestselling and award-winning book "The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking". 

  1. Continually reinforce your motivation – everybody loses momentum but it’s important in these moments to think about the bigger picture and visualize it. Who else is impacted by your goals? Will your loved ones benefit when you achieve them?
  2. Work on your beliefs – you can say out loud that you will focus on business development but if internally you believe that you are not good at it or that you won’t be successful, you will start limiting yourself before you even begin. Beliefs ultimately drive habitual actions and success, so work on your beliefs through daily meditations, affirmations, journaling or whatever works for you.
  3. Be strict with yourself – consistency and discipline are key to success so make sure to push yourself to complete the tasks that you have planned in. Maintain positive habits by being aware of bad ones and avoiding these distractions.
  4. Be brave and if you’re not, do it anyway – if you’re afraid to get yourself out there to grow your profile, to meet with a potential introducer or get back in contact with someone who you lost contact with, do it anyway. What’s the worst that can happen? Instead of embracing the fear of being rejected, think about ‘what if this were to go right?’ It’s an exciting and invigorating thought.

Be a great work winner!

Business development for lawyers is essential, it can mean the difference between a lawyer being good at their job and a lawyer that is exceptional and on their way to partner. To start becoming a great work winner, use these 6 tips to shift your mindset and take control of your income, client base, and quality of life.

Need more referrals? Then download our free short guide (email required) with over 50 tried and tested tips to generate more referrals.