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  • October 25, 2021 3:27 PM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    As a Coordinator in the Practice Development area of the Business Development Department, you will be responsible for a variety of marketing and development activities, including proposal preparation, client presentations, marketing collateral maintenance, matters database maintenance, CRM maintenance, research, and communications.

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    You should be comfortable working in a team environment, with a keen eye for organization and detail. The ideal candidate will need to be able to think critically, analyze data effectively and convey complex information clearly.

    This position reports directly to the Restructuring and Real Estate Business Development Associate Director with oversight from the Business Development Director in Chicago.


  • October 25, 2021 3:23 PM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    Kirkland & Ellis is seeking a dynamic, enthusiastic Business Development Specialist to support its new Salt Lake City office and to be a key driver of its growth and success.

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    Reporting to the West Coast Director of Business Development and working collaboratively with other regional and Firmwide business development professionals, the Business Development Specialist will provide comprehensive support across the entirety of the business development and marketing lifecycle, playing a key role in the execution of development strategies for all cross-practice areas with a particular focus on corporate, specifically private equity and M&A and commercial litigation.

    This is a highly visible attorney and occasional client-facing role, requiring an experienced legal business development generalist with an adaptable, entrepreneurial style and a proven business acumen.


  • October 12, 2021 6:41 PM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    Someone asked me the other day: “What do you think is the hot new thing in law firms these days?” and I responded, “Strategic account teams—aka key client teams.” He looked puzzled and said, “isn’t that old, not new?”

    While I was taken aback, I thought about it and decided, yes, key client planning and the various initiatives surrounding that topic have been around for years now, and in fact 80% of the key client teams as we know them are ineffective. Sure, focusing on the client, going out and speaking with them has likely produced some small or incremental results. But until a firm’s strategic accounts become truly an integrated part of the firm’s strategy, they are nothing more than simply another initiative into which only a few partners have bought.

    The Big Four, Oracle, IBM, Xerox, Salesforce, and numerous other highly profitable organizations with focused strategic account leadership, would never imagine NOT having strategic accounts driving their revenue growth goals. In fact, in an industry where demand remains flat, it’s the only strategic initiative that is going to get a firm’s revenue into numbers that matter. Why does this work in every other industry and not so well in law firms then? A few reasons.

    First. the key relationship lawyer often lacks the competitive selling skills necessary to take the entire account to another revenue level. Only when he/she collaborates with the client, across the client, and across the firm, will opportunities for adding value and thus, growing share of wallet emerge. A lot of effort and energy goes into account planning and while brilliant lawyers they may be, strategic sales people they likely are not. What’s the solution? Hire strategic account sales people. We will see more of this from the firms who take the lead in this area. Team them up with partners and clients and the results will be amazing. Building relationships at the highest levels within the client organization is critical for strategic account success. This includes board members, and C-level executives. Which leads us to the second reason.

    Second. Expanding relationships gets tricky. Who gets the credit? Frankly it doesn’t matter if the revenues go up, so do all the compensation numbers. Yet, with comp being a primary recognition system at the majority of firms, people fight over origination to get the “credit” and thus the recognition. Hiring professional sales people will change the game a bit because they will be measured on their success which means they will have to take some credit for revenue in the door. What’s the solution: well, one is to create a contest of sorts. Frankly that’s why firms’ biggest clients with sales teams have sales contests. So people compete to drive revenue. Everyone can win if they reach their goals. And the second solution is figure out how to share credit. In fact, all clients should be firm clients and there should be no origination. Get people to focus on the right things and to collaborate and revenue will continue to go up.

    Third. Account management. It is not easy to manage peers/other lawyers at the firm. Related to First and Second above, keeping momentum going, and the lawyers on the team interested in regular meetings can be challenging. To maintain a forward-looking momentum, focus on the client’s goals and what are the related anticipated legal needs. Invite the client to at least two to three team meetings per year so it keeps information first-hand and fresh, and keeps the team and frankly, the leader, motivated. Having the client at team meetings is a very important aspect of helping the team to be successful.

    Last, over-communicate results. Letting other members of the firm know how successful the account/key client teams are performing is important. For one reason, funding the teams’ visits to clients and other team activities, will be critical going forward, and leadership will want to make sure there is support for these expenditures.

    Silvia Coulter is a Principal Consultant with LawVision and a founding board member of the Legal Sales and Service Organization. To learn more about Strategic Account Management, you may order a copy of SAM-Legal: Turning Key Clients Into Strategic Accounts. Silvia may be reached at scoulter@lawvision.com.


  • September 23, 2021 9:56 AM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    By Silvia Coulter

    Many business professionals follow the opportunity to become a leader. As we know, there are many more not-so-good leaders than there are good leaders. What makes the difference? Think about the leaders in your life. Which characteristics defined a good leader and which characteristics defined a bad leader? Looking back on all or part of one’s career and the leaders experienced along the way will hopefully help you to become a stronger leader. Here are some extra tips:

    Stay true to your words. If honesty and integrity (for example) are important to maintaining the culture at your firm, then the leaders must exhibit and model these characteristics. This means doing the right thing all the time and standing by what is best for the team and not a favored individual. When people see one is true to one’s ideals, they will have high respect and trust for you. Model the behaviors you want to see in others.

    Tell the truth. First, if you mess up, fess up—plain and simple. If you made a mistake, admit it and don’t blame someone else. As a leader, the responsibility stops with you. If your team member makes a mistake, use it as a learning opportunity. Someone will know you were not truthful, or covered up, or blamed someone else if you did so, and it’s rarely forgotten. Second, if something negative occurs, try to be up front about how it will impact the team (e.g., layoffs, budget cuts, negative feedback) and deal with it straight on. Always take the high road. It garners loyalty and respect.

    Build constructive behaviors. Help people see their potential. Be happy for them and not envious. As important, facilitate these behaviors across the team and firm. When people feel supported, people will support their leaders. And, they are motivated to do their very best. When they feel otherwise (micro-managed, not given credit for their work, corrected for no reason) they will wither and leave. Constructive behaviors include feedback—positive and negative (but negative with suggestions for growth); recognition among others; support (have their back so-to-speak), and trust (help people grow by giving them assignments that cause them to stretch).

    Trust others. Trust people on your team. Have their back. It’s essential and in particular builds a higher probability of retaining important talent. There are always two sides to a story and we all work in environments which can be quick to find fault more often than to find opportunities to provide kudos. Embrace people and show them trust. They will produce good work and be inspired by your leadership.

    Make the tough decisions. Making tough decisions is not easy. Not making them will hurt any leader’s effectiveness since others will always be watching. While praise and recognition for a job well done are important, waiting too long to deal with an issue on the team will take away a lot of credibility. Do what’s right for the team. In the long run it will always be the best for you and the team. This includes acting quickly when someone is trying to hurt members of the team or you. Bad behavior cannot be allowed.

    Develop your skills. The firm is not going to necessarily pay for its business professionals to improve their leadership skills. They may, but if not, don’t hold back. Invest in yourself and in your future. To be a good, strong leader, find assessments, take leadership development programs (from industry) and read books written to help you to focus on becoming better. And then develop a leadership growth plan to stay on track. When you practice new skills, you become a stronger leader and take the next step in your career.

    Help others develop their skills. As part of the team’s review, identify one or two areas each member may want to develop to grow and become stronger at their skills and career. Helping team members be their best is going to help leaders build credibility among the team, and will help build their trust and loyalty.

    Communicate the plan. Good leaders are people who build bridges and are strong liaisons between top management and their own team. Bridging team responsibilities and goals and the overall plan for the department, to overall firm goals and strategies is key. Otherwise, people may not see how important their role is to the big picture. Remember the NASA floor sweeper when asked by President Kennedy what his job was? The man proudly answered “I’m helping to put a man on the moon.” Leaders help to connect the dots and this is especially important in a professional services environment.

    Celebrate successes! Everyone loves recognition. In fact, recognition often scores higher than salary on many employees’ top ten lists. Recognition of jobs well done helps build the constructive styles of team behavior. Good work makes strong leaders look stronger. Recognizing team members within the team and to firm leadership is the sign of a good leader.

    Silvia Coulter is a founding principal with LawVision Group and LSSO. Law firms rely on her assistance with existing client retention and growth strategies, new business development, culture and leadership assessments and business development consulting. She may be reached at 978-526-8316 or scoulter@lawvision.com


  • September 22, 2021 11:50 AM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    By Susan Raridon Lambreth

    At the recent Global LPM Summit, we asked our speakers for a word or phrase that best captures LPM. We may be a little biased (okay, a lot), but one of the ones we really liked was the response from David Rueff, Chief Solutions Officer for Baker Donelson (and my co-author of four books on LPM). He said, “In my opinion, the best word is strategic.”

    We concur. LPM offers many benefits, but there are reasons why we consider LPM a strategy. But that begs the question: What is strategy?

    Rueff continues: “It’s not just about how to achieve the client’s desired outcome, but how to achieve the business objectives, along with that desired outcome through planning, execution, and closure.”

    You might start your LPM initiative by looking first at legal process improvement (LPI). A disciplined approach to LPI provides the tools and techniques that allow a matter team to leverage time and effort. LPM, however, while it results in efficiencies, can be so much more. LPM is a strategy that delivers value to both the clients and the firm, changing how legal tasks are planned and managed.

    Let Your Principles Guide You

    In 2007, Michael D. Watkins, Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change at the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland wrote an article for Harvard Business Review. In it, he writes:

    “A business strategy is a set of guiding principles that, when communicated and adopted in the organization, generates a desired pattern of decision making. A strategy is therefore about how people throughout the organization should make decisions and allocate resources in order to accomplish key objectives.”

    LPM provides those guiding principles that, once applied, begin to change the culture and the very fabric of the firm. These principles include a commitment to:

    • Consistent, collaborative, and repeatable approaches to managing matters
    • Reliable and transparent practices for negotiating project scope and budget
    • Enhanced alignment of the work product to the client’s needs and priorities
    • Ongoing client communications that provide value and visibility, help to manage risk, and engender loyalty
    • Stewardship over highest and best use of resources
    • Integration of LPM techniques into business development efforts
    • Greater job satisfaction and clearer path to successful performance for both lawyers, legal professionals, and allied professionals

    The guiding principles capture the firm’s values and beliefs, providing the framework for strategic decision making. Now you can ask the critical questions along every step of the process. Is this repeatable? (Not the outcome, but the process.) Are we transparent enough? Have we considered the client’s needs beyond the outcome in the matter? Can our lateral hires understand how we do things around here? Are we using our resources wisely? LPM provides the context so that no one is simply going through the process. Each person has a value-added role.

    We Already Manage Our Projects

    Many of your most experienced partners and lawyers will claim that they already manage their projects. Indeed, they may have an Excel spreadsheet, a task list, and a drawing on the whiteboard. But actual LPM has a client-focus, structure, and visibility that many informal methods of scoping and managing projects lack.

    Without the strategic overlay to your LPM initiative, you may find lawyers and legal professionals simply waiting for things to revert back to the way they used to be, you know, that time in the past when nobody thought much about cost inefficiencies, and everyone did it “my way.” But going backwards is simply not an option in the current competitive environment. Clients are demanding greater control and accountability. They will tell you what constitutes value, but quite frequently not until they call to complain about the bill and expect you to reduce it.

    Law firms must be proactive. They can do this by implementing sound LPM strategies from the start. Once you begin to apply strategy to your LPM efforts, you’ll reap the long-term benefits. How does this differ from the tactical management of projects? Pushing each matter forward with the goal of crossing the finish line is the short-term approach. Considering the long-term implications is strategic. And in time, a strategic approach will reduce the level of tactical effort required. That’s your efficiency gain.

    Striking the Balance Between Strategic and Tactical

    There is definitely a component of tactical management required for LPM. It includes managing the scope and the schedule to time and budget constraints. It requires both training and aptitude to manage the nitty-gritty details. That’s the tactical piece, arguably the easiest part. The challenge comes in the strategies that help the firm grow and become more profitable and create greater value for clients. Through sound strategies, the firm will gain a distinct competitive advantage in the legal marketplace.

    You’ll have the right balance of tactical and strategic when you ensure that:

    • Activities are aligned with your firm’s long-term objectives
    • Lawyers and legal professionals feel challenged and energized by the work they perform
    • Clients get what they need beyond successful completion (and they tell you as much)
    • You’re able to rinse and repeat

    With the execution of strategic LPM, your initiative begins to feel like an accomplishment rather than a mere checklist of activities. Make no mistake: when you do LPM right, your product delivery will be efficient. But when you do LPM strategically, it will add to the bottom line, secure client loyalty, and invigorate your most talented people.

     Susan Raridon Lambreth

    Co-Founding Principal, LawVision

    Susan Raridon Lambreth is a founding Principal at LawVision Group and is internationally recognized as one of the top project management and practice group consultants for the legal industry. She has worked with approximately half of the AmLaw 200 on practice group issues or training their practice group leaders and many of the leading firms in North America, UK and Australia on legal project management initiatives. She has authored eight books on law firm management, including three on practice group management, four on LPM and one on legal operations. She has trained over 5,000 law firm leaders in practice leadership skills and over 6,000 legal professionals in LPM skills. She also has co-chaired for the past 11 years the largest annual conference in the world on legal project management for the Practising Law Institute in New York, which regularly attracts 400 to 550 attendees. She recently co-chaired the first annual Global LPM Summit (GlobalLPMSummit).

    Prior to co-founding LawVision, she was a partner with Hildebrandt International or its successor firm for 20 years. She received her JD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and an M.B.A. from Villanova University.


  • September 16, 2021 5:57 PM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    Fenwick & West is seeking experienced communications professional to support the Director of Communications in the development and implementation of a broad range of communications, promotional content, social network management, and public/media relations. The candidate will have strong writing, project management, and leadership skills and be comfortable working with all levels of the organization. READ MORE

  • September 07, 2021 11:44 AM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    Steptoe & Johnson PLLC  has an opportunity for a Business Development Coordinator  who will be part of the Marketing Department.  They will support both the marketing and business development functions of the firm. This multi-faceted position will be primarily responsible for working with specific practice areas of the firm and will support other firm business development efforts as needed.  The position may be located in Bridgeport, WV,  Morgantown, WV, Pittsburgh, PA, or Columbus, OH.

    APPLY HERE

  • September 07, 2021 11:31 AM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)
    Fenwick & West has an opportunity for an experience business development professsional for their IP Group.  The Business Development Manager's primary purpose is to accelerate the growth of the IP Group and key related industry groups by extending our attorneys’ ability to develop business from current and prospective clients. This position can be based in any of their offices.  

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  • September 07, 2021 11:20 AM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    Harris Beach has a great opportunity for a proposal writer and coordinator who will work closely with business development managers to create effective reponses to to RFPs and other information requests.  The position may be based at any of their New York State offices.  Remote candidates may also be considered. 

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  • August 11, 2021 11:17 AM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    By J. David Harvey

    The lateral market — attorneys moving from one firm to another — continues to be red hot. Widespread acceptance of remote working has opened up new possibilities for those candidates who are not physically in the major markets.

    “We have not seen this level of lateral move activity in many years,” said David Ris, a recruiter at the McCormick Group. “Further, the pace of government lawyers moving to private practice is well above what we typically see following a change in administration.”

    Yet the hiring process is still fraught with danger, with red flags lurking behind the scenes; often not caught before the new partner joins the firm. As I wrote this time last year, the chance that your new partner will be with the firm in two years from the starting time is a coin flip — 50/50. 

    In Washington, DC where I am based, we often see the phenomenon of big name, no business. These are frequently new partners who had important titles at some of the major agencies in Washington: Department of Justice, Department of Commerce, Treasury. But unfortunately, most of the candidates coming from government have no business development experience and typically underestimate the difficulty of translating their reputation into leads and converting those into new business.

    What can be done to help the new lateral succeed? Following the important integration steps I’ve written about previously, a combination of coaching and training can make a significant difference — translating into new leads and billable new business. There are two main options that can be combined or handled separately depending on the situations:

    1. Group Training or Workshop
    2. Individual Coaching

    Group Training

    If your firm has a steady stream of new laterals, group training can be a cost-effective way to educate and motivate new partners. Relationship building, target markets, value propositions, client growth and new business development are topics that are typically the focus of group training. Workshops, either remote or in-person, are delivered by experts. Some firms with large in-house marketing and professional development teams can deliver this type of content in-house, but more typically, it is provided by an outside consultant or consulting group with experienced sales and business development professionals who are skilled trainers.

    The trainers work with the firm’s lawyers to improve their skills and their commitment to winning new business, retaining existing clients and enabling those clients to entrust the firm with more work. Lawyers learn concepts, processes and practical steps of selling, enabling them to confidently pursue new business opportunities and build firm revenues. This is what the government lateral was never taught in law school and certainly not at the DOJ!

    Using an outside trainer for this type of activity typically costs less than $30K if structured over several lunches or a half day program. Prior to COVID, these programs were delivered in person but going forward, they are likely to be via videoconference unless the trainer is in the same location as the attorneys. One disadvantage of going this route is that one session may not foster the type of habits needed to sustain ongoing business development skills. That is why it’s important to consider follow-on individual coaching to supplement the training (see below).

    Individual Coaching

    Great players have great coaches. This goes for lawyers as well as baseball players! Similar to the Steven Covey focus on “7 Habits of Effective People,” the individual coaching helps to build important habits around relationship-building, client retention and growth. As with the group coaching, this type of program should be delivered by a team of experts who are former professional services sales professionals and/or experienced law firm coaches. 

    A coaching program, based on the LawVision model, would facilitate and teach a rigorous business development process with step-by-step implementation strategies. These are usually conducted through one-on-one coaching with a series of business development tools in a monthly follow-up format. Topics may include:

    • Assessing the current knowledge, skills and needs of the lawyer
    • Identifying and maximizing key contacts
    • Planning an individualized program for refinement of skills and to drive business development results
    • Leveraging strengths and personal brand
    • Defining target markets
    • Creating value propositions
    • Asking for business and overcoming objections
    • Forecasting sales revenue

    An important component of individual coaching are tools that have been developed to help track and monitor progress. While a pipeline report may seem like an obvious one, the discussion that goes into each prospect/client opportunity between the coach and the attorney is where the rubber meets the road. Is there an opportunity to meet the contact at an upcoming industry conference? Is it the right time to offer a CLE? What has the lawyer seen in the market that would be of value to share? Having focused time on these questions allows the lawyer to spend energy on what will move the needle, propelling her/his business development efforts forward.

    The combination of training and coaching is often a powerful one because the training introduces the important concepts, while the coaching builds effective habits. Each firm can tailor their program based on both in-house resources and the pace of hiring. The important thing is to invest time and energy into a fast start for the lateral who has much potential, but a limited runway to develop business for the firm. A well-honed coaching program is a great way to make sure your firm is in the winning column when it comes to the 50/50 chance the lateral will be a success!

    J. David Harvey,
    Senior Consultant, LawVision
    Founder and President of Harvey Global Consulting LLC



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