Articles Published

Follow my monthly column on The Lawyers Daily entitled ‘The Coach’ here.

Enjoy my extensive library of published articles on law firm business from The Lawyers Weekly below.

 Ontario law society launches Coach and Advisor Network  (The Lawyers Weekly, January 20th 2017)

 Standout Service Makes a Firm Stand Out (The Lawyers Weekly, November 18th 2016)

 Your Insights Have Value, So Start Sharing (The Lawyers Weekly, October 7th 2016)

 Networking Doesn’t Have To Be A Pain (The Lawyers Weekly, September 9 2016)

 Presentations Can Set Stage To Reel In Clients (The Lawyers Weekly, August 12 2016)

 Embrace Innovation Or Risk Becoming A Dinosaur (The Lawyers Weekly, June 3 2016)

 Build reputation with help of media relations (The Lawyers Weekly, April 22 2016)

 It Is Essential To Build Relationships On The Way Up (The Lawyers Weekly, March 25 2016)

 Growing Your Firm Presents New Challenges (The Lawyers Weekly, February 5 2016)

 Big Changes Start Small (The Lawyers Weekly, November 6, 2015)

 Moving Beyond the Billable Hour (The Lawyers Weekly, October 9, 2015)

 Target Market Research (The Lawyers Weekly, September 15, 2015)

 Mastering the Follow Through (The Lawyers Weekly, August 27, 2015)

 Wave of Change (The Lawyers Weekly, August 14th, 2015)

 Bencher Election LSUC (The Lawyers Weekly, March 27th, 2015)

 Aging Partners (The Lawyers Weekly, February 27, 2015)

 When disruption means opportunity (The Lawyers Weekly, Aug 2014)

 Transforming your firm into a business team (The Lawyers Weekly, June 2014)

 Set clear targets to get best results possible (The Lawyers Weekly, May 2014)

 It’s better to have several rainmakers instead of one (The Lawyers Weekly, Apr 2014)

 Client events more than just saying thanks (The Lawyers Weekly, Mar 2014)

 Changing practice areas can revive your career (The Lawyers Weekly, Feb 2014)

 Short term savings might mean long term losses (The Lawyers Weekly, Jan 2014)

 Creating a Business Development Culture (The Lawyers Weekly, Nov 2013)

 Client Relations and Business Development (The Lawyers Weekly, Sept 2013)

 Business Development and Law Clerks (The Lawyers Weekly, Aug 2013)

 Succession Planning (The Lawyers Weekly, June 2013)

 Are you ready to grow your practice? (The Lawyers Weekly, May 2013)

 Creating your practice plan Part Four (The Lawyers Weekly, April 2013)

 Creating your practice plan Part Three (The Lawyers Weekly, March 2013)

 Creating your practice plan Part Two (The Lawyers Weekly, February 2013)

 Creating your practice plan Part One (The Lawyers Weekly, January 2013)

 Business development overview part two (The Lawyers Weekly, December 2012)

 Business development overview part one (The Lawyers Weekly, November 2012)

 Creating a mastermind group (The Lawyers Weekly, October 2012)

 Creating your blog (The Lawyers Weekly, September 2012)

 Starting a new client relationship (The Lawyers Weekly, August 2012)

 Measuring results (The Lawyers Weekly, July 2012) When you are engaged in business development, you should be measuring your success. Here is how to do that.

 Using LinkedIn (The Lawyers Weekly, June 2012) Looking to unravel the mystery? Find out how you can attract new clients using LinkedIn.

 Changing direction? (The Lawyers Weekly, May 2012) If you find yourself needing to change practice areas, here is a ‘how to’.

 Training and coaching (The Lawyers Weekly, April 2012) If you are uncertain how to begin to help your lawyers better understand and become effective at business development, this article is for you.

 Navigating partnership (The Lawyers Weekly, March 2012) If you are looking to speed up the path to partnership or ways to go from non-equity to full equity partner, read this.

 In uncertain times (The Lawyers Weekly, November 2011) If the economy has you down, there is reason to keep your chin up. It’s not bad news for every lawyer and every practice area, in fact it’s good news for some.

 Managing your time (The Lawyers Weekly, July 2011) The issue of time management comes up more often when I am working with my clients. If you don’t have effective systems to manage your time, you won’t be that keen on adding time to your schedule for business development and marketing your practice.

 Business development for associates (The Lawyers Weekly, March 2011) I am often asked when giving presentations on lawyer marketing, what should associates be doing to build for the future and lay the ground work for a successful career? There are many things junior associates can start to do to speed up the partner track and build your own book of business.

 Client relationships (The Lawyers Weekly, February 2011) As a lawyer have you found it challenging to attract new clients and bring in new work? Do you sometimes get frustrated with the lack of results for your efforts?

 The ‘F’ factor – follow-up (The Lawyers Weekly, October 2010) It has been my experience thus far working with lawyers that when it comes to business development, and where good first steps have been taken, for example giving presentations or networking at strategic events, if the ball is going to drop, it’s in the follow-up. The following steps can be used for current clients to strengthen relationships as well as developing new relationships from prospects.

 The Art of Networking Made Simple (The Lawyers Weekly, September 2010) Learning to effectively network can make all the difference in the world when it comes to finding or attract- ing new business. For most it is not something that comes naturally and that’s OK. In this column I will spell out some simple and proven methods to allow you to become not only more comfortable with networking, and also more effective.

 Corporate coaching coming to a law firm near you (The Lawyers Weekly, May 2010) For years now coaching in the corporate world has been embraced as an effective way to support learning, growth and skill development. While it is still in the infancy stage in the legal profession, there is a growing trend towards supporting lawyers in business/client development through one-to-one coaching. In this article I will outline what I consider to be the most important parts of an effective client development coaching program — the participants, the content and the delivery.

 Law Firm Marketing – Start client development early on (The Lawyers Weekly, March 2010) It is never too early to start cultivating client development skills. In this column I will outline the steps junior associates can be taking in the early stages of their careers to set them on the right path and alleviate some of the pressure that they will encounter as they approach the partnership track.

 Law Firm Marketing – Client-centric Innovation (Lexpert, June 2009) Are you going to lead or follow? Market cycles like the one we’re in now will shed light on your firm’s strengths and weaknesses. That means slight competitive advantages can become significant advantages, while weaknesses can prove fatal.

 Ask the Coach (CBA PracticeLink, April 2009) Q. I am a junior partner at fairly large and well respected regional firm. I have been engaged in marketing and client development efforts for some time but I am not getting the results I am after. I have even attended several workshops and intensive training sessions. What can I do to increase my ROI? What am I missing? …

 Get the most out of your marketing team (The Lawyers Weekly, April 2009) Are you using your marketing department to its best advantage? Can you afford not to? Now more than ever you need to prove to your clients that you are relevant …

 Ask the Coach (CBA PracticeLink, March 2009) Q. How do I market in an economic downturn? …

 Ask the Coach (CBA PracticeLink, February 2009) Q. How do I become more comfortable and effective at networking? …

 Marketing through the crisis (Lexpert, February 2009) The knee-jerk reaction to an economic downturn is for firms to make cuts to their marketing budgets. However, taking a proactive approach by revising your traditional marketing plan may be worthwhile in the long run …

 Ask the Coach (CBA PracticeLink, January 2009) Q. What can I be doing to ensure I make partner? …

 (Lexpert, November-December 2008) Behavioural changes don’t happen overnight, but legal marketing professionals who want to lead change can do so by putting in a little extra time and effort …

 Ask the Coach (CBA PracticeLink, December 2008) Q. What can we do as a firm to encourage business development at all levels?(Posed by a marketing partner of a large regional firm.) …

 Ask the Coach (CBA PracticeLink, November 2008) Q. I am a fifth-year associate and I hate the practice area I am in. I like the firm, though. What should I do? …

 Ask the Coach (CBA PracticeLink, October 2008) Q. How can I leverage my firm to achieve my goals? …

 Navigating your way through the perfect storm (CBA Addendum, September 2008) Perfect Storm – seems an apt term to describe the current business environment of law firms. There is an aging partner population with little or no succession planning in place. The record number of lawyers exiting the profession leaves behind a shrinking talent pool and …

 The Law Firm of the Future – Part III (Lexpert, September 2008) In my last two columns, I presented a vision of what the law firm of the future could look like and provided you with ideas for how to take the lead in getting your law firm there. In this last and final segment of “The Law Firm of the Future” trilogy, I offer some thoughts on how you can …

 Ask the Coach (CBA PracticeLink, September 2008) Q. I’m a 4th year call – what can I be doing in the way of business development? …

 The Law Firm of the Future – Part II (Lexpert, June 2008) Get your hands dirty and become tomorrow’s law firm today. Are you ready? Really ready? The first step is to ask yourself if you want to lead or follow …

 Engage and implement – Four letter words (TOPICS, a publication of the BC Legal Management Association, April 2008) Another aspect of the lawyer wall is engagement and implementation. Have you come up against it when trying to implement new programs, policies or approaches? Have you ever had a plan that has been approved and then when you try to act upon it, it stalls? You are not alone. Engaging lawyers and implementing new ideas, programs, policies or approaches is …

 The Law Firm of the Future – Part I: What’s really possible? (Lexpert, April 2008) Welcome to the Law Firm of the Future. This is a two part article. In this first part, I outline a vision for tomorrow’s law firm. How they will be organized, how they will function and the results they will produce …

 Breaking the cycle of training insanity (Lexpert, February 2008) When group training programs simply aren’t cutting it, changing your training approach could be just the ticket. If you use the same training approach over and over and expect different results, at best all you’ve proven is …

 The Practice of Law – your dream career? (Lexpert, November 2007) Are you enjoying the practice of law? Is it everything you expected and more? Are you where you thought you would be by now in your career? Are there challenges you face which seem insurmountable? Are you questioning your chosen profession? If this is you, know that you are not alone …

 Bridging the generational gap (The Lawyer’s Weekly, October 5 2007) Everyone knows there’s disconnect between junior associates and senior partners. Juniors find the seniors to be too demanding and the seniors think the juniors are lazy. OK, let’s examine this for a moment …

 Bringing down the wall (TOPICS, a publication of the BC Legal Management Association, September 2007) You know – the wall you feel but can’t see. The disconnect that exists between your management and the lawyers within your firm. Do you often feel intimidated by the lawyers you work for? They are smart, but so are you. They know law, and you know the business of law …

 Is your marketing strategy supporting your recruitment efforts? (Lexpert, September 2007) The most crucial element of recruiting is finding the right fit. And it’s a two-way street – it has to work for the candidate and the firm. Not all law firms have the same culture, and not all recruits have the same needs. Experience tells us that when marketing is driving the recruiting strategy, the law firm gets the candidates they want …

 Are lawyers happy? If not, what can you do to change that? (Bar Talk, September 2007) While this article does not intend to provide all the answers, these suggestions come from working one-to-one with lawyers from 1st year call right up to 30 year veterans. Here are a few good places to start …

 The value of discovery in the business development cycle (The Lawyer’s Weekly, August 10 2007) In previous articles I’ve discussed the four-step business development process. It’s time now to concentrate this entire space on the value of the discovery step because I believe, based on my experience working with lawyers, this is not only the most important step – it’s also the one generally given the least amount of focus …

 Business development in four simple steps (The Lawyer’s Weekly, June 22 2007) Find yourself frustrated with lead or client development? We have developed a four step approach that is time and experience tested for the legal industry. Our philosophy and approach to legal business development concentrates on two things: relationships and helping people. Let’s look at these in the context of business development …

 Marketing your firm: Where do you start? (The Lawyer’s Weekly, May 18 2007) The legal industry is more competitive than ever. Competition for clients and competition for talent is an increasingly challenging prospect in most markets across Canada. So what can your firm do to set itself apart? Here we look at a couple of challenges law firms face when marketing themselves, along with a couple of proven solutions …

 Planning for succession: How to cultivate a business development culture in your firm (The Lawyer’s Weekly, April 20 2007) Has your firm created a succession plan? Why not consider rolling it into and combining it with your strategic plan or marketing plan? Here is a template you can use to establish a more aggressive business development culture and at the same time prepare for the senior partners at your firm to retire …

 Developing a business plan: How-to (The Lawyer’s Weekly, March 16 2007) If you are to treat your practice like a business which it is, then you would be wise to create a business plan. All of your successful business clients have one. A business plan will help you to clarify your career goals; target specific clients and markets; provide a roadmap to success; keep you accountable; give you some motivation – if you are clear where you want to get to and aligned with those goals, you are more likely to take the necessary steps required in order to get there …

 Delivering presentations: Making the most of it (The Lawyer’s Weekly, February 16 2007) As a lawyer, you may often be called upon to speak at an event because of your expertise. You may even be actively setting these events up yourself as one of your marketing tactics; or hosting seminars at your offices for potential clients. Are you making the most of your time and effort? Are you making the most of these excellent marketing tactics to bring in more business …

 Maintaining the balancing act (The Lawyer’s Weekly, January 12 2007) In most cases, by changing a routine or habit, you can learn to be more effective at time management. Here are a few tips …

 ASK THE COACH: Start thinking of your practice as a ‘franchise’ of your firm (The Lawyer’s Weekly, November 24 2006) I am a junior lawyer, 2nd year call at a mid-sized law firm. How do I begin to market myself without overselling my experience or lack thereof? What approach should I take and I should I be even worried about business development? …

 Is it time for a business development coach? (The Lawyer’s Weekly, November 3 2006) So you are serious about building your practice? You have started to think about how to go about that and maybe even started working on business development tactics, but you are not sure how to approach it or where to get started? Maybe you are great at marketing yourself and need some assistance with follow up and follow through (sales)? Is it time to get a business development coach? …

 Are you practicing good client relations? (The Lawyer’s Weekly, October 20 2006) So you think you know your clients? OK. Do you know the names of their family members? Do you know what your clients are passionate about outside of their careers? Have you ever been onsite to take a tour of their operation, factory, office, or warehouse? Have you done a follow-up meeting after you have finished a file for them? Have you asked them directly how you might improve your service to them? Do you know why …

 How to Become Effective at Networking: Four Key Tactics (Bar Talk, October 2006) As lawyers you are often required to attend many types of events, industry, association and firm sponsored events. This can take a considerable amount of time away from your billable hours. If you are not making the most of your time at these events by networking, then you are wasting your time and time = money. However by becoming effective at marketing yourself at these events, you could turn this wisely invested time into hundreds of billable hours …

 Media relations: what lawyers need to know to succeed (The Lawyer’s Weekly, September 8 2006) Media relations; most lawyers would prefer to have anything but relations with the media. If that is the case for you, maybe you are not seeing it for the opportunities it can present. And, if you are contributing articles to industry and business publications, then you are already engaged in one action of a media relations strategy …

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