In March 2020, the world went into lockdown because of the Covid virus. And the legal industry braced for the adverse effects this would cause them.
Instead, the legal industry did amazingly well. Hiring was up, lateral job movement was happening almost non-stop, and Big Law gave first-year associates $215,000 a year to start working with that firm. Profits per partner soared. Net profits went through the roof.
The legal industry was ecstatic.
Now more than two years after we went into lockdown, it seems like the party is over. Law firm business is slowing down, and hiring has ground to a halt. For example, Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian had delayed the start date for its incoming class of associates until January 2023. In fact, some of the largest law firms in the U.S. have a hiring freeze; apparently, stealth layoffs may not be far behind.
And while Mid-market and Big law firms were in a hiring frenzy in 2021 to keep up with the amount of work, that seems to be ending as well.
It’s starting to feel a little like 2008, 2009 all over again – and for those too young to remember it, more than 10,000 attorneys in big to mid-market law were laid off or victims of stealth layoffs. And this number doesn’t reflect small and solo law firms that went out of business, support, and professional staff layoffs.
Besides equity partners, the lawyers who kept their jobs were those who could bring in new clients and matters.
Can you do that? Do you know how to bring in new clients? Can you bring in new matters from current or even former clients? Do you know how to use social media to get new clients? Are you considered a thought leader in your field? Do you have a personal legal brand? Finally, and most importantly, do you know how to do it ethically?
If not, it is time for you to learn how to do so.
Rainmaking is simple, but it is not easy, and it is something that takes time. Start now!
The post Rainmaking Recommendation #273: Why Client Development is Going to be More Critical in 2023 first appeared on Enlightened Rainmaking.