This lawyer has tons of business. A corporation's "'go to lawyer' knows how to think like a businessperson, and he understands the business side's legal needs. Most importantly: He's considered a part of the executive team," writes Daniel J. DiLucchio on p. 61 of the June 2006 issue of Corporate Counsel magazine.
A go-to lawyer is a lawyer whom corporate business executives want to work with -- and send a lot of billable work. An excellent business development technique is to become a go-to lawyer. Here's the advice of DiLucchio, who is a principal with Altman Weil, Inc. in Newtown Square, PA:
- Go-to lawyers, over time, can bond with executives in ways that lead to being considered a part of the business team.
- Go-to lawyers keep up with the law, convey a firm grasp of their legal specialty and can communicate in a practical way.
- They grasp the company's strategic issues -- by knowing the client's competitors and how they affect the company.
- Go-to lawyers are business thinkers -- they don't just know the law, they know what to with it.
- They "put some skin in the game" and share risks with the client. They give clients an idea of what the chances of success are.
- Go-to lawyers have "a strong work ethic and sense of urgency."
In contrast are the loser lawyers, the "naysayers." These marketing failures:
- Find that the easiest and safest answer to a client question is to say "no."
- Haven't learned much about the company or the business environment
- Requests go into his firm, but nothing comes back out.
- Doesn't return phone calls.
- Let their legal skills go stale.
Which raises the question: What kind of lawyer are you? A go-to lawyer?