Are You a Go-to Lawyer?

Dan_dilucchio135This 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?

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