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Networking Best Practices for the Modern Lawyer


People new to the legal profession or new to law school graduates tend to think that success comes from high billable hours, hard work, and good client service. While these things are important, more and more lawyers are learning that they need to review the best practices of lawyer networking in our digital world to generate business.

Most lawyers do business through word of mouth or in-person connections. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person events are limited or non-existent, making it harder for lawyers to build a volume of business. This is true both for new lawyers and for lawyers working to build or diversify their business.

Changing lead generation and online networking can be difficult, but it’s essential for lawyers looking to build a book in the digital age. Below, we cover some modern attorney networking best practices that will help build a strong business portfolio online or in person.

Customer Referral Program

Client referrals are one of the easiest, least time-consuming and cheapest ways to attract new clients. A law firm referral program can help firms maximize referrals and create a repeatable referral process that attracts more clients now and in the future.

Referral programs require some creativity in the legal industry. For many companies, simply offering free products or discounts is enough incentive, but law firms don’t always have repeat customers or opportunities to offer deep discounts.

Ideally, a law firm recommendation process will reward both the referrer and the referee. Old customers can enjoy freebies in the form of gift cards or donations, while new customers can take advantage of most discounts, free consultations, or similar incentives.

Law firms should create a strong referral program with clear guidelines that are posted on the website. The site must have a dedicated referral page with all information about the referral program, benefits and eligibility.

Customers’ opinion

Online reviews are similar to word of mouth referrals. Consumers pay attention to reviews online, even in legal industries, and reviews feature heavily in search. When law firms encourage clients to leave positive reviews on third-party sites like Google or Yelp, it increases search visibility and helps searchers find them more easily.

Case studies and testimonials

Case studies and testimonials are the cornerstone of law firm marketing, but just sharing a won case is not enough. Law firms should provide more in-depth information with details, effective examples, and takeaways, even if the outcome isn’t exactly what you want.

As potential customers search for information, they may come across case studies and testimonials similar to their situation. If they can read detailed information about how the law firm won the case, made the process less stressful, or helped the client in some notable way (beyond the case itself), it may encourage them to seek more information and consider the company as a solution to their legal problems.

Content creation

Content is valuable for generating leads. Law firms can leverage content marketing to provide information to potential clients, such as answers to common legal questions in their area of ​​practice, a typical timeline for a case, or client testimonials.

Videos are popular across all industry verticals, and law firms can take advantage of this by turning popular written content into video. Simple videos, such as a Q&A session, customer testimonial, or case timeline breakdown, can be short and to the point, giving potential customers the information they need and building trust in the company.

Interactive networking tools

Online tools that customers can interact with offer a lot of value. Questionnaires, estimators, and similar tools can not only provide value to potential clients, but they also offer client and market insights for the law firm. These interactive tools must be closed, which means that potential customers must submit their details to access them.

Facebook groups for networking lawyers

Building an online community is not as difficult as it seems. Lawyers looking to network and build relationships online can do so with Facebook Groups, which bring together lawyers from across the country to share industry information and resources.

These groups were very active during COVID-19, but they are still going strong. There are also Facebook groups for other industries, interests, and communities, providing opportunities to connect with potential customers.

Virtual Happy Hours

Virtual happy hours are a new trend that is gaining traction online. Instead of everyone meeting in one physical location, lawyers and other professionals can hang out at virtual happy hours and connect with people across the country.

For these events, attendees typically make their own drinks and “visit” happy hour from the comfort of their own homes, but they can switch between groups. Happy hours are usually hosted on Google Hangouts, Zoom, or other conferencing software.

Lawyer Slack channels

Slack is a communication and collaboration hub that can be used instead of email. The platform is designed to improve communication and support in hybrid and remote work environments, making everything more efficient.

There’s a lot more to Slack, though. The platform can be used for non-work related communications, including channels for different professionals to network and communicate asynchronously. Lawyers can take advantage of these channels to network virtually and discuss important industry issues and topics with like-minded people.

Thought Leadership

Thought leadership online is similar to speaking at networking events or in-person industry conferences. Although less formal in its approach, the objective is the same: to position itself as a leader in the industry.

Lawyers have the opportunity to engage in thought leadership to share important ideas and topics they are passionate about in digital publications. This not only improves the lawyer’s and firm’s visibility, potentially attracting more clients, but also raises awareness of the firm’s name for increased brand exposure.

Build Solid Business Volume With These Lawyer Networking Best Practices

With in-person networking events limited in the wake of the pandemic, many lawyers are struggling to create a book and find new leads. However, there are many options for increasing lead generation and online networking opportunities, allowing lawyers to attract more clients and grow their practice now and in the future. As we continue our post-pandemic work, the best practices for lawyer networking will fluctuate, but we hope these tips offer guidance on modern networking skills.

©2006-2022, BILL4TIME. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 116