In today’s highly-competitive legal market place, there is more pressure than ever on attorneys to develop their own business. Gone are the days where work was handed down from a few key rainmakers to associates. No matter how junior an attorney is at a firm, they hold the same responsibility to develop and land new clients.
Law firm management often claims that they are committed to fostering business development within the firm; however, firm compensation models rarely reflect that commitment. Oftentimes, misaligned compensation models promote referring work outside the firm, hoarding new client work and even disloyalty.
Firms should consider what compensation incentives can potentially drive revenue while encouraging business development among attorneys. I’ve spoken to several law firms that strongly believe that while business development is not lawyering, it’s part of the job nonetheless. How else will you perform your work if you don’t have any clients?
Below, I’ve outlined a few considerations from the Legal Marketing Association’s Southern California Chapter program, “Getting Compensation to Drive Revenue” presented by Jay Westcott with Westcott Legal Consulting LLC.
As the legal climate continues to change at a rate law firms are constantly trying to keep abreast with, law firms should carefully review the compensation models in place to determine if and how they can be modified to drive more revenue.