Law firm business development is rapidly gaining popularity at AmLaw 100 law firms (also know as BigLaw), as well as regional and smaller law firms.
The purpose of business development is to help law firms establish new accounts as a primary goal, but also to get more business from current accounts using up-sell, cross-sell and referral networking techniques.
At Legal Expert Connections, we make it our business to identify who a law firm needs to contact at a corporation, an insurance company, or a municipality to be considered as outside defense counsel. We’ve helped more than 150 law firms in 36 states with business development campaigns.
We create targeted business development campaigns to help you introduce your law firm or practice group to qualified prospects. Our three-step process is easy to follow and keeps a team of attorneys and business development professionals focused on the goal of getting more clients.
STEP 1: Create marketing materials to use when introducing your law firm or practice group to your intended prospect.
STEP 2: Identify specific prospects who have responsibility to hire a law firm within your target organization (such as an insurance company, corporation, or municipality).
STEP 3: Guide your attorneys and business development professionals in how to introduce your law firm to potential clients.
At Legal Expert Connections, our goal is to complete each campaign within three to four months. If the law firm needs more time due to trial schedules or daily client demands, we work to keep everyone focused on the finish line while the campaign is in process.
The Challenge: Finding the Person Who Hires Law Firms
The process of identifying the prospect (like a litigation manager at a Fortune 500 company) can be very time consuming, and many law firms comes to us after they have tried to do this in-house. Most law firm business development and marketing teams are so busy with the daily demands of managing the marketing basics—like attorney directory listings, awards, seminars, sponsorships, social media, PR, and event planning—that they have no time left to research who has authority to hire a law firm at a Fortune 500 company or an international P&C insurance carrier.
The person with responsibility to hire law firms can be located in a risk management department, a procurement office, the General Counsel’s office, and/or an operating unit. Some firms even maintain an initial online application process. Geographically, the hiring authority might be located in a headquarters location, a regional office, or a branch office. It’s almost impossible for a law firm to try and figure this out internally, given their limited time and resources.
The defense of employment practice liability insurance (EPLI) claims is one particular area of interest, particularly at larger law firms that defend management in employment actions. AmLaw 100 law firms tend to have fewer connections with insurance companies (as opposed to insurance defense firms, for example), but are now finding that more of their employment clients are purchasing an EPLI insurance policy. If the law firm is not on the EPLI panel, they may lose the chance to represent their client in an EPLI litigation matter. We often work with larger law firms that are trying to get on more EPLI panels as a panel member or through an accommodation.
Legal Expert Connections maintains a proprietary database of litigation panel managers responsible for the hiring of outside counsel at insurance carriers and self-insured entities across the country. In recent years we have built profiles documenting the law firm hiring process at more than 2,000 insurance companies, self-insured corporations, municipalities, and reinsurers.
Our expertise extends to a wide range of industries, including but not limited to construction, education, energy, environmental, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, intellectual property, manufacturing, municipal, professional services, real estate, transportation, and retail.
Get Started on Your Law Firm Business Development Campaign
When we talk with prospects about the pricing for a campaign, many of our clients respond by saying “that’s reasonable.” When you consider that the attorneys who will benefit from the campaign are billing hundreds of dollars an hour, even one new test case or client can more than offset your business development investment.