December 18, 2007

How to Build Your Law Firm from Scratch Jan. 15

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Join the YLD on Tuesday, January 15 at PNC Bank, 1600 Market Street, 3rd Floor for "How to Build Your Law Firm From Scratch," featuring Alan Nochumson of Nochumson P.C.; Joseph A. Prim of Duca and Prim, LLP; Richard K. Washington, Jr. of R.K. Washington, Jr. & Associates, P.C.; and Adrian Harris of PNC Wealth Management.

The discussion will be moderated by May Mon Post of Cohen, Fluhr & Gonzalez, P.C. Registration begins at 5 p.m., followed by the presentation and a cocktail reception at 6:30.

There is no cost to attend this program, but registration is required. Sponsored by PNC Wealth Managment.

Volunteer As a High School Mock Trial Coach Or Judge

The YLD is currently in need of volunteers as both coaches and judges for the 2008 John S. Bradway Philadelphia High School Mock Trial Competition, which is run by Temple University Beasley School of Law and the Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

The rounds of competition will take place from January 28, 2008 through March 1, 2008. If you have volunteered in the past, we thank you and hope that you will do so this year. If you have not yet volunteered for the Mock Trial Competition, we encourage you to do so and are confident the experience will be rewarding. As a coach, you would meet and communcate with the students to prepare for the competition. As a judge, you can choose to fill as many time slots as your schedule will allow and you do not need trial experience to participate.

All you need is a willingness to give some time and be wowed by the high school students. Click here to sign up as coach or judge.

Please contact Roberta West immediately if you have interest in coaching - we want all of the kids who are looking forward to the competition to be able to participate.


YLD Seeks Nominations for Craig M. Perry Service Award

The Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association is accepting nominations for the Craig M. Perry Service Award. This award is presented annually to a young lawyer – 37 years old or younger or within the first three years of practice – who has devoted substantial time and energy to community-oriented activities, including, but not limited to, pro bono and charity work.

Perry was a member of the YLD Executive Committee who suffered an untimely death. He was very involved in community service and active in student-related and other YLD programs.

Nominations are encouraged and should include the individual’s name, address and a brief statement describing his or her qualifications. The deadline for nominations is Friday, January 25, 2008. All nominations should be submitted to Tracey McCloskey at the Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market Street, 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107 or

Keys to Successful Rainmaking in 2008 by Lisa Goldstein

The major difference between the big shot and the little shot is the big shot is just a little shot who kept on shooting. -Zig Ziglar

One more year has gone by. Have you achieved your rainmaking goals? After another year of coaching young lawyers, I can offer two simple pieces of advice that will enable you to become a rainmaker. If you follow this advice you will succeed.

1. Set Realistic Goals

2. Consistently Follow a Plan to Accomplish Those Goals

One without the other is worthless. Great rainmakers not only have great ideas, but they are also able to execute their plans.

Set Realistic Goals-

I spend a lot of time with my clients helping them to set realistic goals. This is a long process that requires market knowledge and firm knowledge. You and your firm offer unique value to your clients and potential clients. You need to be able to identify those clients, and develop realistic goals consistent with your firm’s goals.

Start by educating yourself about your firm’s current clients. Before you can develop your own plan you need to answer the following questions.

Firm Knowledge

-Who are we currently doing business with?

-Who are our biggest clients?

-What type of work is not appropriate for us to handle?

-What position does the person hold who typically hires us?

-Why are we chosen over other firms?

-How much work can our firm handle?

-How is work assigned when it is brought into the firm?

-Do I have internal credibility that would inspire and allow others to work on matters that I produce?

-How long does it typically take for a client to join our firm?

-In our firm, who are the successful rainmakers?

-How did our rainmakers become successful?

Market Knowledge

-How does our pricing compare to other firms?

-What outside factors will help our business grow? (For example, a down economy leads to more bankruptcy work)

-Do we offer better client service than other firms?

-What’s the perception of our firm?

When you have answered these questions you can set a specific goal. For instance, your specific goal may be to bring in one new client in the food industry.

Consistently Follow a Plan to Accomplish Your Goals-

Your plan consists of your action steps that will enable you to accomplish your goal. If you desire to bring in one new client in the food industry, your plan may be to attend one food industry function per month. During that function, you will meet three attendees. Next, you will set follow up meetings with your three new contacts.

Not sticking to a plan causes the demise of most rainmakers. There are a million excuses not to follow your plan. I think I have heard them all, but here are the most common excuses:

- I am busy practicing law (I had a brief, a motion, a deal etc.)

- A family situation (baby, buying a house, marriage, divorce)

- Attitude change (it’s too difficult, it doesn’t work)

The lawyers who succeed realize that life will always hold its challenges, however, rainmaking must continue to be a priority throughout. Based upon historical knowledge, the plan may change; but a plan will be followed.

Have a happy, healthy and successful New Year!

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