Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of speaking with a Canadian reporter who is doing a series of stories about the importance of networking for lawyers. She wanted to get my thoughts based on my eight and a half years of networking experience with the lawyers in the ILN, and I thought I’d share some of those tips here on Zen too. These are all tips I use myself, as well as recommending them to our attorneys!

  • Have a plan: It’s important to have an overall plan for your business development activities, but also one for each activity that you do. The overall plan should be a written one, that you check in on quarterly – this allows you to review what you’ve done over the past three months, as well as set up in your calendar the activities you’d like to commit to over the next three months.  For individual networking activities, you should set up goals for yourself for the event, so you know in advance what you’d like to achieve.


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Last week’s Annual Meeting was a smashing success, and between the fabulous weather, engaging legal discussions, and relationship-building social functions (ILN-sponsored UEFA cup final party anyone?), I think it’s safe to say that everyone enjoyed themselves immensely. Stay tuned to this space for some post-session re-caps (and even a few videos)!

As I dig out

Recently, when I was seeking out Ask Friday! questions, Cordell Parvin suggested that I answer the question of "What would you recommend busy lawyers be reading on business development and what will they get from it?"

Nothing immediately popped into my mind, and Cordell was nice enough to share his list with me, as well as what’s on his Kindle. Then, coincidentally, the same question appeared on the Legal Marketing Association’s listserv.  Those who responded were gracious enough to be included in my post, so without further ado, here is the recommended reading straight from legal marketers and business development coaches!


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For this week’s Ask Friday! we welcome guest poster, Cordell Parvin.  I’ve gotten to know Cordell through Twitter, and have been fortunate to see the excellent advice he has for lawyers through webinars and his upcoming video coaching series.  

According to his website, "Cordell Parvin has practiced law for more than 36 years. He has developed a highly successful national construction law practice. During his career, Cordell has been a rainmaker and taught, mentored and coached young lawyers on their careers, work-life balance and rainmaking. Cordell also has been a Practice Group Leader and worked with other Practice Groups helping them to develop their business plans and strategies."

Today’s Ask Friday! question is "What separates super achievers from achievers?"  Huge thanks to Cordell for guest posting this week! 

"A few weeks ago I spoke to a group of first year lawyers during their orientation. As I neared completion of my presentation I asked for questions. One young lawyer asked a thought provoking question: “What is the difference between lawyers who are superstars compared to lawyers who are stars?”

"In my career I have been blessed to work with some really outstanding lawyers. I have also had the opportunity to witness differences between the super achieving lawyers and those successful lawyers who do not reach that status. Here’s my take on the differences.


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Here at Zen I’ve decided to start a weekly post called "Ask Friday!" where I’ll take a reader question and answer it.  You can leave your questions in the comments for any post, if you’d like, or message me on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

Today’s question comes from Larry Bodine, of Larry Bodine Marketing, who asks "What tips do you have to motivate lawyers to do business development?" 

My number one tip to motivate lawyers is to share success stories.  I’ve found that showing how other lawyers have gotten business through various types of business development activities give attorneys the comfort that someone has tried it before, and they’ve been successful.

But it’s not always enough for me to be the one sharing these stories – it’s often more helpful to get the attorney who’s been successful to do the sharing.  For example, as you know I’m a big fan of social media.  I give presentations to our attorneys at each of our Annual & Regional Conferences, and recently, my presentations have focused on social media.


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Yesterday, one of my favorite Twitter people posted that her daughter had said "this is the best day of my life. We went to the park, we’re going to mcdonalds, I found a penny. The best day of my life."

She’s 5, but she’s already been through a lot, dealing with a very scary brain tumor last year.  And she got me thinking – the best days of my life really have been about the little things.  

Sure, graduating from college was exciting, buying my first house was exciting (well, more nerve-wracking and expensive than exciting), but were they the "best" days of my life? 

Nah.  

Those have been about the little things – the first time I heard my two-year old niece say my name. (Superbowl Sunday, if you’re wondering – she said "Okay Wizzy" – close enough).  Every time my dog comes racing over to see me like I’m his favorite person in the world (I am). My sister trusting me enough to be the first person to watch my niece overnight. An email from my best friend saying how much I mean to her. My niece wanting me to carry her in for ice cream, and squeezing me extra tight when my sister said "M loves her Aunt Lindsay."  Those are some of my best days.


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Being a part of the LexBlog network means I’m fortunate enough to participate in the webinars that they host.  Today’s webinar was with the fabulous Cordell Parvin, a nationally recognized career and client development coach.  According to LexBlog’s invitation, Cordell "is a lawyer himself [and] his 37 years of practice set him apart from other client development experts. He has actually done what he teaches and coaches; he knows the challenges lawyers face and helps provide solutions." 

No greater testimony to Cordell’s expertise can be found than from one of his attorney clients, who said "Nothing my firm has ever done for my development matches the investment that Cordell’s program has made in my maturation as a lawyer, leader and person."

With those kinds of accolades, I knew we were in for some valuable information! 


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