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How Small Law Firms and Solo Attorneys Can Build Sustainable Professional Networks

Today, the law is big business. As a result, there are endless opportunities for lawyers to meet or network across the firm or geographic lines every day. Aspiring legal professionals, whether solo practitioners or part of a larger team, need to find ways to create sustainable professional networks to make these opportunities a reality.

Many solo attorneys and small law firms face similar challenges in integrating themselves into the legal profession, whether in New York or North Dakota. This article offers practical steps to start building networks to acquire customers, build a support system for your firm, and learn how to manage it from the beginning of your legal career, no matter how big or small your law firm is.

1. Client Referral Programs

A Client Referral Program (CRP) is a one-on-one interaction between you and the referral source. It is an ideal way to start building a professional network. Have the referral source speak to you and present your case with kindness. The referral source will likely be someone in your community or their firm who cares about you and wants to refer you as a good lawyer, so be sure to take it seriously! While you will have B2B (business to business) type conversations, once they have referred, it’s time for them to move on so you can get down to business.

2. Interactive Networking

Interactive networking is a way to engage in a formal conversation with a combination of professional interactions (thought leaders or experts) in your field. This might include visiting an organization’s blog, Twitter feed, Facebook page, event announcements, or other accessible areas.

You should start with one person to “warm up” the group and then begin a conversation about your business and professional goals. The point of this conversation is to get everyone on the same page, including you!

If you have more than one person at the event, who wants to connect with you, make sure you have the senior person introduce you before you meet the rest of the group.

3. Facebook Groups for Lawyer Networking

Facebook Groups are a great way to build a robust lawyer network. Access the top Facebook Lawyer Groups in your area, read their description, and become a member to learn more about the group, its members, and its leaders.

Once you have joined your group, you can use the “Request to Join” link on this page to get an invitation to join your Facebook Group or ask one of its members to invite you.

Remember that even though it’s quite easy to start a Facebook group for lawyers, it takes time and effort for others to find it and join! So be sure you’re using marketing channels that help others find your page – which will lead them on a journey toward inviting new members.

4. Join A Community

Join the How to manage a small law firm community of lawyers or small business experts that offer coaching and guidance to help you build a sustainable professional network. Networking with peers is an important part of your professional development, but you may also find additional tools on the Internet. Be sure to join communities such as LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Groups, and Twitter chats, as well as other online platforms that can help you connect with lawyers worldwide.

5. Attend Legal Expos & Forums

Attending events can be an excellent way to meet colleagues, law firm owners, and other attorneys in your field. Attend information-sharing events such as law fairs, trade shows, conferences, and seminars. Suppose there are other legal conferences, expos, or forums in your area. In that case, you can even set up meetings with these attorneys before a conference to make an impression and to have a conversation with you that will last beyond the event.

6. Join A Professional Association

Professional legal associations provide many opportunities for lawyers to network and make friends with their peers in the legal profession. The members of these associations are often among the most successful and influential professionals in the field.

These groups can provide you with additional advice, help, or opportunities for professional growth. These professional associations also offer solid and constant networking opportunities through social events, conferences, workshops, seminars, etc.

Bottom Line

Solo attorneys, small law firms, and all other legal professionals will always search for sustainable professional networks. A CRP, interactive networking, and joining a community start building a strong foundation for your sustainable professional network. Only through time-consuming interactions can you advance your networking endeavors to ensure that you are growing your network.

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