Posted by: johnocunningham | April 4, 2016

Best of March Blogs: Working a Room, When to Pitch, and Biz Dev in Law School

This is my 40th post in a series of monthly features that I have dubbed “Best of My Blog Roll.” The concept is simple – at the end of a month I peruse my own blog roll (see that column on the right) for material created by other bloggers that I think is most worthy of sharing with others, and then I report on it here.

Reviewing blog posts for the month of March 2016, I have chosen to highlight the following:

  1. A post by Deb Scaringi offering tips on “Working the Room.” Nobody does it with more grace and charm, and few people have cultivated the kind of good will and professional network that Deb Scaringi has. Deb offers eight useful and practical tips that you should consider in advance of your next conference, seminar or professional-social event.
  2. A post by Sue-Ella Prodonovich offering eight examples of times when clients will be receptive to pitches from your firm. I would add that these are eight occasions when you really need to be pitching in order to cement or grow your relationship because they are times when your competitors may be pitching too!
  3. A post by James Cranston on the LawVision INSIGHTS blog, entitled “Is It Time for Marketing and Business Development Courses in Law School?” The author notes that some law schools are finally taking notice of the need for training with a practical, real world value in addition to the academic exercise of learning to think like a lawyer, and he has some links to other articles on the subject. Hurray, for Boston’s own Catherine MacDonagh, who has persuaded two local schools to institute business training for law students. (See Catherine’s Legal Lean Sigma website here . )

Sadly, I think many law schools still reject the notion of instituting any courses on the business or marketing of legal practice, and I know that I have pitched schools on this subject without so much as a reply to my inquiries. One of my law school professor friends told me that many key decision-makers in law schools still don’t like the idea of teaching someone how to profit from practice because it is so unseemly compared to purely academic analysis of case law. Kind of ironic, considering what schools are charging for tuition.

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