Home » Large Law » 23 Things to Change in Law Firm BD and Marketing

23 Things to Change in Law Firm BD and Marketing

23 Things to Change in Law Firm BD and Marketing

If you could change one thing about your law firm, practice, department or function – what would it be?

We often pose this as a final question across surveys we conduct and leave the answers open-ended.  The responses are usually candid, unfiltered and pretty insightful.  For example, there are plenty of things lawyers would change about law firm billing.

In a recent survey that uncovered how marketing and law firm business development is evolving, we closed the survey with this question:  The single most valuable thing my firm could do for marketing or business development would be: ______________.

About 40% of respondents (163) answered the question. While it’s fewer than the 323 that passionately described the difference between marketing and BD, it’s a solid response rate at the end of a 20-question survey.

Law Firms in Transition Marketing Business Development and the Quest for GrowthDownload a Complimentary Report on the Full Survey
Law Firms in Business Development Transition

Valuable Changes in Law Firm BD and Marketing

The word cloud nearby (created using Wordle) takes in account all 163 answers – the larger the word, the more frequently it appeared.  Below we have selected 23 answers that jumped out at us; the order in which these are listed is not intended to convey any sort of ranking. Where applicable, we have included links to other posts on this site relevant to the answer provided.

1. Invest more in helping lawyers to understand and focus on business development.

2. Have a greater buy-in and an increase in data for analysis.

3. Revitalize CRM.

4. Hire more sales people who are attorneys, but focused solely on business development.

5. More client-focused activities.

6. Get attorneys to work together so that client sees a united front and attorneys that get their issues across the board.

7. The firm should expand its reach into new practice areas that may be helpful for business development. They need to be competitive with similar sized firms.

8. To have 100% participation of all people within the firm.

9. Keep the marketing and business development department more in the loop of new business initiatives.

10. Invest in client feedback interviews and figure out ways to automate some marketing processes.

11. Track ROI from start to finish.

12. Have better data in our CRM and in our pitch and RFP tracking to improve our metrics.

Also see these related posts:
A List of 15 People that Can Make or Break a Law Firm
Law Firm CMO on the Evolving Business Development Landscape
3 Pragmatic Ways to Gain Law Firm Partner Buy-In for CRM


13. Better train, equip, and reward attorneys for business development rather than a single-minded focus on the billable hour only.

14. Change their hiring practices; we are approved to expand headcount and get the right people in the right places, but HR takes FOREVER to fill positions.

15. To eliminate origination credit and replace it with financial incentives for cross-selling across offices and practices.

16. Implement a CRM.

17. Establish concrete guidelines that focus solely on strategic initiatives, and eliminate using resources on initiatives that have little to no ROI (e.g., rankings and making pitches to prospective clients that do not have any relationships within the firm).

18. Focus more on the strategic business development plans that are written each year by attorneys, and really figuring out how to leverage that.

19. Fix our compensation system for attorneys so that attorneys would be compensated to work together to build an existing client’s revenue base and to bring in new business.

20. Increase number of business development professionals.

21. Leadership communicating about need to engage in business development actively, rewarding those who do, and doing something about those who are unproductive.

22. Create a firm-wide business development strategy and implement/track on the individual attorney level.

23. Create a real strategic plan, rather than focus on tactical plans, and embark on a change management campaign to affect cultural shifts needed to do things different and obtain a different outcome.

* * *

What is the one thing you’d like your law firm to change about marketing or BD?  Leave a comment on this post or tweet us an idea:  @business_of_law.


If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
3 Studies Suggest Law Firm BD Heating Up With Competition

Photo credit: Flickr, GollyGforce, Change is Inevitable (CC BY 2.0)

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email Snailmail

About Frank Strong

Frank Strong
Frank Strong is the communications director for the LexisNexis software division located on NC State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh. In this capacity, he leads communications efforts in support of software products for law practice and law department management and also litigation tools – across large law, small law and corporate counsel segments. With more than 15 years of experience in the high-tech sector, Strong previously served as director of public relations for Vocus, which developed marketing, PR and media monitoring software. He has held multiple roles both in-house with corporations, ranging from startups to global organizations, and has also endured the rigors of billable hours, having completed gigs at PR firms including the top 10 global firm Hill & Knowlton. A veteran of two year-long deployments, Strong has concurrently served in uniform in reserve components of the military for more than 20 years, initially as an enlisted Marine and later as an infantry officer in the Army National Guard. Strong holds a BA in Film and TV production from Worcester State University, an M.A. in Public Communication from American University, and an M.B.A. from Marymount University. He is a PADI-certified Master Scuba Diver and holds a USPA "B" skydiving license.

CRM is the best strategy for excelling in BD. I've tried a bunch of them but there is only one for law that i have found that i just tsarted using (Lexicata.com), it's awesome so far! I suggest you check it out as it isn't just a CRM but an intake tool as well which has been great for my practice


Thanks for the tips on how to improve a law business. My brother in law just graduated from law school and is trying to open a private practice. I'll have to show him some of these ideas. Thanks for sharing!  http://www.adamsandco.net.au/our-firm 

Peter Cabrera1
Peter Cabrera1

There are a lot of firms who wants to only have just potential clients but don't focus on their business development strategy. I think many firms face failure because of this issue.


I think If I want to change some stuff in law firms then I will change the client focus activities. There are not enough blogs or information about law.These things should be consider.