Converting Associates to Case Rainmakers

How to Get Your Associates to Bring in Business

No matter how experienced your lawyers are or how stellar the services they offer may be, no law firm can truly enjoy success with having a solid client base to work with. Whether you already have enough clients to consistently keep your lawyers busy or all too often your team members find themselves sitting around waiting for the phone to ring, you should constantly be searching for new ways for your associates to bring in new business.

What Are Your Current Associates Lacking?

If you own a law firm, you are well aware that your ideal associates are ones who actively seek out potential new clients and generate business. Take a moment to think about the staff members you employ and how successful each one has been at discovering new leads and converting them into current clients.

Are you struggling to come up with anyone who has a track record of doing this with any significant level of success? Your partners or associates might be exceptional lawyers, but what they are likely lacking are the business development skills necessary to find potential new clients, gain their trust and attract them to your firm. If your associates lack the skill set, or the initiative, to hunt down potential leads and ultimately generate business for you firm, you have one of two options:

1) Provide training to your current associates and offer incentives for them bring in business to your law firm
2) Restructure your law firm and rehire associates who possess the skills you need for your firm to be successful

Weighing Your Options

While it might be easier to keep your current employees onboard, whether it’s because you have already developed a personal relationship with them or because they are top-notch lawyers who have performed well in their time with your firm, it’s important to carefully consider all your options before making such a serious decision.

There are many ways to put your current employees on the right path to success: For example, require your associates to sign up for webinars or to attend conferences that showcase business development initiatives. Send associates to off-site training or offer to pay for continuing education courses that could strengthen their business development skills and show them how to network with potential clients, make a positive impression and bring new business to your firm.

If you’ve provided sufficient training opportunities and offered extensive incentives to your employees in an effort to encourage them to locate leads and convert them into new clients to no avail, it’s probably time to turn to option number two.

When it comes to business development, sometimes no incentive is significant enough, and no amount of training is strong enough to transform a mediocre employee into an incredible one. Although there are occasionally exceptions to the rule, business development skills typically cannot be learned or acquired from training—either you possess such skills or you don’t. If you’ve attempted to teach your associates new ways to bring in business with little to no success, it’s probably time to reconsider who is responsible for finding your next set of clients and keeping your law firm afloat.

Skills You Should Be Searching For

If your current employees have exhausted their attempts to search for new clients and ultimately gain their business but haven’t had any notable success, consider “cleaning house” and acquiring new members to your staff and letting go of those who aren’t pulling their own weight. It may sound drastic—and you may have personal relationships or friendships with your associates that you are hesitant to break—but many times making a clean break and seeking out employees whose skill sets match the ones you are searching for is the best possible—and occasionally only—solution to your problem.

Your firm relies on attracting new business in order to succeed, so it’s imperative that your associates have the ability to consistently track down leads and bring in decent clients on a regular basis. Search for individuals who not only possess exceptional skills when it comes to handling cases, but also those who are capable of making connections, building trust with potential clients, developing relationships and ultimately bringing new business to your firm.


Jared Pierce hung his own shingle right out of law school and has spent every minute since then discovering the joys and difficulties of chasing success. Anyone who has ever met Jared will tell you h

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