The Importance of Networking To Your Law Firm

The Importance of Networking To Your Law Firm

Regardless of how much you actually hate networking – as most lawyers do – the importance of working on and building deliberate professional and personal connections is paramount to your law firm’s success. This deliberate networking is even more important to new lawyers and law firms.

The unfortunate part of networking is that most people aren’t good at it, myself included. Networking just doesn’t feel natural and it is difficult to be methodical about contacting and requesting lunch appointments with other lawyers when the idea of stepping out of one’s comfort zone is more than unpleasant. But networking is, without a doubt, the more efficient and cost effective mechanisms for procuring more clients and cases. Additionally, effectively networking is more than just working toward getting a referral. Networking is about building and maintaining a professional web of relationships with people inside and outside of your firm – even with other lawyers who practice similar areas of law.

So if you are new to networking or promoting your practice, here are just a few simple techniques that can help you network the right way:

Make a List, Check it Twice

Most people go about networking by flailing between meetings and lunches. Networking should be strategic and planned. As such, you should begin by determining whom in your industry and community you should be building a relationship with. This does not mean aiming your networking efforts towards the biggest or most successful lawyers.

Begin by making a list of lawyers who practice within a five-mile radius of you and analyzing what areas of law they practice. Ask yourself who may be a valuable legal resource? Who is a well-respected and thoughtful legal practitioner?

A mentor, should you have one, may be helpful in identifying other lawyers, setting up lunch appointments or even making introductions. But try to avoid building your network around your mentor’s network. Remember that your business plan and strategy is likely different from that of your mentor or any other person.

Just Do It

Regardless of how much you hate networking, take the first step and send that email introducing yourself or make that phone call. There are very few lawyers in the industry that would turn down a call from another lawyer when the call starts, “Hi, I am new lawyer and I am trying to find out how to…”

Any lawyer entering a legal community is given carte blanche to email, call or even drop by any law firm for the purposes of making introductions. Unfortunately, only a tiny percentage of new lawyers take the time to try and therefore few see the benefit of just daring to make the first move. Moreover, any new lawyer, if they were too shy just to walk into a law firm could write a short handwritten note to say,

“Hello, my name is {insert name}. I was recently admitted to practice law in North Carolina and I am writing to request a few minutes of your time to introduce myself and learn a little about your practice. I promise I won’t ask for a job!”

This letter would guarantee entry into any lawyer’s office and maybe even a free lunch.

Don’t Be Selfish When You Network

When you decide to start networking with purpose, you will discover the importance of sharing information with your network and working to remain in contact with each and every member of your network. Successful networkers spend time and energy building and maintaining relationships with their colleagues by understanding their interests and needs alongside your own. If a colleague is seriously interested in exploring a new area of law, consider sending them an interesting case you discovered or information related to a CLE on that topic.

It is important to remember that relationship maintenance is just as important to relationship building. Moreover, time and energy spent on your network now will produce untold returns for your practice in the future but only if you do it properly.


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

Enter your email below to join our newsletter