How not to network

How not to network

I returned from a working vacation (mostly working) to find a discussion thread on one of the social networks started by a lawyer looking to build a network with lawyers in other countries. It is not surprising that a lot of hands, mostly from solo practitioners and lawyers in small firms, have been raised to volunteer.

But this is not the best way to build a serious professional network.

Developing productive business relationships with lawyers in other jurisdictions requires a well thought-out strategy, not a posting on a social networking site or making "cold calls" on law firms in distant cities.

There needs to be some serious thought about questions such as:

  • Can we realistically provide legal services to clients from foreign jurisdictions?
  • Which of our service lines and which of our client sectors are most likely to attract referrals from other law firms?
  • What do our clients need in other jurisdictions?
  • What are our competitive advantages and how well have we communicated them even in our own local market?
  • What can we offer other firms in the way of referrals from our client base.

That is not to say that using a social network to network with other lawyers and law firms can never produce results. The immediate cost of a post on a social network is almost nil.

So are the chances of a good long-term result.

Read more on the Walker Clark Worldview Blog.


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