Referrals can be an important source of business for your law firm, as other lawyers recommend your firm for clients they cannot take or cases they won't handle. John can't take a personal injury case because he has no time? He may hand it over to Sally. Sally does do divorce but has a client who needs family law services? She may send him to Jim. You get the idea.
But referrals don't happen out of the blue. They're based on relationships, reputations, and connections that need to be built and fostered. Here are some tips on how to get started, from the FindLaw archives.
Before you start diving in to referrals, you need to know the basics, like what ethical concerns might be raised by referrals, where you can get referrals, and how you can refer potential clients to others.
Referrals come from your network of fellow attorneys, which means that you've got to build your network if you want to see more clients being referred your way. That, of course, means networking. Here's how to do it, even when you don't want to.
Law firm events and holiday happy hours aren't the only places you can build your network. Conferences and conventions can allow you to build connections with other attorneys, as well as thought and industry leaders.
What's the best way to thank another attorney who has sent a client your way? With a call, a bottle of wine, or an ethics violation? Here are some tips for making sure that your "thank you" doesn't turn into a prohibited quo for their referral's quid.
Have a difficult client? Don't want to tell a prospective client that they just don't have a case? Just want to get rid of someone? Don't hand them off to another attorney. Here's why.
- Turning Down Clients: 4 Ways to Say 'No Thanks' (FindLaw's Strategist)
- 5 Ways to Expand Your Client Base (FindLaw's Strategist)
- A Drink-by-Drink Guide to Success at Legal Networking Events (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
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