Everybody knows that David slew Goliath, so how could that story be an analogy for solo attorneys and big firm lawyers working together?
It's not gonna happen, unless you change the story like this: David knocked down Goliath, and then they respectfully formed a partnership; or David only challenged Goliath, and then they agreed to give each other referrals.
So don't read too much in this story, "How a David Can Partner with Goliath." There are some lessons solo practitioners can learn from the classic tale, however.
David Takes Goliath
As a young man, David feared no one. He took it to Goliath in a timeless battle that left the giant about two feet shorter. That's right, after David knocked him down with a rock he cut off the giant's head.
So in reality, the only way a David lawyer is going to take business from a Goliath law firm is by doing it in the bloody courtroom. Or you may just look for client referrals elsewhere.
Otherwise, if you want business from BigLaw, you're going to have try something else.
David Asks Goliath
Instead of the sling-and-sword approach, solo attorneys should consider offering a hand to BigLaw. First tip, says popular blogger Carolyn Elefant, is to understand that it's not about you.
"That means that before you try to partner with or sell to a large company, you must seek first to understand them," she wrote on MyShingle. "So when you pitch yourself as a potential referral partner to big law, take the time to figure out what their needs are."
Elefant culled tips from Entrepreneur magazine, which suggested that David businesses could "partner" with Goliath companies. She said solo lawyers can offer their services to big firms by focusing on areas they typically do not, such as criminal defense, family law, or estate planning.
"Once you figure out what the firm's needs are, you can begin to strategize about how you can best help," she said. Ultimately, it comes down to relationships -- staying in touch with BigLaw attorneys and definitely not hurling stones at them.
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