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Tips for Marketing Your Firm to In-House Counsel

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By Mark Wilson, Esq. on May 06, 2015 4:15 PM

FindLaw has a blog for in-house counsel and a blog for solos and small firms. But what would happen if they collided, like a comic book crossover? That's what this particular article is about: Marketing yourself to in-house counsel.

Mind blown yet? If you specialize in a particular field of niche litigation, you may want to consider marketing to in-house lawyers and general counsels, who always need help when it comes to the esoteric stuff. Here are some tips.

1. Be open about alternative fee arrangements

In-house lawyers are constantly under pressure to do more with less and to cut costs. That's why more and more work is moving in house. One popular cost-cutting method is an alternative fee arrangement. Rather than charge the typical hourly rate, advertise your fixed fees, hybrid fees, or contingency fees (where appropriate). It helps to have a winning personality, but it also helps to know what GCs want -- and they always want to save money.

2. Make connections

As with most things in the legal job market, it's all about whom you know. GCs want to be sure that and their staff are going to like working with the person or firm they associate as outside counsel, so they often go with people they already know, or who are recommended to them by others.

If you want to get noticed, start hanging out in GC and outside counsel circles. Alternatively, you can market yourself to the kinds of people to whom GCs go for advice. Either way, you can't rely just on traditional advertising. You've got to get out there and make new friends.

3. Be a problem solver

Just like a civilian client comes to a lawyer with a problem to be solved, an in-house lawyer comes to outside counsel with a problem that can't be dealt with in-house. When marketing yourself to in-house counsel, emphasize what you bring to the table, like your expertise.

You can also point out that the size of your law firm is a benefit. Solos and small firms, unlike giant firms, aren't charging the in-house client for stuff they don't need, like a dozen other practice areas in multiple countries.

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