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Client referrals are still the best way to bring in business, no matter what social media says. Referred clients are already inclined to hire you before they walk in the door. They come in because they trusted someone, who trusted you as a lawyer. The second-best way to bring in business is from other professionals, including lawyers. T
here are some strategies to it, however. Here are a few:
If you specialize in a particular practice area, you are likely to get more referrals from general practitioners. That's a good reason to attend bar association activities, and not just the specialty groups. In California, those specialties may include:
Of course, specialization and expertise takes time and money to acquire. Certification, not as much.
Other organizations offer certifications that can attract referral business, too. The American Board of Certification, for example, offers certification in:
It's important to know the difference between a certified specialty and a practice emphasis. Ethics rules dictate that lawyers may not advertise as specialists unless they are certified.
The good news is, sometimes a practice emphasis is a better path to pick up business than a specialty. After all, perhaps you practice in an area that is not certified, like a niche practice. The American Bar Association recently recognized privacy law, for example, but your state bar may not. It grew out of the need for attorneys in the cybersecurity age.
Bottom line: you are likely to get business from other lawyers if you have an emphasis, certification, or specialty that they do not. And you are more likely to get referral business if you refer cases that you can't handle back to them.