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October 30, 2005

Asking Targeted Clients For Work... Or Why Are Lawyers So Shy, Anyway?

Over the years this keeps happening. I take a general counsel or non-lawyer executive or CFO of a targeted client to lunch or dinner to ask for work. At some point I briefly say what my firm does and how we can help the client on particular legal issues it has. I ask a few questions. I do a short (very informal) pitch which ends with: "We like [the company] and we'd love to work with you. How can I win/earn your business?"

The client rep laughs and says something like, "That's refreshing--because I can't tell you how many times I have dined, gone to sporting events or played golf with lawyers and they never ask me for my business. Sometimes this goes on for years. I know that's why they are there--but they won't ever get to the point."

"So what's up with that?" he or she continues. "Are lawyers shy or something? Why would I want to hire a law firm not aggressive enough, direct enough or business-oriented enough to just ask for the work?"

Posted by JD Hull at October 30, 2005 11:33 AM

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