I’ve always argued that joining organizations for the purpose of business development is a waste of time for most lawyers. Too many think that by simply joining associations will result in clients flowing to the firm. On the other hand, most lawyers do understand that it takes more than that; and that speaking to and writing for trade and business groups are effective business development tools.

The problem today is that a lot of lawyers have joined those same organizations that you are interested in. Accordingly, there are a limited number of slots available for speaking and writing opportunities within organizations. That point is made by Carolyn Elefant in a blog post on MyShingle.com.

So, it is more important today to not be just a joiner, but a doer – or as Elfefant puts it: “Doing grunt work doesn’t just give lawyers a way to contribute to a group but puts you at the center of the action.” Volunteering can help in that regard for any organization.

Two of her other suggestions include:

  • Help an organization set up a list serve, blog, eNewsletter, or a Facebook (or LinkedIn) page; and
  • Instead of offering another seminar on a legal topic, sponsor a “non-law related” event that will attract your target audience.

I am not sure either will lead to the “grand work” mentioned in Elefant’s post title; but, raising your profile by doing the kinds of things that other lawyers are not, will help you stand out in the crowd.