In my last post, I shared what several in-house counsel don’t like from their outside counsel who are trying to get hired. The advice came from an article by Stacy West Clark that appeared on The LawMarketing Portal, where she recapped a meeting in which several in-house women attorneys shared their views on what they like and don’t like from outside law firms when pitching for their work. This post deals with what they would like to see.
They suggest you do the following:
*Ask for the work,
*Mention if you have won a case before an agency they deal with (“Tell us about it”),
*Tell them about your local and state agency and regulatory connections,
*Ask for a tour of the company and to meet key employees (Amen!! See my Top Ten Marketing Tip No.1 on this point),
*Be honest (the alternative is not even worth discussing),
*Respect in-house counsel (not only are they smart, but it’s dumb to “tick” them off, as it is better to have an advocate, rather than an adversary, in-house talking about you),
*Give them prompt service, as well as business advice that they can pass on to company executives (preferably in bullet format since executives “listen in sound bites”),
*Obvious corollary, make them look good, and
*Hire very competent secretaries who are well informed, know where you are, and empower them to relay important information when asked (I’m reading a bit into this point, but believe me clients want this).
All agreed that is not easy to get hired as outside counsel, but for state and regional issues (and presumably local ones), it is possible. If you follow their advice, a small firm can definitely outshine many a larger firm, and increase your chances of being hired for those local, state and regional matters.