Many large law firms have alumni programs, where they keep in touch with former partners and associates that have left the firm. Small firms should consider doing the same. It is an opportunity for referrals in both directions.
This may seem odd to some, and particularly where the parting wasn’t the most pleasant. Sorry, but my recommendation is that you include even those lawyers (unless you practically came to blows at the front door) in mailings, invitations to receptions, reunion events, etc. I have seen it work, and have seen skeptical lawyers come around when someone they were absolutely positive would not come to an event did so, and all was well.
This month’s Law Practice Today has an article by Bob Weiss about not forgetting your alumni. I like his suggestion of inviting the law school dean to a firm reunion where he or she can meet contacts that may benefit future graduates. Referrals are more likely to come from one who knows and has experience with your firm, and that includes alumni.