For firms that are only interested in associates cranking hours until they get burned out, this post is not for you. More likely it is for medium to smaller firms who really want to build their firm; and want it to survive with new rainmakers as partners age.
Two notable exceptions are Quinn Emanuel and Jones Day, according to Kevin McMurdo, with Wicker Park Group. He mentions in “’Switch’ on Business Development Skills With Associates,” that those firms tie associate compensation/bonuses to their involvement in business development. There may be other firms I’m not aware of.
According to McMurdo, some of those business development actions by associates might include:
- attend brown bag training sessions;
- meet with partners to learn how they attract/retain clients;
- work with practice group leader to develop a niche in the coming year;
- attend networking events/conferences;
- complete a marketing plan; and
- read Ross Fishman’s “The Ultimate Law Firm Associate’s Marketing Checklist,”(which I recently discussed here and here).
McMurdo sums up my point by quoting a partner, “Involving associates in business development is a great way to protect and retain good associates.”