Legal business development management

Do you really need Legal business development management for your law firm? Is there a success guarantee of working with a professional business developer for lawyers?

Most attorneys come out of law school with little or no business development training. The demand for law services has declined and even the most revered law companies are in competition with smaller and lesser-known companies that can charge lower fees for the same work.

Law firms need to become more commercially clever not only about how they provide law services, but also about how they generate new revenue. These are two most important skills needed to succeed in today’s legal marketing. First is “marketing” , second is “building relationships”. The mix of these capabilities would provide the legal profession with a highly complex, institutional sales force capable of generating new revenue at the highest levels of corporations, governments and other potential customers. To be successful, each legal business development management program needs to be customized to respond and adapt to the law firm’s own culture.

Law firms would win as they would find themselves with the opportunity to employ the managers specifically in the most sophisticated methods of business development that would institutionalize practices devoted to generating revenue the area where law firms most need reform.

So many marketing managers at firms are treated as glorified secretaries. They may have deep experience and truly valuable marketing skills and experience. However, most of what they do is dictated to them by the attorneys in a law firm. But most of lawyers have no training or background in marketing. They also make marketing decisions based on what they want to hear, not on real legal market information about what a client would want to hear.

While support for marketing and business development is extensive within the profession, there remain special effort to the concept.  In fact, the challenge to more market-oriented practices within the profession come not only from the academy, but maybe more notably, the practicing profession itself.

Involving customers as part of the training instruction process increases the credibility of business development training and at the same time enhances the law firm’s relationship with the participating clients.

No lawyer is ever “perfect” at business-sales-client development. To efficiently maximize each lawyer’s potential contribution and sustain success, it is critical that law firms provide successful business and client development training, coaching and support on an ongoing basis.

External Coach or Internal Coach for legal business developement?

There are many advantages-disadvantages to using external or internal coaches. The advantages of internal legal business developers who have at least several years with the company are their experience and understanding of the law firm, including its politics, culture, personalities, expectations, and structure. So, disadvantages of internal business developers can include the fact that, because they are firm employees. Some attorneys may be reluctant to share their perceived weaknesses, motivations, goals and or objectives as readily as they might with an outside developers.

The most imporant thing; Developing legal business requires a strategy that has vision, focus, an action plan and accountability. And always need a legal business development manager in your law firm to find out way of success.

Checklist for the best law firm manager;

  1. Current clients – Practices to increase satisfaction.
  2. Listening – Becoming a better listener.
  3. Meetings –  To increase results to next meeting.
  4. Planning Advances –  How to increase results by planning advances?
  5. Prioritizing – Why you should ignore good ideas?
  6. Action plans – An action plan to define your next steps.
  7. Technology – Use internet technology.

Last words: If you want to get paid for working as a lawyer, you must have clients. Your competitors are getting better at marketing, and trying to take your clients. The only way to defend yourself is having a better professional marketer, whether you like it or not.

Author: Matt Mohwinkel About Matt Mohwinkel

With leadership experience as a business development manager, coupled expertise from his legal studies, Matthew Mohwinkel has served major corporations in a variety of capacities. From 2009 to 2011, Mr. Mohwinkel was an executive at Xerox Litigation Services in New York, where he sold electronic discovery services to top law firms and other clients. From 2005 to 2008, Matt Mohwinkel was based at Deloitte LLP as National Business Development Director.

Developments in Copyright Law

Recent Developments in Copyright Law

The 1976 Act announces broad exclusive rights, offset by a myriad of specific exemptions, and one wide exception for “fair use.” In words and intent, the exclusive rights are capacious, but new technologies may have caused some of the general phrases to become more constraining than might have been expected from a text whose drafters took pains to make forward-looking. Thus, the scope of the reproduction right turns on the meaning of “copy;” the reach of the distribution right on “distribute copies” and “transfer of ownership;” the range of the public performance right on “public” and “perform.” Entrepreneurs and users of new technological means of exploiting copyrighted works have urged narrow constructions of each of these terms, arguing that broad interpretations will chill future innovation (and suppress present markets for copyright-exploiting devices or services). Copyright owners, concerned that unfettered new uses will supplant traditional copyright-controlled markets, have contended that the literal language, or, failing that, congressional intent, encompass the contested use. In addition, new technologies have called into question the identification of the person who “does” the copyright-implicating acts. Who makes a copy when the act is decomposed into steps taken by different actors? Who performs or displays a work when the work resides on one person’s server, but the public perceives it through another person’s website?

Several US courts have narrowly construed the reach of the exclusive rights of reproduction, distribution, public performance and public display, thus putting into doubt their efficacy in the digital environment. In particular, the Second Circuit’s recent decision in Cartoon Networks v. CSC Holdings, if followed, could substantially eviscerate the reproduction and public performance rights. The growing number of decisions rejecting a “making available” right attests to some difficulties in adapting the distribution right to online exploitation. By contrast, one bright spot for authors appears in the area of moral rights, in which digital media may provide a means to make at least some authors’ attribution interests enforceable. Because the decisions emanate from lower courts, including first-level courts, it is too soon to discern whether US copyright law is adopting a constricted conception of the scope of the economic rights under copyright, and if so, whether the decisions betoken an evolving (if often unarticulated) determination that copyright prerogatives should yield to technological preferences. In either event, the analyses and results contrast with solutions adopted in the European Union, and, in some instances, may be in tension with the US’ international obligations.

Author: Jane C. Ginsburg, Columbia Law School, has published “Recent Developments in US Copyright Law – Part II, Caselaw: Exclusive Rights on the Ebb?” in For Revue Internationale du Droit d’Auteur, Oct. 2008 (forthcoming January 2009).  Download the article from here.