Practice Management — 10 June 2017
How To Earn More Referrals

The size of the law firm you work for doesn’t really matter, chances are you are looking for more referrals for your firm.  Law is a complicated dance between serving clients and finding new clients, and referrals oftentimes are the music to which that dance is performed.  Without a solid referral system in place, lawyers are completely on their own when it comes to finding new clients to service, or new areas to expand to.  If you network correctly, however, you can tangibly increase the business coming into your firm.

Establish Connections In Every Field Of Law

The most important aspect of earning referrals is making connections and casting a wide net.  While personal injury lawyers might not see any reason to talk to immigration lawyers about their trade, there is an important networking opportunity for both lawyers.  The personal injury lawyer has a network of people outside of the field of law that they talk to every day.  Their friend says her friend is having trouble getting a visa and asks the personal injury lawyer who she should talk to.  In this situation, the personal injury lawyer refers their friend to the immigration lawyer, who in turn will refer any potential personal injury clients in the future.  Referrals are a karma system for lawyers: the more you refer, the more you will get referred to.  Establishing a reference in every field of law possible will help you get more cases for your firm.

Connect With Peers From Law School and College

While it might not always work, it is definitely worth looking at LinkedIn or another social network to see who from your personal network is also in the field of law or business.  By reaching out for coffee or a drink after work, you can establish a deeper connection and get your name on the map.  It helps you, because you might get business, and it helps them because now they know who to reach out to for a legal matter that you practice.  When talking to people from law school, you could find people who are working at significantly larger or smaller firms than you and negotiate referrals for when cases do not fit the size of your firms.  People are more willing to give cases to someone they have a connection to than someone they have to look up, so make it easier for them by simply asking.

Make The Client Experience As Easy As Possible

A large source of referrals that many people don’t even think about is past clients.  While most of your clients will be happy with your work because you won them money in a case, it is also important to make sure that they feel heard in every step in the process.  Any law firm can get clients money, but not every law firm takes the time to break everything down for their clients so they feel like a part of the team.  If this means hiring an extra legal assistant so everyone isn’t too flooded with work, or upgrading your case management software, you should definitely consider it.  If your employees don’t feel flooded by work, they will be much more relaxed and helpful with clients.  Even though the upfront cost can be high, the long-term dividends of a happy and efficient office can really pay themselves off because of the referrals they can bring.

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