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Posted In: Business Development, Law Firm Resilience, Legal Sales, Strategic Planning, Team Performance

10 Years Later: It’s Still Minders Over Matters

What difference does a decade make?

In the legal industry, which has often been voted ‘Most Resistant to Change,’ a lot and not much all at once.

Ten years ago – almost to the day – I wrote a blog titled Law Firm Client Retention and Growth: We Are All Minders! It pointed out an ‘old’ way of thinking about typical, self-explanatory though generalized firm roles: Finders [rainmakers], Minders [managers], and Grinders [top billers]. It told the story of an in-house General Counsel (GC) impressed by the proactiveness of a young firm associate who used her business acumen (honed while working in-house before landing at the firm) to ask questions that led to the uncovering of a potential matter. The Associate brought the potential to the relationship attorney…who put together a team…who pitched the GC…and – poof! – new engagement.

Sound like a fairytale? Actually, this happens a lot more today than ever before. Hallelujah! But it could happen a lot more if firms would train – and trust – their attorneys, professionals, and support staff to look and listen for potential opportunities…in other words, be the eyes and ears for the firm.

The modern legal landscape is overcrowded with competition and opportunities. It is scarred by armchair attorneys and encroached upon by the Big Four. It is also mired down by out-of-date statutes while at the same time being dragged – in some cases literally – kicking and screaming into the 21st century (think AI and sales).

To stand out, law firms have an opportunity to encourage attorneys, professionals, and support staff to ‘flex’ between being Finders, Minders, and – yes, when the occasion calls for it – Grinders. Doing this means thinking differently about rewarding anyone and everyone who contributes to the growth of the firm. Money remains a strong motivator, but recognition today comes in many forms and is much appreciated. It’s up to firm leadership to figure out (hint: ask!) what influences an employee to go above and beyond and a client to sign on the dotted line.

So just as it was then [June 2014], so it is now [June 2024]: Thinking ‘team’ is a bottom-line success strategy. Shedding old, limiting beliefs and encouraging everyone to engage in the pursuit of business exponentially expands the pipeline for new opportunities.

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