Business Development Goals & Planning Marketing

What new associates should know about marketing

This spring I was invited to contribute to the ABA Law Practice Magazine’s April/May issue: “First Years:  What every associate needs to know.”

The issue arrived in my mail last month and is now live on the web.  Have a look.  It’s a great guide for new associates to making the most of the first years and establishing a foundation for their legal practice.

My article is all about what new associates should know about marketing.  I was directed to answer the question – what do managing partners wish their associates knew about marketing? I interviewed a number of managing partners and practice group leaders to find out what was most on their minds.  Here’s what they had to say:

Understand that Law Firms Are Businesses
Invest Early and Frequently
Invest Non-billable Time with Existing Clients
Talk Less and Listen More
Develop a Meaningful Introduction
Learn How to Close the Deal
Find your Personal Style

Associates, if you want to end up with a practice you enjoy and clients you like, it is critical that you learn to chart your own course. Marketing can help you do that. It is your time to discover the kind of work and clients you find the most interesting. It is also time to explore the kind of marketing and business development activities that you like best. It might be writing articles or maintaining a blog. It could be you have a flair for presenting. Find out what works best for you while advancing you toward your goals, and do it. Don’t wait until you have some free time.  Weave a little marketing into everyday.  Keep your own professional goals moving forward.

About the author

Allison Wolf

I am the founder of AWAL and one of the most senior coaches for lawyers in North America. I have helped countless clients over the past fifteen years, develop thriving legal practices and before that served as director of marketing for award-winning law firms. My specialty is uncovering the thinking traps and gaps holding clients back and helping them acquire the mindsets, skills, and habits for growing successful and rewarding legal careers. After a career in legal marketing and business development with law firms in Beijing, New York, and Vancouver, I was trained as a coach in 2004 at Royal Roads University and now coach clients from across North America. You can reach me at or learn more about my coaching practice from the coaching section of the Attorney With A Life Website.