Raindance II: Blueprint for Growing Your Practice
Gary Mitchell is the Principal at On Trac Coach, a firm that exclusively works with lawyers and legal professionals helping them to grow their business. Raindance II was published in September by Carswell. It’s Gary’s second published book for Lawyers.
Raindance II: A Blueprint for Growing Your Practice is a definitive resource for lawyers looking to grow their practice or firm. It provides strategies, checklists and success stories. The book takes the format of a workbook, guiding the reader through various steps to take in order to attract more clients and grow a law practice or firm.
LIM: What do you see as the biggest challenge facing attorneys’ engaging in business development?
Gary: I think there are two main challenges. The first is time. How do they make time to get out there, network, speak and write articles? With limited time, they must learn how and where to invest their time accordingly to get in front of the right people. The second major challenge (and related to the first one), is they often don’t know where to start. So rather than try a few things, they stay stuck for fear of failing. Law Schools do a good job of teaching students how to think. But they don’t prepare them for how to run, grow or build a law practice or firm.
LIM: Why this second edition?
Gary: This second edition comes as the result of gaining valuable feedback from readers of the first edition. It also includes my proprietary methodology TST™, which stands for targeted, strategic and tactical. As mentioned in the first question, attorneys are pressed for time. They have so many demands, client demands, firm demands, family life etc. They don’t have time to waste. So I teach the reader how to become more targeted in their approach; more strategic, and more tactical so they can get better results with less time.
This edition also includes an entire chapter aimed specifically for managing partners or owners of firms that want to grow. It includes: how to better manage, lead, delegate, plan for succession, engage the entire team in business development, and also includes two compensation models to motivate the team to become more productive. These proven strategies are helping small firms grow. They are also helping attorney’s in solo practice grow that practice into a firm.
LIM: When should an attorney seek the help of a coach?
Gary: There are several situations where a coach can help. Here’s a few examples of how coaching has helped legal professionals take their careers to new heights, and in one case, change direction entirely.
1. A Law Clerk Turned Rainmaker
Situation: Managing Partner hires me to work with his senior law clerk in helping her to develop business development and marketing skills. Admittedly, she did not even know what business development was, let alone how and where to start when we first got started. However, she was very keen on learning new skills and taking her career to the next level.
Results: As the year of coaching was winding down, she had already begun to bring in clients to the firm. The remarkable part of this story is that while she was now fully engaged in business development, not only was she now becoming a rainmaker, her dockets were up 20% over the previous year. She is more engaged, more loyal, more productive and more valuable to her firm. For her part, her income has increased, and she has experienced transformational growth in her personal and professional life.
2. Junior Partner Becomes #1 Rainmaker at his Firm
Situation: A junior partner who was already doing ‘well’ in building his practice had his firm hire me to help him take it to the next level. Much like athletes who want to compete on the world stage, he wanted more. He interviewed three potential people to help him and in the end chose me primarily for my entrepreneurial drive and tenacity.
Results: Within a couple of years of working with this client, at age 40 he became the number one income earner and Rainmaker at his firm. He brought in the largest file in the 100 year old history of his firm. Years later, that file continues to generate revenues.
3. Unhappy 5th Year Litigator Turns Career Around
Situation: A very unhappy 5th year associate decides he can no longer practice as a litigator. He approaches his firm to get support in making a shift to build a solicitor practice. The marketing department hired me to work with him to turn his career around.
Results: It didn’t take too long before he was bringing in new business focused on green start-up companies. He created an IP practice and worked under one of the partners at his firm. The shift that he experienced was clearly visible to his colleagues at the firm. He was happy, engaged, motivated and committed to building his practice. It wasn’t too long before he was basically caught up to the partner track he had been on. What was that worth to him and his career? What was that worth to his firm instead of losing this talented and loyal associate, they made a small investment in him and helped turn his career around?
Raindance II can be purchased by following this link to the publisher page. Legal Ink readers can now save an additional 20% the purchase of the book by using promo code 67258 at check-out.