The Secret Science of Rainmaking


Regardless of the size of your firm, business development and rainmaking is a critical part of a lawyer’s job description in today’s legal landscape. While everyone knows you need to be actively working on it, turning your strategy into rainmaking success can be a challenge. The secret lies in taking a long-term approach while consistently applying a few key techniques. 

Pick a strategy that works for you

Decide on a way to build your practice that makes sense for you. There are a lot of different ways to get your name out there, like public speaking, blogging, or networking. Choose the ones that fit your personality and brand (and will generate results), and focus on those rather than forcing yourself to pursue business development strategies you don’t enjoy. 

Be a giver

One of the easiest ways to quickly build a relationship is to give something without expecting something in return. That could be industry knowledge, a helpful introduction or even sending a piece of content you think they could find useful over email. Typically these types of interactions don’t cost much other than your time, but they’re extremely effective in building connections. 

Differentiate yourself

There are a lot of excellent lawyers out there. If you want potential clients to pick you, then you have to be prepared to show why you’re the best choice. The simplest way to do that is to have a differentiator. Become an expert in a particular niche or showcase your experience working with a certain industry. Some lawyers are known for their approach to cases, while others rely on their track record to set them apart from the crowd.

Before you pick your differentiator, be sure to do some research. Check to make sure the industry you’re looking to specialize in isn’t declining and see how much competition there is. In a saturated market, it may make more sense to become a pioneer in a particular arena. 

Once you have your differentiator, include it in your marketing and in your interactions to reinforce the message. 

Keep your clients happy

Happy clients can become your biggest referral source. Before you spend time focusing on external marketing efforts, check in with your current clients. Conduct a survey to gauge how satisfied they are, evaluate your onboarding and case completion processes, and think about new ways you can introduce more value to your clients. Client portals for ease of communication and document access, regular updates, and sticking to deadlines all go a long way toward fostering a positive client experience. 

Look at the long-term

Becoming a successful lawyer with a large book of business doesn’t happen overnight. It requires consistent, dedicated effort. If you’ve put the above steps into place but aren’t seeing immediate results, don’t worry; top attorneys likely built their successes over time. Remain patient and diligent and your own success will follow.

By taking a big-picture approach to your business development and rainmaking strategies, it’s easier to stay on the right path toward a strong referral network and put in the time to build a happy client base and ultimately become a true rainmaker. 


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