Business Development Checklist for Junior Associates
May 06, 2010

Fall is approaching, the bar exam is underway and a brand new class of associates is about to start at firms all over the country. Business development is a skill you must focus on and master as early as possible in your career.

How can you learn these skills when you are right out of school? As a junior associate, your most important clients right now are the partners and associates you work with on a daily basis. By treating these internal contacts as clients, you will learn valuable lessons for how to interact with clients when it is your responsibility to bring in new business. 

  • Learn about the firm’s business. Read your firm’s website and Intranet. Both should contain valuable information about the firm’s practice and client base. There is no excuse for you NOT to know all of the practice areas of your firm and the senior leaders of those groups. Translation to real clients: You should know your client’s business inside and out. Read their 10-K, annual reports and website. 
  • Learn about your firm’s top 10 clients. Who are they? Who developed those relationships? Don’t be afraid to ask attorneys questions about the history of a client relationship. You will have to develop business one day, so you may as well learn now how it has been done in the past. Translation to real clients: Learn about your client’s clients. Who do they do business with? 
  • Be accessible and return phone calls and e-mails timely. Change your voice mail daily and let your assistant know where you are going when you leave your office. Return your messages the day they are received, even if just to say you will have an answer at a later date. Translation to real clients: should be clear on this one!
  • Be responsive. Develop an understanding for the sense of urgency. Set and meet or beat deadlines. If you will not meet a deadline, let people know immediately. Surprise is never a good thing in this case. Translation to real clients: again, should be clear on this one!
  • Develop and use your “elevator speech” Learn to describe what you do so that a layperson can understand. Litmus test: Can your mom describe what you do to someone.  See this article from
  • Update your bio regularly. It’s the number one most-read area of the website.
  • Stay in touch with law school friends. They could be a General Counsel or referral source someday.  Using social media (Web 2.0) is a great way to stay in touch, but do so responsibly.
  • Do great work!
Posted By Justin at May 06, 2010  
1.Jay Patel
Posted On May 06,2010 at May 06,2010

Its really helpful

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