Two weeks ago, I sat down to lunch with Julie, my attorney and friend who just happens to work almost exclusively with DUI cases. Figuring that if anyone would help me she would so I took the time to ask her about how she looks at DUI attorney business building and what techniques she would like to see more people use. After some jokes about whether I was looking to steal away her business, she shrugged and started talking. There are plenty of good business building tips out there for young advocates, and the funny thing is, they're a lot more basic that you might think. I had honestly thought it would have been more complicated than that, but Julie was quick to correct me.
A lot of DUI attorney business building, she told me, or any attorney marketing for that matter, was good networking. She gets a lot of work through referrals, and off the top of her head, she could name at least ten cases that had been referred to her by lawyers who simply did not handle that type of case. She's good friends with some of them, workout buddies with others, and some she only sees at annual parties or classes, but the truth is, the networking is one of the most important parts of getting herself out there.
"It goes both ways," Julie informed me. "If I can send a client their way, I know that they'll send one mine when they hear that the client's looking for someone with my experience."
Julie networks outside of the law offices as well. I've never seen someone work so hard at being good as Julie; she's always out there, and if it's not a fund-raiser, its a benefit performance. It seems like an awful lot of work and in some cases, its even a bit of a financial drain.
"What can I say, I like to give back to the community," she said with a smile. "But you can bet that there are a lot of people out there who remember my name when they or their kids get in trouble, and then they can remember me as someone who will help them get their legal issues squared away."
Julie went on to say that she has assistant help do online is networking as well. Julie makes sure that her information is posted and current on a number of different directories online, along with a good listing of what she handles. She, like many professionals that I know, will also contribute informative articles to article directories. This free information that she puts out there manages to pull in a lot of clients who are impressed by the fact that she has good information and that she is willing to share it.
Julie and I had a great lunch, and I left with a lot to think about. Clearly, DUI attorney business building is a lot more than just making sure that they spelled your name right in the phone book, so make sure that you get your name out and work hard towards keeping it