Rainmaking: Another Study Reveals How Much Time You Should Spend

May 4th, 2014 | Company News, Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing in Brief

The landmark 2003 study of women rainmakers— the first definitive report tabulating how much time lawyers spent to create a solid book of business— was updated a few years back and reconfirmed the finding of the original report. As well, in February 2014 yet another study was released confirming the time investment required to become a “rainmaker” is the same no matter your gender.

Based on 400 interviews, the two studies of women rainmakers by the Legal Sales and Services Organization indicated the threshold for success is for lawyers to devote eight hours weekly to personal business development. Spend less than eight hours, and originations plummet.

Those women lawyers who spent eight hours weekly on marketing had annual origination of $472,000. Ten hours on average spent weekly equaled $590,000 in annual originations, according to the LSSO surveys.

Confirming the time commitment needed Lawyer Metrics, a group of statisticians, I/O psychologists, and lawyers, has just released its Rainmaker Study. It was based on performance data from over 300 partners primarily at AmLaw 100 and AmLaw 200 firms. It revealed that rainmakers average about 465 hours per year on client development (that’s 8.9 hours weekly) whereas client service partners average about 325 hours per year (that’s 6.25 hours weekly).

Of course, as we often discover when writing law firm marketing plans and coaching lawyers, the vast majority, male or female, just don’t make the needed time commitment. On average, our surveys reveal most lawyers spend just 3-4 weekly on business development. The LSSO report reveals what activities successful business developers engage in that less successful business generators tend to avoid– joining business groups, leading those groups, speaking and asking clients for work and referrals to others who may need their services. That those are the highest-yielding tactics is confirmed by our biannual National Marketing Effectiveness Survey.

The final clause of the last sentence bears repetition: top rainmakers ask for work and for referrals from their clients and prospects. Asking for work, in a professional manner at the correct time after establishing trust and enthusiasm, is a critical sales skill most lawyers fail to develop.

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