Business Development Starts Now
A widely held misconception of the legal industry is that business development is the sole preserve of only the most senior practitioners. While it is undoubtedly true that there is an increasing focus on business development as a lawyer’s career progresses, fee earners at all stages are expected to be proactively involved in finding and winning work.
A trainee need only have interest (and capacity) to take advantage of the opportunities on offer. From assisting with client pitches to creating industry updates to researching prospective clients, there is something for everyone!
Through my involvement with one of HSF's unique ventures, the 'Trainee Business Development Committee', I have had the opportunity to begin building relationships with prospective clients through a variety of initiatives. The Committee regularly hosts themed events throughout the year where junior professionals from a swathe of organisations are invited to our offices to network with trainees. These occasions provide the dual benefit of cultivating trainees' soft skills while also familiarising external invitees with the HSF brand and the range of services on offer. The Committee hopes to be a key facilitator of many organic relationships between trainees and individuals at current or prospective clients. As time passes, it is envisioned that some of these interactions will lead to instructions for the firm, with lawyers who have developed these connections from the trainee level forming key parts of the client relationship teams. While I am heavily involved in the Committee's efforts, it is not the only way for trainees to participate in business development. A trainee need only have interest (and capacity) to take advantage of the opportunities on offer. From assisting with client pitches to creating industry updates to researching prospective clients, there is something for everyone!
The significance of cultivating a strong external network is difficult to overstate. Fortunately, trainees at HSF are encouraged and empowered to begin developing such networks right from the start of our careers.