Believing that “more lawyers could benefit from slowing down and taking time to build relationships,” Canary General Counsel Josh Beser, created a program to teach lawyers to network using casual conversation over coffee. Interviewed by abajournal.com for an April 1, 2016 article titled “5 Coffee Challenge can help build a client base,” Mr. Beser explained that networking skills are lacking in many law firms today:
If you try a cookie-cutter approach to these [meetings] and ask everyone the same question, it’s going to be uncomfortable and you could look stupid . . . . But if you build the muscle, you can become comfortable and confident in your ability to meet people and foster relationships.
According to the article, many lawyers today have no time to network, and young lawyers are too busy making their hours to learn how. Damian Thomas, co-chair of the ABA Section of Litigation’s Young Lawyer Leadership Program, agrees:
When young lawyers first come into a law firm, the partners want them to work and make their hours and receivables. . . . Then when you become more expensive, they suddenly expect you to start bringing in business, but they don’t tell you how.
Mr. Beser developed the 30-day program to teach attorneys how to meet and cultivate potential clients. The program is reportedly available through the Law Leaders Lab for a fee that is based on the number of participating lawyers.
Although we know little about this particular program, we at LPR believe that generally lawyers are and have been too busy billing hours to learn how to effectively network in an ever-growing economy. Without weighing in on the value or effectiveness of Mr. Beser’s program, we believe he is correct that learning to meet and foster potential client relationships is a much-needed skill. Hopefully Mr. Beser’s program also teaches attorneys how to treat these potential clients once they sign on.