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The Litigation Consulting Report

Business Development – The A2L Way

Posted by Ken Lopez on Mon, Aug 22, 2016 @ 04:13 PM

a2l_professional_services_business_development.jpgby Ken Lopez
Founder/CEO
A2L Consulting

I have always been deeply involved in and passionate
about business development. It was this passion that made it possible for me to build A2L from the ground up in the early 1990s.

Building a company from nothing is no easy task. I often share with young entrepreneurs one of my great secrets – the ways in which I found my first clients. I wrote down the name of every person I knew who I thought might know someone helpful to the business. Ultimately I ended up with a list of 400 people. They were my first set of prospects.

In that group were college buddies, old bosses, and even my mom's high school boyfriend. I contacted all of them, and from that group, I landed clients at AOL, Dickstein Shapiro, and a variety of other well-known law firms. That was how I got started, and this process of relationship-based business development is essentially how I contribute to A2L's business development efforts today.

As we're in the process of hiring a new member of our business development team, I started reflecting on how we do business development at A2L. I think it is pretty impressive, and most professional services firms could learn something from our process. It's rather complex and involves a mixture of repeat/referral work (the majority of our work), growing new relationships from old relationships, and using a rather sophisticated method of blogging to generate inbound interest in our firm that attracts clients who think the way we do.

Indeed, blogging is one of the most important things that we do as an organization. Most of our new business is generated as a result of our blog.

I love it especially because it is very authentically generated business. We share our experiences, we describe the things that we know and believe, and the world's best trial lawyers find their way to us. We give away a lot of our “secrets” about litigation, knowing full well that many people will read these blog posts and never hire us. We hope and expect that some people will read our blog and will be impressed by what we have to say and what we have learned from more than two decades of experience in trial consulting.

Our business development team is thus truly in the business of helping, not selling. They help connect top-end trial lawyers with expert litigation consultants who improve opening statements, develop compelling narratives, conduct scientifically valid mock trials, and develop litigation graphics that teach and persuade judges and juries.

If you or if you know someone who might like to work in this atmosphere in our DC office, consider sharing this article or one of the links below with them:

Here are some other business development for professional services firms articles and tips that you may find useful:

Tags: Litigation Management, Pricing, Management, Leadership, Business Development, Litigation Public Relations

Lawyers Often Can (and Should) Say More to Reporters Than “No Comment”

Posted by Ken Lopez on Fri, Sep 4, 2015 @ 12:13 PM

 

what-can-lawyers-comment-say-reporters-pressBy Jim Grandone
Special Guest Author
Grandone Media Strategies

A lawyer I worked with recently summed up the love-hate relationship between lawyers and the news media as follows, “We spend 50 percent of the time trying to get publicity about our firm and the other 50 percent worrying about what the press is going to write about us.”

It’s true that in some states, there are constraints on what a lawyer can say about a pending case. But in general, a lawyer is allowed to discuss the basics --such as the claim, the offense or defense involved, and (except where prohibited), the identity of the persons involved; any information on the public record; the fact that an investigation is in progress; and the scheduling or result of any step in litigation.

Why then are lawyers so reluctant to speak to reporters? After all, these allowable types of comments – and many states permit lawyers to say even more about their cases – give lawyers considerable leeway to talk to reporters. So you can go ahead and promote whatever your firm is doing that is admirable, successful or high-profile.

Reporters already have instant electronic access to what you have filed, so why not emphasize the most important messages? Do not expect the reporter to communicate your key message for you! You can reach your most important audience outside the courtroom by simply reiterating what you have already said in court documents, even if it is only a summary.  Develop a message and clearly communicate the key points of the case.The audience for legitimate pretrial and trial publicity of this nature can be a single judge or an entire jury pool. Advocate your client's position while abiding by the rules, and you are doing your job. You can begin to establish yourself and your firm as experts in the minds of the readers, listeners and viewers, which can lead to new business. That doesn’t mean, of course, that you should pollute the jury pool by disseminating information that would be a serious threat to the fairness of the adjudicative process.

Various tools exist for identifying key media messages and getting them into the media in a way that makes them most effective.

Techniques include media training, which can help you become savvy about how different types of media work and how their needs are different; adjusting your message to each medium (very valuable for lawyers who are not accustomed to explaining the law to lay people); and learning how to bridge from a question you’d rather not answer to an answer you’d like to give.

The least you have to gain by talking to reporters is getting your firm's name in the news, promoting something positive about it, or positioning yourself as a strong advocate for your clients. 

Of course, winning your cases helps too!

Other articles from A2L Consulting related to advocacy, litigation public relations and jury selection include:

A2L Consulting Voir Dire Consultants Handbook

 

Tags: Jury Questionnaire, Jury Consulting, Juries, Jury Selection, Press, Litigation Public Relations

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Authors

KenLopez resized 152

Ken Lopez founded A2L Consulting in 1995. The firm has since worked with litigators from all major law firms on more than 10,000 cases with over $2 trillion cumulatively at stake.  The A2L team is comprised of psychologists, jury consultants, trial consultants, litigation consultants, attorneys and information designers who provide jury consulting, litigation graphics and trial technology.  Ken Lopez can be reached at lopez@A2LC.com.


tony-klapper-headshot-500x500.jpg 

Tony Klapper joined A2L Consulting after accumulating 20 years of litigation experience while a partner at both Reed Smith and Kirkland & Ellis. Today, he is the Managing Director of Litigation Consulting and General Counsel for A2L Consulting. Tony has significant litigation experience in products liability, toxic tort, employment, financial services, government contract, insurance, and other commercial disputes.  In those matters, he has almost always been the point person for demonstrative evidence and narrative development on his trial teams. Tony can be reached at klapper@a2lc.com.


dr laurie kuslansky jury consultant a2l consulting







Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D., Managing Director, Trial & Jury Consulting, has conducted over 400 mock trials in more than 1,000 litigation engagements over the past 20 years. Dr. Kuslansky's goal is to provide the highest level of personalized client service possible whether one's need involves a mock trial, witness preparation, jury selection or a mock exercise not involving a jury. Dr. Kuslansky can be reached at kuslansky@A2LC.com.

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