Reducing the pain of referring loyal clients to other lawyers

20 Jun 18

From this piece on how to network with other lawyers for purposes of referring matters that are outside your wheelhouse:

As a solo attorney you can’t be all things to all people. You are just one person and only can cover so many areas of law in your practice. What happens when a client comes to you with something outside your area of expertise?

The one thing that you don’t want to do is say, “Sorry, I don’t do that. Good luck in finding someone else.”

You want to keep the client, so you do your best to refer the case to someone else. But how do you find someone who can take care of your client’s needs? And how do you know if that lawyer is any good?

One of the best ways to develop relationships with other attorneys is to do what is often hard for a lot of lawyers: Be sociable whenever you are in a crowd of attorneys. It’s not that most lawyers are anti-social, but I have observed that at CLE classes, for example, they become positively monk-like. Take the bold step of initiating conversations with those sitting next to you. If it is an all-day CLE, suggest eating lunch together.

Good tip, undoubtedly. Another, perhaps more effective, alternative exists: Redline. A lawyer's Redline posts reveal much about that lawyer's skill, ingenuity and experience.