Speaking Appearances: Opportunities and Goals

There are many ways that an attorney can market themselves and their firm.  Below, there are several resources on how to develop business, market your firm and sell your services.  However, one of the most effective ways to sell yourself is to allow people to know who you are and how you stand apart from other attorneys in your practice area.

If your goal is to develop business, you should be looking for opportunities to get in front of potential clients and/or others who might be in a position to refer cases to you. This can include speaking on specific areas of law; presenting on ways to solve problems (legal and pre-legal); teaching others how to develop an expertise in an area of practice, etc.

Opportunities to speak and present exist in the following places:

  • Metropolitan, local, and national bar associations
  • For-profit continuing legal education organizations
  • Non-legal trade and business associations
  • Law school classes (be a substitute for one night for an adjunct professor)
  • Community organizations such as elder centers, religious organizations, small business groups, etc.

Your target audiences are, 1) potential clients, and, 2) others (including lawyers) who can refer matters to you that they themselves cannot handle.  People will remember you and refer cases to you based upon your presentation as an expert on a particular topic. These connections can also lead to other lawyers inviting you to co-counsel on a matter given your expertise in a specific area.

Think of these speaking engagements as one-on-one networking on steroids!  You have the opportunity to talk to potentially 100+ people at once about your skills, knowledge and problem solving ideas.  The key is to remember that in every presentation you give you should provide the audience with examples of how you have solved “real” problems with your skills and knowledge.

Your goals in making speaking appearances:

  • Show others you are a knowledge expert in particular area of law
  • Show others how to solve problems in a particular area of law
  • Teach others how to become a knowledge expert
  • Answer questions
  • Connect with the audience
  • Engage the audience where appropriate
  • Impress the audience so they will hire you as their lawyer and/or refer a client, family member or a friend to you; or ask you to co-counsel in a case with them