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The first priority of a young lawyer is to develop knowledge and skills as a lawyer, but there are actions you can take as a partner to help guide associates in the right direction for preliminary client development activities. New clients take time to ripen, but the seeds need to be planted early and watered often. The following are some things you can do to place associates on the right path.

Begin with an honest conversation about how client development efforts affect the future of the firm to give the associates motivation for an early start. Using your firm’s standards and guidelines, explain how marketing efforts affect partnership consideration, compensation and bonuses. Many associates embrace firm myths about how compensation is calculated and make assumptions based on these myths. As a partner, it is your responsibility to clear up the misunderstandings and give a truthful explanation of the process.

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