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Litigation boutique firm Hanify & King offered associates carrots instead of sticks to encourage more face time with potential clients. The Boston-based firm’s recent Passing the Bar networking competition awarded points, then prizes, for attending seminars, collecting new business cards and setting up one-on-one meetings with potential clients. The challenge, which ran from September through Jan. 15, was a fun way to expand the associates’ business development experience, said executive director Bob Perry. The firm announced winners on Feb. 5. “I wanted the associates to participate in this as to something that will help their professional careers,” Perry said. “It’s difficult to get out of the office and meet people and go to events.” All 12 associates at Hanify & King’s Boston headquarters participated. The 38-attorney firm opened its New York office in October and a Washington, D.C., outpost in March. The firm awarded one point for collecting a business card from a potential contact, three points for attending an event with multiple potential contacts and five points for having a one-on-one meeting with a contact. To keep individual attorneys’ scores confidential, Perry posted weekly rankings using the attorney’s code names, which were the names of local pubs. Business litigation associate Chris Morrison won the first prize, a weekend getaway to Cape Cod. During the challenge, Morrison collected 83 new contacts, attended 37 events and had 48 individual meetings. “Mostly it was about good habit creation,” Morrison said. “In a firm of our size, it’s important for attorneys to be active in the community. When you’re an associate, you focus on the billable hour and you [can] forget to get out in the community and be active. It’s a pretty important part of what we do how we develop professionally.” Overall, the participants made 238 new business contacts, attended 163 meetings or seminars and had 186 one-on-one meetings with potential clients. Business litigation associate Jonathan Lamb came in second place and won two tickets to a Bernadette Peters concert. Business and intellectual property associate Amanda M. Rettig ranked third and won tickets to a Boston Bruins game. For litigators, it’s important to remember that there’s a big difference between networking and marketing, and they should not come off across too eager to represent someone in a lawsuit, Morrison said. “I try to tell people ‘I hope you never have to call me, but if some of your friends have a need, keep me in mind,’ ” Morrison said. “ It’s important that people remember who we are and what we do and hopefully they’ll think of us.”

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