Someone once said that lawyers should not be judged by the size of their book of business but rather by the quality of their work. The person who said that, however, failed to get enough votes when he or she was up for partnership at The Firm. A cynic (such as myself) might say that the exact opposite is often the case.

Exhibit A for this conclusion is the lawyer at your firm (every firm has at least one) who has made it to partner despite practicing law at the sixth-grade level. Learning how things work at The Firm when it comes to business development reminds me of an old joke. It’s the one where a woman confides to a friend that she is concerned about her son because he thinks he’s a chicken. When the friend asks why she doesn’t check her son into a psychiatric hospital, the mother responds, “Because I need the eggs.” Applying this same concept at The Firm, it is a poorly kept secret that the lawyers I’m talking about are clearly not among the great legal minds of our generation. Yet no one says anything because the rest of us need them around so we can get the eggs. They are rainmakers, and they bring us legal work.