Two simple words that strike fear in the hearts of Big Firm attorneys — I mean, other than “billable hour” and “annual review” — are “business development.” The concept of business development is yet another one of those things you don’t learn in law school or during Summer Camp. And then you become a Cog at a Big Firm, and you start hearing the phrase thrown around as if you should already understand it is a crucial part of your success: “Well, we all know Jim didn’t make partner this year because of his utter lack of business development.”

What exactly is business development?

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