Client development can seem to be one of the most mystifying aspects of legal practice. That’s particularly true for younger lawyers. Law schools (usually) do not teach client-development strategies, and most firms do not prioritize client-development training, formal or otherwise, for their associates or new partners. But business development boils down to a basic principle: clients only hire lawyers that they know and trust. Earning their confidence does not happen overnight. It takes time. For young lawyers, that is good news. With long careers ahead of them, time is the one critical advantage and valuable asset that even the most senior rainmakers lack.

With the right strategies, a young lawyer can excel at business development and can build his or her own client base. The earlier in a career that a lawyer begins thinking about client development, the more opportunities that lawyer will have for building trust and confidence with potential clients.

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