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When I was a Big Law associate in the early 2000s, it was still conventional wisdom that the associates’ job, almost exclusively, was to keep their heads down and produce solid work in support of firm clients and the partners. There was little, if any, expectation that associates would engage in business development activity. Developing business was something that associates could worry about later, in the year or two preceding partnership considerations, because many firm clients were institutional and work was passed down through generations.

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"Law firms are rightly afraid of having their bills challenged or, worse still, being sued by clients. They also have numerous safety related processes. These include client vetting, conflict checks, and of course training and supervision of lawyers. But the ultimate safety measure is doing the work effectively, efficiently, and transparently."

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