Business Development for Women Lawyers

Developing successful, authentic, out-of-the-box business development strategies in a largely male-dominated profession.

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  • Publication date: August, 2018
  • Pages: 100
  • ISBN: 978-1-78358-346-1


Research suggests that there are gender differences in business development. Regardless of industry, women tend to develop relationships for the intrinsic value of those relationships, while men do so for the potential yield those relationships may bring. Men approach prospects with the goal of obtaining business, whilst women’s goal is to build ties. A gross generalization? Maybe. But the fact is, there are still far more men in partnership and leadership roles than women, and business development – the people you know, your order book, and your ranking within an organization – is key to that.

The book features multiple contributions from women across the globe, looking at the skills and techniques, experiences and talents that female lawyers use to develop their practices and grow their order books, acting as both inspiration and motivation to its readers.

Developing successful, authentic, out-of-the-box business development strategies in a largely male-dominated profession is a challenge for many women lawyers. Where many senior partners have developed
business by playing golf or taking their clients for cigars and steaks, women need to find a different way to develop business based upon their own personal interests and strengths.


Executive summary

About the author

Chapter 1: Developing successful, authentic, out-of-the-box business development strategies
By Audra Dial, managing partner, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Chapter 2: The power of empathy in legal practice
By Nika Kabiri, VP, Lux Insights

Chapter 3: Advancement and empowerment of women lawyers – taking the credit
By Natasha Innocenti, partner, MLegal Group

Chapter 4: Female-friendly networking – the power of social media
By Belinda Lester, LionsHead Law

Chapter 5: Building reputations and relationships
By Patricia Gillette

Chapter 6: Systematic networking: effectively leveraging your network
By Debbie Epstein Henry, DEH

Chapter 7: Helping women lawyers overcome their blocks about marketing
By Rachel Brushfi eld, The Talent Liberator, Energise Legal

Chapter 8: Case study – building a boutique law firm
By Pam Loch, managing director, Loch Associates

Chapter 9: Technology – an underrepresented field for women?
By Joanne Frears, Poise Law

Chapter 10: Steps to build your practice and be a successful rainmaker
By Susan Duncan, founder and president, Rainmaking Oasis

Full Overview


Patricia K. Gillette
Patricia K. Gillette is one of the country’s leading experts and most sought-after speakers on gender diversity and equality. She was a top-rated employment lawyer and litigator for 40 years as well as a major rainmaker in her firms. In 2015 she resigned as a law firm partner to pursue her passion for changing the legal profession as an author and keynote speaker. Patricia was also invited to join JAMS and now spends some of her time mediating employment-related cases.
Audra A. Dial
Audra Dial is the managing partner for Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP’s Atlanta office. Audra is an experienced litigator practicing in the firm’s nationally recognized Patent Litigation Team, in addition to handling complex commercial litigation involving technology. She focuses her practice on complex federal court litigation involving trade secrets, patent disputes, restrictive employment covenants, and complex business disputes involving intellectual property. Audra has obtained favorable verdicts in many high-profile intellectual property disputes, including on behalf of several Fortune 500 companies. She has represented companies whose intellectual property was misused both domestically and abroad.    
Nika Kabiri
Nika Kabiri is an expert on consumer research and insights, especially in the legal space. For more than three years, Nika has led a wide range of strategic studies to better understand legal consumers – who they are, what they need, and how lawyers might be helping or failing them. Nika is currently VP at Lux Insights, a market and consumer insights firm specializing in social and consumer behavior.
Natasha Innocenti
Natasha Innocenti is a partner of Mlegal Group, Inc. Natasha has over 20 years of experience in placing successful law firm partners across most practice areas and has helped open California offices for nine AmLaw 100 and 200 law firms. While her practice is not restricted to the Bay Area, her extensive experience in the region has enabled her to gain expertise in technology and life sciences related practices. She also regularly represents groups and understands how to advocate for groups practicing together.
Belinda Lester
Since qualifying as a solicitor in 1999, Belinda Lester has worked exclusively in the area of employment law and is a member of the Employment Lawyers’ Association. Belinda is frequently commended by her clients for being clear, concise, practical and solution-focused whilst at the same time being empathetic and supportive. Although Belinda has expertise in all areas of employment law, whether that be in relation to contentious matters or simply advising or drafting, her real passion lies in dispute resolution and her background in psychology, which she studied at university before converting to law, assists in this area.
Debbie Epstein Henry
Founder of DEH Consulting, Speaking, Writing, and internationally recognized expert, consultant, best-selling author and public speaker on careers, workplaces, women, and the law. 
Rachel Brushfield
Rachel Brushfield is founder of EnergiseLegal and Energise – The Talent Liberation Company. She has written numerous articles for the legal profession, including for Managing Partner magazine. She is a certified neuro linguistic programming (NLP) coach with a background in marketing, brand strategy, and communication. Rachel works with clients such as Mayer Brown, Field Fisher Waterhouse, and Clifford Chance, and Energise is an official partner of The Telegraph Media Group. She is passionate about liberating talent, helping professionals to realise their full potential, and working with firms and companies to enable this to happen. Rachel is the creator of business development and career clarity content to support people to skill-up time and cost effectively, and achieve both career fulfilment and business success. Please visit the EnergiseLegal website for more information.
Susan Saltonstall Duncan
Founder and president of RainMaking Oasis Inc., a business development and management consulting firm.
Pam Loch
Pam Loch, managing director, Loch Associates - When Pam Loch first founded Loch Associates Group in 2007, she saw it as an opportunity to support businesses with quality employment law advice and HR support running alongside each other. Leaving behind a successful career, Pam knew that SMEs often struggled to get access to the level of support they needed to effectively manage their staff. Pam wanted to provide this support for them. As the business developed she realized that there were wider opportunities to provide organizations with solutions to help them manage and look after their people.
Joanne Frears
One of the first women solicitors in the City to specialize in advising technology businesses on IT law, Joanne Frears, solicitor and leader in IP and technology law, Lionshead Law, has been advising on technology law and commercialization of IP for over 20 years. Providing advice and strategy on IP, exploitation, commercialization and defense, she has particular expertise in law for AI, AR and VR, Blockchain, cybersecurity and defense of patents against trolls. She also has an academic interest in emerging technology and how the law deals with everything innovative. Joanne is a member of the Accord Project (participating in the IP and Technology Working Groups) and is legal counsel to the British Blockchain Association and the IBA and holds a Masters in comparative EU, UK, and US IP law.

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