Rainmakers: Born or Bred

Rainmakers: Born or Bred is about changing the business development conversation, about understanding what makes an engaging, successful rainmaker, and what is holding lawyers back from achieving their own true potential.

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  • Publication date: October, 2017
  • Pages: 85
  • ISBN: 978-1-78358-282-2


“While rainmaking is not taught in most law schools or even in many law firms, it’s critical to success as a lawyer. Rainmakers: Born or Bred by Patricia K. Gillette is a uniquely practical guide to focusing and improving your business development skills based on the knowledge and experience of an award-winning law firm rainmaker who has studied and coached on this subject for many years as well as insights from a diverse group of law firm and legal department leaders. In an easy-to-read 74 pages, Pat breaks down the key findings from the Rainmaking study and shares the secrets to her considerable success selling legal services for 40 years"

Michelle Banks - Senior Advisor & Executive Coach, BarkerGilmore LLC

Stripping back the negative associations many lawyers have with the ‘S’ word – selling – is a crucial step in redefining a lawyers approach to business development. This book explores the benefits to stepping out of the safety net of simply being a great lawyer – which, in today’s market, is a given. Successful rainmakers know how to truly engage with clients, to understand their business needs and challenges, and how to make their lives easier. These are the skills that attract and build sustainable, rewarding client relationships.

Rainmakers: Born or Bred helps you to identify those seemingly intangible aspects of selling that many lawyers think are unachievable, and provides you with practical ideas to implement as you set out on your journey to improve your business development skills. Packed with opinions and advice from actual clients and rainmakers alike, it will help you to make the most of the business development opportunities that present themselves every day – while staying true to your own personality.


Executive summary


Chapter 1: Business development? Who needs it?

Chapter 2: Getting comfortable with the ‘S’ word

Chapter 3: The first ‘R’ of business development

  • Building a reputation in your first few years
  • Building your reputation as you advance in your career

Chapter 4: Once potential clients know who you are, what comes next?

Chapter 5: Engagement – The art of active listening

  • Active listening for a formal pitch
  • Active listening in casual interactions
  • Making the connection
  • Doing things that you like to do as ‘client development’

Chapter 6: Dominance

  • Know the business of your client
  • Think like a lawyer, but don’t talk like one

Chapter 7: Motivation

Chapter 8: Risk taking

  • Become fearless
  • The hard part
  • The easier part

Chapter 9: Having the skills is one thing; finding the business is another

  • The low hanging fruit: Existing clients
  • Friends who can give out business
  • Taking the never out of networking
  • Cold calls can work, sometimes

Chapter 10: And if you don’t believe me…

Download chapters


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.

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