04. Deborah Farone: Business development 101 — an introduction for law students and junior associates


Business development isn’t exactly a part of the typical law school curriculum. Yet, it is a key skill for senior lawyers and “rainmakers.”

In today’s episode, we speak to Deborah Farone, author of “Best Practices in Law Firm Business Development and Marketing” and the former Chief Marketing Officer at both Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Debevoise & Plimpton. We discuss topics including: what law firm business development and marketing teams actually do, what makes a great rainmaker, what an RFP is, the “zippering effect,” and what are some of the skills we can be building now as law students.

Some takeaways include: 
  • A law firm’s strategy generally falls under two buckets: (1) growth or (2) gaining or changing visibility. Event marketing, public relations, writing newsletters, blogs or client memos, social media and so on can then be understood as tactics to achieve those goals.
  • The challenges that legal marketers face in 2020 generally track the challenges that lawyers face in today’s changing legal ecosystem. For example, the advent of legal operations and the outsourcing of legal services. 
  • Pitching business together is a great strategy, as it’s much easier to talk about someone else and their merits rather than talking about your own. This is a sign of a good, collaborative firm.
This is a tiny fraction of the helpful, substantive content that Deborah shared with us this episode, so be sure to listen to the entire episode.

Click here to listen now!


Accessibility. Prefer to read? Download our Podcast Transcript at this link.