You want to be a “rainmaker.” Rainmaking is the practice of generating business for yourself as an attorney, and creating opportunities to further your legal career. In today’s legal market, forming connections with people is vital. This book, “The Opportunity Maker” by Ari L. Kaplan, is a great tool to help you find ways to create and maintain these connections.
For a quick synopsis about the importance of rainmaking, the first chapter of this book gives a great summary. As the book discusses, lawyers that are rainmakers are truly irreplaceable in their legal positions because they actually generate business for their firm, rather than just working on cases that have been brought in by other attorneys. Further, the relationships that they create with clients provides future business both from that client, as well as referrals from the client.
One of the things I really like about this book is that it is divided into 17 chapters, and each chapter is subdivided into sections. This makes it very easy to find portions of the book that you are interested in, if you do not have time to read the entire book.
The majority of the chapters in the book discuss various ways that attorneys can create valuable relationships with others, including finding a mentor, networking and self-promotion, or even creating a breakfast or book club. This resource also has a number of great suggestions of ways to get your name out in the legal world. One of these suggestions is to create a blog or write for an existing blog as a great way to be able to discuss a topic you are interested in and show off your writing skills. There are even “traffic tricks” about how to make your blog more popular.
Finally, one of my favorite chapters discusses the importance of giving back to people whom you have formed valuable relationships with, as well as the community. The author explains that “. . . one of the hallmarks of success and a common signature among rainmakers is not only that they are genuinely considerate human beings, but also that they proactively think of others.” Remembering peoples’ birthdays or volunteering in the community are great ways to show your appreciation to those who have helped you in the past or may help you in the future.
Creating opportunities for yourself to form relationships with others is an important part of your legal career, and this book suggests many great methods for meeting and getting to know people. If you are looking for more ways to expand your network, this is a great resource to check out! The bookcase in the Career Development Office has this book and many other valuable reads.