Some Small Firms Find Smooth Sailing Through Turbulent Times (click on the link to read complete article online)

By Tom Adcock

[Originally published in the New York Law Journal on January 9, 2009]

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Attorney Ari Kaplan, a law firm consultant and the author of "The Opportunity Maker: Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career," said small firm attorneys should spend more time "becoming business partners" with their clients "rather than just problem solvers."

Lawyers should also consider deeper relationships with clients and the exponential value of knowing them beyond business at hand.

"A good lawyer should spend time learning about his client," said Kaplan. "What are my client's motivations? How does his business impact his industry, or his community? Does my client have aspirations beyond his particular business -- political aspirations, for instance?"

He added, "Then the good lawyer can call his client and say, 'I think you might need to meet so-and-so.' That's thinking of your client as an individual, not just a business prospect."