Hi all,

Over the past 5-6 years I have worked very hard at networking and have a large number of friends and acquaintances.   

I work at a law firm and so few weeks go by when I don't see someone's name I know associated with something bad.  Of course there is quite a spectrum of bad things that happen whether it be a name in the newspaper for a crime such as DUI or a death in the family, etc.

I always reach out to friends by email or phone but I tend not to reach out to more casual/business acquaintances because I don't want to appear to be a vulture.  (He's only contacting me because he knows I need an attorney.)  

Am I being silly?




jhack's picture

Go ahead and reach out.  Unless you handle class actions, divorce, criminal defense, unemployment law, probate, estate, executive compensation, and everything other kind of law (and please tell me that you don't!) most people won't think you're trolling for work.   

And if you reach out a few times and never solicit, they'll be comfortable that you're just being a good citizen.  

John Hack

lrosen's picture
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 I think it's all in the way you make contact.  If your conversation is centered on giving them support and sympathy, then it will be clear you are not calling with an ulterior motive.  I'm sure they will appreciate the support.


asteriskrntt1's picture

Part of your job as a lawyer is to look for new business.  Nothing says you can't reach out AND if business happens, all the better. As Laura says, do the reach out first and do it sincerely.  Then if you are comfortable, let them know your services are available.

RickMeasham's picture

Reach out. Otherwise why go to all the effort to build the network?

I understand that the person could think you're soliciting, so be ready to say something like "I would love to help in any way I can, and if that means finding a lawyer better suited to your problem, I want to do that". I think the earlier you can say that you're just reaching out rather than soliciting, the better it will be.

Oh, and don't think that lawyers are the only people that have this problem! I work in managed security, so when I see someone I know who's in the newspaper with a related issue, I too need to do the reach out without sounding like I'm selling. One thing I've found works is separating yourself from your company: "I want you to know that I'm personally willing to help in any way I can, as a friend, not a salesperson".

Rick Measham

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