Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 9

DON B. SCOTT

O

ur industry, like most, looks nothing like it did
thirty, twenty, or even ten years ago. A blinding
flash of the obvious I suppose. What defines "our
industry" has changed dramatically too. There was a
time not so long ago when a lawyer only had to master
one market channel, one association and one relatively
small network to find success and have a thriving
commercial practice.

The game has changed.
Developing new approaches
and tactics is essential for
a commercial attorney to
survive and grow.
Referring to our business as that of a "law list"
publisher doesn't really describe what we do anymore
either. Our "list" is utilized mostly on a website, through
email inquiries and little resembles the business we were
in a short time ago.
Our core business is helping creditors' rights
attorneys succeed. Much of what we do is working
with our lawyer clients to help them find the way to
new business and growth. The conversations we have
with our member firms are give and take. We learn
from each interaction while we strive to add value for
our firms. The path to success is different for every
firm and in every market, but some of the themes are
universal. Understanding your strengths and your skill
set, and then building on them is essential to success.
Your marketing strategy must continue to adapt to new
realities.
Attorney Ted Hamilton of Wetherington, Hamilton,
P.A. in Tampa said their creditors' rights and collection
specialty positioned them to add a practice group in
Homeowner Association or HOA, services when the
opportunity presented itself. Their work in collections
and enforcement is a much-needed service to these
clients and they were able to leverage this specialty into
a burgeoning new segment for their firm, which has
grown to seven lawyers.
Wetherington, Hamilton's expansion into HOA, is
a great example of the advice legal marketing guru
Steven Fairley of the Rainmaker Institute gives: "The
most effective way to grow your firm is to market like a
specialist and practice like a generalist. To the outside

world, you want your practice to be highly specialized,
but once a person signs on as a new client, you
immediately want to educate them on all the other ways
your firm can help them with their legal issues (practice
like a generalist)."
Many lawyers see their collections practice as
drawing clients and forwarders from across the country
but fail to see the potential in their local market. A few
firms have had success marketing their niche collections
practice to other law firms in their local market. Our
experience tells us that less than ten percent of lawyers
will handle a collections or enforcement case, and
even fewer will handle the work on a contingent fee
arrangement.

Connecting with law firms in your
local market could take the form
of helping collect for their clients,
or even helping them collect fees
from their clients.
If your peers recognize you for your specialty it
can prove to be a source of lucrative referrals and
relationships.
Expanding into related complementary specialties
can be done organically as opportunities present
themselves, but it can also be done through acquisition.
Twenty-five years ago, third-generation CLLA lawyer
Buck Lloyd of Lloyd and McDaniel did just that. Seeing
many opportunities that his commercial collections
practice presented for an expanded practice in hourly
bankruptcy and commercial workouts, he connected
with bankruptcy attorney Mike Broderick and brought
him in as a partner to establish a new practice area for
the firm, which accelerated the firm's growth trajectory.
Keep talking to those who can spread the word for
you. Jack Canfield, the wildly successful creator of the
"Chicken Soup for the Soul" series of books, said when
he was getting his business off the ground he made it a
point to tell his story five times a day. Using your friends
and associates as a force multiplier is never a bad idea.
Don't be bashful telling others what you do and who you
can help.
Make sure that you take the time to talk to the people
who you know in your networks (a.k.a. "law lists") about
- Continued on page 12

CLLA.ORG

9


http://www.CLLA.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017

Contents
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - Cover1
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - Cover2
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - Contents
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 2
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 3
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 4
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 5
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 6
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 7
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 8
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 9
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 10
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 11
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 12
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 13
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 14
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 15
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 16
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 17
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 18
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 19
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 20
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 21
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 22
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 23
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 24
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 25
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 26
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 27
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - 28
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - Cover3
Commercial Law World - Issue 4, 2017 - Cover4
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