Placing Value on Your Following

6 Mar 2015

Building a C.V. that accurately shows off your skills, qualifications and talents is relatively easy, but is it the best way of convincing a prospective new employer of the value you’re going to bring to their firm?

It’s surprising how many legal professionals fail to take account of their following; the people, clients, contacts, potentials; the general market intelligence they can bring to a new firm. These relationships matter.

A good following, well presented to your prospective new employer, could well be the difference between you and another candidate. Unlike some of the intangible features of a C.V., your following could (and arguably should) have real tangible value which you can demonstrate to new employers.

Quantifying your following is the first stage of being able to present it properly to new employers. It may be that, as a senior lawyer, some of your loyal clients are going to follow you to your new firm. This is potentially the easiest element of your following to quantify.

Honestly assess the clients and the key relationships within those clients that you think will follow you and attempt to put a figure on how they will affect your fee-earning potential. As a starting point, review the last few years fee income from each client, and assess your knowledge of what they plan to do in the future. If you really have a close relationship with them then you should have some knowledge about major projects currently in the planning stage. Will you be required to help in any way? What impact will this have on your fee-earning? It’s a difficult task to complete but if you can do it and do it accurately, it’s a very powerful statistic to present to potential employers.

As with any of the values you place on your following though, and particularly when talking about the potential to earn fees, be careful not to over-promise what you can deliver. One of the keys to assessing your following is being accurate and honest; you don’t want to be faced with the situation in a few months time where both you and the potential employer are left disappointed by what has actually been achieved.

Whilst clients might be the easiest and most obvious element of your following to assess, there are other elements to place a value on. Firms will recognise, for example, the worth in the strong connection you have to an accountant you have used for several years. If you have an existing relationship with local journalists, or legal writers, then these too could be of great worth to your new firm. Staff members may have a cost associated with them, but if you plan to bring members of your team with you then the expertise they bring may well be seen as solid added value by your new firm.

Whatever your following and the value you associate with it, it is good practice to assess it before you enter an interview room. At the very least, when asked about your fee-earning potential, or whether you already have a personal assistant, your answers will be confident, assured and accurate.


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