Skip to main content

Creating a successful alumni program for your law firm

Former employees of a firm are a great potential referral source - if you manage the relationships correctly. The business case has already been made for alumni programs, and if you're reading this you likely agree, so I will cut straight to how to ensure your alumni program is worth your effort. 
(Note: this formula is for legal marketers at smaller to mid-sized firms looking to start an alumni program. I'll post a follow up article in a few months on how to step up your alumni game once you have a basic program in place.)
  • Collaborate with your HR team to compile a list of former lawyers’ contact info. Add them to your firm’s CRM system. (If HR doesn't have these records, look to accounting, LinkedIn, and your current lawyers to help build the list.) You may want to include business services staff as well as lawyers.
  • Create an alumni communication, set the frequency, and send relevant firm announcements. Feature individual alumni in your communications. Make sure your alumni all receive your firm's holiday card as well. 
  • Consider hosting an annual alumni networking reception. If this doesn't make sense geographically, a social media group might be a better option. 
  • Assign someone (or a team) to manage the program. The campaign will involve event planning, maintaining the contact list, and reporting.
  • Define the objectives of your program, and track your results and progress accordingly. Remember this is a long game you are playing. Results won't happen overnight. An alumni program is just one tool in your marketing and business development arsenal. 
  • As with any legal marketing initiative, make sure you have support from top level management for best results. Communicate your initiative to the rest of your firm for their participation as well. Your lawyers can assist with individual efforts to keep in touch, which just might be your most important strategy. Because as we know, at the end of the day, it's all about relationships. 


Popular posts from this blog

Profile raising in South Florida: making the most of the Daily Business Review

Profile raising is an important aspect of your marketing and business development efforts. Demonstrating that you are a thought leader in your practice area - whether by writing articles or being quoted in news articles, can go a long way towards helping you stand out. There are many publications out there of course, but the focus of this post is the Daily Business Review (DBR) in South Florida.
Writing an article The DBR is an ALM publication reporting on the legal market in South Florida. An excellent opportunity for lawyers to write an article is through the DBR's Board of Contributors column. Articles should be about 800 words, and can be case-specific, about a specific area of the law, a trend, legislation affecting a particular field, or the business of law. If you have a topic to suggest, even better, as the DBR welcomes new content. You'll also need to include a 1-sentence bio and a high resolution headshot, and will be required to sign the DBR's standard rights ag…

Book Review: Accelerating Lawyer Success

What does success look like in law firms? The authors, frustrated with the abundance of anecdotal evidence and lack of empirical evidence to answer this question, set out to solve it with research. Their findings are based on studies including a comprehensive, 75-item survey completed by 343 lawyers at U.S. AmLaw 100 firms. They examine, among other things, the differences between lawyers who made partner in less than 10 years and those who didn't.
Accelerating Lawyer Success: How to Make Partner, Stay Healthy, and Flourish in a Law Firm. By Lori Berman, Heather Bock, and Juliet Aiken. 

The authors have uncovered the recipe for how to make partner in less than 10 years. In short, it involves hard work and quality work, strategic relationship building, planning, help from mentors, and a mind-set of being the master of your own fate. You gotta build relationships strategically, invest in them, and leverage them. You need goals, to make plans, and to stick to them for the most part. An…

The Science of Happiness Explained

I'm at the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans, and almost skipped the keynote session - because an hour-long talk about happiness sounded irritating. But actually I didn't want to strangle the speaker at all. 

The Happiness Professor as she is known, is Catherine Sanderson. She teaches at Amherst College and has degrees from Princeton and Stanford. She presented research from the field of positive psychology that looks at the factors that do (and do not) predict happiness, and provided practical ways that we can increase our own psychological well-being.
Things we think will make us happy, but really don’t: Money. (Note: for people worried about survival, this doesn’t apply.) But beyond that, the more of it one has, the more one wants. 
Climate. Not convinced about this one. As a person who has been living in Florida for 6 years, from Canada, I can tell you that she may have gotten this one wrong. 
Life event. In other words, when X thing happ…