Death to the Finder/Minder/Grinder Mentality: Why you MUST become a Rainmaker

Originally Posted on LawMarketing.com August 2013

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

 

The days of the “finder”, “minder”, “grinder” mentality in law firms needs to be eradicated. Immediately!

These oft used terms are used to describe the typical roles inhabited by an attorney in a law firm setting.

The Finder – The finder is the Rainmaker of the law firm.  This is the person who brings in new business to the firm.

The Minder – The minder wears two hats:  S/he is the attorney who manages both the client to make sure they are that the finder brings into the firm to try to ensure client satisfaction, and the manager of the grinders who will do the work for the client.

The Grinder – The grinder is the attorney who does the work.  It is almost always the thankless tasks of research, document review and writing briefs.   Often times this is a new associate who has to learn legal skills.

However, these terms are no longer viable for the law firm of the 21st century and beyond.  And while many venerable law firms still run their businesses this way, they will soon find themselves out paced by firms who are able to rid themselves of these outmoded positions and who are willing to train their attorneys to be all three.

While you may be a newbie attorney or a young associate who is learning the skills of practicing law by doing predominately grinder work, additionally you need to learn client service (the minder tasks) and rainmaking skills (finder activities) in order to make yourself  indispensable to your firm.  Remember, your grinder work can easily be replaced by legal services organizations (LSOs) or paralegals – both of whom can be billed to clients, who are seeking smaller legal bills, at a lower rate than you can be billed out at.

You must understand that whether you are a solo practitioner or a member of an AMLaw 200 firm, regardless of who signs your paychecks, you are your own boss.

Please re-read that last sentence again.

In order to take control of your legal career, you have to become the boss of your own one man company:  “You, Inc.”  and the one thing that “You, Inc.” needs more than anything else is clients.  If you are a solo practitioner, you truly understand this necessity.  No clients, no business.  No business, no law practice.

However, many attorneys who are in a law firm, toiling away as a grinder or minder, may decide that since you currently have enough work to do, you don’t need to learn the skills necessary to bring in new clientele.

Look around.  Since 2008 when the recession began, law firms have been imploding, exploding, and laying off associates and mid-manager level left and right.  The attorneys who remain have been the rainmakers.  It is also important for you to understand that no longer is there a guarantee of moving from associate to partner in a set amount of years. There is no guarantee that you will stay in the same firm without a layoff occurring once in your career.   In fact, there is no longer a guarantee that you will even have a legal job when you graduate law school.

Developing yourself into Rainmaker is the only way to have job security in a profession which Forbes now calls the “worst career decision you’ll ever make.”    Read books, find a course, class, or hire a rainmaking coach.

You can be taught the skills necessary to make you a Rainmaker and valuable to your firm.

Help me spread the word!

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