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Tips to build your brand as a lawyer

Building your brand as a lawyer is an ongoing process that requires time and effort. Done right, it can yield significant benefits in one’s career, according to one director.

user iconEmma Musgrave 06 November 2023 Big Law
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Speaking on a recent episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Tom Balmer, director at TransPerfect, shared ways lawyers can bolster their brand and business development – and the importance of doing so in today’s competitive market.

“I think every lawyer would admit that this is probably the most difficult part of their job, or the part at least, that they like the least … I think, especially right now, as the economy is shifting and law firms are increasing their targets and bringing in new business, it’s more important than ever,” Mr Balmer explained.

“And it’s a really hard thing to do, especially for some lawyers who are either introverted or just don’t enjoy this part of their job. It’s something I love doing, but I know it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. And it’s a conversation I have a lot with my clients around how I can help them through my kind of skill set to help grow their practice as well.”


There are several ways lawyers can get better at building their brand, according to Mr Balmer.

The first step, he said, starts with asking yourself some questions that’ll help you gauge where you’re currently at in the journey and what areas you need to develop your skills further in.

“I would [ask myself]: ‘What are my strengths, and what is my brand?’” he advised.

“We all know the gregarious lawyers out there who are great at making connections, and they end up bringing in work just through the relationships that they have. But then we also know extremely hardworking and knowledgeable lawyers who can get work that way. Just through reputation, people talk. I think figuring out which one of those you are and honing in on that is really important.”

Once you’ve figured out which persona you identify with, making sure that your public image reflects it is key, Mr Balmer said.

“Having a good LinkedIn profile, making sure your firm profile on the website is up to date and has your latest cases or your latest thought leadership pieces or whatever it may be [is important],” he said.

“Making sure that if you’re Googled or your name comes up, that it’s a positive thing when the clients look at it, and they know exactly what you’re about.”

Another way to build your brand is to get involved in networking opportunities, which is even more important for the new-to-industry lawyers who may not have yet had the experience to attend in-person events due to pandemic restrictions.

“If you want to win the big work, the work that you really want, you need someone that trusts you. And if you’re not out there meeting them face to face, it’s very, very hard to win that kind of work,” Mr Balmer said.

“… I would say start with something where you feel more comfortable, where it’s a room full of people that you feel that you have a lot in common with or you can talk to about. And then just think of in your head three things that you can talk to each person about. By the time you’ve got through those three subjects, the conversation could pretty much be done, and you just LinkedIn’d and moved on.

“The biggest focus for an in-person networking event is setting a formal meeting with those that you want to continue a relationship with. It’s not about standing with someone for 25 minutes and having a conversation, which is the thing that I think people fear the most. It’s about forming a quick relationship, having a connection, realising that you can either it’s another lawyer or it’s potentially a client where you want to move that relationship forward.

“Set a meeting, set a coffee in a few weeks and build a relationship there rather than onsite investing for a long time.”

NB: This transcript has been edited slightly for publishing purposes. You can listen to the full episode here: