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What to Look for in a Rainmaker

Apr 25, 2017 | Law Firm Clients, News

Every firm needs great rainmakers. They are savvy in business and excellent at client development which keeps everyone busy doing what they do best. Ultimately, the rainmakers are the influencers of profitability for a law firm. Here are a few tips on what to look for in a candidate so you can land the rainmaker your firm needs.

A Pattern of Success

First, look for a pattern of success in your candidate’s experience. It’s important for a candidate to show mastery in their law career, so look for awards achieved in their professional life. You can also look for evidence that the candidate created new business for past firms or in a past sales position. Do they include sales metrics in their resume? Having data to back up their success goes a long way towards proving their ability to be a good rainmaker.

The Importance of Networking

Next, look to see if they are successful at networking or have a natural tendency toward being an extrovert. Evidence of a candidate’s proclivity for networking can show that building business is a natural part of their personality. Networking does not have to be external to the firm as some the best networkers tap the networks of their colleagues.

Competitiveness & Resilience

Additionally, competitiveness and resilience are important traits to look for, and they often go hand in hand. People who are good competitors also know how to bounce back from adversity. Involvement in athletics can be an excellent indicator of a candidate’s ability to compete with others and rise to the top. In addition, observe if the candidate was competitive academically. Healthy competition is needed as a driving force for a successful rainmaker. Look for resilience by asking your candidate about professional challenges they have faced. How did they overcome those challenges? Resilience, flexibility, and perseverance are needed to sell services and build relationships when much of a rainmaker’s time involves negotiating through pushback and rejection.


Finally, an important thing to look for in candidates is additional service experience. Do they have professional experience prior to their law career? Have they worked in a service job or sales position? An important part of being a rainmaker includes anticipating the needs of clients – and solving their problems. Service and sales jobs build the kind of skills professionals will need to perform at a high level in business development. When an attorney has been trained in sales or client service and they have been able to interact with hundreds or thousands of customers, they gain a unique perspective and are able to empathize with clients to solve their legal problems.

So, as you speak with candidates in your search for the great rainmaker be sure to examine their history of success. Assess their experience competing with others, and coping with and bouncing back from adversity. Look for someone who’s a natural at networking. And lastly make sure they have some experience in sales or service. All of this helps reveal their skills as a powerful attorney who can excel at business development, driving growth and success for your firm.

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