24 May How to Leverage Networking to Strengthen Your Bankruptcy Law Firm
5 Networking Groups You Should Consider Joining and How to Use Them
Networking is a proven method to build relationships of trust with other businesses. By growing and strengthening your network of individuals and businesses that you know and trust, you can establish mutually beneficial relationships that can help you strengthen your law firm.
Great Networking Groups to Join
Networking is easier than you think. You just have to join in and get involved. There are plenty of organizations dedicated for networking purposes. You can network with other bankruptcy attorneys, attorneys that practice other fields than bankruptcy, and businesses in other industries and areas.
There are countless groups dedicated to many causes that you can join. These 5 are a great place to start with your networking goals.
- Chamber of Commerce: Can be local, statewide, or regional. A wide variety of local businesses are members, with a dedicated board of directors that sets policy and plans events. Not a governmental body. Meetings include business training, presentations, and opportunities to meet other businesses.
- BNI(Business Networking Institute): In 42 countries and with over 139,000 members, founded in 1985 for “building powerful referral networks.” BNI is divided into local chapters (currently over 6,866 chapters) with one person per occupational classification in each group. Fees include a membership fee and event fee. Weekly networking meetings, speaking events, and tradeshows.
- ABI(American Bankruptcy Institute): Founded in 1982, the ABI is “dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency.” Over 13,000 attorneys, auctioneers, bankers, judges, lenders, professors, accountants, and bankruptcy professionals. A great medium for exchanging ideas and information. Engages in research and educational activities. Publicizes research and hosts frequent educational and CLE/CPE events around the country.
- ABA(American Bar Association): Founded in 1878, the ABA has over 400,000 members. Its goal is “supporting the legal profession with practical resources for legal professionals while improving the administration of justice, accrediting law schools, establishing model ethical codes, and more.” Each year, the ABA hosts over 3,200 hours of CLE and over 800 in-person events around the world. The ABA publishes over 1,000 books, magazines, and journals, while hosting over 1,000 online forums as well. The sell a host of eBooks on a variety of legal topics to help you run your law practice.
- NACBA(National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys): Founded in 1992, the NACBA has over 4,000 members in all 50 states. Dedicated to serving the needs of consumer bankruptcy attorneys and protecting the rights of consumer debtors in bankruptcy. Members can attend the Annual Convention and gain CLE hours. They also have access to the NACBA directory for networking purposes and can use NACBA legal research and monthly newsletter.
You should also consider joining various community organizations (such as Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Club, etc) dedicated to service in your area.
Ways to Leverage Networking Groups
Networking is a win-win scenario when you give some and receive some. By finding a good balance of giving and receiving, you will avoid burning bridges and create strong relationships.
Ways to give and contribute:
- Offer your advice
- Share ideas and insights
- Offer pro bono service or barter your services
- Give referrals to other attorneys and businesses
- Refer individuals in your network to other individuals in your network that could benefit from meeting one another
Ways to get and receive:
- Get advice from others
- Use shared ideas and insights
- Receive services from another (Ex: a logo design) in exchange for your services (Ex: legal help)
- Get referrals
- Meet new individuals with skills and abilities that you need