Sanford Michelman

Sanford Michelman Featured in Law360’s Rainmaker Series

From Law360:

Q: What skill was most important for you in becoming a rainmaker?

A: Diligence is the most important skill that an attorney can bring to bear when engaging with and serving a client. One must be diligent in learning the legal issues facing potential clients, as well as understanding their underlying business objectives and where they sit within the industry in which they operate. Immersion in our clients’ industries, which requires developing an intimate understanding of the challenges and opportunities presented within each sector, enables my team to provide legal advice in support of our clients’ business goals. Collaborating with our clients, we use our extensive knowledge of the law, industry insight and comprehensive research to develop effective strategies and solutions.

Q: How do you prepare a pitch for a potential new client?

A: Too many attorneys, and firms, focus on the legal issues alone when executing a pitch. They assume that if the potential client perceives the lawyer as a legal expert, they are likely to get the business. This approach seems incomplete. Clients want counsel who thoroughly understands their business and who, because of industry expertise, will be able to carefully anticipate how each transaction or litigation will play out over time. Performing a deep dive into a company’s business model and industry segment in advance of a pitch will help win business.

Q: Share an example of a time when landing a client was especially difficult, and how you handled it.

A: In my experience, it is most “difficult” to land a client where multiple firms are pitching for the client’s business, and those firms continuously cut their proposed budgets to secure the work. We painstakingly set our budgets and thus generally do not play this game in order to chase business. Either we are the right fit, or we are not.

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