Building Your Practice: Client Development For Young Lawyers

SMU Dedman School of Law's Planning To Conquer The Real World Of Private Practice Conference
April 5, 2014

SMU Dedman School of Law

Saturday, April 5, 2014
Carr Collins, Jr. Hall, Godwin Gruber Lawyers Inn


10:00 AM

Welcoming Remarks -  Karen Sargent                           


10:15 AM
Starting a Law Practice                                 

Charles H. Awalt, Law Office of Charles H. Awalt

  • Considerations in leasing space
  • Leasing space, office sharing, other options
  • What do you need?
  • Hardware/software for your practice
  • What can you do without?
  • Staff‐ what can you afford?
  • Staff supervision
  • Liability insurance
  • Opening a trust account


11:00 AM

How do attorneys set their fees?                   

Walter Hofheinz, Law Office of Walter Hofheinz

Tessa Hofheinz Heinen,  Law Office of Tessa Hofheinz Heinen (2013 graduate)     

  • What type of practice/cases do you want to do?
  • Overhead expenses
  • Charging a flat fee
  • Charging an hourly fee
  • Time keeping
  • Billing


11:45 AM Break for lunch


12:00 PM
Building Your Practice: Client Development For Young Lawyers               

Michael Blachly, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Gray, Reed & McGraw

  • Why You Can't Just Hang Your Shingle and Expect Business To Come
  • Developing Your Niche
  • Building & Promoting Your Brand
  • Developing Clients & Referrals
  • Tricks in Networking
  • Tricks in Giving Presentations
  • Utilizing Social Media and the Internet
  • Creating a System to Manage Prospects & Referrals
  • Understanding What Clients Want


12:45 PM
Other Things to Consider

Elaine Lenahan, Partner, Thompson Coe

  • The initial meeting with a potential client
  • Choosing clients/Red flags
  • What should the file include?
  • Engagement letter
  • Attorney‐client contract ‐ what should it include?
  • Calendaring important dates
  • Withdrawal from representation
  • Closing the file
  • Storing closed files
  • Ethical issues
  • Qualification/experience issues


1:30 PM Q&A


2:00 PM Adjourn


Related People

Media Contacts

Michael Blachly
Director of Client Development
Phone: 214.954.4135

Madison Longust
Marketing Communications Specialist
Phone: 214.954.4135

Gray Reed Media Kit