You can’t change behavior unless you can affect compensation.

At the end of the day, money matters. If you want to incur a long-term behavior change, a tangible incentive must be in sight. Successful business development requires diligence, strategy, and intentionality. Attorneys know that originating clients is key to their success; but if they are being rewarded on the basis of billable hours it is unlikely you will see any behavior change. We recommend that law firms offer their attorneys 20% of new originations, however that may be defined! This tangible reward will likely incur different behaviors. That old adage that “people do what is measured and rewarded” is particularly appropriate in incentivizing attorneys to engage in business development.

Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson is founder and principal of Law Practice Consultants, LLC of Newton, MA. Law Practice Consultants offers consulting, coaching and training services that help law firms respond to the challenges of today’s highly competitive legal marketplace. For more information visit
Peter Johnson

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