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Most companies already have outside lawyers in my practice area

Most companies above a certain size already have outside lawyers with your expertise, but it doesn't have to be a significant barrier to getting business from them. You're probably in the habit of identifying yourself with some type of legal-service descriptive noun such as "litigator," or "employment lawyer," or such. That makes you look like dozens, maybe hundreds, of other lawyers who use the same terms. Here's how to change that.

I meet people and collect business cards at events, but nothing ever comes of it

If you collect business cards at networking events, but rarely turn them into business, it's because you're trying to meet as many people as possible. Instead, know exactly what you're looking for, and filter those you meet quickly. With a single question, you can determine whether or not to invest any time at all with them. Here's what to do to get the most out of the time you spend.

My firm requires me to attend networking events, which always make me uncomfortable.

If you're uncomfortable at networking events, you're not alone. Lots of people, not just lawyers, feel that way. A lot of it's due to not knowing what to do, and worrying that you'll either look foolish or spend the entire night standing around alone. The good news is that almost everyone else at the event feels the same way to one degree or another. Here's how to get the most out of time invested at these events.