How to Be a Rainmaker: 5 Cold Hard Truths (and Tips)

By Betty Wang, JD on August 16, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

How does one become a rainmaker? Because let's not kid ourselves, some of us went to law school with only one goal in mind: to make it rain.

Of course not all of us did, but for those of you who are upfront about your desires to practice law while raking in the dough, remember that it still takes work.

So with that said, here are five truths about being a successful rainmaker:

  1. You are a salesperson. One thing they don't always teach in law school is how to sharpen your salesperson skills. Whether you're a solo practitioner or working in BigLaw, your job already likely entails a bit of salesmanship. But becoming a rainmaking is a whole 'nother story. It involves the art of selling yourself and your product (the law, in this case) in a sometimes more direct method, in a variety of situations.
  2. Rainmaking is a business. Rainmaking is quite different from practicing law, and will often require you to tap into your inner business person when looking out for certain partnerships to forge. But don't treat that too loosely, as the ABA wouldn't be too pleased if you decided to partner up with your client in a business transaction without knowing the rules first.
  3. You'll need to keep your rainmaking game-face on. At all times. Much like a business person's mind works, there are rainmaking opportunities everywhere, from the golf course to your neighbor's annoying monthly potlucks that you feel obligated to drop in on.
  4. Networking should be second nature. Similar to keeping your eye out for rainmaking opportunities, networking with lawyers should still be at the top of your list. Like it was in law school, like it is now, and like it always will be, networking is crucial for most prospective rainmakers. Check out these pratical tips to help you out.
  5. It's not for everyone. Rainmaking, unlike what rap videos may depict, is not all glam with an effortless cool attitude. Rainmaking requires creating a pretty significant amount of new business for your firm, which requires a certain skillset. For business-oriented, more extroverted types, this may come more easily. Lawyer introverts, however, may feel differently.

Rest assured, though, that even if you can't keep up with this lifestyle, being a successful attorney might still suit you just fine.

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