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Your legal skills are no longer enough: why you need to find your 'inner rainmaker'


You probably have a vision of the type of person who generates the highest revenue in any law firm. They’re a charismatic networker who can walk down the main street of any capital city and bump into a thousand people they know. But chances are, you’re not placing yourself in that image. And that’s okay – because this image is a myth. You don’t have to be a born networker to be a ‘rainmaker’. It’s a set of learned skills.  

What is a rainmaker?

In legal services, a rainmaker is a person who brings in lots of clients or money for their firm. It’s thought the term originates from the Native American practice of dancing to create rain during times of drought.

To the outsider, the business rainmaker – much like the rain-bringing shaman figure – is seen as winning new clients as though by magic.

They use their networks to tap into non-traditional or hidden markets, and their unique skillset to improve the financial position of their organisation.

Why you need to find your rainmaker style

In today’s legal services market, it’s no longer enough to just be a good lawyer.

Lawyers today are expected to be as comfortable with sales and marketing as they are with practising law.

But, most legal services providers don’t learn these skills while getting their law degree.

‘It all comes down to selling – and a lot of people in law aren’t comfortable with this.’

Myth BUSTED: there is no one type of rainmaker

This may come as a surprise to you, but there is no one type of person or personality that makes someone a good rainmaker.

There is this whole mystique and set of beliefs around what people perceive a rainmaker to be. But there are no specific personality criteria on what makes someone more or less suited to being a rainmaker.

There is nothing inherent in what you do that can’t be learned.

Another myth BUSTED: rainmakers can be made – they’re not just born

Yes, some people have a natural ‘gift of the gab’ and are naturally suited to the art of rainmaking. But that doesn’t mean you can’t become a rainmaker yourself.

Being a rainmaker goes back to the heart of marketing, which is understanding your customer and delivering superior service. These skills can be learned and perfected.

To become a rainmaker, lawyers need the ability to:

  • Be empathetic problem solvers
  • Show authenticity and ethics
  • Take considered risks
  • Lean into change and adopt new technologies
  • Be a trusted client advisor

Find your rainmaking style

A six-week course from The College of Law, Building trusted client relationships: Strategy and practice design will help you find an authentic rainmaker style that works for you. 

It will teach you the abilities successful lawyers use to win new clients, and equip you with the tools, framework and mindset to become a trusted client advisor. 

This subject is part of the College’s newly formed Master of Legal Business. Enquire today.