The findings of the survey by search firm Major, Lindsey & Africa and ALM Legal Intelligence are unambiguous: Those who bring in new business earn the highest compensation. They might even be billing fewer hours than those who have more billable hours but aren't the source of new business. Here is that 116-page 2012 report.
This is not a surprise in an industry where demand is essentially flat. Overall, partner compensation has risen 6.4% during the past two years. However equity partners who were rainmakers made the most. Among those losing ground have been women partners. This is not a new issue. For years there have been career-oriented articles about how female partners have to learn to identify business opportunities and then go after them. They might find it difficult to shift from the role of worker bee to developing deals and closing on those sales.
In his new book "Inside Straight" Aon's counsel Mark Herrmann has a useful section on rainmaking. The value he provides is that he's been on both sides - being the law firm and now being a possible client. One tactic he advocates is the well-done special event. That's increasingly the way to do it for developing new business, across all industries, as well as generating buzz.
Along the Northeast Corridor, Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, is receiving more requests from both large and small businesses on how they could put together a special event which serves multiple purposes. Those range from attracting the right constituencies to attend to nailing down mainstream media attention. In addition, the special event can be live-blogged and tweeted. As the DNC proved out, tweeting dominates as the tool for influence. Sirignano's how-to on media relations in general will be published in PR NEWS.