How do I get people to know that I exist? (Part One – word of mouth)

This is pretty much the main question.  (I would have said the $64 Question, except that TV show went off the air before I was born and $64 is not that much money anymore.  The show was eventually changed to the $64,000 Question, which is a more attractive figure, but I digress.)

I have a lot to offer, and I know that there are overworked attorneys out there who need my help.  How do we connect?  Let’s start with the tried-and-true, pre-Internet advice.

I was lucky in that I had spent my entire working career in one city, with a relatively small and very collegial bar association.  I had been active in the State Bar, serving on committees, and also in the defense bar.  So I knew a fair number of lawyers.

My first contract job, though, came from a conversation with a paralegal from another law firm; we met at the camera store, back when one actually dropped off film to be developed.  When she learned that I was a contract lawyer, she excitedly said I should talk to her husband, a lawyer who would be leaving on sabbatical in a few months.  I met with that lawyer, he was happy to have me cover his desk during his absence, and my new venture was launched.

Your take-away?  Talk to people.  Tell every lawyer you know that you are doing contract work.  Consider asking lawyers to meet you for coffee to help you figure out what would make your offer attractive to them.