This week we have been discussing the role of entrepreneurialism in law firms. The two may seem unconnected at first and it’s easy to forget that law firms are after all businesses, as dependent on profits as any other enterprising set up. So how do firms nurture business development and encourage entrepreneurialism?

Rather than cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit amongst their up-and-coming lawyers, most firms show a preference for recruiting specialists when it comes to business development. During the downturn the majority of firms saw their billable fees fall significantly, prompting investment in client relationship managers, new business development managers and marketing managers. Is this the best way for firms the achieve growth or could lawyers themselves play a bigger part in winning new clients? Some would argue that their time is better spent on client work but high demand for business development managers, particularly those with a legal background, has been pushing salaries up, indicating that this may not always be the most economical strategy for growth.

We’re not sure which option will offer the best return in the long run; the only certainty is that firms must foster growth if they are to survive.