Question of the Week

Does wining and dining clients get you work?


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This month’s ABA Journal shares 50 simple ways you can market your practice—and most tips are fairly simple and low-cost.

But earlier this month at Above the Law, Aon VP and Chief Litigation Counsel Mark Herrmann noted that many lawyers and firms spend quite a bit of cash on client entertainment—and he wonders who, exactly, is getting clients that way.

“I certainly treated clients to dinners and sporting events in my day, but none of those clients (or prospects) ever hired me in return for that entertainment,” Herrmann wrote. “I didn’t expect them to, and I’d be terribly disappointed in them if they did. My having treated a guy to a dinner doesn’t make me the best lawyer to handle his case, and he’d be nuts to hire me because the caviar was beluga.”

And now that Herrmann is in-house, he doesn’t hire lawyers just because they wined and dined him. And he often receives unhappy emails from hopeful lawyers who weren’t hired after buying him lunch.

So this week, we’d like to ask you: Does wining and dining clients get you work? Or do you find simpler, cheaper ways of marketing to be more effective?

Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: Have you ever been dressed down for your work attire choices? Was the criticism fair?

Featured answer:

Posted by Kelley: “While in college, I landed my first professional job at the Maryland State Senate. My father took me work clothes shopping as a gift. I found a beautiful grey wool skirt, and asked my father if the length was appropriate for work. He said it was. The first time I wore it, my supervisor pulled me aside to tell me my skirt was too short. So much for dad-approved!”

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