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					     Solo & Starting                   Démarrer et durer



 PROFILE                                         Brad Popovich went from law school graduate to inter-
                                                 national criminal justice reformer in less than a year.

                                                                               that eventually landed him in Calgary when he was 23. So when he
                                                                               was approached by the U.N. International Crime Prevention Pro-

      “box with a few
      a
        I was given                                                            gram, which was looking for someone to go to Bosnia to help resus-
                                                                               citate its criminal justice system, it wasn’t a difficult decision.
                                                                                   Within days, Popovich was opening an office in the Bosnian
      U.S. statutes,                                                           town of Banja Luka. “I was given a box with a few U.S. statutes,
                                                                               some notepads and a telephone. That was it,” he says. “I was 28. It
      some notepads                                                            was my first real job.”
      and a telephone.                                                             And what a job. Within days of opening his office, he was meet-
      That was it.
                      ”                                                        ing with Bosnia’s top judges to plan major, system-wide reform.
                                                                               Bosnia’s prosecutors, prison officials and court administrators were
                                                                               immediately receptive, eagerly attending seminars on juvenile jus-
                                                                               tice, domestic violence and prison reform. “The forums led to
                                                                               changes in their legislation which were ratified by their Parlia-
                                                                               ment,” Popovich says.
                                                                                   His agency was also the first
                                                                               to address corruption within the
                                                                               system, and he helped lead the
                                                                                                                      Astuces
                                                                                                                      Quelques conseils pour
                                                                               computerization of much of the
                                                                               Serb Republic’s court system.          mieux « vendre » vos
                                                                                                                      services.

 M
            ost new law graduates find a nice quiet articling position             Popovich’s tenure in Bosnia
            somewhere. Not Brad Popovich. A mere six months after              ended in November 1999. He                     ctivité incontournable pour
            getting his LL.B., the Calgary lawyer was the point man
 for a United Nations project to reform the criminal justice system
 of the Serb Republic of Bosnia.
     “I was looking for articles, but I was also looking for opportuni-
                                                                               returned to Canada, articled,
                                                                               and now practises criminal law
                                                                               in Calgary. But his interest in
                                                                               world affairs remains: he has
                                                                                                                      A       tout nouveau juriste en pra-
                                                                                                                              tique privée, la prospection
                                                                                                                      efficace de clientèle exige doigté,
                                                                                                                      empathie et efforts. Heureusement,
 ties abroad,” he recalls. So he applied for and received a six-month          started a consulting business on       cela s’apprend. Les experts s’en-
 internship at the United Nations International Trade Law Branch in            the side, “to help corporations        tendent notamment sur ce qui suit.
 Vienna. But at the same time, farther south in Europe, Yugoslavia             and governments provide ser-           • N’essayez même pas d’en savoir
 was dissolving in the horror of ethnic warfare.                               vices to developing nations,           plus au téléphone; provoquez plutôt
     Yugoslavia’s plight was of more than academic interest to Popo-           particularly through partner-          une rencontre.
 vich — he was born there, though his Serbian parents moved to                 ship projects with the U.N.”           • Établissez une relation de
 Germany when he was six months old, the first of a series of moves            Not bad for an encore. N               confiance en questionnant votre
                                                                                                                      prospect pour cerner ses besoins.
                                                                                                                      Écoutez, écoutez, écoutez, puis résu-
                                                                                                                      mez et paraphrasez ses dires pour

 Small-Firm Seminars                                                           4. Send out formal letters of
                                                                               invitation with an RSVP request,
                                                                               and follow up with a phone call to
                                                                                                                      bien montrer votre compréhension.
                                                                                                                      • Évitez l’approche généraliste du
                                                                                                                      genre « Ce qui fait notre force… »
 How to host a client gathering on a budget                                                                           et adoptez une approche personna-
                                                                               ensure the letter arrived and see if
                                                                                                                      lisée : « Si j’étais à votre place, je
         arge firms often host client seminars, inviting cor-                  the client is interested.


 L       porate clients’ CEOs or general counsel over for a
         series of presentations on an evolving area of law
 that matters to their industry. It’s usually a pretty swishy
                                                                               5. Stock your meeting room with
                                                                               refreshments and comfortable
                                                                               chairs. If the crowd is too large,
                                                                                                                      considérerais sérieusement de… »
                                                                                                                      • Adoptez une attitude de conseil
                                                                                                                      « holistique » et voyez au-delà de
                                                                                                                      ce qu’on veut bien vous dire.
 deal, Perrier water and gourmet cookies and whatnot served                    consider breaking them into small-     • Ce qui compte aux yeux du client
 in a state-of-the-art boardroom.                                              er groups, or borrowing or renting a   potentiel, c’est comment vos solu-
    So how can sole practitioners and small-firm lawyers pull off              local facility.                        tions, vos idées, votre plan d’action
                                                                               6. Provide written materials clients   s’adaptent à lui, à ses besoins, à
 these kinds of marketing events? Here are seven suggestions.
                                                                               can take home with them. Con-          ses aspirations.
                                                                                                                      • Abordez de front la question de
                                                                               sider offering your presentation
                                                                                                                      votre rémunération. Soyez prêt à
 1. Choose a topic that matters to     Avoid weekends, and try not to          and materials on disk or CD-ROM,
                                                                                                                      en discuter franchement et à met-
 your clients — buying and selling a   conflict with a local event like a      and post them on your Website.         tre votre entente par écrit.
 home, making out a will, doing        school concert or hockey game.          7. Make sure your clients know         • Terminez toujours l’entretien
 smart tax planning, starting a        3. Consider a lunchtime seminar, or     this is absolutely free. No charge,    avec une question ouverte :
                                                                                                                                                                JAZHART STUDIOS




 business, planning affairs preven-    maybe one right after work or after     no strings attached, nothing but       « Y a-t-il autre chose dont nous
 tively, etc.                          dinner, so as not to conflict with      their lawyer offering a service to     devrions parler pendant que nous
 2. Choose a convenient date.          work, day-care or family obligations.   loyal clients. N                       sommes ensemble? » N


14                                                                       NATIONAL                                                    MARCH   /   APRIL   2003
                     Solo & Starting                       Démarrer et durer


                      Network news
                      Turning the “networking” buzzword into actual clients

                    “
                        N
                               etworking” probably conjures up images of gladhanding your
                               way through a cocktail party, or leading with your business
                               card wherever you go. While that might be some people’s pre-
                    ferred route, it doesn’t have to be yours. Networking is most effective
                    when it’s done in a manner that makes you comfortable.
                        There are three basic categories of networking for lawyers.

                    Social networks involve friends and family, leisure pursuits or commu-
                    nity or religious affiliations. Here, your own personality plays a greater
                    role than your professional status: most people in this area know who
                    you are and what you do. All you have to do is tell them you’re available
                                                                                                  Grading
                    and able to assist them with legal matters.                                           the
                        Hint: Take an interest in what they do, because people appreciate a
                    lawyer who cares about what matters to them.

                    Legal networks involve your colleagues in the profession. There’s no
                                                                                                 Profs                           A rating Website allows law
                                                                                                                                 students to tell the world
                                                                                                                                 about their instructors.

                    better or easier place to start than with CBA Branch and National

                                                                                                 E
                                                                                                         ver walk out of a law       UNB Law Prof Karl Dore also
                    Sections, which allow you to meet and interact with peers in your prac-              school course and decide    scores a happy face, described as
                    tice areas who can become sources of future referrals.                               it was your new goal in     a “great guy, loves the subject
                        Hint: Don’t forget about the CBA’s General Practice, Solo & Small-Firm   life to make sure nobody sits       matter and the students — take
                    Lawyers’ Conference, and, if applicable, the Young Lawyers’ Conference.      through that professor’s lec-       him if you can!” And future stu-
                                                                                                 tures again? More likely, did       dents of highly rated University
                    Professional networks include clubs, organizations and interest groups
                                                                                                 you have a fantastic prof and       of Western Ontario law prof
                    directed towards a specific area related to your practice. It could be a
                                                                                                 wanted to tell the whole world      James Hildebrand will know
                    Chamber of Commerce, an industry or trade association, or a social pol-
                                                                                                 to take his or her course?          that he “brought a guitar and
                    icy group. These organizations can help you meet people who need legal
                                                                                                     Well, now you can do both,      sang to illustrate copyright law.”
                    representation.
                                                                                                 thanks to RateMyProfessors.ca,          Of course, not all the feed-
                        Hint: Consider industry conventions, which also provide updates on
                    the latest developments in the area.                                         the Canadian chapter of a           back is positive, and more than
                                                                                                 California-based Website that       one professor received a string
                    Remember, don’t approach a marketing opportunity as if it were a             offers university students the      of 1’s and some harsh com-
                    sales pitch or a client hunt. Think of it as a chance to introduce your-     chance to tell everyone what        ments. One prof is described as
                    self to people who have much to offer you, and to show them that             they think of their professors —    “one of the all-time best argu-
                    you’re interested in their needs. N                                          good, indifferent or bad.           ments against tenure,” while
                                                                                                     Site users award their profs    another’s ex-student advises:
                                                                                                 between 1 and 5 points in three     “Take the class and catch up on

                      Quote Unquote                                                              categories (easiness, clarity and
                                                                                                 helpfulness). It’s all anony-
                                                                                                                                     some sleep.”
                                                                                                                                         Nobody pretends the ratings
                                                                                                 mous, and it’s spreading like       are either scientific or reliable
                    Where to practise?                                                           wildfire — the site rated its
                                                                                                 100,000th prof in January.
                                                                                                                                     — the cloak of anonymity
                                                                                                                                     allows users to be as arbitrary or

                    I   know one lawyer who opened his office on a corner by a
                        bus stop that was a major bus transfer point, across the
                    street from a large phone company office. In a few months,
                                                                                                     Most of the ratings are for
                                                                                                 undergrad professors, but a
                                                                                                                                     mean-spirited as they like,
                                                                                                                                     although the site removes eval-
                                                                                                 growing number of law stu-          uations that are profane or
                    he had a very successful practice of phone company opera-                    dents are logging on to provide     potentially libellous, or if a pro-
                    tors and administrative people who had the usual number of                   their teacher evaluations. And      fessor complains. But the num-
                    divorces and accident cases. By opening his office at 7:00                   for the most part, the reviews      ber of unsolicited positive re-
                    a.m., he was also able to accommodate other people on their                  are glowing. At the University      views reflects very well on
                    way to work between bus transfers.                                           of Saskatchewan, one of the         Canada’s law faculties.
                       The moral of the above story should be obvious: “Go                       most active Canadian law facul-         If you want to rate a former
                    Where the Clients Are.” N                                                    ties, College of Law Professor      prof, or if you’re a professor
ROBERT JOHANNSEN




                                                                                                 Marj Benson receives high rat-      curious about your cyber-
                     Adapted from How to Start & Build a Law Practice, 4th ed.                   ings and comments like “a total     rating, check out www.RateMy
                    (1999), Jay G. Foonberg, ABA Law Student Division, Section of Law
                                                                                                 sweetheart, and great prof.”        Professors.ca. N
                    Practice Management.


                   MARS   /   AVRIL   2003                                                www.cba.org                                                                  15

				
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