Summer ended last week, and my kids went back to school. A new school year means a fresh start. Along with it comes the excitement of a new routine, new teachers, new friends, new extracurricular activities and even new shoes. How does this correlate to the legal market, and how can law firms take advantage of the back-to-school spirit?

The following are a few back-to-school-inspired tips for lawyers and legal marketers.

Get Organized

As my daughter and I labeled her school supplies and loaded up her new backpack, I was reminded to revisit my own to-do list, clear out my inbox, and follow up with colleagues and clients I’ve been unable to connect with this summer. For law firms, now is a great time to review marketing and business development plans that were put in place at the beginning of the year to ensure strategies and goals are on track for the fourth quarter

Check In with Old Friends

With camp and summer vacations, sometimes it is hard to stay in touch with friends and clients throughout the summer months. As school started, I encouraged my daughter to connect and re-establish friendships by scheduling playdates. As clients return from summer vacations, invite them for coffee or lunch to reconnect and check on current and future matters. Have any priorities shifted? What are they working on that you can assist with? Can you offer guidance on any issues?

Join a Club

Back to school means a myriad of extracurricular activities to choose from. As the kids join the soccer team and sign up for art classes, consider joining a legal organization like LMA or the ABA, or a trade association like PRSA or IABC. Back to school is also a great time to further explore hobbies and personal goals. Depending on your interests, consider signing up for a local photography class or joining a Road Runners Club in your neighborhood. By joining a group outside your law firm that reflects your personal interests, you will learn while expanding your network and making new contacts.

Get to Know Your Teacher

We all know the teacher can make or break the school year. I take every opportunity to get to know my kids’ teachers by volunteering, attending back-to-school night and checking in from time to time to see how I can lend a hand. Now is a great time to schedule a meeting with firm management to discuss the firm’s overall marketing strategy and its end-of-year goals. 

Do Extra Credit

I always encourage my kids to go the extra mile with their studies, and you can do the same with your client relationships. For example, take time to follow your colleagues and clients on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. This will ensure you stay informed of their professional and personal interests, allowing you to relate to them better.

Feel free to contact Lisa Altman at or call me at 301.943.9948 to further discuss your back-to-school strategies.