Being actively engaged with your community can make a huge difference in how you are perceived. If you are already involved, kudos to you and your colleagues. You already know how making a difference in your community can make a difference to your practice. Sitting down with a table of seniors at the local senior center to talk about their concerns or running a food drive is far less glamorous than attending a gala, but it’s where the real giving happens.
Senior Law Day. Most bar associations hold Senior Law Day. This is a good place for your firm, but it’s also a good place for every other estate planning firm in the area. Your absence may be noted: if appropriate, consider sending an associate to let them get the experience and represent the firm.
Faith-based organizations. Many practices reap the rewards of being involved with their own church, synagogue or mosque. If you are actively engaged with your personal place of worship, as a board member or lay leader, that can be productive. Be mindful of the personalities and politics that sometimes emerge, as they do in any group.
Not-for-Profits. A local chapter of a national organization may be the best bet for growing your network and building visibility. Do your homework before becoming involved with a local not-for-profit organization. Look up the organization’s 1099 forms at the Foundation Center website (www.foundationcenter.org). Who is on the board of directors and have there been any noteworthy problems in the past? Where does the funding come from? Your reputation is everything: make sure the organization has impeccable credentials.
Use community activities to expand your network and raise your visibility Community groups today know that their sponsors and supporters expect to see their names in newsletters, social media posts and in local newspapers. The same goes for people who donate their time and efforts.
When it aligns with your personal branding and values, community involvement is an excellent way to let others know the kind of person you are: dedicated to excellence in the law, and aware of the importance of service to clients and your community.