Award-winning author and consultant David H. Freeman, J.D. teaches lawyers how to become powerful rainmakers so they can attract great clients, multiply their income, expand their influence in their firms and achieve more satisfying careers.
A former lawyer from New York, he is a two-time, all-time, best-selling author (overall, he has authored and coauthored 15 books on business development, cross-selling and leadership) and he was inducted into the National Law Journal Hall of Fame for being voted the #1 business development consultant and coach for three consecutive years in their national surveys.
David is a former practicing lawyer, innovator, and the award-winning CEO of the David Freeman Consulting Group. He is the founder of Law Firm CultureShift®; creator of the Culture Xray® (an automated survey tool that assesses a firm’s culture of business development); developer of Lawyer BookBuilder®, an online course that teaches lawyers how to become exceptional rainmakers; and developer of breakthrough technology that automates cross-selling coaching for lawyers (Cross Serving®). For nearly 30 years, he has trained and coached well over 10,000 of lawyers and leaders at hundreds of law firms world-wide, including nearly half of the Am Law 200.
David is a two-time, all-time, best-selling author, he is in the National Law Journal Hall of Fame for being voted the #1 business development consultant and coach for three consecutive years, and he is a highly regarded speaker, consultant and trainer. He has authored and co-authored 15 books, and his four solo books on law firm leadership and business development are:
- Creating a Cross-Serving Culture Shift: Mastering Cross-Selling for Lawyers and Leaders (Best-seller of 2015)
- Secrets of the Masters: The Business Development Guide for Lawyers (Best-seller of 2013)
- The Law Firm Leader’s Reference Guide for Creating a Business Development Culture
- Weekly Reminders for Revenue-Focused Leaders
David has produced highly regarded video tips on leadership and business development, and he wrote an ongoing leadership column for Marketing the Law Firm. He has authored numerous articles on management, leadership, client service, strategy, and business development for major legal publications such as ABA Journal, ABA Law Practice Magazine, Of Counsel, The New York Law Journal, Law Firm Leadership and Strategy Report, ALA Legal Management, ALA Currents, Managing Partner Magazine, Law Firm Partnership and Benefits Report, Professional Marketing Magazine, LexisNexis, Law 360, NALP Foundation Report, LMA Strategies and Law Firm Governance.
David is a highly rated speaker, trainer and consultant who presents at law firm retreats, law firm networks, bar associations, law schools, and international, national, and regional law firm leadership conferences. His expertise in his field has been recognized by his peers as follows:
- A member of the National Law Journal Hall of Fame
- Selected as a Fellow in the College of Law Practice Management
- Selected as a “Trusted Advisor” by the Professional Development Consortium
- An “Expert in Residence” for the NEXL community of lawyers
- An adjunct consultant with Altman Weil
- Co-Chair the 2010 Annual Conference for the Legal Marketing Association (LMA)
- A former member of the Board of Editors for Marketing the Law Firm (an American Lawyer Media publication)
- A former member of the Education Committee of the Legal Marketing Association
Key areas of David’s practice include:
- Business development training and coaching for lawyers at all levels.
- Client service training.
- Revenue-focused leadership training and coaching for firm leaders.
- Retreat facilitation, speaking and collaborative planning sessions.
- Cross-selling training and planning sessions.
- Automated coaching technology to drive cross-selling.
- Business development culture assessments.
David also brings a deep understanding of how to engage the organizational and human factors that drive successful implementation. For three years, he was a change management, strategic planning and Balanced Scorecard consultant, engaged by corporations such as Sun Microsystems, Zurich Financial Services, Agilent Technologies, and Olin Corporation.
While the ultimate measure of success is helping lawyers and firms generate more revenue, there are two ways David knows he’s on the right track with his clients: 1) while exploring mindsets or new approaches, they say something like “Hmm, I’ve never thought of that before”, and 2) when they are implementing their personalized strategy, they say “You know, this is actually a lot of fun!“.
Fordham Law School, J.D., 1982
SUNY Binghamton, B.A. Economics, 1979
Business Development Training and Coaching
- Delivered customized business development training, coaching, and planning programs for partners, counsel, and associates in hundreds of Am Law 200 and mid-sized firms
- Custom-designed cross-selling workshops for partners in mid-sized and Am Law 200 firms
- Designed and delivered customized associate business development training programs for numerous firms
- Coaching lateral partners on how to maximize their integration in their new firms
Retreats and Planning Sessions
- Facilitated and identified over $60 million in prospective business opportunities at a partner retreat
- Delivered several cross-selling workshops for partners that identified millions in new business opportunities
- Designed and led meetings of internal task forces charged with sustaining cross-selling activity
- Delivered an interactive, customized client service training session for an Am Law 40 firm
- Designed, spoke at, and facilitated planning for entire retreats at several firms
- Facilitated long-range planning for a large Southeast firm
- Facilitated a strategic marketing plan for the litigation group of an AmLaw 200 firm
Leadership Training and Coaching
- Custom-designed training and coaching programs for several large and mid-sized firms that helped leaders become more effective “sales managers” (developed group plans, enhanced cross-selling, accelerated implementation, etc.)
- Built and delivered leadership/management programs for senior associates preparing for partnership for several firms
- Designed and moderated a program with four managing partners on styles of leadership needed by today’s lawyer
Client Service Training and Consulting
- Conducted collaborative client service planning session for an Am Law 200 firm and a significant client
- Delivered programs on developing high performance client teams at various firms and conferences
- Designed customized client service training programs delivered at various offices of several mid-sized and large firms
- Devised a proprietary firm-wide culture survey to uncover gaps in service, leadership, and business development for many firms
“Maximizing Business Development: The Power of Combining Skills and Systems”, Globe Law & Business, March 2023
“Turning More Lawyers into Rainmakers”, ALA National, Feb 2023
“Selling for Lawyers Who Hate Selling”, Nebraska Bar Assn, Jan 2023; CT Bar Assn, Jan 2023; Wyoming Bar Assn, Jan 2023; ALA Cyber Chapter, Feb 2023; CA Lawyers Assn, Feb 2023; N. Dakota Bar Assn, March 2023
“Business Development Greatest Hits: Winning Strategies from 30 Years of Training and Coaching”, LMA SW, Jan 2023; LMA SoCal, March 2023; N. Dakota Bar Assn, March 2023
“Business Development Greatest Hits: What Leaders Can Do to Develop Their Lawyers into Rainmakers”, Managing Partner Forum, October 2022
“Unleashing the Power of Cohort Groups”, Professional Development Consortium, October 2022
“Secret Techniques of 7-Figure Rainmakers”, Open enrollment program, October 2022
“Turning Client Service into Client Matters”, Lawyers Associated Worldwide, October 2022 (New York)
“Techniques for Attracting New Clients”, Lawyers Associated Worldwide, April (Monterrey) and May (Helsinki) 2022
“Mastering Cross-Selling Across the Network”, Legus International, November 2021
“Cross-Serving the Network”, Lawyers Associated Worldwide, February 2021
“Adapting Business Development in a Remote World”, NEXL Network, January 2021
“Best Practices in Delivering Remote Training”, Professional Development Consortium, May 2020
“Adapting BD in a COVID World”, Iridium/Citibank Webinar; ClientsFirst/Intapp Webinar; Lawyers Worldwide Network Webinar; Michigan Trial Lawyers Assn Webinar, May 2020
“Tips and Strategies for Becoming an Exceptional Rainmaker”, Expert Webcast, August 2019
“Turning Retreats into Revenue”, LMA VA March 2019; ALA Annual Conference, April 2019; ALA Webinar Jan. 2020
“The Vampires of Business Development”, LMA Minneapolis, September 2018; LMA Philadelphia, Oct. 2018
“Creating a Cross-Serving Culture Shift”, Ark Group Profitability Conference, April 2017; LMA Detroit, April 2017
“Creating a Culture of Cross-Selling and Cross-Serving®, LMA Southeast Annual Conference, September 2016
“Building Client Loyalty”, Center for Competitive Management, March 2016
“Creating a Cross-Serving Culture Shift”, Mastering the Art of Cross-Selling for Leaders, ALA Columbus Feb. 2016
“Mastering Cross-Selling for Lawyers and Leaders”, Ark Group Client Growth Strategies Conference, November 2015
“Engaging Partners to Create a Business Development Culture Shift”, LMA Annual Conference, April 2015
“Creating a Cross-Selling Culture Shift”, Legal Marketing Association webinar, January 2015
“Partners as Owners: Leadership Techniques for Engaging Partners to Drive a Client, Teamwork, Revenue and Profitability Focused Culture”, PDC Winter Meeting, December 2014; ALA Chicago Annual Managing Partner event, June 2014
“CultureShift®: The Senior Leaders’ Role in Driving Growth, Profitability and Client Service”, TerraLex June 2014
“Best Practices in Business Development”, TerraLex June 2014
“Creating the Perfect Law Firm Experience – From the Client’s Perspective, LMA Annual Conference, April 2014
“Developing a Business Development Culture”, Managing and Marketing Partner Roundtable”, Marketing Partner Forum, January 2014; Western Law Firm Leaders Conference, Thomson Reuters, March 2014
“Accelerated Cross-Selling”, West Legal Ed Webinar, November 2013
“What Law Firm Leaders Can Do to Impact the Success of Women in Their Firms”, WILEF, October 2013
“The Five Pillars of Exceptional Client Service”, West Legal Ed Webinar, October 2013
“New Partners: Best Practices in Business Development”, Webinar, October, 2013
“Legal Industry Trends: Competition, Change and Challenge”, ALA Region 4 Annual Conference, September 2013
“Going from Good to Great with Exceptional Client Service, MSI Global, June 2013
“Maximizing Your Effectiveness as Leaders, Meritas, April 2013
“Best Practices in Lateral Integration”, TIAG Network, February 2013
“Implementing a Business Development Program in Your Firm”, PLI/PDC, Nov. 2012
“Client Development Skills for Law Students”, NALP webinar, Nov. 2012
“Leadership: Ideas and Innovation”, LMA LA Annual Conference, Panelist, Sept. 2012
“The Art and Ethics of Building a Book of Business”, Major Lindsey & Africa panel discussion, Chicago, June 2012
“Secrets of the Masters: Best Practices in Business Development”, Keynote address, LMA NE Annual Conference; LMA Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Indianapolis, March 2012; LMA Southeast, April, 2011; ALA Kansas City August 2012; LMA Triad Chapter, TADC, Sept. 2012; LMA Orlando, Tampa, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Oct. 2012
“Asking for the Business”, Women in Law Empowerment Forum, Washington DC, June 2012
“Revenue-Focused Leadership and Situational Leadership”, ALA Annual Conference, Honolulu, April 2012
“Fundamentals of Client Development, Client Service and Leadership”, University of Pennsylvania Law School, February 2012
“CultureShift®: A Whole Firm Approach for Rapidly Growing Revenue”, West Legal Ed webinar, September 2013; ALA Austin, March 2013; ALA Kansas City, August 2012; ALA St. Louis, October 2012; 16th Annual Law Firm Leaders Forum, November 2011; LexisNexis Redwood Users Conference, September 2011
“Sales Mastery for Law Firms: Growing and Protecting Key Client Relationships”, Various LMA Chapters, January 2011
“The Crossroads of Technology and Technique: New Approaches for Driving Revenue from Your Most Important Clients”, Redwood Analytics Webinar, December 2010
“Blending Digital Marketing with Business Development” Webinar, November 2010
“Maximizing Business Development for Laterals”, Webinar, July 2010, LMA Annual Conference, March 2008
“Tools and Techniques for Successful Business Development: Client Teams” LexisNexis Webinar, June 2010
“Blueprint for Building a Business Development Culture”, MSI Global Alliance, Americas Meeting, June 2010
“Using Service, Knowledge and Value to Attract and Retain Clients”, Webinar, Gerson Lehrman Group, May 2010
“Institutionalizing Leadership Opportunities for Diverse Lawyers”, Opus 6 Leadership Conference, May 2010
“Sales Mastery: Growing and Protecting Your Most Important Relationships”, LMA Southwest Chapter, June 2010, LMA Bay Area, May 2010, Managing Partner Forum, January 2010
“Best Practices in Developing Client Teams”, LexisNexis Webinar, June 2010
“Protecting and Growing Your Firm’s Best Clients”, LexisNexis Webinar, August 2009
“Different Perspectives on Leadership”, Women in Law Empowerment Forum, June 2009
“How to Stay Relevant in Today’s Times” Celesq, July 2009
“Tactics for Competing in Turbulent Times”, LMA Webinar, October 2008
“Mastering the Art of Cross-Selling”, LMA Virginia, October 2008; Marketing Partner Forum, January 2008
“Understanding and Changing Your Business Development Culture”, Marketing Partner Forum, January 2009; TerraLex 2008 Americas Regional Meeting, June 2008
“Developing Revenue-Focused Leaders”, Ark Group, December 2008 and March 2009; LMA Leadership Program: “Leadership Matters”, November 2007; LMA Bay Area, January, 2007; Marketing Partner Forum, January 2007; Lex Mundi Executor Director’s Conference, October 2006; LMA Webinar, LMA New York, LMA Minnesota, September 2006; Association of Accounting Marketers, Annual Conference, June 2006; LMA Mid-Atlantic Region, June 2006; Association of Accounting Marketers, September 2005; Pre-Conference Workshop, NorthStar Law Firm Leadership Institute, May 2005; American Lawyer Media Webinar, March 2005
“Best Practices in Leadership”, ALA Region 5 & 6 Annual Conference, September 2006
“Mastering the Art of Implementing a Strategic Plan”, LMA Southeast Annual Conference, September, 2006, Association of Legal Administrators 35th Annual Conference, May, 2006
“Filling the Gap: Mastering the Sales Function for CMO’s and Marketing Directors”; LMA Annual Conference, March 2006
“The Five Habits of Successful Business Development”; Hundreds of internal training sessions at law firms; Texas Association of Trial Attorneys Conference, April 2010; University of Texas, Page Keeton Civil Litigation Conference, October 2008; The American Association of Nurse Attorneys, October 2008; LMA Dallas, October 2006; ALFA International Annual Meeting, October 2006, LMA Minnesota 2nd Annual Conference, November 2005; LSSO RainDance Conference, June 2005; International Law Firm Network, Vienna, Austria, May 2005; LMA Chicago, March 2005; LMA Southwest, March 2005; LMA Nashville, March 2005;; LMA Orlando, March 2005
“What Role Does Marketing and Business Development Play in Your Firm’s Success”, NorthStar Law Firm Leadership Institute, May 2005
“The Five Pillars of Client Service”, Professional Development Consortium Bi-Annual Meeting, July 2007; Retreats at several firms
“Developing a Roadmap for Establishing a Sales, Marketing and Service Culture in Your Firm”, LMA Austin, February 2005; LMA Atlanta, March 2005; LMA Birmingham, March 2005; LMA Nashville, March 2005; LMA Richmond, July 2005; TerraLex Network, October 2004; Legal Marketing Association, Annual Conference, 2004; Legal Marketing Association Rocky Mountain Chapter, 2003
“Marketing to Existing Clients”, Legal Marketing Association Boot Camp, September 2004
“Practice Group Management”, The Participating Group, July 2004
“Business Development –The Power of Long-Term Relationship Building”, ABA Minority Counsel Program, Spring 2004
“Empowerment and Leadership: Taking Control of Your Career”, Women in Law Leadership Academy, 2004
“Business Development for Inside and Outside Counsel: It’s a Two-Way Street”, ABA Minority Counsel Program, Fall 2003
“It’s Time to Get “Cross” With Your Lawyers”, ALA Legal Management Magazine, March 2023
“Five Essentials for Your Business Development Toolkit”, ALA Legal Management Magazine, Feb 2023
“Playing the Fame Game”, Modern Lawyer, Jan 2023
“A Better Way to Teach Business Development”, Legal Evolution, November 2022
“Three Power Tips for Growing a Huge Book of Business”, Modern Lawyer, October 2022
“How Small Firm Lawyers Can Use Their Business Development Muscle to Compete for Bigger Clients”, Thomson Reuters October 2022
“How to Use Metrics to Build an Extraordinary Practice”, Bloomberg Law, October 2022
“The Five Secrets to Becoming a Mega-Rainmaker”, Lexology, October 2022
“The First Sale in Cross-Selling – Your Own Lawyers”, Lexology, April 2022
“Finding a Client’s Hot Buttons”, Lexology, January 2022
“As Law Firm Retreats Go Virtual, Here’s How to Keep Them Effective”, ALM, September 2021
“Harnessing the Power of the Pandemic”, Self-published, August 2020
“A Checklist for Delivering High Impact Virtual Retreats and Remote Training”, LMA Strategies Aug 2020
“Best Practices for Running High Impact Remote Meetings”, Professional Development Consortium, May 2020
“What Hamilton Can Teach Lawyers About Business Development”, ABA Journal April 2019
“Get Your Game On”¸ ALA Legal Management, April 2017
“Using Gamification to Drive Business Development Performance”, Marketing the Law Firm, March 2017
“Keep Your Client Close and Your Prospects Closer”, ALA Legal Management, September 2016
“Serving Clients in New and Different Ways: Cross-Selling Culture Champions”, National Law Review, May 2016
“The Road to Raising Revenue”, ALA Legal Management Magazine, March 2016
“Solidify Internal Cross-Relationships: Cross-Selling Culture Champions Series”, National Law Review, March 2016
“Making Cross-Serving a Bedrock Value”, Managing Partner Magazine, January 2016
Cross-Selling White Paper, Ark Group, August 2014
“Developing Effective Leaders”, Talent Think Tank, August 2014
“CultureShift: A Whole Firm Approach for Generating Greater Client Loyalty and Growing Revenue”, ALM Partnership and Benefits Report, July 2014
“Maximizing Your Investment in Laterals”, Managing Partner Magazine, October 2013
“Secrets of the Masters: Top Business Development Techniques for 2013”, ABA Law Practice Today, November 2012
“Practice Group Leaders’ Roles in Business Development”, Altman Weil Direct, September 2012
“Mastering Cross-Selling”, ALA Currents, August 2012
“In-House Business Development Training”, Association for Continuing Legal Education, Inc., Spring 2012
“CultureShift®: A Whole Firm Approach for Growing Revenue”, ALA Capital Connection, April 2012
“Developing Successful Teams”, LexisNexis Tips Series, January 2012
“Five Killers of Cross-Selling Success”, Law360, September 2010
“Maximizing the Business Development Potential for Laterals”, NALP Study, April 2010
“Turning Group Leaders into Revenue-Focused Leaders”, ALA Legal Management, January 2009
“Law Firm Economic Stimulus Plan”, Marketing the Law Firm, January 2009 – ALM Newsletter
“Enhancing Your Culture of Business Development”, Marketing the Law Firm, November 2008 – ALM Newsletter
“The Audacity of Being Above Average”, Marketing the Law Firm, July 2008 – ALM Newsletter
“The Pheromone of Client Service”, Marketing the Law Firm, May 2008 – ALM Newsletter
“Courageous Leadership”, Marketing the Law Firm, March 2008 – ALM Newsletter
“Pencil to Paper to Prosperity”, ABA Journal, December 2007
“How to Lead a Revenue-Focused Group”, ABA Law Practice Magazine, December 2007
“Leadership Aspects of Cross-Selling”, Marketing the Law Firm, December 2007 – ALM Newsletter
“Coach Me”, ABA Journal, June 2007
“Revenue-Focused Leaders”, Law Firm Partnership & Benefits Report, March 2007
“Making Organizational Changes Stick”, Of Counsel, July 2006
“Turning Energy into Matter(s)”, Marketing the Law Firm, June 2006 – ALM Newsletter
“100 Days to Revenue-Focused Leadership”, Professional Marketing Magazine, October, 2005
“Outcome-Focused Leadership”, Law Practice Today, February 2005 – ABA: Marketing the Law Firm, November 2004 – ALM Newsletter
“Stop the Bleeding: How Leaders Can Improve Associate Retention”, Law Firm Leadership and Strategy Report, December 2004
“Marketing-Focused Leadership”, Law Firm Leadership and Strategy Report, February 2004
“Rev the Revenue: The Marketing Focused Retreat”, Marketing the Law Firm, August 2003 – ALM Newsletter
“Setting Sales: Sales Management for Practice Group Leaders”, Legal Management, July/August 2003
“High Impact Retreats”, New York Law Journal, April 2003
“Sales Management is a New Role for Practice Group Leaders”, New York Law Journal, February 2003
“Developing the ‘Great’ Law Firm”, Of Counsel, November 2002
“Why Strategic Planning Doesn’t Work”, Strategies, August 2001 – LMA
“How ‘Balanced’ Law Firms Must Implement ‘Balanced’ Law Firm Strategies”, Of Counsel, June 2001
“How an Emerging Management Strategy Can Effect Legal Services”, Of Counsel, December 23, 2000
“The High Performance Law Firm”, Law Firm Governance, Summer 2000
“Creating a Cross-Serving Culture Shift: Mastering Cross-Selling for Lawyers and Leaders – Author
“The Law Firm Leader’s Reference Guide for Creating a Business Development Culture” – Author
“Secrets of the Masters: The Business Development Guide for Lawyers” – Author
“Business Development in a New Legal System” – Co-Author
“Weekly Reminders for Revenue-Focused Leaders” – Author
“Growth Strategies for the Modern Law Firm” – Co-Author
“Building Rainmakers, An A to Z Guide to Business Development for Lawyers” – Co-Author
“Law Firm Marketing Leaders: Tips from a Collection of Experts” – Co-Author
“The Lawyers Guide to Strategic Practice Management” – Co-Author
“The Client Management Toolkit for Law Firms” – Co-Author
“The Lawyer’s Guide to AFAs and Value Pricing” – Co-Author
“Smarter Lateral Hiring for Law Firms” – Co-Author
“Optimizing Client Service: Delivering Value and Enhancing Experience” – Co-Author
“Creating a Client Service Culture in Professional Services” – Co-Author
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