Wining and dining potential clients every night is a tough job,
but someone had to do it -- at least to win Murphy & King's
recent "Raising the Bar" contest.
The friendly competition between nine associates at the law
firm's Boston office was aimed at nurturing associates' business
Points were scored for collecting business cards, scheduling
one-on-one meetings with potential clients, attending professional
events and bringing in new business. Results were posted each week
in the employee lunchroom.
First-prize winner Daniel Navisky met with at least one
potential client every business day during the three-month
"I set out in the very beginning to do very well in this
competition," Navisky said. "My goal was to find a meeting [every
day] or reconnect with as many people as I could."
Navisky, 37, an associate with Murphy & King for three
years, previously was an associate at Foley Hoag in Boston. He
graduated from Boston College Law School in 2007, after working for
several years in the government and public policy arena.
During the contest, he shared lunches and dinners with old
friends, former classmates and colleagues, scheduled drinks with
acquaintances and introduced himself to strangers at events.
"It gets you acclimated to the idea of every interaction as a
business opportunity," he said. "Everybody is a potential business
Each associate was paired with a senior partner at the firm to
provide guidance and support throughout the contest. Then, each
team was assigned a secret identity - all named after popular
Boston watering holes.
Navisky and firm shareholder Theodore J. Folkman teamed up as
Folkman said his main piece of advice to Navisky was to leave
"We wanted them to get out and meet people," Folkman
Business development is often overlooked as a critical skill for
an attorney, he noted, especially at small- and mid-sized firms,
such as Murphy & King. Associates were encouraged to ask
themselves: "How can I develop all the skills I'm going to need to
use as a lawyer?"
No Small Cases
At the end of the contest, the nine associates had collected a
total of 223 business cards, attended 42 events and brought six new
clients into the firm, representing nine new cases. The size of the
cases was not important.
"No one expected anyone to come in with significant, new
matters," Folkman explained, "but there's no harm in starting by
bringing in smaller matters that may develop later [into more
As first-place winner, Navisky was awarded a weekend getaway
(which he'll be taking this summer in Camden, Maine). Second-place
winner Jonathan O'Brien (aka "McFadden's") scored Red Sox tickets.
And third-place winner Amanda Rettig ("Purple Shamrock") received a
This is the second year that the Boston office has held a
networking contest (the firm's Washington and New York did not
Although the contest is over, Navisky continues his efforts to
cultivate clients and cases.
"The goal is to meet with people and plant a seed," he said.