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Thank goodness only a small percentage of partners are rainmakers

General counsel may feel besieged by solicitors – a pun lurks there on the English term for non-litigation lawyers and the common meaning of those who solicit. One view, however, is that “In many firms, regardless of size or reach, the ratio of rainmakers is low, estimated by firm leaders at 8-12% of all lawyers in the firm.” That is the claim by Deborah McMurray in her chapter in E. Leigh Dance, Bright Ideas: Insights from Legal Luminaries Worldwide (Mill City Press 2009) at 146.

I started thinking. General counsel may feel themselves preyed upon by partners who yearn for their business, but in fact only a small portion of partners try to do so. Although to be more precise, the term “rainmaker” implies a partner who is successful at selling more work; others, and perhaps many more than the approximately 10 percent estimated to be rainmakers, may aspire to sell, but only be “droplet makers” at best (See my post of Feb. 20, 2009: cross-selling by law firm partners with 7 references.). The bombardment of general counsel may feel like a flood.