Origination Credit in Law Firms

October 29

In today's competitive landscape for law firms, prioritizing business development has become essential for staying ahead of the curve. But how exactly can law firms incentivize and reward those who excel in bringing in new business? One effective method is through compensation, where individuals are recognized and rewarded for their contributions to generating revenue.


Origination credit plays a crucial role in this process within a law firm's client account organization. Understanding the dynamics between the Originating Attorney, the Billing Attorney, and the Working Attorneys is key to navigating the complexities of determining fair credit distribution. This is a common challenge law firms face when deciding how much credit a Billing Attorney should receive for their involvement in a client account that they did not originate.

How much origination credit, if any, a Billing Attorney should receive

for his or her role in a client account that he or she did not originate? 


To delve deeper into this issue, let's explore six fundamental principles:

1. While money is a significant motivator, it is not the sole factor in incentivizing business development.

2. Simply sharing origination credit without recognizing actual business development efforts can limit its value

3. Oversharing of client credit may mask weaknesses and crowd out potentially more talented lawyers;

4. Recognizing and awarding credit to those who truly enhance client relationships will drive sustainable growth.

5. Sharing origination credit is one concept for compensation and another for partnership and promotion;

6. It’s better to distinguish between sharing profit for a job well done and rewarding for origination.

Client relationships in the legal industry are not static; they require constant nurturing and attention. Attorneys with proven business development skills have a higher likelihood of success in bringing in new business.


By focusing on refining their policies and practices, law firms can position themselves competitively in the market. This includes providing ongoing training and support to help their attorneys enhance their business generation capabilities. Encouraging a culture of collaboration and mentorship can also play a significant role in fostering a business development mindset within the firm.


Ultimately, investing in the professional growth of their attorneys will not only drive sustainable growth for the firm but also create a more dynamic and successful team overall.


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