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The Opportunity Maker: Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career Through Creative Networking and Business Development (Career Guides) 1st Edition

14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0314194428
ISBN-10: 0314194428
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Editorial Reviews


"Ari Kaplan's insights into how to attract legal business and promote one's career by living an engaged, interesting, active, generous and thoughtful professional life are essential for any law student or lawyer to read."
-Paul Cappuccio, General Counsel, Time Warner, Inc.

"You don't really care about building new business for your practice.  If you did, you'd already be reading this well-researched, useful and powerful book.  I come from a family of lawyers, and every one of them would have benefited from the ideas inside."
-Seth Godin, author, Purple Cow

"If you know the secrets of rainmaking, you'll always be happily employed.  Ari Kaplan teaches them to you in this great practical book."
Kimm Alayne Walton, author, Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams (Harcourt Legal & Professional Publications, Inc., 1997)

"Ari Kaplan is indeed the opportunity maker.  This could be a blueprint for law schools to incorporate his book's principles into their standard curriculum and for law firms to train their attorneys to use Kaplan's genuine approach ..."
-Anastasia Kelly, partner, DLA Piper & former General Counsel, American International Group

"As I read Kaplan's book, I found myself nodding over and over again. I might have even let an "amen brother" slip out a time or two...Kaplan show[s] the reader how to establish relationships [and] ... he teaches us how to maintain [them] in [an] authentic way." 
-Carla DeVelder, Managing Counsel, Fidelity National Title Group

Product Details

  • Series: Career Guides
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: West Academic Publishing; 1 edition (June 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0314194428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0314194428
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,144,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ed Hopkins on October 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gone are the days when top 25% grades at a tier-one law school, law review, and a prestigious extracurricular leadership position guaranteed you a great summer clerking gig or a desirable first-year associate job offer. These days, looking good on paper is just not enough. The aspiring first-year associate must have an excellent social capital strategy as well. If you don't know what social capital is, stop reading my review after finishing this paragraph. Buy Ari Kaplan's book immediately. Read it as soon as you get it. You are already behind the curve.

If you do know what social capital is, then you know you will probably need more of it to maximize your opportunities during these tough economic times. That doesn't mean, however, that you know how to cultivate more social capital. That's where Ari's book can help you. In 17 concise, readable chapters, Ari's book describes dozens of strategies and tactics that will make you a more effective networker, self-promoter, and job seeker. The book doesn't encourage you to do things that would make you feel uncomfortable. It doesn't recommend that you transform your personality. Instead, it helps you figure out what your strengths and passions are, how to effectively show others what your strengths and passions are, and how to passionately help others using your strengths.

Using most of Ari's techniques, I was able to secure multiple summer associate job offers last winter and multiple first-year associate job offers before the end of August. Ari's book helped me understand and communicate my value proposition. It helped me develop a winning social capital strategy. Some of the law firms I courted didn't buy what I was selling. Some did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michelle T. Nichols on December 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am not a lawyer but I do work in legal services. After I read this book, I decided to actually TRY some of the things that Ari suggested - and they worked! For example, I reached out to a few folks in a mentoring capacity, I've signed up to host an alumni event in my area, I chaired an industry conference, and I now prepare handwritten thank you notes as a matter of course. Thank you Ari for the great, practical and easy to implement advice, I'm going to purchase a few copies to give as gifts this year!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Courtney Kleshinski on March 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is a veritable treasure trove of marketing ideas. I bought it at the beginning of my 3L year, and I am so grateful that I did.

This book is unique in that it encourages its readers to attract legal business in part by living an interesting, active, generous life. When was the last time a partner at your law firm encouraged you to live your best life, in the hopes that it would lead you to your next big client? This book inspired me to commit to volunteering at a local Chicago animal shelter for a year, become more involved on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, and join LinkedIn to begin making the connections that could lead to business for my firm down the road.

The book is also an easy read. Each chapter is divided into multiple sections, each about a page long, with clear titles and focus. If you want, you could read this book cover to cover or flip through to specific sections that interest you.

The best advice in the book, for me, was the suggestion that after every meeting with clients, potential clients, other attorneys, or totally random individuals, you take a step back and honestly evaluate your "performance" during the meeting. What did you do very well? Did you express yourself clearly? How could you improve? Should you brush up on that thesis you wrote in college because your new contact has experience in that field?

This book reminds its readers that finding opportunities is not easy, nor is it immediate, but with preparation and an investment of time, everyone can make it rain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keith Lee on July 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
I wanted to drop you a line and thank you for writing "The Opportunity Maker." I purchased it during my 3L year. It inspired me to create my blog, Associate's Mind.

I was nervous about the whole process, but I pushed forwards with it. It's now one of the 40 most popular legal blogs as tracked by Avvo, and has been linked to by the WSJ, Forbes, The Browser, among others. Plus, I am now a featured contributor at Lexis Nexis' Hub for new attorneys. It was a lot of work, but it's been more than worth it.

While you might not be aware of it, your book was the push that got the ball rolling.I appreciate it very much.

The book offers some real concrete advice in regards to developing contacts and networking. But more importantly for me was that it helped break down some psychological barriers. Often times I think it's often the mental barriers people develop for themselves ("I can't" mindset)prevents people from beginning on new ventures or reaching out to new people. If you're a law student or new lawyer looking for guidance and advice on how to begin reaching out and networking with other people, there's probably no better place to start.
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Format: Paperback
A couple of weeks ago I picked up a copy of The Opportunity Maker, which was written by noted networking and business development expert Ari Kaplan. This year I've had the good fortune to get to know Ari personally. So I picked up the book out of curiosity - though I have to admit I'm usually not a fan of "how to" advice when it comes to networking, because often the insights are at a very obvious, high level (think Dr. Phil).

In fact, I'd almost go as far as to say that most of the networking advice out there ranks right up there with most time management advice - easy to say, much harder to do, as if delivered by Captain Obvious himself!

Well the beauty of Ari's book and approach is that it's very practical and down-to-earth. It's full of real-life stories, which makes it a fun, fast-paced read, with success stories that can be easily absorbed. To be honest, I don't know how Ari possibly pulled together all of the people that are quoted and mentioned in the book - over 100 in total!

His main point is that, in law school, you learn about the law, but you don't really learn about the business of law. And more specifically, you don't learn how to build a successful career. This is a task you must take upon yourself - to build your own personal brand, rise above the noise, and take responsibility for advancing your own career.

Make no mistake about it - Ari is a one-man public relations machine. Go ahead and Google his name, and you'll see what I mean. If there's anyone in the legal industry who knows how to build a personal brand, land press coverage, and establish thought leadership, it's Kaplan.
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