David Freeman – Biography

Personal Bio

David H. Freeman, J.D., a former practicing lawyer, is the award-winning CEO of the David Freeman Consulting Group and founder of Law Firm CultureShift®. He is a best-selling author, speaker, consultant and coach who has shown thousands of lawyers and leaders how to become better rainmakers.

For three consecutive years, David was recognized nationally as the top “Law Firm Business Development Consultant and Coach” in National Law Journal surveys, and for over twenty years, he has worked with hundreds of law firms world-wide, including over 1/3 of the AmLaw 200. He is the co-author of five books, and has written four books on law firm leadership and business development:

  • Creating a Cross-Serving CultureShift: Mastering Cross-Selling for Lawyers and Leaders
  • The Law Firm Leader’s Reference Guide for Creating a Business Development Culture
  • Secrets of the Masters: The Business Development Guide for Lawyers
  • Weekly Reminders for Revenue-Focused Leaders

David has also has written dozens of articles on the revenue-related aspects of leadership, service, strategy, and business development for many of the major legal publications. He is a highly rated speaker, trainer and consultant who presents at firm retreats, law firm networks, bar associations, law schools, and law firm leadership conferences. His expertise has been recognized by his peers as evidenced by appointments as:

  • An elected Fellow in the College of Law Practice Management
  • The exclusive business development coach for the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF)
  • 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
  • Co-Chair the 2010 Annual Conference for the Legal Marketing Association (LMA)

As founder of Law Firm CultureShift®, David works with firms that are committed to energizing and imbedding a culture of business development. Main areas of practice include:

  • Business development training and coaching (partners, laterals, and associates)
  • Leadership training and coaching for firm leaders
  • Accelerated cross-selling training and planning
  • Client service training and planning
  • Retreat speaking, design and facilitation
  • 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.

David is currently working on a technology project that will radically improve the effectiveness of business development training, planning, coaching, and implementation. 


Fordham Law School, J.D., 1982
SUNY Binghamton, B.A. Economics, 1979

Representative Engagements

Business Development Training and Coaching

  • Created CMOplaybook™ to help firms internalize training and coaching and enhance their culture of business development
  • Delivered customized business development training, coaching, and planning programs for partners, counsel, and associates in dozens of AmLaw 200 and mid-sized firms
  • Custom-designed marketing and cross-selling programs for laterals in an AmLaw 200 firm
  • Designed and delivered customized associate business development training programs for numerous 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 AmLaw 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 AmLaw 200 firm and one of their most significant clients
  • 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
Speaking Engagements
  • Engaging Partners to Create a Business Development Culture Shift
    LMA Annual Conference, April 2015
  • Creating a Cross-Selling Culture Shift
    Legal Marketing Association, 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”
    • Professional Development Consortium,/PLI webinar November 2012
  • Client Development Skills for Law Students”
    • NALP Webinar Program, November 2012
  • “Leadership: Ideas and Innovation
    • LMA LA Annual Conference, September 2012
  • “Culture Shock: Mastering the Culture Shift in Growing Revenue”
    • Association of Legal Administrators Managing Partner Conference, October 2012
  • “Asking for the Business”
    • Women in Law Empowerment Forum, Washington DC, June 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 Conference, April, 2011:  ALA Kansas City August 2012; LMA Triad Chapter, TADC,  Sept. 2012; LMA Orlando, Tampa, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Oct. 2012
  • “A Leadership Approach to Maximizing Client Development”
    • ALA Kansas City, August 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”
    • 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
    January 2011, various LMA Chapters
  • 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
  • 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”, Chicago, 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
    LM 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
    Scores 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
    Retreat for AmLaw 40 firm
  • 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, Sept 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
  • Business Development for Inside and Outside Counsel: It’s a Two-Way Street
    ABA Minority Counsel Program, Fall, 2003
Articles and Books
  • “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
  • “Weekly Reminders for Revenue-Focused Leaders” – 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

Visit the Articles section for past publications