By Kelly Wilbur, Esq.

How many expert witnesses will attorneys contact at a time for a new assignment and what does that mean for expert witness business development?  For attorneys using SEAK’s Expert Witness Directory the mode is 1 expert witness, the median is 1 expert witness and the average is 1.22 expert witnesses.  What this boils down to is that most of the time attorneys using SEAK’s Expert Witness Directory are only contacting one expert at a time. This means it will often be that expert’s opportunity to lose.

Since attorneys are usually only contacting one expert at a time, we recommend the following expert witness business development best practices:

  • Spend an appropriate amount of time to optimize your Directory Since it is unlikely there will be competing experts being contacted, the biggest variable to landing cases is getting lawyers to contact you. The more attractive your listing is the more you will be likely to be contacted.  We recommend:
    • Including a recent professional headshot photo;
    • Include a well thought out CV;
    • Optimize your keywords; and
    • Include all relevant information that attorneys may search for.
  • Check your email frequently and respond to attorney inquiries quickly.
  • When you talk to the lawyer for the first time, take the call very seriously and excel at what in essence is a job interview.
  • Consider opportunities for additional exposure in the Directory such as featured listings, platinum listings, additional states, and print ads.

Of course not all case inquiries will come directly from attorneys.  Other common sources of case inquiries include paralegals, legal nurses, and expert witness brokers and referrals services.  We have found that Paralegal and legal nurse contacting patterns are very similar to those of attorneys.  Expert witness referral agencies however, contact, on average, more than twice as many prospective experts at a time.  So for leads from referral agencies, your odds of landing the case are going to be 50% less on average.

Following the four points above are best practices in expert witness business development and will help maximize your success.

About the Author

Kelly J. Wilbur, Esq., is a Trainer and Consultant for SEAK, Inc – The Expert Witness Training Company. She is on the faculty for SEAK’s signature “How to Start, Build, and Run a Successful Expert Witness Practice” seminar and has been retained by numerous expert witnesses to expand and grow their practices. Phone:  617-791-6802 Email: