I am a big fan of Tom Wallerstein’s articles – they are concise, well-written and address the realities of owning a small business.

The latest article discusses when it’s appropriate to turn down business…not an easy thing to do!

The decision to say “no” to business rests on several factors.

These include:

  • Your firm’s bandwidth to handle a particular matter competently

  • Expertise: it might be better to refer a matter out to a firm with a particular expertise

  • Saying “no” to clients who have unrealistic expectations

  • Clients who do not respect reasonable boundaries

  • Clients who want you to act unethically – or – engage in borderline behaviors

  • Legal conflicts of interest

  • Opportunity cost; would working on this matter come at the expense of working on a more profitable and compelling matter?

Your time is valuable and one must be discerning when it comes to business development. Tom wisely concludes that “When you’re selling your time, you have to care who your clients are. Even if a client is willing and able to pay, sometimes you should let her pass by without a look behind. Sometimes, you should just say no.”

Read Tom’s article at

By Diane Rifkin, Esq.
Rifkin Consulting
Attorney Recruiter
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