Business Development Institute

Fast track your team’s BD skills with a professional development training program for legal marketers. 

Business Development Institute

Fast track your team’s BD skills with a professional development training program for legal marketers. 

Now enrolling for the Fall!
First session is August 31

Sessions 1, 4, and 5 will be live. Sessions 2 and 3 will be on-demand and released on the date of each session. Attendance for Session 5, The Capstone, is required for your certification. Recorded sessions will be available in the portal after each session is released. Registration Pricing is $800.

Ackert Inc. presents the Business Development Institute (BDI), a comprehensive program for business development and marketing professionals charged with helping lawyers increase originations.  

BDI is a three-month remote training course designed to provide the essential skills needed to transition from a marketing focus to a more business development-oriented role. Participants will engage in a series of webinars led by industry leaders covering topics ranging from Developing and Executing BD Plans to Demonstrating ROI. The program concludes with a capstone session and BDI graduates leave with access to a valuable peer network. 

BDI enrollment includes:

  • Training Sessions

    Four webinar training sessions, E-learning which includes access to over 50 tutorials, official program curriculum, a final capstone session, and access to PIPELINEPLUS sales management platform.

  • Alumni Directory

    Access to the alumni directory for ongoing peer networking and idea exchange.

  • Certification

    An official certificate of completion, a badge that can be added to resumes and social media profiles, and BD competency assessment.

Session 1

August 31 (Live)

10:00am – 11:30am PST

Session 2

September 14
On-Demand Release Date

Session 3

September 28
On-Demand Release Date

Session 4

October 12 (Live)
10:00am – 11:30am PST


October 19 (Live)
12:00pm – 1:30pm PST
(Attendance required)



  • Empowering a business development mindset at your firm
  • Converting plans into pipelines
  • Building relationship pipelines
    • Targeting
    • Taking an action-oriented approach
    • Outreach cadence
  • Ensuring that plans don’t just “sit on the shelf”
  • White space analysis and intentional (vs. reactive) cross-selling


  • Formal and informal pitches
  • Qualifying RFPs and other opportunities
  • Prioritizing and tracking high-value leads
  • How to ensure pitch materials are competitive and compelling
  • Preparing lawyers for the 5 stages of a pitch conversation
  • Debriefs and follow-ups


  • Helping lawyers understand their role in BD
  • Keeping lawyers engaged in BD
  • Overcoming typical lawyer objections
  • What associates need to be successful, and how that differs from partners
  •  The mindset of a lawyer vs. a marketer


  • Securing partner champions and allies
  • Spotting and activating strategic opportunities for the firm
  • BD metrics to report to leadership


  • Interactive discussion on the practical application of takeaways

BDI Faculty

David Ackert Founder & CEO | Ackert Inc.

David Ackert

CEO, Ackert

Liz Boehm

Liz Boehm

Director of Client & Business Development, Benesch

Darryl Cross

U.S. Executive Sales Coach, Norton Rose Fulbright

Vanessa Petrea, Senior Proposal Manager, Perkins Coie

Vanessa Petrea

Senior Proposal Manager, Perkins Coie

Tara Marshall-Hill

Senior Coach, Ackert

JeanMarie Campbell

Head of Client Development (NA), Baker & McKenzie

Jahna S Barbar

Jahna S. Barbar
Senior Regional Marketing & Business Development Manager, Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Carmelo Millimaci

Carmelo Millimaci
Senior Coach, Ackert

Susanne Mandel

Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer
Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A.

Ackert’s Business Development Institute provided practical takeaways, a variety of experts and their perspectives, and, frankly, an enhanced credibility level when conversing with and offering business development advice to the lawyers in my firm. I proudly display the framed certificate in my office and include it on my LinkedIn profile and resume. Completing the program added to my confidence as a coach, and even as a “seasoned” professional, I learned some really insightful new approaches to coaching. Plus, I always enjoy and appreciated the sharing of ideas with others in the program.


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