Here is some tough news: the world is full of smart lawyers from great firms who went to top schools and who have all kinds of honors. Being smart and qualified will no longer differentiate you. In fact, almost anyone on the short list can make a case that they are the best lawyer for the job.
Fortunately Clients don’t hire people just because they are good lawyers. They hire good lawyers that they like, trust and connect with. To make this connection, focus on the Client. Demonstrate that you understand their business and their industry and that you have knowledge and experience in helping Clients like them solve real business problems. Now that is a differentiator.