Best Practices in Effective Conference Networking: Don't Skip Anything

I've done a number of posts here recently on best practices for networking and relationship-building at conferences, and you may remember that I've said, more than once, how important it is to avoid your room at all costs. 

But there's a counter-point to that which I've been thinking about a lot as we have our ILN Annual Meeting on the horizon, and that is - DON'T SKIP ANYTHING.

Sometimes, when attending a conference, it's very tempting (and often reasonable) to combine other business with the business of the conference - you may have clients in the same city, or friends that you rarely get to see, or a spouse who is with you, but not joining in on the conference, and you feel that taking an afternoon (or two) or a meal (or two) away from the conference won't be such a big deal. 

You may think that because a conference is only a few business sessions combined with some social activities (as our conferences are), that the social activities are just the way you're rewarded for attending the conference. You may even think that because you've been to a city before, and done some of the same things, that you don't need to go on those trips, because you won't be missing anything. 

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Two for Tuesdays: Thought Leaders to Follow

We're switching it up here again on our Two for Tuesdays, and instead of bringing you tips today, I'm bringing you two thought leaders in the legal industry to pay attention to! 

Thought Leader One: Tim Corcoran, Corcoran Consulting Group

If you don't already know Tim, you should. From his bio, we learn that he: 

advises law firm leaders and in-house counsel on business process improvement, legal project management, alternative fees and business development. He also advises legal technology vendors and service providers on market strategy and sales force readiness. The essence of his consulting practice is to help law firms, in-house counsel and legal vendors profit in a changing marketplace."

Tim regularly speaks, writes, counsels and advises on some thought-provoking topics that surround some of the most cutting-edge ideas in our industry - ideas that make many uncomfortable, but are necessary conversations to have in today's marketplace. 


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Cinnamon Buns & Leadership - Lessons for Legal Marketers & Lawyers

Ask anyone what they thought the most memorable session of the recent LMA conference was, and I'm sure they'll tell you, "Kat Cole's keynote."

Kat (@KatColeATL) is the President of Cinnabon, Inc., and although more than one person was heard to ask, "what do cinnamon buns have to do with lawyers?" (only before the session, not after!) we all learned lesson after valuable lesson during her speech. 

If you're still not sure what Kat's words had to do with legal marketing, take a look at my comments after last year's Zappos session here and here. And read on. Also, take a look at Chelsie Givan's recap of the session

Before I dive into the session itself, let's talk a little bit about Kat. 

Kat Cole is the president of Cinnabon, Inc. where [she] is accountable for leading, evolving and building the team and multi-channel brand. Ms. Cole is also a member of the leadership team within Cinnabon's parent company, FOCUS Brands Inc...Prior to her role with FOCUS Brands at Cinnabon Inc., Ms. Cole was Vice President of Training and Development for Hooters of America, Inc."

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Week of April 14, 2014 on ILNToday - A Roundup!

Once again, we've reached the weekend! For some of us, it's a holiday weekend, which means I've (mostly) gotten to take today off! But I'm still bringing you a quick roundup of the top articles from ILNToday, so before you head off, read through these!


Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: YOU Are a Brand

"Yes, yes, yes" is what I said when I read Jaimie Field's latest rainmaking recommendation, "YOU are a brand." Whether you like it or not, whether you think "branding" is a dirty word or not, everything you say and do affects how people think of you - affects the brand of "you." So have a look at Jaimie's latest post!


Regardless of whether you are in a large, midsize or small firm or a solo practitioner, you have a brand.

In fact, you ARE a brand. And personal branding is becoming more and more important in the second decade of the 21st century.

What your personal brand is: Your personal brand is what people think of when they think of you. It is how they would describe you to others.

What personal branding is not: It is not how you perceive yourself, but how others perceive you.

These can truly be two different ideas. It, therefore, becomes important that you control how you
want others to perceive you and what you want them to know you can do.

You need to begin to answer the following questions in order to control your personal brand:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • How are you different from others?

However, when you are contemplating these questions, you have to determine who the “you” is that want the world to see.  This will help you determine what personal brand you want to begin to develop.

Once you have answered these questions, you need to begin to market your answers to your prospective clients and referrals sources – social media and blogging are two of the best methods for your personal brand to get noticed.

Please understand that personal branding requires authenticity. If you are a “jerk” in real life, you can never be the “good guy” as part of your personal brand. People will find out the difference and you will lose the credibility needed to create the trust you require for people to connect with and contact you. So, if you are jerk in real life – own it in some way in your personal brand. Think Howard Stern, for example.

Personal branding is basically marketing your personality and knowledge to others. Remember, people do business with people they know, like and trust.


Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog.


Two for Tuesdays: Best Practices for Professional Relationships

Today's Two for Tuesdays is going to address a problem I've seen fairly consistently over the last decade in legal - a failure to respond to emails. It's a rather HUGE pet peeve of mine, and I want to talk today about why it's important, as well as another tip for managing your professional relationships. 

Tip One: Answer. Your. Emails. 

I know attorneys are busy. I know that their time, literally, is money. So I can be forgiving of the attorneys who may not read and answer all of the emails that I send them.


It boggles my mind when someone emails an attorney to say that they want to refer work to them, and the attorney doesn't answer. 

If someone sent me an (legitimate) email that basically says, "hey, I want to pay you money," I would answer it (Nigerian princes notwithstanding).

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ILN Firm of the Month - DAHL Law Firm, Denmark!

This month's firm of the month is our Danish member, DAHL Law Firm! Congratulations to all of our friends in Denmark! 




Member of the International Lawyers Network

 The ILN is proud to announce our latest "Firm of the Month" - DAHL Law Firm!

DAHL is a full-service business law firm with a national and international focus. DAHL has 200 employees in total and a legal staff of 100, placing DAHL among the 6 largest law firms in Denmark.

DAHL has five offices in Denmark.

DAHL has a significant practice covering Finance law, Company law, Competition law, Employment law, Energy law, EU law, Insolvency, Insurance and tort, Intellectual property, IT and telecom, Media and marketing, M&A, Procurement law, Public law, Real property, Tax law. DAHL is a mod-ern firm with a high focus on delivering high quality service “to the point”.

The working languages of the firm are English, German, French and the Scandinavian languages. 

Full descriptions of DAHL's  services, expertise, and lawyer profiles are available on their ILN profile.

Lindsay Griffiths
Director of Global Relationship Management
International Lawyers Network

Lindsay Griffiths


Learn More


Main Contacts: 

Henning von Lillienskjold

Henning von Lillienskjold

Telephone: +45 88 91 94 15

Practice Groups:
Corporate, Commercial

sidebar-divider.gifFrederik Bruhn

Frederik Bruhn
Telephone: +45 88 91 98 11

Practice Groups:
Corporate, Commercial, IT & IP

sidebar-divider.gifKlaus Kjaer

Klaus Kjær
Telephone: +45 88 91 89 26

Practice Groups:
Corporate, Commercial, Construction Law

sidebar-divider.gifSoren Wolder Knudsen

Søren Wolder Knudsen
Telephone: +45 88 91 92 45

Practice Groups:
IT and IP, Competition law

Alan Griffiths

DAHL joined the ILN in 2006, and have been providing excellence from the very start. Their dedication to the Network and its growth continues to be essential.

Alan Griffiths
Executive Director
International Lawyers Network



General Counsel Corner: Selection Process for Outside Counsel

For our second installment of our General Counsel Corner, I'm very pleased to welcome a GC from the Baltics! 

Risto Hübner works as the General Counsel / Head of Legal for Nortal, which is the largest software development company in the Baltics. You can learn more about Nortal on their website here:

My question to Mr. Hübner was: 

What is your process for selecting outside counsel?"

As with our first GCC response, Mr. Hübner is looking for many of the same things. He told us: 

"There are usually several factors (which may somewhat differ from case to case) that I consider when selecting outside counsel. However, usually most important of these factors is the prior practical experience, as well as his or her specialization in similar matters. Other factors to consider include, but are not necessarily limited to, responsiveness, smooth communication, cost-effectiveness, personal experience from prior cooperation, etc. In addition, I must feel confident that outside counsel is actually motivated and interested to deal with the legal matter in question."

It's a very interesting, and important, point that he mentions - "I must feel confident that outside counsel is actually motivated and interested to deal with the legal matter in question." Lawyers - are you making sure that your clients and potential clients know that you really care about the work they're giving you, regardless of the size of the matter? 

As we saw with our first GC, inside counsel will often use a smaller matter to get a sense of how the relationship with the outside firm will work - which tells me that there is no such thing as "small" matters. Make sure to give your full attention and enthusiasm to all of the work you do - you never know what will lead to more work. 

Thanks so much to Mr. Hübner for his participation in our General Counsel Corner! 

LinkedIn or Left Out - A Recap

I'm bringing you another recap from LMA14 today - this one focused on "LinkedIn...or Left Out? An Opportunity to Big for Smart Firms to Ignore." The session description reads: 

LinkedIn is radically changing the way General Counsel evaluates outside firms. Greentarget's 2013 social media survey found that two-thirds of in-house counsel use LinkedIn on a weekly basis. LinkedIn threatens to sideline firms who ignore its impact, and presents an opportunity for firms who mobilize their partnerships to embrace social business. In this panel, we'll explore how leading firms are using LinkedIn to burnish their brands, enhance attorney reputations, and continuously engage clients with thought leadership." 

The panel featured Patrick Baynes (@patrickbaynes) of PeopleLinx, John Corey of Greentarget (@greentarget), Lindsay Gotwald (@lindsayweb) of Faegre Baker Daniels, Megan McKeon (@meganmckeon) of Katten Muchin Rosenman, and Michelle Woodyear (@mwoodyear) of Orrick. 

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Week of April 7, 2014 on ILNToday - A Roundup!

It's been a crazy week here at the ILN, so I must admit to be a bit relieved to see Friday! Between catching up after LMA, following up on all the great conversations and programming from the conference, and prepping for what is going to be an incredible ILN Annual conference, saying it was "hectic" would be an understatement!

So, grab a cup of coffee, take a breather, and check out our top posts for this week on ILNToday!


US General Counsel: Global Needs for Outside Counsel

On Friday morning, LMA delegates gathered to hear the annual general counsel panel, "U.S. General Counsel Discuss Global Needs for Outside Counsel: Is Your Firm on Their Short List?" produced by Inside Counsel and Lloyd Johnson.

The program description read: 

This panel of general counsel will discuss high priority needs, challenges and concerns related to managing a large law department.  In addition, the panel will discuss the complexities...related to managing a remote professional staff who work outside the United States. Topics covered will include: 

  • How law firms can help meet the needs of today's law department challenges; 
  • What today's law department leaders see as potential future challenges
  • How firms' managing partners may engage in shared insight discussions with law department leader/counterparts
  • How is value received for fees paid assessed by the corporations today? 
  • What is most useful about a year-end review, aka client feedback meeting?
  • Last call: number one need on the law department side: from the relationship standpoint? From the substantive legal needs standpoint?"
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Wondering Wednesdays: How Much is Too Much on Social Media?

In our latest installment of Wondering Wednesdays, I answer the question "How much is too much when it comes to social media?" 

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Takeaways from "Quick Fixes: Innovative Solutions in Law Firm Business Development"

On Friday, we had an excellent, excellent panel following lunch with some truly brilliant people - moderator Nancy Mangan of Wicker Park Group chatted with Paul Malanowski (@pmalanowski) of Saul Ewing, Melanie Green (@melaniegreen) of Faegre Baker Daniels, and Dave Bruns (@dbruns) of Farella Braun + Martel about some of the innovative things they do to combat the most prevalent problems in business development. 

Whether you're at a large firm, or a small firm (or a service provider), there were a lot of tips in here that we can use to better drive business development. 

Key Takeaway: Talk to your Clients

When I use the word "clients" here, it has different meanings for different people: 

  • For attorneys, it's your clients. 
  • For marketers, it's your attorneys. 
  • For service providers, it's your clients. 


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Key Takeaways from "Can the C-Suite Lead the Social Media Law Firm?"

The very last session I went to before our wrap up at LMA14 was "Can the C-Suite Lead the Social Media Law Firm?" with presenters Deborah Grabein (@dgrabein) of Andrews Kurth and Michael Hertz (@michaelhertz) of White & Case and moderator Kevin O'Keefe (@kevinokeefe) of LexBlog. 

The description of the session in the conference book reads:

While Fortune 500 executives are beginning to leverage social media, law firm executives are lagging." 

Two C-Level decision makers (not practicing lawyers) in Am Law 200 firms made the decision in the fall of 2013 to start using social media, personally . They wished to experience how their use of social media could help change the perceptions of their brand, better equip them to lead their marketing and business development teams, and help them guide individual lawyers in their use of social." 

With five months of strategic consulting and coaching, these executives became active content creators and social media contributors on blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+."

Learn about the personal and firm wide challenges and rewards these law firm executives experienced, and will continue to experience in their personal use of social media." 


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Two for Tuesdays: Using LMA14 to be a Better Marketer

I'll be kicking off my recaps starting a bit later this afternoon, but first, I want to bring you a Two for Tuesdays, courtesy of a couple of great things I heard at LMA14. If you really listen to those in the LMA who are smart, thoughtful, hardworking and constantly challenging and improving themselves, you end up learning a lot and being a better marketer yourself. 

One of the best sessions of the conference was the wrap up on Friday afternoon, moderated by conference co-chairs John Byrne & Jose Cunningham, along with LMA president, Tim Corcoran. The moderators invited us to share the takeaways we'd gotten from the conference, and there were two that really stuck out for me - lessons that we can use to make ourselves better at our jobs.

Tip One: "When there's a gap between exactly what we do, and what we hear from speakers, it's our job to bridge it."

This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine, and has been for several years - you may remember my comments about it here and here

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