Posted in Legal, Relationship Development

Are Your Networking Efforts Wasted?

If we were guaranteed to get business every time we met someone new, we’d all be networking all the time, right?

But instead, networking takes time, it takes finesse and relationship-building, and often, you’ll find yourself talking to someone who may not be giving your their business or they may not have business to give you. Two complaints about networking that I’ve heard frequently are “this person doesn’t benefit me” and “I haven’t gotten any business yet.” But are these always wasted efforts?  Continue Reading

Posted in Firm of the Month

ILN Firm of the Month – Ogden Murphy Wallace, Seattle!

We are proud to announce our latest firm of the month, Ogden Murphy Wallace, Seattle!
Ogden Murphy Wallace, P.L.L.C. is a leading multispecialty law firm committed to providing practical, cost-effective legal services to businesses, municipal entities, and individuals. They have served Pacific Northwest clients for 100 years, providing additional legal services as their clients’ affairs have prospered and expanded. They address each client’s needs with the most appropriate expertise available in their firm, using a team approach to draw on the specialized knowledge of attorneys best qualified to meet those needs.

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Posted in Law Firms, Legal Marketing, Relationship Development

Authenticity: Sounds Like a Buzzword, but Key to Successful Networking in Legal

“Authenticity” has become a dirty word in the last few years.

It’s right up there with some of the other most hated buzzwords and phrases – “at the end of the day,” “thinking outside of the box,” “synergy,” “value add,” “circle back,” “bandwidth.”

Are you cringing yet?

But even though the word “authenticity” might make your skin crawl, it’s actually a pretty important concept – it’s a buzzword for a reason.  Continue Reading

Posted in Rainmaking Recommendations, Social Media

Rainmaking Recommendation with Jaimie Field: Social Media Marketing v. Social Media Networking

In today’s rainmaking recommendation from expert and coach, Jaimie Field, learn the difference between social media marketing and social media networking, and why you need both in your arsenal.

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One of the things that I haven’t discussed in a deeper manner is how to use various social media networking sites for Rainmaking Purposes.

I have touched on the fact that if you use social media you need to take the relationship from online to off in order to allow you to create the relationships that will lead to more referrals, prospective clients and deeper relationships with other.  Continue Reading

Posted in Future of the Law Firm, Law Firms, Leadership

Key Factors for Achieving Change in the Legal Industry

Following on our last post about Steve Harmon’s trends to watch in legal, I wanted to share some of his other key takeaways from his session at the CLOC Institute in London. Each of these takeaways, while directed at the legal operations audience, is relevant throughout the legal industry and are key driving factors for how we’ll be able to achieve change.

Collaboration Drives Success

We’ve focused on this idea previously, and it was a strong theme throughout the CLOC institute. True, smart collaboration can feel unfamiliar, and a bit uncomfortable in the legal profession, but there are strong business cases for it (we’ll get into those in a bit more detail when we discuss Heidi Gardner’s session on collaboration). Harmon said that legal operations professionals aren’t “stewards of process, but drivers of results.” Having the best process isn’t a differentiator if it’s not tied to business results (this is true within law firms as well). Because of that, it’s possible to share best practices without impacting differentiation or competition. That’s also true across the legal industry, and is a call for more, and not less, collaboration. Continue Reading

Posted in Legal

Happy 10th Blogiversary to Zen & the Art of Legal Networking!

It’s a bit hard to believe it, but I’ve been blogging here at Zen for 10 years. A LOT has changed in the legal industry in ten years, and yet, in many ways, a lot is still the same. If you’d have asked me a decade ago if I still planned to be blogging and sharing my thoughts on the industry in 2019, I’m not sure that I would have said yes. But I’m honored to be a part of this community that allows me to grow, innovate, brainstorm ideas, and develop my own role. And it’s only fitting that ten years into blogging (14 years into my role with the ILN) sees me transitioning into my next exciting challenge – as our Executive Director retires at the end of this year, I’ll be taking over his position, and having the opportunity to share more with you some of the unique opportunities that come along with leading a global organization in the changing legal profession.  Continue Reading

Posted in Rainmaking Recommendations

Rainmaking Recommendation: You Can’t Outsource Relationships

Today, we’ve got a guest post for you from rainmaking expert & coach, Jaimie Field, on a topic that’s a pet peeve of mine – outsourcing relationships. Hint: you shouldn’t do it.

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Lately, I have been seeing tons of ads on Facebook and LinkedIn touting the services of various law firm and legal marketing experts and consultants who promise you that you will get “10 new clients a month” or “done for you marketing services which will create a Million Dollar Law firm” or any other pie in the sky promise that separates you from your hard earned money. * Continue Reading

Posted in Future of the Law Firm, Law Firms, Leadership

Five Legal Industry Trends to Watch

We’re a few weeks out now from the CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium) Institute in London, and I’m finally jumping into some recaps. There was some truly excellent content during the conference, and not just for legal operations folks, but with transferable lessons for everyone in the legal industry. Over the next few weeks, I’ll dive into a few of the sessions and look at what we discussed, starting with Steve Harmon’s presentation on the Evolving Role of the Corporate Legal Department & the Implications for Legal Operations Teams. Harmon is the Deputy General Counsel at Cisco and General Counsel at Elevate, and a CLOC board member. Continue Reading

Posted in Firm of the Month

ILN Firm of the Month – Fenno Attorneys-at-Law, Finland!

The ILN is proud to announce our latest firm of the month, Fenno Attorneys-at-Law, Finland!
A regional Finnish law firm, Fenno Attorneys at Law is an experienced and youthful firm providing legal services for both corporate and private clients. Fenno was founded in 2016 and their approach to practicing law is solid, modern and innovative.
Fenno Attorneys at Law operates wherever their clients are. Their offices are located in Helsinki, Tampere, Jyväskylä, Mikkeli, Järvenpää and Salo. They also hold remote consultations when necessary.

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Posted in Law Firms, Legal Marketing

Super Bowl Commercials – The Ugly of 2019

It’s the post I know you’ve all been waiting for – as ads have gotten milder the last few years, each season, I wonder whether there will be any commercials worthy of the “ugly” moniker. This year, we had three!

Before we dive into the ugly commercials, there is one interesting choice I want to discuss – Skittles’ decision this year to forego a Super Bowl commercial in favor of a one-time only, thirty minute live show in Times Square to 1,500 people, with proceeds going to the nonprofit organization, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Mars Wrigley also planned to donate up to $50,000.

In an industry where companies are spending obscene amounts of money on (for the most part) lackluster commercials, this is really a standout. I generally don’t like Skittles commercials, I’ll admit. They’re a bit on the weird side (and I’m a bit on the weird side, so that’s saying something). So to instead create buzz around an event starring a celebrity (C. Michael Hall), make it exclusive, donate the proceeds to charity, and in the end, spend less than you would on a Super Bowl commercial, while probably getting more views and interest for it, is really brilliant. Hats off to them. What can lawyers and law firms learn from that?

  • You don’t have to follow the crowd. I know the running joke in the legal industry is that lawyers love to be first to be second, but what if you DIDN’T do what everyone else was doing? A crowded playing field is just that – crowded. What if you found the way to stand out and did it?
  • Be true to your brand. This is definitely unusual for a brand, to have a Broadway-type show instead of a Super Bowl commercial. But Skittles is an unusual brand, so it fits with who they are. Unlike what Verizon did, trying to shore up their image with first responders, Skittles stuck with their brand message. Who are you as a firm? Don’t just say that with your marketing – DO it with your actions. The projects that you engage in, the charities that you supports, the innovations you embrace – let them all reflect who you are as a firm.

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