This fall, ILN members will have the good fortune to participate in a webinar with Pamela Cone, founder and CEO of Amity Advisory. Pam is speaking on the global movement behind corporate social responsibility and sustainability for law firms, and why firms should care, and in advance of that, I’ll be sharing some guest posts with you that may aid in your own efforts. Here is the third and final post in our series.

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How does your social impact program rate? Globally, firms are finding that prospects and clients, as well as employees and recruits expect them to take their corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability programs to a new level. These stakeholders expect you to show that you have a holistic, strategic social impact plan with measurable results.
Continue Reading Corporate responsibility and social impact for law firms: Create a social impact program that measures up

This fall, ILN members will have the good fortune to participate in a webinar with Pamela Cone, founder and CEO of Amity Advisory. Pam is speaking on the global movement behind corporate social responsibility and sustainability for law firms, and why firms should care, and in advance of that, I’ll be sharing some guest posts with you that may aid in your own efforts. Here is the second in our series.

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You might be surprised to learn what your clients expect from you. A growing number of companies have signed on to the United Nations Global Compact—more than 12,000 in 165 countries. They’re committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and they expect vendors and suppliers to also commit toward a more just and sustainable world.  Yes, this includes law firms and other professional service providers.
Continue Reading Corporate responsibility and social impact for law firms: Growing Client Engagement and Expectations

Recently, Greentarget and Zeughauser Group released their annual results for the 2019 State of Digital & Content Marketing Survey. I had the chance to chat with Greentarget President and Founding Partner, John Corey, about the results, which had some actionable findings for lawyers and law firms, as well as a few surprises.

First, the report – Corey notes that they work to take it somewhere new each year, and their six months of hard work are obvious. In addition to the report’s results this year, you also get access to some excellent thought leadership pieces that expand on the ideas revealed by the data. The data itself examines three categories of respondents – general counsel, the C-suite, and law firm CMOs, which gives a full and interesting picture of what your firm clients are looking for at various levels, and whether your firm may be correctly addressing these needs. 
Continue Reading Lawyers: What’s the One Thing that Makes Clients Care About Your Content?

While being interviewed for a podcast yesterday morning, the host asked me what I saw as the primary trend for the future of law firms. Although my answer is simple, the work behind it is not – collaboration.

We’ve talked about Heidi Gardner’s book, Smart Collaboration, before (and I again highly recommend reading it). One of the things Gardner addresses in the book is the barriers to collaboration. I’m sure many of these will be familiar to you, and that she’s so adept at identifying them should give you comfort that she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to why collaboration is so essential and useful to law firms and lawyers. Let’s examine a few of these, and how you may overcome them within your own firms or law firm networks to achieve better collaborative results.
Continue Reading Overcoming the Barriers to Collaboration

In our discussions over the last few years about the future of the law firm, the one thing that has become abundantly clear is that for lawyers and firms to be successful, they will have to learn to collaborate effectively and efficiently. In her book, Heidi Gardner calls this “Smart Collaboration.” I had the chance to see Gardner present at the CLOC conference in February, and recently finished her book, and I can’t recommend it enough – for anyone in professional services looking to be successful over the next ten years, this is a must-read.

Gardner looks at collaboration from a few distinct viewpoints, and makes the case for it in a variety of ways. The one that strikes me initially is her final chapter, in which she discusses collaboration from the point of view of the client. Clients are deeply committed to the idea of collaboration, but obviously, they want to make sure that they’re paying for good value. Not surprisingly, collaboration is good for both the firm and the client. I’m not going to go into the reasons why your firm should be investing in the idea of smart collaboration (think better success in the war for talent/clients; doing higher value work more efficiently and effectively; being a differentiator, etc.) but instead, I want to look at the reasons why collaboration adds value for your clients, and specifically, how members of a law firm network can use their membership to effectively communicate this value and enhance their collaborative skills. 
Continue Reading The Case for Collaboration in Law Firm Networks: the Value Proposition for your Clients

Lawyers know better than most people that words matter – after all, who knows better than a contract lawyer that a nuanced clause can make or break a deal?

But who knows better than your marketing team that “marketing” is a four-letter word?

It shouldn’t be – and I’ll explain why in a moment.

But how many of you (raise your hands) think of marketing as something that some group in your office does once in a while?

How many of you think of marketing as brochures and advertisements?

How many of you think marketers are just people who ask you for money and then put pretty logos together or make sure you have enough business cards?

Okay, put your  hands down. I’ve got news for you – marketing is everything you do.
Continue Reading Lawyers: What Makes You Worth Talking About?

Lawyers, don’t panic – this isn’t as scary as it sounds.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to participate in a workshop on leadership that encouraged some out-of-the-box thinking – the session integrated improv techniques into various business applications. I hate anything that feels like an icebreaker (I prefer routine and structure), so I was already pre-programmed to prefer sitting in a conference room listening to a speaker than to engage in improv.

But I was pleasantly surprised – and while some of the tips seemed silly at first (or may not work for every situation), I could definitely see the benefits of incorporating them.

Two of my favorites were “Yes, and…” and applauding all ideas. 
Continue Reading Great Leaders Think Outside the Box

While I’m out of the office this week, I’m really pleased to be bringing you a special guest post from one of the ILN’s member professionals. Alice Steen, Knowledge Manager at Holmes O’Malley Sexton, discusses best practices for developing a learning culture in your organization.

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Alice Steen, Knowledge Manager, at Holmes O’Malley Sexton reflects on ten years of learning and development (L&D) – providing strategic planning, specialist training, funding and supports for the staff’s further education, career and professional development at the thriving full service law firm.

Alice is a qualified solicitor with post graduate qualifications in higher education, teaching and learning, together with being a Lean Black Belt.

Alice joined Holmes O’Malley Sexton (HOMS Solicitors) in 2008 when it had just one office and 26 practising solicitors, 2 legal executives and 3 trainees. She has witnessed the firm’s solicitors, legal executives and trainee numbers grow by nearly 300% along with now having four offices in London, Dublin, Limerick and Cork. The nature and demands of her own role have changed dramatically as a result.
Continue Reading Developing a learning culture in your organisation

Being a strong leader is something that a lot of us aspire to, whether we’re serving in a position of leadership or not – whatever our role in our firms, the way we work, collaborate, and engage with others has a big impact on them. Knowing your strengths, and leveraging them, can help you create great teams within your firm, and as collaboration is key to success, this is a skill we certainly want to pursue.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to take a strengths assessment test called StrengthsFinder, which provided me with five themes, and what stood out within each of those themes (more on my results later).  In the follow up to taking this assessment, I learned that we’re all inclined to want to focus on areas of weakness and how to improve them. 61% of people believe that we grow most in areas of greatest weakness [statistics and themes are from a session with Alycia Sutor, of then Akina Corporation, now GrowthPlay].

That’s why we address weaknesses in performance reviews, and ask people to change or strengthen those areas. Even when we’re looking critically at our own performances, we’re looking for feedback on areas where we can do better, what our liabilities are, and how we can improve or mitigate them. 
Continue Reading Play to Your Strengths to Enhance Your Leadership Skills

I’m thrilled to announce that JD Supra has included me in this year’s Readers Choice Awards, which acknowledge top authors and firms for their thought leadership in key topics. I was selected from among thousands of authors published in 2018 for the level of visibility and engagement attained with readers on the topic of marketing and business development.

We also have two ILN member recognized – Patricia Wagner and E. John Steren of Epstein Becker & Green were recognized as top authors in Antitrust & Trade Regulation.

You may remember that we had Lance Godard contribute a guest post a few years ago on three reasons why every lawyer should study the JD Supra awards, and these are just as relevant today, so I encourage you to check these out. To recap:

  1. Clients read what they need to know
  2. Content marketing works
  3. Less is definitely not more

Read more to find out why the awards are relevant to you, even if you haven’t participated or been recognized, and how you can make use of them in your practice. 
Continue Reading ILN Executive Highlighted in 2019 JD Supra Readers Choice Awards