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?"

Continue Reading US General Counsel: Global Needs for Outside Counsel

As we head into #LMA14 this week, I’m excited that we’ll be revealing the best of the best in legal marketing with our Your Honor Awards (which I was fortunate enough to serve as a judge for this year). 

As much as I’d like to reveal the winners (calm down Jill and Marcie, I would never do that!), instead, I thought I’d use this week’s Two for Tuesdays to give you two tips on smart marketing – we really saw some amazing and brilliant submissions this year, and they all had a couple of things in common. 

Tip One: Know your audience

I say this a LOT here, but any good marketing or business development activity HAS to start with knowing your audience. The best submissions that we saw really took the time to identify not only who their audience is, but what their needs and wants are. They made sure there was nothing else in the market that was meeting their needs in that way, and put together carefully crafted campaigns or events or apps or what have you that were actually of use to their clients and potential clients. Continue Reading Two for Tuesdays: Smart Legal Marketing

Something you may not know about me is that I’m a big fan of the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Every day, Ellen reminds us to laugh, to dance, to do something for others, and most importantly, to "be kind to one another." 

In the course of business, we can sometimes forget that it’s possible to be successful AND nice.  I’m not suggesting being a pushover or not being a fierce advocate for your clients (as the famous line goes, "Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness"), but I am suggesting that it’s possible to be excellent at your job without tearing someone else down. That extends to marketing as well. 

It’s long been a pet peeve of mine when one brand uses their advertising to tear down another brand.  It’s more than just an adverse reaction to the "bullying;" it’s the sense that the company must not really be any good if they have to resort to such immature tactics. If a company or firm is excellent, does excellent work and provides an excellent product, then that all stands for itself without having to show how they’re "better." 

Continue Reading Two for Tuesdays: Be Kind to One Another

This morning, I have a treat for you all! I’m bringing in a guest poster (which I’ll be doing from time to time, to switch things up), and today’s is my very good friend, Nancy Myrland. Nancy is the President of Myrland Marketing & Social Media, where she is a Social Media Consultant, Speaker & Trainer, and a Professional Marketing Advisor, specializing in helping firms and companies grow their business by strengthening relationships with their clients through the strategic use of Social Media.

Today, Nancy brings us an excellent post about LinkedIn – with all the changes in the last year, it can be tough to keep up, and Nancy helps us focus and understand what’s important about LinkedIn’s newest change, opening up their publishing platform. 


There are 2 conditions I’ll bet hold true for just about every person reading this blog post.

  1.  You’re busy.
  2. There are clients out there who need your services.

Your job as lawyers, and our job as the marketers who advise you, is to deal with the reality of number 1 and help you to find number 2, right? Continue Reading Lawyers: LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform Just Hit Home For You

Another of my all-time favorite conference sessions at LMA is always the client panel.  For me, the panel always makes the investment in the conference worth it, because I can impart what I learn from the GCs there to my lawyers, to help them to understand their own clients better, and that adds value for everyone. 

This year’s client panel didn’t disappoint. It focused on best practices for building and maintaining your law firm’s relationship with in-house counsel and featured Megan Belcher, the VP and Chief Employment Counsel for ConAgra, Kevin Schubert, the Associate General Counsel, Transactions for LV Sands Corporation, Simon Manoucherian, the Assistance General Counsel/Director of Litigation GRIFOLS, and Karen Cottle, Senior Counsel for Sidley Austin and former in-house counsel. The panel was moderated by Inside Counsel magazine. 

The panelists said that they would discuss the role of social media for general counsel, the challenges that they see over the next five years, and the change in inside/outside counsel relationships since 2008.  Since the economic downturn, GCs have changed the way that they evaluate outside counsel, and the process by which trust is built. 

Continue Reading General Counsel Panel: Separate from the Pack – a Recap Part I

So if you’ve been hiding under a rock instead of reading my blog posts, you may not already know that my favorite session from LMA13 was "Delivering Happiness: Fresh Ideas for Service-Driven Brands Deploying Social Media Tactics, Seeking ROI" with Graham Kahr, Social Scientist for Zappos and Jayne Navarre of Law Gravity LLC

Rather than a typical session, Jayne and Graham let us know right away that it would be different when they introduced themselves in the third person. Their session took on the tone of more of a conversation, which also included those of us in the audience. 

They began their conversation by saying that they wouldn’t be talking about social media per se, but really focusing instead on creating experiences for clients (which is something we could all identify with). Graham said that Zappos doesn’t push their own brand stories – they want their customers to tell the brand story for them.Continue Reading “Delivering Happiness” – A Zappos Session Recap

This morning, I had the pleasure of speaking with my fellow co-leaders in the Legal Marketing Association’s Social Media Special Interest Group (LMA Social Media SIG for short). Our main purpose was to debrief on our group’s activities at the conference, to see what worked well and what didn’t, but by virtue of the conversation, we ended up talking about the conference in general and some of the anecdotal feedback that we’d heard. 

One of the interesting points that was raised was it had been suggested that the Zappos session, bringing in an outside-of-the-industry speaker, was either loved or hated. Loved, because, as I’ve mentioned before, it was excellent, or hated because people didn’t understand how a customer-driven organization like Zappos could have any relevance to legal marketing. 

Sigh. Continue Reading Legal Marketers – Let’s Raise the Bar

It’s been a week since I returned home from the LMA’s Annual Conference, and I’m still digesting everything that went on there – it was a non-stop whirlwind of networking, meetups with social media friends and ILN marketers, face-time with new attendees, and conference sessions (as well as a LOT of food). LMA served its purpose once again though, and I’ve returned to the office with new vigor, feeling more inspired than when I left! Even better for this Social Media Special Interest Group Co-Leader? Not only did I get to see my friends and make new connections face to face, but #LMA13 was trending on Twitter! (Pictured are fellow co-leaders Gail Lamarche of Henderson Franklin and Nancy Myrland, Myrland Marketing with me. Not pictured are Lance Godard of JD Supra, who was unable to join us, and Laura Toledo, Tenrec, who was ill). 

There will be several recap posts to come, but while I’m still ruminating on those, I thought I’d share with you my three favorite sessions, as well as what’s on my reading list now that I’ve returned home. Keep an eye out for the recaps on these sessions! 

Continue Reading LMA Annual Conference – A Quick Debrief

Social media is the perfect medium for someone like me – someone who’s an introvert, a bit on the shy side, and prefers to have the safety of being behind a computer screen rather than face-to-face. 

But if you’re using social media to be…well, social…and you’d like it to lead to business development opportunities, you’ve got to take it offline. While it’s possible to build relationships online, and to nurture them there, you cannot discount the benefit to meeting someone face-to-face. 

A conference is the perfect opportunity for this, and I’ll tell you a story about how social media has enriched my conference experience at the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Meeting (which I’m currently en-route to – I love airplane wifi!). Continue Reading Taking it Offline

Last week, we had the pleasure of welcoming my friend, Gina Rubel, of Furia Rubel, as our webinar presenter for the ILN’s marketing group. Gina had a fabulous presentation dedicated to the topic of integrated approaches to law firm marketing and public relations, and the attendees agreed that it was excellent. 

I won’t do my usual lengthy recap here, because Gina will be using some of the same insights in her upcoming panel presentation at the LMA’s 2013 Annual Conference (and I’m attending her session, so I’ll recap it then).  But I do want to give all of you a taste of what’s to come, to encourage everyone who’ll be at LMA13 to see Gina’s panel at 11am on Tuesday, April 9th. (ILN members and marketers can email me directly for a copy of the presentation)

Gina noted early in the presentation that when marketing a law firm, there are several fundamental questions to answer, regardless of the size of the firm – these surround topics such as goals, audience, messaging, tactics and ROI. Continue Reading Integrated Approaches to Law Firm Marketing & Public Relations