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Showing posts from 2018

Profile raising in South Florida: making the most of the Daily Business Review

Profile raising is an important aspect of your marketing and business development efforts. Demonstrating that you are a thought leader in your practice area - whether by writing articles or being quoted in news articles, can go a long way towards helping you stand out. There are many publications out there of course, but the focus of this post is the Daily Business Review (DBR) in South Florida.
Writing an article The DBR is an ALM publication reporting on the legal market in South Florida. An excellent opportunity for lawyers to write an article is through the DBR's Board of Contributors column. Articles should be about 800 words, and can be case-specific, about a specific area of the law, a trend, legislation affecting a particular field, or the business of law. If you have a topic to suggest, even better, as the DBR welcomes new content. You'll also need to include a 1-sentence bio and a high resolution headshot, and will be required to sign the DBR's standard rights ag…

Notes from Rainmakers

One of my favorite stories from a rainmaker: when he was a young associate at a well-regarded firm, the managing partner sat him down one day and told him: son, you will never have to worry about bringing in clients. It is my job to be the rainmaker. I take care of my team. Later that day, the managing partner fired half the firm. That was the moment the rainmaker realized that his book of business was his own responsibility and was not to be left in the hands of others. He went out and started networking and never looked back. Today, he is the managing partner at a successful law firm.

Here's what I've heard from other rainmakers:
There is no substitute for being a great lawyer. Expertise and client service are non-negotiable - you must deliver results. Be friendly. People want to work with people they like. No one wants to work with a jerk. You want people to respect and like you. If you're not failing, you're not succeeding. Not every pitch will be successful and tha…

The Science of Happiness Explained

I'm at the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans, and almost skipped the keynote session - because an hour-long talk about happiness sounded irritating. But actually I didn't want to strangle the speaker at all. 

The Happiness Professor as she is known, is Catherine Sanderson. She teaches at Amherst College and has degrees from Princeton and Stanford. She presented research from the field of positive psychology that looks at the factors that do (and do not) predict happiness, and provided practical ways that we can increase our own psychological well-being.
Things we think will make us happy, but really don’t: Money. (Note: for people worried about survival, this doesn’t apply.) But beyond that, the more of it one has, the more one wants. 
Climate. Not convinced about this one. As a person who has been living in Florida for 6 years, from Canada, I can tell you that she may have gotten this one wrong. 
Life event. In other words, when X thing happ…

How to get listed in Best Lawyers

The deadline for the next edition of Best Lawyers is coming up on April 15, so here's the rundown on this publication. It is entirely based on peer review, which means that the listings are based on votes by lawyers. But only lawyers who are already listed are eligible to vote. So, you'll need to first get on the ballot, and then do some campaigning. Here's how to approach it: 

First, you need to get nominated. Nominations are open to anyone, but they ask that lawyers not nominate themselves, so the easiest approach is to have your marketing person nominate you. They can find the link here. Once that's done, you will be on the ballot for voting. One nomination is sufficient.

The ballot. I mentioned above that only currently listed lawyers are eligible to vote. But there's a catch: not all lawyers are listed on every ballot, so lawyers can't choose exactly who they vote for. The ballots are designed based on the voter's geographic region and practice area. So,…

How to create and implement a community program at your law firm

Here's how to launch a successful community initiative at your firm.

Make sure you have genuine support from your firm's decision makers. If they are not truly behind the effort, you won't get very far. Everything you do should be strategic – partner with client charities, align with your firm's mission and core values. Define how you will measure your community program's success, and track it.  

Community is a very broad concept so start by organizing your initiative into 3 main categories: giving (i.e. financial donations), hands-on involvement, and pro bono.

GIVING - Determine an annual budget, identify the organizations that you plan to support, and amount to allocate to each. You may want to support organizations in which your lawyers hold board positions. You could survey your team for organizations they already support. Or, consider forming an internal committee who will consider sponsorship requests on a case by case basis. As mentioned above, look for oppor…

The good news is, legal marketing is all the rage

Is it just me or is legal marketing the hottest topic on the internet these days? Here's a roundup of recent law firm marketing and business development headlines.

An article in The American Lawyer by Jennifer Scalzi thoughtfully points out that an effective marketing and business development team can help to identify a firm's true differentiators, implement effective client programs, and hold lawyers accountable to their business plans. But there's a catch: lawyers have to empower their M&BD teams and get out of their comfort zones to make it happen. This requires hearing things they may not want to hear. For instance, a client program may yield feedback that is not all glowing. But, as the author wisely notes, it is in this state of discomfort where opportunities lie.

A National Law Review article addresses how firms can use culture as a business development tool. While this article reads more like a plug for an upcoming Thomson Reuters conference than a thought lead…

Book Review: Accelerating Lawyer Success

What does success look like in law firms? The authors, frustrated with the abundance of anecdotal evidence and lack of empirical evidence to answer this question, set out to solve it with research. Their findings are based on studies including a comprehensive, 75-item survey completed by 343 lawyers at U.S. AmLaw 100 firms. They examine, among other things, the differences between lawyers who made partner in less than 10 years and those who didn't.
Accelerating Lawyer Success: How to Make Partner, Stay Healthy, and Flourish in a Law Firm. By Lori Berman, Heather Bock, and Juliet Aiken. 

The authors have uncovered the recipe for how to make partner in less than 10 years. In short, it involves hard work and quality work, strategic relationship building, planning, help from mentors, and a mind-set of being the master of your own fate. You gotta build relationships strategically, invest in them, and leverage them. You need goals, to make plans, and to stick to them for the most part. An…

3 podcasts every legal marketer should listen to

Has your new year’s resolution to read more books failed 3 years in a row? This year, try these 3 podcasts instead. A hands-free way to learn something new, and you can listen pretty much anywhere, from your commute to the office or while making dinner. The best part: way less time required than reading an entire book (episodes are 20 minutes to an hour). High ROI guaranteed.
Legal Marketing Association (LMA) Podcast. Each episode focuses on a hot topic in the world of legal marketing and business development and features a panel of experts on said topic. Launched in 2016, this podcast is about 20 episodes in, so you can start with the most relevant to you – or binge listen (may require giving up your usual Netflix series). Notable episode: Episode 11.Bloomberg Law's Big Law Business Podcast. "The business of law, and news and information about the largest U.S. law firms, with Josh Block and Casey Sullivan." Notable episode: Hogan Lovells' CEO & Akin Gump's Ch…

The new year’s resolution every associate should make

Our firm's associates are a talented bunch. They graduated top of their class, have backgrounds as musical theater performers and soccer players, and are multilingual and multicultural. But brains and talent can only get one so far in today’s legal profession. Regardless of what their future career goals are - to make partner, start their own firm, join a government or nonprofit organization - everyone needs a roadmap to get where they want to go. Help your associates to make it their new year’s resolution to create a business development plan in 2018. Here’s how to coach them: Create a written plan. Writing down your goals makes you accountable to them and more likely to achieve them. Also, you get the satisfaction of crossing your action items off your list as you complete them. Find a sample template online and use it.   Don't fret that you have written down your goals and are now tied to them. Think of your plan as a living, breathing document, and correct course as you go.…