I received notice earlier this week that I am now a Class of 2018 Fellow-Elect with the College of Law Practice Management (COLPM). The notice is posted publicly, so I hope I am not breaking any rules or traditions by posting this.
I truly am humbled by this honor. It recognizes my overall contribution to the legal industry … not just the legal marketing slice of the pie.
Friends and Fellows
I had someone ask how/why I was selected. Truly, it has to do with my overall contributions to the business of law, not just my role in legal marketing. Along the way, however, I have met some incredible people. And many of these people have become friends, and now we’re going to be inducted into the COLPM together.
The early years and CRM
The business of law has changed over the course of my career. I was brought on board my first law firm in June 1997 to run a major conference and get out newsletters. Very quickly I ended up rolling out InterAction (which was still an InterFace product). In fact, our firm was the first to go fully live with this CRM product. I was even featured on the cover of CRM magazine. Ironically, I have come full circle and recently redeployed InterAction at my current firm.
Early adopter and promoter of social media
I began this blog nearly 10 years ago because I had no idea what a blog was, and I wanted to understand the technology better. What I didn’t expect to find was my voice.
I eventually rolled out four blogs for my firm, and helped a practice group establish itself and create a line of business for the partner that is still overwhelming profitable today.
I was part of that group who were out there trying to figure out what Twitter was. I saw a Tweet one day from this guy, Kevin O’Keefe, wanting to know who would like to grab a beer at the hotel near my office. I ran over. I was the only one who showed up. We sat that afternoon getting to know one another and discussing blogging and Twitter. I remember having a very competitive battle with Greg Lambert over who could get the most Twitter followers over the course of a weekend (he far surpasses me today). And meeting this “kid” Adrian Dayton, who had gotten caught up in all those layoffs of associates and was building his own business around social media for lawyers.
If it were not for Twitter, blogging, and social media, I would not have these professional relationships that have all turned to personal ones. To be inducted into the COLPM with these men truly means the world to me.
I started getting involved with the Legal Marketing Association soon after joining that first firm. Along the way, I have had a very, very long list of volunteer experiences both at the local and national levels of the organization. I am honored to have served on the national Board under Kim Perret, who I know I drove crazy, because I am a conductor, and I have no problem speaking up when I see a problem that needs to be solved. Even if you had no idea the problem existed before I raised my hand (or interrupted the conversation).
This trait of mine is annoying, but someone has to be that person, and I just have no problem with it being me. Over the course of the years, Kim and I have put those board years behind us (lol) and have become true peers and colleagues, and friends. My respect for Kim and how she advocates for us as legal business professionals is immense. To be inducted with Kim is truly a sign of serendipity, and I just love serendipitous moments.
Sales is NOT a four-letter word
I worked in sales for a very, very small sliver of my career. Why? Because I hated sales. I got out as quickly as I could. When “sales” (or business development) became part of the conversation within the legal marketing realm I balked. Did I mention that I hated sales? But then I started to meet folks like Mike O’Horo, who were working hard to professionalize and properly train lawyers and, yes, legal marketers, on how to run a sales program. I am a true convert, and I have no problems letting the lawyers I work with know that they are sales people, and how I am there to support them in all their efforts.
Fair warning to COLPM, Mike will bring the party from Vegas to Boston this fall.
Most of my career has been spent bringing big law practices to mid-sized firms. Linda Orton is one of those legal marketers I stalk, in a good way. She truly is a trail blazer, bringing BUSINESS principles to the legal industry. I look to her, and her achievements, as examples of what I can do in my firm. One of the beautiful things of social media is that through Facebook I also get to watch Linda as a mom, and watching her adventurous spirit, which inspires me as a mom as well.
Blazing the way
There are a total of 43 men and women on this list, and I only touched on the accomplishments of a few of us. I plan to run through the list of my fellow Fellow-elects to connect with them on LinkedIn and get to know who they are better. It will be interesting to see who I am already connected to, and I am excited to expand my network across different disciplines of the business of law.
I look forward to meeting everyone in October as we are officially inducted into the College of Law Practice Management together. And, yes, the Sports Dude will be there as well. How could he not get dragged along with me. The Sports Dude in a tux?? Last time I saw him in a tux was prom night, 1981. This should be fun.