Here I am in Boston to attend the College of Law Practice Management‘s Futures Conference; set to be inducted as a Fellow this evening. Being welcomed as a Fellow in this organization is a reflection of my career, my contributions to the legal industry, and an incredible honor. I look around the room, and read about my fellow Fellows, and I am humbled. I also wonder: “Do they know who they just confirmed?”

Is My Impostor Syndrome Showing?

Cabo 2018
Family posing on vacation – Cabo 2018

It’s not a secret that I am a recovering alcoholic. I’ve been sober for more than 30 years (ugh … that’s a long time).

I’m also married to my high school sweetheart.

I have two great kids.

We take great vacations and have stuff.

From the outside looking in, for all intents and purposes, I have a sweet life. And I do.

And yet, I still compare my insides to your outsides and struggle with insecurities.

I have friends on Facebook who live lives I wish I lived:

  • They are stay-at-home moms who have had the privilege of raising their children (I had a nanny)
  • They have beautiful homes (I am stuck in my condo, FOREVER, because I am priced out of both upgrading and down-sizing in the crazy LA market)
  • They are celebrating 25+ years of marriage (let’s just say I have trust issues that have impacted my relationships through the years)
  • They take the most exotic vacations (we go where the time-share will take us)
  • They have impressive college and post-baccalaureate credentials (If I knew how great my college was I’d never have applied …. and with that GPA, there was no way I was getting into a Tier-1 law school)
  • Their careers seem to be spectacular (legal marketing … how’d that happen??)


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Summer is over, and that means a rash of conferences will be taking place between now and the week before Thanksgiving. Calls for speakers and sponsors are starting to go out for 2019. And my budget and calendar are busted.

Needless to say, I have attended, participated, and planned numerous conferences over the course of my career, and there’s just no excuse for crap programming.

I’m spending time (days out of the office, away from my family, plus travel), money (usually my firm’s, but for my service provider colleagues, it’s their money). And for my clients (the attorneys in my firm for me, but the paying clients for my firm’s attorneys), they are losing access to their trusted adviser/service provider/attorney for those hours or days.

It’s 2018 and there’s just no excuse for bad programming. So why are you still not taking speaking or moderating at a conference seriously? You said yes for a reason. 
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Earlier this week I started seeing some of my legal marketing friends and colleagues touting their firms’ certification as Mansfield 2.0 and I was so excited. If you don’t know what the Mansfield Rule is, you can read more here. I also blogged on it earlier this year,  Women, diversity, law firms, and why are we still having this conversation?

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING ever changes in the law firm ecosystem naturally. It is by force of the client, or peer pressure/competition that we begrudgingly push ourselves to do what should be done because it is not only the right thing to do, but the best thing for the business’ success.

Cross-selling, anyone??

Why the Mansfield Rule?

Mansfield RuleSimply put, the Mansfield Rule–based on the concept of the NFL’s Rooney Rule–requires that law firms consider at least 30% women, LGBTQ+ and minority lawyers for significant leadership roles (sadly, we can’t even go 50/50 here).

Easy-peasy, right?? Not really.
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It’s morning in Cabo. Not early morning, but morning enough. Day three of vacation. It hasn’t gone perfectly. We’re changing rooms later today. But so far so good. Everyone is getting along, and a tan has begun.

So why am I blogging? Why am I not down at the spa, or packing a bag for

Cynthia A. McCollough

Guest post from Cynthia McCollough, Digital Marketing Strategist, University of Michigan Law School

Cyndy is senior-level marketing consultant with extensive experience at law firms and global technology organizations. Her achievements are primarily focused on implementing and managing strategic marketing environments that improve efficiencies, measure results, and drive new business. You can follow Cyndy on Twitter, where she tweets on the intersection of law and technology.


Learn how to deliver a persuasive pitch that will help get your project off the ground. Twitter #G019

ILTA Con Pitch Perfect Panel

First off, I LOVED the format of this session – 5 panelists acted as a Shark Tank review board for three different pitches. The pitches included improving conference room technology, bringing on project management as a service (PMaaS), and adding a new document composition tool to Word.

The feedback could be applied to any pitch for any product or service, and is a great reminder about how to tell your story to achieve your goals:
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My peer and colleague, Leigh Dance, just posted this article in the LME group:

Turf war: Law firm bosses see Big Four as ‘threat’ as they aggressively expand into legal sector.

I’m leaving it in big, bold print because it is one of the most important things you can read today.

This is a pivotal moment in the legal industry, and I can already hear the lawyers doing what they were trained to do and do best: pick away at the argument and why it doesn’t or won’t apply to them:

Why is it important? We don’t have offices in London.

My clients don’t care about AI.

Well, if that’s the future, I’m outta here. 

How’s this for a response:

Cornelius Grossmann, Ernst & Young’s global law leader, said in a press release that the acquisition “underlines the position of EY as a leading disruptor of legal services.” EY says the company will help it cut the costs of routine legal activities.

EY’s global legal leader Cornelius Grossman said: “We have a plan for the next five years where we will aggressively grow the legal business.”

“The Big Four will have a very large impact on the mid market. They have got such a strong client base and they are so good at integrating business services into their offering,” he said.


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I’m not sure about you, but I receive dozens of emails, e-newsletters, links, and posts of items I should be reading, today. I could spend the first two+ hours of my day just sorting through all the things I should know, or at least should be aware of in, and still not make a dent. I keep sorting it, trying to manage it all, and currently I have:

  • a folder dedicated to daily newsletters that I rarely visit, but at least they don’t hit my in-box;
  • a folder filled with webinars I missed, but really need to watch;
  • a host of “saved” posts on LinkedIn that I plan to read, later today, but most likely won’t.

It’s too overwhelming. But I know I need to stay on top of these trends, and news stories, and happenings within my industry that will make me better at what I do.

One a day. But what?

The only solution I can think of right now is that once a day I can find the time to stop and read one thing, and share that with the world.

What’s the one thing that stood out, caught my attention (usually with a great headline), and inspired me in some way?

The best way I have found to find these articles is by having a select group on Twitter (haven’t figured out how to cull that list on Facebook or LinkedIn yet) where I will pause when they post.

They are leaders in the legal industry. Leaders in business. Certain reporters and publications. Personal colleagues and friends. I let them do some of the heavy sorting for me. What are THEY reading today? If they’re sharing it, there might be something there.

Today the “If you read only one thing today, read this” winner is Jordan Furlong and a post of his that caught my eye on LinkedIn:

Why THIS post, and not yours?


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Legal Market Landscape ReportForget a hero, the legal industry needs a game changer. We’re continuing to operate like it’s still 1999, and, let’s face it, the world has moved on, yet our business model is still, fundamentally, unchanged.

In my 20 years as a legal marketing executive, as well as a very vocal member of the law firm and business of law ecosystems, I have watched as the different disruptors have risen, only to see the skeptical lawyer mindset argue away its value and potential impact. All the while, market share is slipping away, for both the lawyers who represent “PeopleLaw” and the corporate firms who represent “Organizational Clients” (AKA “consumer lawyers” and “AmLaw 100” firms).

Yesterday, in the LME group, peer and colleague Dave Bruns shared Bill Henderson‘s “Legal Market Landscape Report,” which was commissioned by the State Bar of California. It is an important read. So important that I will share here with you a highlighted copy with my first-round of notes.
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I’m coming off an interesting couple weeks where the theme apparently was happiness. And before you start rolling your eyes, give me a moment (because I’m just as skeptical as you when people in legal start spouting off about happiness).

According to Psychology Today, happiness is

more than simply positive mood, happiness is a state of well-being that encompasses living a good life—that is, with a sense of meaning and deep satisfaction.”

Let’s face it. THAT does not sound like the typical law firm, or overwrought executive, or the millennial lawyer, let alone look like anything that is happening within a legal marketing department.

This happiness theme really took hold with something Sanju Kripalani, who recently joined the Wicker Park Group said. It was based off of Sonja Lyubomirsky’s “The How of Happiness” formula,

50% of happiness is determined by your genes

10% of happiness is determined by the circumstances in which you live

40% of happiness is determined by your actions, your attitude or optimism, and the way you handle situations


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I am attending the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women’s Summit. Our firm is a sponsor, and our partner Karina Sterman was a panelist.

Image of LABJ's Women's Council & AwardsFor the legal marketers reading this post: get out of the office and attend the events you sponsor. I am always “too busy” to attend, but I am reminded once again today why it’s so important.

First of all, I now understand this event, the nuances, and how to market this event within our firm. Even if our table is filled, the “sales” side of the program will always makes space for you to stop by and “get a personal feel” for the event.

Secondly, Karina and I were able to brainstorm some strategies in the back of the room and we are going to create a program for our clients based on some information we heard.

Beyond seeing how our firm can be a better sponsor and take advantage of the program, I’m gleaming good information for ME.

It’s a professional women’s summit. The panels are all about our careers. With 20 years invested in my legal marketing career, there is always more I can learn, and pass along.
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