Finishing up rolling out a new website in 2018, but already looking ahead to 2019 and my need to roll out an experience management system. Looking at the different products and excited to hear the case studies in this session.

Kudos to the moderator for not just including people using their product.

Why do you need an experience database?

Tips

  • Pick a time frame for the data to import for the project (5-10 years)
  • Each practice to decide the parameters for the data to collect
  • System can rank the strength of the matter based on the hours billed, people still working at the firm (based on hours billed)
  • Sync with your website for representative matters
  • Also filing lateral hire matters
  • Use NAIC, SIC, or Duns

Benefits to the firm

  • Attorneys are doing less
  • Email clutter is going down
  • Firm is trusting that the data is valid
  • Once the matter is open (which is the same), the data is then fed into the system
  • Benefits to the pricing people was a hidden gem

Lessons Learned

  • If you’re not currently tracking the data, start. Give yourself a head start.
    • Add client matter name/number to the Chambers submissions and the representative matters on the website
  • Get every administrative function at the firm involved from the start

Before and After

Continue Reading #LMA18 – Experience Management or My 2019 project

The Winston team is here to present on lateral success, especially surrounding their launch of their Dallas office (50 attorneys from nine different firms). But let me just say, it’s nice being in a room that is a good size and classroom sized. Yeah!! (Still no power strip, but girl can’t have it all in life).

The Panel

Learning Outcomes

Setting the Stage

Continue Reading #LMA18 – Lateral Acquisitions: Setting the Stage for Success

First off my rant: Seriously. Could LMA have given this program the smallest room available? Strategy with Jennifer Manton, Nat Slavin, and Wendy Bernero. Come on … learn your audience all ready.

Here we go:

In the past, law firms did everything, now we need to focus.

If you’re not strategizing, you have put yourself in a disadvantage in the marketplace. This is our new normal. The good ol’ days are not coming back. The client is the general contractor and you are the sub-contractor. Time to rightsize your thought process. Continue Reading #LMA18: Strategy-Are you a talent, service firm? or a hybrid?

The Hall of Fame and Your Honor Awards are being honored and showcased this morning at the 2018 LMA Annual Conference. These are our best members and our inspirations. And we are celebrating them this morning.

  • At 8:15
  • In the morning
  • On Day 2 of a conference.
  • In New Orleans.

I’ll just leave that here.

LMA Recognition Awards | Hall of Fame

I want to personally thank Ann Gallagher and Jeff Reade for your contributions to our association and to our profession as a whole. Thank you for blazing the path that I was easily able to follow.

Congratulations to all who were recognized with a Your Honor Award. The LMA conference is all about connecting and inspiring, so PLEASE click through and learn more about what your peers (and competitors) are doing:

2018 LMA Your Honor Awards Winners

Continue Reading #LMA18 – Honoring and showcasing the best of LMA

 

Okay, let’s begin with the rooms size. Who would have thought so many people would want to participate in a deep dive program on strategic planning lead by this group ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Let’s begin with the why? Why is strategic planning so popular again?

What’s the difference between strategy and strategic planning?

Kim: A strategy allows you to know the firm’s priorities so you can allocate the firm’s resources (money, time, people)

Mike: It allows you to find a common vocabulary, and improve understanding and collaboration

Clinton: With more than 100,000 books on strategy on the market, you need to double down on one, for your firm

You need to put it down on paper, because is where concensus comes into play . So, if you don’t have it in writing, you don’t have a strategy or a strategic plan.

Your strategic plan needs to be dynamic to take into account outside events/competitive landscape (new firm into the marketplace, recession hits, technology change).

WHY do firms implement strategic plans?

Kim: growth. You can’t grow without a strategy.

Clinton’s methodology for strategy:

The Role of the CMO leading the process

The considerations

AI is more than just a buzz word. AI is touching everything that we do, even when we don’t recognize it as doing so.

So, let’s start with the room is too small for a topic this relevant, especially considering last year the room was three times the size and PACKED. So, when the room is standing room only, I have no issues sitting on the floor.

AI doesn’t just understand the words, but understands what the words mean for a phrase like “raining cats and dogs.”

WHAT IS AI?

Mark Greene, Market Intelligence LLC, goes over what AI is. I went to the session last year. I know I tweeted on it, but apparently I didn’t write a blog post … sorry about that. It was one of the best programs I attended. But here are a couple slides from today:

WHAT IS WATSON?

Continue Reading #LMA18 – How Legal Departments are Leveraging AI

Kicking off #LMA with Catherine A. Sanderson, Ph.D., The Science of Happiness. I know you won’t believe this, but I was skeptical walking into the program, but open-minded. Adored Catherine’s presentation (she has my sense of sarcastic humor) … you can find a version of it here.

So why should we care about happiness?

Happy people are:

  • less hostile
  • more productive
  • healthier (fight off colds, recover from surgery faster)
  • live longer

But we look for happiness in all the wrong places:

  • money
    • except for people who live under the poverty line
  • climate
    • FYI, living in California f***ing sucks
  • life events
  • children
    • parents experience more joy than non-parents
    • lots of stress from worry, heartache and stress

Marriage

  • Men are happier when married. To anyone. But women need to be married to the right person. unhappily married women are less healthy than single women.

What does make us happy?

  • Behaviors
    • eating makes us happy (if it’s the right food — cake, chocolate, etc)
    • exercise
    • Related imageshopping
      • happiest when shopping for others (except for me, shoes make me happy)
    • nature (gotta admit, I’m happiest sitting on my mom’s front porch, on her country road)
  • Personality
    • your disposition
      • extroverts are happier (make friends easier, outgoing)
      • high self-esteem (can find the silver lining in any cloud)
      • optimists (they can find silver linings as well)
  • Friends
    • quality over quantity
      • get rid of the riff-raff of friends and focus in on the quality relationships
      • as we get older we prioritize the relationships … but we can do this at any age
      • the label on the relationship doesn’t matter
      • relationship just needs to be meaningful
      • the mere presence of a cell-phone automatically decrease the meaningfulness of the relationship
        • PUT THE PHONE DOWN, AND AWAY

Three components of happiness

  • pleasure, but less important (ie, the glass of wine you had last night)
  • engagement (and anticipation)
    • such as planning a vacation
  • meaning
    • doing things that you find meaningful

Conclusion

  • Genetics accounts for 50% of our happiness. But the ability to adapt to our circumstances allows us to find happiness again, even under the worst circumstances.
  • It takes effort. We need to put effort into it and fight for it.

Top 10 strategies for increasing happiness

  1. change your behavior
    • exercise
    • spend time outside
    • meditate
  2. find your match (professionally, personally)
  3. read a book you love (for me, John Adams. Never wanted that book to end)
  4. keep a “gratitude journal”
  5. make a “gratitude visit”
  6. smile (even when you’re not happy)
  7. perform random acts of kindness
    • volunteer
    • donate to charity
    • give a gift (to anyone)
  8. spend money on the right things
  9. avoid comparisons
    • Fakebook
      • post honestly
    • We can choose the comparisons that we make
  10. build and maintain close relationships
    • if it wasn’t for LMA, would any of us be legal marketers?

 

How fitting that my morning meditation today was focused on “Deep Work” just as the annual LMA conference is about to kick off. With a thousand plus old and new friends, and friends I have yet to meet, converging in my favorite town, it is easy to get distracted from conversation, as well as education.

The concept of Deep Work, which I googled and I suppose I should order the book, is about giving yourself distraction-free time during the day to focus on one thing, achieving peak productivity.

So, as we all head down to registration and off to the pre-Con workshops, try some “Deep Work:”

  • Put the phone down while you’re having dinner/drinks/beignets and focus on the person standing in front of you
  • Active listen in conversations and in sessions
  • Stay off the Internet while you’re in your session (unless you’re live Tweeting, which is how I take notes … but I don’t have to read the other threads or participate in Twitter-chat, check my e-mail, or Facebook notifications)

And, most importantly:

  • Block specific times each day for checking in at work so that you can focus on your LMA experience

This conference is super fun, and we’re in my favorite U.S. city, but it’s also about connecting with people, deepening relationships, educational content, filling up so we can go back to where we’re from ready to take on the world! If you spend the whole conference focused on what is going on at home (personally or professionally), you will miss out on why you are here.

I’m sure the book has more tips, such as at work, give yourself an hour or so a couple times a day for Deep Work. Shut your door. Turn off your phone. Close your browsers. Focus on the work at hand. But I haven’t read the book — yet — so I’ll just leave it right here for now.

 

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. Continue Reading Call me Fellow. I might even buy the plaque.

We’ve all been there. A vote is coming up before the partnership that requires individual partners to vote against their own best interest.

  • It could be the opening or closing of an office, that you reside in
  • The investment in new technology, but you’re about to retire
  • The deequitizing of a partner, but you’ve been buddies since you were summer associates
  • A change in the partnership agreement; it’s equitable, but not for you

It happens all the time. But should it?

Gina Passarella Cipriani wrote about the issue today in The American LawyerThe Death of the Law Firm Partnership Vote? With an eye on efficiency, firms are ditching old methods for a more corporate form of governance.

“There’s increasing recognition that partnership agreements, a lot of them, fundamentally are obsolete, in the sense that they were written for a different time and place,” Bruce MacEwen of Adam Smith Esq. says. “Notions that it takes some super-majority … to de-equitize a partner, you can’t run a firm that way.”

It used to be that everything from a lateral hire to new leases to major capital expenditures on new laptops for lawyers would require a vote, says Frank D’Amore of Attorney Career Catalysts, who handles lateral and group moves as well as mergers. But those days are fading.

“You could do it in 1950, but it’s a heck of a lot harder in 2018,” D’Amore says of holding partner votes on most initiatives.

Law firms are big business

Legal is not just a partnership, it can be, and often times is, big business. Our industry just welcomed in our first $3 billion firm (congrats, Latham). But sometimes we’re caught operating no differently than when the doors opened decades (or even a century) ago.

Whether you are operating in 10s or 100s of millions of dollars, or billions, operating as a business should not be held hostage by personal interests.  Continue Reading Should the partnership vote be up for a vote?