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?

Good morning LMA. The General Counsel Panel has now begun. Yes, this is important. These are the clients. Talking about what’s important to them. If there is only one panel you can attend, this would be it. (plus all the others, but, this is the information you need to bring back to your firms.

Who are the Decision Makers?

This is not a one answer fits all question. Smaller companies, GCs are usually the decision makers. Preferred vendor lists. Teams. Chambers to verify (no find).

Question to ask your clients:

  • How do you make the decision on how you hire outside counsel

Tip: Show your subject matter expertise. 

  • CLE
  • e-alerts that are succinct
  • Websites
    • Deeper dive into the subject matter (articles)

Where do you go to research potential clients?

Continue Reading #LMA18 – The General Counsel Panel

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.”


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:


Continue Reading #LMA18 – How Legal Departments are Leveraging AI

Enough happiness, time for some reality from our friends at Peer Monitor (data based on billable information):

Sucks to be in the AmLaw 200 right now. But WTH with productivity v. lawyer growth. Sorry, 1Ls, there are too many lawyers out there.

And who is engaged?

And the hours …

And the expenses

Yeah, this does not make sense. There’s a lot of bloat a few pix up (AH, HEM, unproductive attorneys) … but, hey, let’s tie the hands of people who are out there trying to bring in new business.

(((sigh))) not a lot of information coming out in how to find the opportunities, but I do like the Peer Monitor information.

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


  • 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

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


  • 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.


Dale Carnegie wrote the famous book How to Win Friends and Influence People that was the bible for business people going back to 1936. Today he might write, “How to win friends and influence content.”

I have a great legal marketing friend Roy Sexton out of the Detroit market. If you’re not aware, I’m in Los Angeles.

Whatever content I write and share, whether through my blog, Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook accounts, Roy shares it with his network. He usually adds a personal note showing me that he really read the content, and explaining to his network why they need to read it.

What happens from there is what I call the Roy Sexton Effect. My content goes viral, as you can see from this picture of a recent LinkedIn post of mine:

As you can see, the majority of the views of my post are coming from outside my direct network, and the majority of those people are in the Greater Detroit Area. Home to, you guessed it, Roy Sexton.

By way of comparison, posts not shared by Roy get a couple hundred views.

Be a Roy Sexton

Continue Reading The Roy Sexton Effect or How to win friends and influence content?

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.