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?

Jonathan Fitzgarrald
For most of the week last week I was at the Legal Marketing Association‘s Board of Directors’ & Leaders’ meeting, preparing for a busy 2013 with our incoming leadership teams. As such, I missed the 10th Annual LMA-LA Continuing Marketing Education conference. And, from what I am hearing, I missed one heck of a conference. From Allen Fuqua‘s post, A TED Conference LMA-style – Part 1. Guest post by Allen Fuqua:

True innovation in the law firm industry is a rarity.  And I was fortunate to witness and be a participant in it on September 28, 2012 at the Legal Marketing Association’s Los Angeles CME event. The LA group hosted a Continuing Marketing Education event based on the TED big idea format. 23 speakers spoke for 20 minutes each on a big idea about which they felt passionate.  Actually it was 17 solo speakers and 2 panels of 3 speakers each. With an LMA Los Angeles membership of some 110 professionals, the event was at capacity with 110 people registered for attendance.  The quality of the program may have been best represented by the fact that even for the last two sessions of the day-long event, the crowd remained entranced and enthusiastic.  I had the privilege to be the last solo speaker of the day and I was impressed by the numbers, the engagement and participation of that audience that endured.

I am so sorry I missed the conference. Congrats to Jonathan Fitzgarrald, David Fish, and Nat Slavin for a great, great job well done.

Maggie Watkins and Jonathan Fitzgarrald
Ok. I’m awake. I didn’t make the first program, but I’m here at the LMA Annual Conference’s Quick Start program. Kudos to Maggie Watkins, Best Best and Krieger and Jonathan Fitzgarrald, Greenberg Glusker for putting together a standing room only program! Nat Slavin from Wicker Park Group is talking about business development and client surveys. Cheryl Bame from Bame PR is sitting to my right, reviewing some of her notes for her PR presentation. I could use a cup of coffee, but other than that, I’m excited to finally be in the middle of the conference.
Nat Slavin
So, here we go with the first nugget: Our job is to make these “average” lawyers special to their clients. That’s what legal marketing is all about in a nutshell. My elevator speech is: “My job is to make lawyers look good.” And what “good” is changes from day-to-day, lawyer-to-lawyer, project-to-project. Marketing hasn’t been about brochures for YEARS. It’s more than PR, or business development. It’s about everything that makes a lawyer look good from the moment they walk into the doors of your firm, to the internal communications, and external encounters with clients, the public, the press, their peers. It’s about everything along the chain that helps to promote that attorney, to highlight their expertise, to get them ink, and, land that new client or enhance that relationship.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.” It had me thinking about my life and how happy I am. Like many people, that hasn’t always been the case, so I started wondering, in the light of Eleanor Roosevelt’s sentiments, what have I done to generate this much happiness? To begin with, my life is full. A couple years ago I took a Sharpie to my life and cleared my calendar of useless activities, especially useless television, and began to fill it with activities worthy of my time, and with valued relationships.

  • Some of these relationships are virtual, we’ve never met, but we share online all the time.
  • Some of these were old relationships renewed.
  • Some of these were professional relationships that became personal.
  • Some of these were personal relationships that became intimate.

And then there are the activities. There’s The Legal Watercooler, which has not only branded my personally, but has allowed me to participate in a conversation with people around the world. It has led to speaking opportunities, and has opened a passion for social media and social networking. Then there’s the Girl Scouts, where I serve as troop leader for a multi-level troop  which includes both my daughters. Yes, I moan and groan the first and third Tuesday of the month, and don’t get me started on the cases of cookies that are stacked in my hallway for a month every year, but by the time I am done getting hugged and loved by 12 girls ranging in age from 5-9, I can’t help but feel blessed. There’s my daily meditation, weekly yoga, and daily visits to the gym at lunch time. Happiness does begin with our core being. But a lot of my “extra” time these past couple week s has been spent filling out my supplemental application to become a commissioner for California’s first Citizens Redistricting Commission:

Every 10 years, after the federal census, California and every state in the country, must redraw the boundaries of its legislative and other political districts to reflect the new population data. How these boundaries are drawn affects how people are represented. In California, the process of redrawing the boundaries—redistricting—was a duty of state elected officials. But when voters passed Proposition 11 (the Voters FIRST Act) in the November 2008 general election, responsibility for redrawing the legislative and Board of Equalization district lines transferred to the people in the form of a new Citizens Redistricting Commission. What is the Citizens Redistricting Commission? California’s first Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission) is a new 14-member Commission charged with redrawing California’s Senate, Assembly and State Board of Equalization districts based on information gathered during the 2010 census. The Commission must draw the districts in conformity with strict, nonpartisan rules designed to create districts of relatively equal population that will provide fair representation for all Californians.

I don’t know if I’ll make the commission, but I took the “why not me” attitude and completed my application to the best of my ability, which included the solicitation of letters of recommendation. I would like to take this moment to express my gratitude to the following people who wrote me letters of recommendation: Steve Barrett, Jayne Navarre, Nat Slavin, Cheryl Bame and Russell Lawson. I thank you for your kind words, but, more importantly, I thank you for your examples as professionals within our industry, your mentorship, and your valued friendships! So, Coolerites, where does your slice of happiness rest?