Archive for the ‘ Events – Heather Morse ’ Category

Can a law firm exist without clients? 49% of new partners surveyed think so.

I’m reading a new survey from ALM, New Partners Ambivalent About Rainmaking, Survey Finds, and am aghast at the naïveté of the respondents. Apparently, 49% of new partners surveyed don’t think that their ability to make rain is a deciding factor in their being promoted to partner (equity or non-equity).

Asked how important they think certain factors were in their promotion, 84.4 percent of respondents said they believe they were promoted according to their ability to perform first-class legal work, and 60 percent cited the strength of their commitment to the firm. (Respondents were allowed to choose more than one answer.) Just under half—49 percent—of new partners said that their ability to bring in new clients was an important factor in their promotion, although equity partners saw developing clients of their own as somewhat more important than nonequity partners did.

“Associates are not adequately aware that they effectively need their own book of business of approximately $750,000 to $1 million to be a partner at a large law firm,” one respondent wrote in the survey. “Even if an associate is promoted, they are destined to be unsuccessful as a partner without this size of a book.”

Wow. Without clients, you know the people who write big checks to the firm, there is no firm. Clients do not appear out of nothing. Those relationships have to be developed over time, years actually, then maintained and hopefully built. Institutional clients no longer exist. You cannot make partner and expect — poof! — originating credits miraculously appear.

And to the 84% who think the ability to do first-class legal work is what got you promoted, let me clue you in on something: The ability to do first-class work is stipulated; you would have been fired years before if you could not do so.

And while business development might not be the most comfortable of tasks for an individual, it is very important to a firm that their equity partners bring in new business. A law firm cannot exist on service partners alone (unless you hire a Pete).

Business development (sales) is not a talent many of us are born with, but it can be learned and developed over time for many (not all). But it first must be engrained into the culture of the firm. Too many firms do not support business development, but expect the results. There is no training or coaching to learn the skills necessary to accomplish the tasks. There are no rewards, in the form of hourly requirement credits, for business development. Too often the hurdles to get approval become insurmountable, and I haven’t even touched on the compensation system.

How timely that Dave Bruns and I will be presenting next week at the ALM West Coast Law Firm Marketing & Business Development Leadership Forum in San Francisco: The Total Package: Business Development Integration for Success. This is a topic that is near and dear to the business development teams across the country, and we hope to discuss what firms need to do to support the success of their business development programs.

 

Personally yours, from the Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference

It’s Monday afternoon and I have finally cleared my e-mail, spoke to a partner, posted a session recap/guest blog post (with three more in the que), and realize I have not personally provided any major content about the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual conference last week, except for my Twitter feed. Looks like I’m skipping the gym today.

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First of all, the LMA annual conference is exactly what Tim Corcoran, our president, described in his opening remarks: part educational & networking conference, part family reunion, part high school reunion. And we all know who the crazy uncle is.

There are so many layers to the LMA annual conference, that when I look at the conference from each individual pair of eyes, I find that it only tells one side of the story.

Family reunion: It was wonderful to see so many of my former colleagues from across my career in legal marketing. Kevin McMurdo from Perkins Coie, Ellen Musante and Corey Garver from my Pillsbury days. Not to mention all the current and former committee and task force members I have worked with throughout the years at both the local and international levels.

High School reunion: Some of my closest and dearest friends I have met through LMA. While we are in constant contact via Facebook, getting to see one another live is beyond measure. We have actually started to form an “after prom” event so we can focus on our business and networking while at the conference, knowing we’ll have our personal social time once the conference ends.

Scenes from an LMA Conference

Education & networking: Really, there is no better place in the industry for marketing professionals to gather. We are a strange breed, and only in LMA are “competitors” so open and willing to share, help one another as we traverse this road, mentor one another, and on board new legal marketers.

One of my favorite slides, ever, from Matt Homann

One of my favorite slides, ever, from Matt Homann

This year I found the two most powerful sessions, for me, to be the first and the last I attended.

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Heading to Orlando for LMA? How’s the SWAG?

Well, it’s that time of year. The legal marketing community is headed off to the Legal Marketing Association’s annual conference. The conferences keep getting bigger and better. Pretty soon we’ll be saying goodbye to conference hotels, and hello convention centers.

A few things to note:

  1. Whether or not you are attending the conference, or have a Twitter account, the hashtag to follow is #LMA14.
  2. I am still looking for anyone who would like to help blog on sessions. Just send me a message on Twitter @heather_morse.
  3. I know EVERYONE reading this will be in my session on Generational Marketing with Jonathan Fitzgarrald on Thursday. It’s a competitive time slot, so I will forgive you if you attend any of the other sessions. Especially if you write a recap for this blog. LMA Session
  4. Don’t just bring your business cards. Immediately connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Half the conference is about networking and building relationships. Don’t miss out on that.
  5. Start making your connections now. The conversation and connections have already begun on Twitter.
  6. The LMA Technology Committee will have a couple tables set up at the Friday Networking Lunch. I’ll be there, along with my co-chair, Laura Toledo. Stop by and say hi. We’ll even buy you lunch :D.
  7. Wear comfortable shoes.
  8. Oh, and rumor has it that a group of us are staying over on Friday to get our social time in with friends. You’re welcome to join us.

I’ll see you at the kick-off reception Wednesday night. Looking forward to the #Swag and Passport to Prizes.

 

Session Recap: Generational Marketing (video)

Thanks to the folks at Spark Media Solutions for doing a great round of post-session interviews after our presentation, Generational Marketing: Strategies and tactics for engagement with Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials.They really picked up on the main themes of our session, and provides a great recap of our session.

Jonathan Fitzgarrald and I appreciate the feedback we received, and look forward to presenting next week in Orlando at the Legal Marketing Association’s annual conference.

BIG IDEAS Brought to Life: LMA-LA Continuing Marketing Education Conference

CME_logo Full disclosure: I’m on the conference committee of the Legal Marketing Association Los Angeles Chapter‘s annual Continuing Marketing Education (CME) Conference: BIG IDEAS Brought to Life.

I am very proud of the conference, the quality of speakers, the topics, and I cannot wait for the West Coast premier of the Legal Mocktail presented by Catherine MacDonagh and Roberta Montafia.

While I was on the LMA-LA board (2001-2004) I started this one-day conference to bring to our local members, especially our coordinators and managers, ideas from our annual conference.

BBoP3

LMA-LA’s Big Board of Prizes.
Can’t win if you don’t register.

To see something you started in the training room at LexisNexis grow into its current incarnation is inspiring.

When we say “Big Ideas” we’re not joking. In a TED-style format (1 hour topic sessions. 4 speakers @ 15 minutes.) you will hear new and inspiring ideas. With our networking breaks, you will have the opportunity to meet new people and expand upon those ideas.

Thank you to all the speakers who are taking the time to come to the program and bring us such great content. Thank you to the sponsors who make it possible. Thank you to Jonathan Fitzgarrald for inviting me to join the committee. He is always so hard to say no to when he calls.

I hope to see many of you there. If you cannot attend, please make sure to pass along the links to your local marketing professionals.

Why yes, Amy, I did learn two new things

After PartySpoke on a panel yesterday with Adrian Lurssen and Molly Potter on content marketing. Adrian Dayton was the ring-leader. Lots of good folks in the room.

Adrian D. kicked things off with a giant piece of paper on each table asking us to write down what we hoped to get out of the program.

From our table Amy Knapp threw out: “I want to learn two new things.”

As we were all presenting from our table, our knowledge base was different than the rest of the room, and I wondered if I would actually learn two new things.

However, I always say that I define a program as successful if I can walk away with one new ACTIONABLE idea.

I came away with three new things:

  1. Google Authorship. Seriously. What rock have I been sleeping under? Kevin O’Keefe wrote about it way back in March here. Time to play catch up.
  2. Clicky: Web Analytics in Real Time. I originally hosted The Legal Watercooler on Blogger and got great analytics, including the name servers visiting my site. When I switch over to WordPress a few years ago, I lost that feature in my analytics. Amy shared about Clicky and before I left the room yesterday I had added it to my blog. So watch out. I can see you again.
  3. Adrian L. simplified a concept into one sentence that resonated with me, and something I am sharing with the lawyers at my firm who blog: Blog titles should tell the reader WHY they should open up and read the post, not WHAT they are going to read. It’s not that I didn’t know this. I just needed to hear it this way.

So, all in all, very successful program.

Prospecting for Clients

Oh, those crazy kids over at Law Firm Satire are at it again. This time, an homage to Ken Burns inviting you to the LMA-Bay Area Technology Conference.

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