While working at a certain AmLaw 50 firm I submitted to attend the Legal Marketing Association’s annual conference. It was denied.
In speaking with the firm’s managing partner I asked her a few simple questions:
- So I’m as good as you need me to be?
- I know everything I need do know to do my job not only today, but tomorrow?
- You don’t need me to grow past where I am today?
There was an uncomfortable amount of silence, followed by her reply: “Have a great time at the conference.”
Since that conversation, yes, I have left that firm. There was also a tumultuous recession. Blogs were introduced, followed by social media. Firms started to focus on pricing, because clients insisted upon it. Project management is taking root. A generational shift in leadership has begun. The profession of law grew up and became a business
If I do not learn, I do not grow, and I become a liability to my firm, not an asset.
Yes. I will leave a firm at some point. But hopefully I will leave the firm in a different place, headed down a different path, because of the things I have learned at LMA and introduced to the marketing team, the attorneys, and the firm.
Yes, I admit, my attendance at the LMA conference is like a family and high school reunion wrapped in one.
It is also the place where I pick up new tools; meet new people who become colleagues I call upon in the future; am introduced to new products; and find inspiration.
All of these things allow me to do my job better. I always come back from LMA ready to try something new. I have fresh ideas and a new perspective.
Of all the conferences I can attend, I choose to be at LMA. I was on the board when we selected this location. I blocked my calendar off rights then and there. I don’t miss it. I have even had LMA written into my employment agreements. That is how important LMA and the annual conference are to me.
I am just really turning my eye to the conference agenda, but the content is exciting, touches on all the vertices of what I need to do, and is located in my college town (no, I did not go to the “party school” … I went to the “smart school” on the bluffs in La Jolla — inside joke for San Diegan college students), so I get to hang out with my college roommate and introduce her to my LMA peeps … hopefully she won’t tell too many stories.
I plan to arrive in San Diego bright and early Sunday morning. There may or may not be plans to hit my favorite Mexican restaurant/bar in La Jolla, so make sure we connect on Twitter @heather_morse before heading down.