2019 LMASW Region Conference Recap

By: Holly McCleary, Marketing Communications Coordinator at Jackson Walker LLP

As legal marketers, “we’re a driving force behind what lawyers do,” Bracewell CMO Paul Grabowski stated during the LMA Southwest Region Conference. But what does being “a driving force” mean for us as professionals and as people? High stress, little time for self-care, and burnout.

Themed “Walk The Line: Toe it. Walk it. Push it.,” the conference highlighted a fantastic cast of experienced speakers, including a few who offered advice for achieving well being. From showcasing successes to exploring mental wellness in the legal marketing industry, each seminar contained some reminder to self-reflect—on your team, your career, your client service, or your well being.

conference photo holly.jpg

Notably, one of the most profound sessions featured Darryl Cross and a former astronaut. The keynote began with Darryl stressing that hustle is a culture problem and that we must stop “gutting it out” and start relying on our teams. With that, he welcomed Mark Polansky, who shared how at NASA, people work on their weaknesses and learn to trust each other. Ultimately, Mark noted, being a great team player is knowing what you can do, and have the humility to let someone else do it.

#ICYMI: Key Takeaways

“The Art of Self Preservation: Using Goals, Metrics, & Conversations to Showcase Your Accomplishments”

  • When presenting capabilities, make it easy and showcase through others.
  • Budget cuts are good.
  • Seek feedback.

“Career Zen: Finding Your Ideal Role”

  • When seeking change, look behind the reason for wanting to leave.
  • When pursuing advancement, think outside of your role, have honest conversations, and volunteer with LMA.

“Using Service to Drive Performance Improvement with Clients”

  • Service Metamorphoses is a four- to five-year journey.
  • Expose your clients’ needs, earn the right to speak with clients, take action upon learning what clients want, and then lawyers are responsible for outcomes.

“Keynote: Finding the Work-Life Balance of Business, Body, and Soul”

  • To build trust: (1) The “Commander” must set the tone and determine priorities; (2) critique each other; and (3) everyone must do their part.
  • Teamwork is like parenting: You cannot bubble wrap them.

“Being in the 3%: Strategic Planning That Actually Gets Executed”

  • Get clear on the goal.
  • Perform independent, anonymous research.
  • Focus only on 3-5 initiatives.

“Best Practices in Business Development – Rainmakers’ Secrets”

  • Share what others are doing.
  • Give lawyers help in bite-size pieces.
  • Form one-page practice plans.
  • Reward your team and lawyers.

“The Secret Sauce – Developing Recipes for Powerful Storytelling That Will Enhance Your Content and Drive Differentiation, Brand Identity, and New Business Opportunities”

  • Even with introductions, we must be strategic and interesting.
  • Powerful stories clarify the brand, create and communicate culture, are relationship-building tools, and compel people to change.
  • Match your story to the right vehicle.

“Exploring Mental Wellness in the Legal Marketing Industry – Push it. Walk it. Toe it.”

  • We must reimagine wellness as a professional competency, a driver of diversity and inclusion, and a business necessity.
  • An education campaign: What I Do, Who I Help, My Experience and Skillset, Stressors.


Holly McCleary is a Marketing Communications Coordinator at Jackson Walker LLP. 

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