by Edie Reinhardt
Congratulations to five members of the LMA Northeast region who were recently selected by the College of Law Practice Management to join its Class of 2017 Fellows-Elect. Fellowship is bestowed on law practice management specialists who consistently exemplify the highest professional standards and achievements.
The LMA members include: Adrian Dayton (Founder, ClearView Social, Inc.), Jim Durham (Managing Director, GrowthPlay), Patrick Fuller (Vice President of Business Development at Neota Logic Inc.), Linda Orton (Global CMO, Alvarez & Marsal and past LMA-NY Chapter President), and Jennifer Scalzi (Founder and CEO of Calibrate Legal and its subsidiary, J. Johnson Executive Search).
|Adrian Dayton||Jim Durham||Patrick Fuller|
|Linda Orton||Jennifer Scalzi|
We spoke to the fellows-elect about their commitment to improving law practice management and what advice they would give legal marketers on how to best work with lawyers to improve practice management.
Q. What do you see as the biggest law practice management challenge for law firms?
Adrian: Evolving to the new ways of doing business, including social media and changing the behavior of very busy attorneys.
Jim: Making change happen and getting every constituency in the law firm aligned with improving every aspect of the client experience.
Patrick: Attorney compensation structure is by far and away the primary challenge. The second will be clients as competitors. That’s not an easy conversation for any organization to have.
Linda: Continuing issues pertaining to BD, sale and an increased desire by GCs or C-suite (in nonlegal positions) to reduce costs.
Jennifer: Firms are not fully (or even partially in a lot of cases) syncing all of their business services departments to play on the same page.
Q. How do you help firms improve their practice management?
Adrian: I help provide attorneys with a clear strategy to focus their digital marketing efforts and offer training and tools to help them increase their reach and bring in more business.
Jim: We bring the voice of the client into the firm. Having lawyers hear from their clients what needs to happen for them to continue using the firm helps sparks change. We also focus our training around the philosophy of “sales as an act of service.”
Patrick: In a couple of ways. As a consultant, it was about increasing the Business Development Velocity for firms and lawyers. In my current role, it’s about finding ways for firms to scale their expertise and develop new revenue channels by leveraging technology and automation.
Linda: I listen to the culture of each firm and practice area and work with the leaders in the specific areas in which they have established success and comfort, while still pushing the boundaries of what can be creatively done.
Jennifer: We partner with our law firm clients to help capture and articulate the value of their human capital investments, and to advance the dialogue between law firm leadership and the Revenue Enablers™ who are critical to advancing their strategies.
Q. What advice would you give your fellow LMA members on how to best work with lawyers to improve their practice management?
Adrian: Don't be afraid to challenge the way lawyers do things; advocate for a seat at the table in all major decision-making; and be patient.
Jim: Evaluate every aspect of the client experience and develop ways to make it better. Improve every touchpoint; help your clients make money, save money, look good and sleep better.
Patrick: It’s a bifurcated process, with two sets of clients – your firm’s attorneys and the firm’s clients or prospective clients. In both situations, you need to understand why they buy. Selling strategy internally is the hardest sale there is, but it can be easier if it dovetails with what matters most to the firm’s clients.
Linda: Don't try to change who people are. Work with what is there and learn what motivates them. Learn about their favorite clients and engagements and why they connected. Help them get more work like that - work that feeds their soul. They will thank and remember you.
Jennifer: Cultivate a mind shift replacing the outdated concept of “non-lawyers” with Revenue Enablers™ who work in tandem with Revenue Producers to achieve sustainable growth and advance the strategies of law firm leadership.
Membership to the College of Law Practice Management is by invitation only to those who have proven to their peers, the bar, the bench, or the public through their sustained performance and substantial contributions to law practice management that they meet the eligibility criteria for membership.
This year's class will be inducted at the 2017 Futures Conference in Atlanta this October. Congratulations again to the Class of 2017 Fellows-Elect!
Edie Reinhardt, Principal of RDT Content Marketing, specializes in helping law firms use content marketing to distinguish their brand and grow their business. She previously practiced law and was a publisher at ALM Media.