Future Leaders SIG Program Review: Fundamental MBA Concepts for Your Professional Success: Strategy & Marketing

On July 19, 2016, the Future Leaders SIG received an MBA crash course in strategy and marketing by Helena Lawrence, Senior Marketing & Business Development Manager at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Helena shared several examples of marketing strategy frameworks she learned from her own MBA program and the practical applications these frameworks have as it relates to law firms.

Internal Analysis

To perform an internal analysis of any given firm, one must determine the core competency, or defining capability or advantage that distinguishes a firm’s offerings that create a competitive advantage. Once you have defined your core competency, you must then determine what your value proposition, the unique benefit your client derives from your offering, is to your target buyers. 

External Analysis

The P.E.S.T framework is used to perform an external analysis of a business’s Political, Economic, Social, and Technological environment. Using P.E.S.T. can you help you identify new opportunities for your business based on the various factors currently influencing your environment. In the legal industry, P.E.S.T. can be used to perform a strategic analysis of a specific practice group client.

Porter’s Five Forces framework analyzes the competitive landscape by taking into account the threat of new entrants and substitute and the bargaining power of buyers and suppliers to determine the rivalry among existing competitors. One can also factor in a sixth force, complementary products or services, into the mix. Porter’s framework can be applied to evaluate an industry or understand a client’s market landscape.

A S.W.O.T. analysis examines an organization’s internal Strengths and Weaknesses and its Opportunities and Threats, and can be applied to understanding a client’s business or a practice group or individual attorney’s business development plan.


By utilizing these frameworks, legal marketers can gain a better understanding of their firms, their firms’ clients, their practice groups, and their individual attorneys and use the information to inform marketing decisions and develop competitive marketing strategies.

By Ashley Briggs, Business Development Coordinator, Arent Fox LLP for the July/August 2016 issue of Capital Ideas.

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