Insights and Skyline Lights: Highlights from the LMA Los Angeles CMO Panel and Summer Social

On June 6, 2018, LMA Los Angeles was honored to host a CMO Panel and Summer Social at The Standard Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The panel featured Kathleen Flynn of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, Trish Lilley of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, Vickie Spang of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP. Jennifer Mir, Practice Development Director at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP and LMA West Region President, served as moderator.

The panel touched on points surrounding management of large teams and major organizational changes, lawyer expectations, and work-life balance,  among others, addressing questions from both Jennifer and the audience. A few of the key questions, with combined answers from the panel, are below:

Q: What are the key things that have changed the most in legal marketing in your time in the industry?
A: The marketing role has been professionalized. Technology has evolved and the reputation of and demand for marketing has grown among lawyers.

Q: What do you look for when you hire?
A: Writing skills, resourcefulness, initiative, understanding of the mechanics of professional services.

Q: What are the qualities that take you to the top of this profession?
A: Can’t be easily offended, gravitas, ability to build trust, patience, confidence, and the ability to let go of some things by prioritizing.

Q: How do you balance request fulfillment with meeting more strategic needs?
A: You have to do the blocking and tackling of day-to-day marketing. Having a really strong team allows leadership to focus on the strategy. That is part of letting go.

Q: How does one deal with large-scale, unexpected change, like a major merger?
A: The biggest challenge is that the team remains focused and does not feel overwhelmed. Looking out for them, and making sure they feel they have a place in this larger firm, is crucial.

Q: What do you see as the next big change in the industry?
A: The Big 4 is at the door. Institutionalizing clients as the Big 4 have needs to become a priority, as well as AI and data analytics.

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