Every week we are featuring a new #LMA19 speaker — giving you an exclusive sneak preview into their session to help you prepare and strategize for the upcoming annual conference.
Business Development Manager at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
Chief Business Development and Client Service Officer at Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
Why did you want to serve as co-chair of the LMA Annual Conference?
Andrew: I am so excited and honored to be co-chairing the 2019 LMA Annual Conference in Atlanta with Erin Meszaros. When 2019 LMA President Cynthia Voth offered me this opportunity, I could not accept it quickly enough. The conference is the most substantial event of the LMA calendar and is a date I look forward to every year. I consider my role in this year’s conference to be a major career milestone.
Erin: I echo Andy’s excitement around this opportunity. LMA has made me whom I am today, so I was honored to be asked and to give back to an organization that I believe was instrumental in helping me achieve my own career goals.
What sets the Atlanta annual conference apart from past years?
Andrew: The 2019 LMA Annual Conference is going to be one of the best conferences to date. As you can see from reviewing the conference agenda and brochure, we have selected an amazing keynote speaker, have carved out an additional “general session” for all attendees regarding ABA Rule 5.4 which directly speaks to a hot topic affecting law firms right now and have a great space, The Roof at Ponce City Market, for the Tuesday night reception. I already cannot wait!
I guarantee that if you have attended any LMA conference over the past few years and provided feedback via any avenue (conference app, post-conference email, social media, etc.), Erin, Cynthia and I — in conjunction with the entire Annual Conference Advisory Committee — read each and every one of those comments and took them to heart when not only working with LMA on the overall conference experience, but specifically on the agenda for the educational sessions.
Erin: I am most excited about the abundance of new programming and topics within the 2019 Atlanta agenda – from being on the forefront of hearing from esteemed speakers such as Bill Henderson and Jennifer Dulski as well as breakout discussions that will arm attendees with the tools they need to navigate such a transformative time in the legal industry and our profession.
What do you remember most about the first time you attended the LMA Annual Conference?
Andrew: My first LMA Annual Conference was the 2010 conference in Denver. Although still new to legal marketing, I thought I had an idea of what I was doing, what my colleagues were doing and was aware of current trends in the industry. Boy was I wrong! Although the conference has the potential to be very overwhelming for attendees — especially first timers — I found that the conference committee and LMA did an excellent job of engaging me and other first-time attendees to ensure we had mentors to show us around, introduce us and point us in the right direction. I felt so welcomed by all the attendees and had an amazing experience. I had such a great experience, in fact, that I’ve been to every annual conference since.
Erin: I am not going to divulge the date of my first conference but let’s just say it was earlier than Andy’s. What I remember fondly are all the people I met around the country that I am still connected to today. Creating my own network of legal marketers I could reach out to when vetting a new idea or looking for a solution to an existing issue allowed me to grow personally and professionally much more quickly than I would have done on my own.
Why did you get involved in the LMA, and how has it benefited you?
Andrew: Back in 2007, I was leading the paralegal department at a mid-sized Philadelphia insurance defense firm. I realized that, after working in a law firm part-time since high school and full time after college, that I no longer wanted to live under the thumb of the billable hour. I knew that I needed to find a way to combine my 10+ years of legal experience with my communications and marketing background and degree. A relative was working at another Philadelphia law firm at the time and invited me to join her at an LMA Philadelphia educational lunch. Upon arrival, I knew that these were my people and this was where I needed to be. I networked my rear end off to land my first in-house job at Fox Rothschild, and the rest is history!
Although I’ve been an LMA member since 2007, I became actively involved in LMA back in 2011 when I self-nominated to help out at the local chapter level and began chairing the website committee. Next, I was tapped on the shoulder and asked to serve as the president of the LMA Metro Philadelphia Chapter, a position I proudly fulfilled from 2013 through 2016 (serving one year as the president-elect, one as the president and two as the immediate past president). Since that time, I have proudly co-chaired the 2016 Pre-Conference LMA QuickStart® at annual conference, co-chaired the LMA Metro Philadelphia’s second annual educational conference, served on the 2017 Annual Conference Advisory Committee and have co-chaired the Governance Committee since 2016.
Without a doubt, my success can be directly correlated to the LMA and the amazing network of professional and lifelong friends I have made along the way. This is such an inclusive, welcoming and helpful association, and nearly every single person I’ve met and worked with is willing to share and help so that we can all be successful in our jobs while also excelling in our careers. Without my core group of best friends and wide-reaching extended “LMA family” members, I am not certain where I would be at this point in my life and career.
Erin: I originally became involved in LMA in 2001 as I was new to legal marketing and legal marketing was relatively new to most law firms. I attended local meetings in Atlanta for the first few years and then became involved in leadership for LMA Southeast, serving on the Board as vice president and conference chair in 2004 and becoming president in 2005. After my role as LMA Southeast President, I then took on an international Board of Directors role to serve as the CPC chair and member-at-large in 2007 and 2008, then served on the Governance Committee in 2010 and also served as co-chair of the LMA QuickStart® Program for the 2013 annual conference. LMA has created opportunities for me to grow by connecting me with others in the industry from all around the North America that I could bounce ideas off of and learn from. Knowing there is a wealth of knowledge across all platforms of our organization keeps me coming back.
What are you most looking forward to at the conference this April?
Andrew: This has been a labor of love for all of us since late 2017, so I am excited to see it all come to life this April. I know that we have a great schedule of educational programming that will be applicable to nearly every member of our community, and I hope that all attendees walk away with a litany of new ideas and initiatives that they can bring back to their firms and businesses to implement post-conference.
Erin: It has been so exciting to see this conference come together. We have an amazing committee who has dedicated long hours to making sure we hit this one out of the park. I cannot wait to connect with old friends and make lots of new ones while learning from the best in the industry. LMA 2019, here we come!!
Get to know the #LMA19 speakers, and start making plans to join them to refresh your strategies, renew your ideas and recharge with your peers.