LMASE 2016 LMA Annual Conference Scholarship Recipient Article

Sydnee Newman with Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith PLLC in West Palm Beach, Florida was the 2016 LMA Annual Conference Scholarship recipient. This is the first article in a series of three Sydnee has authored regarding her experience at the LMA Annual Conference in 2016.

Looking back at LMA 2016... I think, what a whirlwind! I'm with a new firm, new to the Legal Marketing Association, and this is my first time at the annual conference. My brain was in overdrive, but I must say that everyone was so warm and welcoming as soon as I arrived - and I don't think that's just the southern charm of Austin.

Once I arrived and got settled, the first person I met was my mentor. She had a huge smile and a load of energy. After being at the First-Timers' Reception for just a few minutes, I realized I already met a ton of people and there were many more to come. My first piece of advice for anyone considering attending the annual conference that hasn't before is to definitely join the mentor program, especially if you are attending the conference solo. Being paired up with a veteran offers a level of comfort you may not have going at it alone. It will also allow you to be pulled out of your comfort zone in many ways, including meeting folks you may not have on your own. Who knows, you may walk away with a lifelong friend and business sounding board in one!

As I started to talk to other attendees I learned that I was one of few... I am a one-man-band in our South Florida personal injury law firm with 10 attorneys. We may end up growing to 100+ attorneys, but we certainly are not there yet. Most of the conference I did feel a bit out of my element as the majority of the conference and its attendees were focused on corporate law and firms that would eat mine for breakfast. But what I did learn is that we all deal with the same issues, highs and lows. It was nice to be able to relate to someone's daily duties when I didn't expect to. We could laugh and joke about many things, and apply other things conceptually that I may not deal with directly.

All difference aside, our organization is a force - 17 countries were represented at LMA 2016, and 1,400 people attended! This was our largest conference yet, so kudos to this year's organizers. Next month I'll delve more into the educational takeaways, including what I brought back with me and plan on implementing at my firm.

What I'll leave you with for now is what our keynote speaker, Diana O'Brien CMO of Deloitte LLP, left us with: "Be client-centric."
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