Presented at the 2017 LMA Annual Conference, by Kathleen Flynn, Chief Marketing Officer, Bryan Cave LLP, and Cecilia R. Linton, Senior Marketing Manager, Dykema Cox Smith
Summary by Michelle Friends, Business Development Manager, Jackson Lewis P.C, for the May 2017 LMA Southwest #LMA17 Conference Recap.
With 96% of law firm respondents saying that lateral hiring is important to revenue growth, and mergers and acquisitions continuing in many markets, it was an easy choice to attend Mergers and Integration and Laterals, Oh My! Kathleen Flynn, Chief Marketing Officer, Bryan Cave LLP, and Cecilia R. Linton, Senior Marketing Manager, Dykema Cox were kind enough to share their firsthand experiences and lessons.
The presentation was built around a Wizard of Oz theme, taking us down the long yellow brick road of mergers and lateral hiring. Simply put, planning ahead is the most important takeaway. Organize checklists to stay on target with communication plans, expectations, strategies, technology, support needs, and client needs. Most importantly, though, was to think about your timeline, not just day one. What does the first week look like? First month? First six months? Not only does marketing need to be prepared, but coordinate with HR, IT, billing, and all key departments. Not knowing a new software update is happening in the firm could really throw off day one.
Think of creative ways to integrate new people into the firm. Some interesting tips were pairing new attorneys with a buddy, creating new attorney panels at retreats, and creating welcome packets with firm history and culture overviews. Remember that not all ruby slippers fit the same and the success rate of laterals is less than 30%. “With the help of everyone and their talents, we can get our lawyers to feel like they are home in the new firm and do great things.”
The program speakers shared checklists, which can be downloaded in the LMA App for the #LMA17 conference (for those who attended the conference) or purchased on the LMA website.