Presentation Review: “The Business Case for Diversity”

Presented at the 2017 LMA Annual Conference, by José Cunningham, Sarah Fougere, Kenneth O. C. Imo, and Paul Webb.

Summary by Kim Perret, Chief Marketing Officer, Jones Walker LLP, for the May 2017 LMA Southwest #LMA17 Conference Recap.

This standing room only session was moderated by Paul Webb and included José Cunningham, Megan McKeon and Kenneth Imo. At the outset of the discussion, José announced the formation of the LMA Diversity Committee. The committee is charged with helping LMA members create more diverse teams at their firms. Diverse representation among legal marketers is a key factor in a law firm’s ability to foster productive teams and engage diverse internal and external clients.

How will we do this?

  • Market legal marketing at local colleges and universities
  • Look to diverse industries
  • Recruit from new sources
  • Be deliberate about creating a truly diverse team and set an example

The business case for diversity is tied to ABA Resolution 113 that urges providers of legal services to expand and create opportunities for diverse attorneys. Legal marketers need to be “agitators” in their firms.

How will we do this?

  • Monitor the make-up of client pitch teams – are diverse attorneys on the team?
  • Who is getting the work if the firm wins the pitch or RFP – don’t be guilty of the bait and switch
  • Ensure that your firms respond to client surveys that are now tracking work distribution, leadership, and advancement
  • Watch the competition
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