What does it take to become LMA’s Member of the Year? According to 2014 winner and Future Leaders Special Interest Group (SIG) Co-Chair, Kara Kane, “A passion for cultivating the next generation of legal marketing leaders and being vocal so that the organization at large recognizes the mission and work of the SIG.”
Kara began attending LMA programs in 2011, brand new to the industry and to DC as a Business Development Specialist at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP. Through her marketing department’s encouragement, she joined the organization and in her first week attended an LMA Half-Day program. The timing was perfect because “I really had no idea what I’d be doing,” Kara said. The program gave her a roadmap for the industry and where it was headed, helping her learn a professional course she didn’t even know existed a year earlier.
Kara spent her first years as a “passive observer,” attending as many LMA events as possible. She found that some of the programs spoke directly to her and the new role she was quickly mastering, while others were illustrative of the different marketing and business development functions or the industry overall. Regardless, all LMA programming was invaluable as she continued to rise in her career. Last summer, she discussed taking on a leadership role in the Future Leaders SIG with former Co-Chair Sydni Williams. Shortly thereafter, Kara left Sutherland to join Steptoe as a Senior Business Development Coordinator and was officially named as one of the new Co-Chairs of the SIG.
The Future Leaders SIG gives those in the earlier stages of a legal marketing career a forum for open discussion – a safe environment to seek input from peers, build a network and create the relationships that will propel their careers forward. Upon assuming the role, she and her co-chair made a concerted effort to increase SIG membership (numbers and participation), create regular meetings, and provide programming and resources to help members advance to the next level in their careers. “Managers have relationships – they are experts. We are growing toward that.” Kara said she loves the idea of helping assistants, specialists and coordinators better prepare themselves for leadership roles – in their firms and in professional organizations like LMA. And she encourages members, current and prospective, to take advantage of the resources and institutional knowledge of LMA members by getting involved.
Congratulations, Kara, on a productive year and an award well deserved!
By Michelle McWhinney, Founder of Navigate Recruiting, LLC, for the November/December 2014 issue of the Capital Ideas Newsletter.