Sydni Williams, marketing coordinator at Bean, Kinney & Korman in Arlington, Va., is one of the co-chairs of the Chapter’s Future Law Firm Leaders Special Interest Group (SIG). She came to D.C. in 2009 from Iowa and has quickly established herself as a legal marketer with a great deal of energy and savvy.
Along with Jennifer Brooks, Internal Communications Manager at Hogan Lovells; Andy Stief, Business Development Manager at Morrison Foerster; and Inna Kolomiytsev, Director of Marketing at Niles, Barton & Wilmer, Sydni is at the core of the Future Leaders SIG, which plans events and programs to bring those new to legal marketing together to exchange ideas and learn about the industry. The next Future Leaders SIG brown bag lunch event is March 14th.
Sydni originally came to the city in 2009, as part of the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, just after graduating from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Her college majors were communications studies and sociology. In the District, the corps assigned her to work at N Street Village, a downtown community that provides services for homeless women.
As is true of most legal marketers, Sydni’s path to the profession was somewhat circuitous. One group that partners with N Street Village is the Association of Legal Administrators, and there she met the administrator of a small D.C. firm known as Shaw, Bransford & Roth that represents federal employees in litigation. The firm had an opening, and Sydni soon became its first-ever employee in the marketing department.
After about a year and a half, Sydni left the seven-lawyer firm for Bean, Kinney & Korman, a 38-lawyer full-service firm in Arlington. She was looking for a larger firm where she’d have a greater range of opportunities.
Joining Bean, Kinney & Korman as its only marketer in September 2011, Sydni quickly found a wide range of marketing portfolios – public relations, marketing technology, social media, events, business development plans for attorneys, and more. The firm has four newsletters and two blogs, and its lawyers write, on average, three to four articles for outside publications each month.
“I love my firm and the support it provides me,” Sydni says, “and I love to see it continue to grow.” She says her first priority now is to set up established, formalized processes at the firm for getting basic marketing tasks done efficiently.
“I help the attorneys post on the blogs, and I have seen that attorneys in my firm have gotten referrals this way,” Sydni says. “I try to practice in my own professional life what I preach about social media, and I try to stay active on LinkedIn, which I have found very helpful.”
One of the first things that Sydni realized was that as a solo marketer at her firm, she had a great deal in common with solo marketers at other firms – and she found that LMA was a good way to make those connections, since she has met many people “who all face the same challenges.”
Early in her time in D.C., Sydni met Chapter President Marguerite Downey, who quickly got her involved in Chapter affairs and encouraged her to become part of the Future Leaders group. Sydni, along with the other co-chairs, has helped revitalize the group with a number of brown-bag lunches, happy hours, and other programs to bring new legal marketers together. If you are interested in getting involved with the Future Leaders SIG, please contact Sydni at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In her spare time, Sydni continues to volunteer at N Street Village, where she volunteers one or two nights a month with the homeless women who are the clients there.
She was formerly a flag football player and continues to be active in fantasy football leagues. However, it’s fair to assume that her chosen team, the Kansas City Chiefs, will not be a Super Bowl favorite in the immediate future.
By: Jonathan Groner, public relations and writing consultant in Washington, DC., for the January/February 2013 Issue of the Capital Ideas Newsletter.