1. How did you start working in/with the legal marketing industry?
My first job in the legal industry was as a teenager working in my father’s law office during the summer and weekends. He really wanted me to become a lawyer but I pursued journalism. After serving a long stretch as a producer for NBC News in Europe and the Middle East, living out of suitcases and being under fire eventually wore thin for me. I always loved writing and interviewing intelligent people, so I returned to my law firm roots where there has been plenty of writing and intelligent people.
2. How do you describe your job to people outside of the legal industry?
I simply say, “I write and do PR for attorneys.” People are usually surprised, confused or amused, so I explain how I write websites, articles, press releases, bios, practice descriptions and proposals. That provokes them to share their views of lawyers, and from there a conversation begins.
3. What’s the best part of your work and why?
One of the best parts of my work is when attorneys and marketing departments say I help them look better, sound smarter or express themselves in a way they wanted to but did not how to achieve it. Recently, a marketing director client thanked me for “having her back.” It was just a small edit/rewrite project we were working on but it meant a great deal to me because it spoke to the trust we built over years of working together.
4. How do you deal with “impossible” situations?
When I produced live television, there was a near impossible situation daily. Broadcasting a blank television screen was not an option. The trick I learned was back timing, to figure out what the end needed to look like. Everything I did had to serve that end. I would not let frustrations along the way distract me or emotionally divert me from the end game. In law firm parlance, that translates into being goal oriented, or to borrow from the civil rights anthem, “keep your eyes on the prize.”
5. If you were to build the “perfect” legal marketer, what skill(s) would they most need?
Beyond the obvious educational and professional credentials, ideal attributes for a legal marketer include having broad-based experiences, confident but self-effacing, curious, analytical, equally skilled at communicating and listening, and a deep reserve of humor.
6. If you could have any job other than what you currently do, what would that be?
White House press secretary
7. What are your passions outside of work?
Food is a big part of my life. I love to cook and explore new restaurants. “What’s for dinner?” is the first question my son asks upon awakening. A great conversation over a meal with friends and family is a joy. I also enjoy movies and have retained my Directors Guild of America membership from my days as a field director. The DGA theatre is phenomenal and the Q&A sessions with directors add great insights into the films.
8. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
Being interviewed (just kidding). Watching Gossip Girl - I miss it already. I also play online Scrabble with a writer buddy of mine in Toronto. It is my daily warm up before I tackle words for hire.
9. Why did you join LMA and is it the same reason you are still a member?
I went to my first LMA meeting in 2002 and met Cheryl Bame and Heather Morse. They were interesting, interested and encouraged me to join. They were right. I have stayed for the past 11 years because the organization continues to be relevant and provide a forum for me to connect with intelligent and creative people.
10. What’s your best LMA memory?
One of my favorite moments was working with one of my clients on his Your Honor Award nomination and discovering our entry made it as a top finalist.
Amy K. Spach, Principal
AS Written Communications