Boston-based Paul Boynton is the Director of Marketing at Todd & Weld LLP. He serves on the LMA Northeast Boston Local Steering Committee as a Member at Large and is responsible for communications for the Boston and New England area. Paul is a former lawyer and media professional, who used these skills to make the career switch into legal marketing. As part of our ongoing Q&A series to get to know leaders throughout the LMA Northeast region better, we asked Paul about his career path, how to build a strong professional brand and how he strikes the right work/life balance. Read on to learn more about Paul.
Do you have any advice for legal marketers on to build a strong professional brand?
Joining and actively participating in the LMA can only help you. There is no substitute for seeing and being seen. On the job, professional growth comes with confidence and assertiveness. It's imperative to insist by actions and deeds (less so with words) that others (especially lawyers) treat you as a professional and with respect.
What do you think is the key for success as a legal marketer today?
Most of all believe in yourself and promote your successes. Other keys to success that come to mind:
- Remaining ahead of the curve on business trends in the legal profession
- Thinking like a business person who is selling professional services (and imparting that knowledge to practicing attorneys)
- Collaborating with colleagues and peers
- Maintaining your composure and confidence at all times in the workplace
What is the best career advice that you ever received?
In another life, I practiced law. As a young trial attorney for a federal agency, my boss advised (insisted?) that I think of myself a sole practitioner rather than a staff attorney. The point being: Think through all the issues in my case assignments before making recommended strategies and actions, and rely on no one to give me the answers. I've always taken this advice to heart. Career growth rests on independent thinking and being proactive in managing projects and solving problems. Professionals are expected to resolve issues, not just take orders.
How did you get started in legal marketing?
As a publisher for a trade journal serving the legal profession, I came into increasing contact with legal marketers and the LMA. It occurred to me that my legal training and my experience in legal publishing and communications could serve me well in a legal marketing role, even though I had no "marketing" education or experience per se. I just thought it would an interesting and challenging career move to focus on the business side of the legal profession. Thankfully, at that time a law firm was in need of its first in-house marketing professional and decided to roll the dice on me!
How do you achieve work/life balance?
Having a thick skin, enjoying and appreciating all the small moments that each day presents, and never (hopefully) losing sight of what's really important in life. A sip of bourbon now and again doesn't hurt either!
What is your greatest personal achievement?
Learning to live a life of gratitude each and every day.
What do you wish you could tell your younger professional self?
It's okay to be deferential to a point. But it's much better to respectfully make recommendations to superiors backed by intelligent plans of action.