Amy Nielson manages the marketing and business development efforts for the New York office of Hunton Andrews Kurth. She’s a longtime LMA volunteer and is currently serving as the 2018 Member at Large focused on member engagement for the New York Local Group. As part of our Q&A series with leaders in the LMA Northeast, we asked Amy for career tips, advice on how to build a strong professional brand and how she achieves work/life balance (hint: be present!)
What advice do you have for legal marketers who looking to build their professional brands?
Get involved! Attend the monthly lunches, SIG events and social events and meet the people who are doing what you do so you have a village of people you can use as your sounding board. Meet them for lunch, grab a drink after work and share ideas. It’s a great way to build lasting relationships. Some of my best life-long friendships have formed this way. Who knew LMA would fill my life with such great friends! Also, don’t forget about a mentor, find people who are a few levels above you and pick their brains. They’ll be excited about your passion and will be happy to share ideas and open professional doors for you.
How has the LMA benefited your professional development?
Jennifer Scalzi of Calibrate Legal (who got me my first legal marketing job) talked me into joining the board in 2008, and it was such a fun and challenging experience. I’ve been a huge cheerleader for LMA ever since. I rejoined the New York leadership team in 2017, and I am enjoying being the membership chair and showing members – especially new members – the many benefits of LMA.
What do you think is the key for success as a legal marketer today?
Be creative! Take a few minutes every day to leave your desk, go outside and walk around. Pick a project you’re working on and think about how you can make it different, more interesting, more client-centric and better. Sitting at your desk all day and cranking out work is the killer of all creativity and while people will appreciate your hard work, they likely won’t see you as a leader and big thinker.
What is the best career advice that you ever received?
It’s a small world (even in New York City!), so make sure you always leave a job in a way where they’d want you back. Your reputation will follow you.
What do you wish you could tell your younger professional self?
Relax! It’s all going to be great. Just keep working hard and meeting people and learning as much as you can, and the rest will follow.
How do you achieve work/life balance?
I don’t know that I really balance things very well (I have two small and very active kids), but I try to do what I can to keep the stress levels down – exercise, a meditation app on the train, trying to eat healthy, taking a walk around the block when things get especially frustrating at work. Trying to be present and give your all to every situation you’re in is the best you can do. If you’re with your kids, be with your kids. If you’re working on a challenging project at work, do your best to make it amazing. If you’re hanging out with friends, put the phone down and enjoy the conversation.