Kelly Largey is the Boston-based Chief Marketing Officer at Fish & Richardson. In response to the LMA Northeast Q&A career development series, Kelly shared her keys for success and some inspirational advice and tips for our Future Leaders to become their best professional selves.
What do you think is the key for success as a legal marketer today?
Know your firm’s practice and culture. If you don’t already have a strong working knowledge of the legal vocabulary for your firm’s practice areas, learn it. If your firm does boot camp style programming for new lawyers, sit in on some of the sessions. When you speak the firm’s language, you have a much better chance of being heard. It is a bit harder to learn a firm’s culture. I have found that the best way to learn the culture is to talk to others on the administrative team. Learn how they persuade and how they lead. You can learn a lot from the professionals who run IT, recruiting, HR and finance.
What is the best career advice that you ever received?
Deliver what your firm wants before you introduce what your firm needs. As marketing professionals, we have great ideas for strategic initiatives that we know will help our firms grow their businesses. But you have to listen to the firm’s strategic priorities and deliver on those first. You may not think that a new one-pager about a particular practice will contribute to the bottom line, but if your attorneys want it, give them a great one. You will gain lots of support that will help you succeed when you introduce your great new marketing ideas.
How do you achieve work/life balance?
I don’t like to talk about work-life balance because if we don’t achieve “balance” we often feel as if we have failed. With that said, I do strive to compartmentalize my work and home life. When I am at work, I try to be 100% at work and shut off home worries. When I am at home, I aspire to be 100% at home and shut off work worries. Since we are all connected 24/7 and work regularly seeps over into our lives, I don’t often achieve that perfectly. But by trying, I am constantly reminding myself that compartmentalizing is important and healthy.
What is your favorite quote?
“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.” – Thomas Merton
What woman most inspires you and why?
Lelia Robinson, the first woman to be admitted to the bar in Massachusetts. When she graduated from law school, only men were allowed to take the bar exam. She petitioned the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to let her sit for the exam and was denied. Undeterred, Robinson drafted legislation to change the law. In 1882 she persuaded the Massachusetts legislature to pass a law allowing women to sit for the bar exam. This was almost 40 years before women’s suffrage. Robinson was lobbying elected officials even though she could not even vote. That’s moxie.