Five Questions for the 2018 LMA Northeast Regional Conference Co-Chairs: April Colby and Claire Thompson

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LMA conferences are something to which many of us look forward each year. Between the programming and powerhouse speakers, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, I am always re-energized and full of ideas when I return to the office. This year’s LMA Northeast Conference, which will be held in Boston on October 25 and 26 promises to leave attendees with nothing less than that – thanks to our 2018 co-chairs, April Colby and Claire Thompson, who along with their conference committee have been hard at work for many months planning and executing the very best conference possible. 

Read more about the 2018 LMA Northeast Conference co-chairs and what you can expect from the conference. We’ll see you in Beantown in October! 

Q: Why did you each want to serve as co-chair of the LMA Northeast Conference? 

Claire: I have participated on the conference committee for the last two years and had a great experience each time. Last year I served on the programming subcommittee and loved sifting through all the great content that’s out there in the LMA community. I saw serving as a co-chair as a chance to share what I’ve learned over the last couple of years at various conferences, give back to the LMA and, most importantly, keep learning from my peers. 

April: I also have served on the conference committee for the past two years where I served on the promotions subcommittee, which was a great way for me to keep my graphic design skills sharp. But I saw the opportunity to be a co-chair this year as a chance to really develop and hone my leadership skills so that I can continue my progression in this industry. 

Q: Tell us about the upcoming LMA Northeast Conference. What can attendees expect? 

Claire: I think attendees can expect the annual conference they’ve come to know and love with a few twists. Our theme of “looking beyond legal” will encourage attendees to think differently about the way they do their jobs every day and the ideas they bring to their attorneys. While I think there’s amazing learning at all LMA events, it’s our hope that this will be a different type of learning. I hope participants walk away with specific things that they can implement that will help move the needle on marketing and business development initiatives at their firms. 

April: I agree with Claire on all points here. I’d add that we are taking things to another level this year by adding a half day of optional pre-conference deep dive sessions. We will have three tracks: Future Leaders, Business Development and Communications, that really delve into the respective areas of legal marketing. 

Q: Why did you each get involved in the LMA? How has it benefited you? 

Claire: I got involved earlier in my career because I heard such great things about the association and the learning opportunities provided by it. Everything I heard was right – I continue to learn daily from both scheduled LMA programming and, more importantly, from other members with whom I interact. The network that I’ve built as a result of my involvement has been invaluable to me. 

April: Julie Amos, Jamie Mulholland and Trish Lilley have been three of the most influential mentors of my career. Each of them has encouraged me to become more involved and continue to grow my experiences and leadership skills. There are key points in my involvement with LMA that they have each pushed me just a little bit further. 

Q: Why do you think someone should attend the LMA Northeast Conference? 

April: The Northeast region brings together three powerhouse markets: Philadelphia, Boston and New York, and of course everything in between. I think this conference offers an opportunity that’s different from national in that we can really focus on what’s happening in this geographic market. Not to contradict myself but I also want to encourage folks to consider attending the Northeast Conference even if they’re not a member of the region. I’ve attended a few conferences outside the Northeast region, and I always get a much different perspective and make so many great new connections outside of my “home” region. 

Q: What are you each most excited about with regard to the LMA Northeast Conference? 

Claire: I am most excited about the theme! There are so many interesting marketing strategies and tactics happening in various industries right now and our goal is to have the conference broaden participants’ thinking about how legal providers go to market. 

April: Back in the spring, we gathered most of our committee in Boston and during an off-the-cuff conversation, we came up with an idea that is now our closing panel session on Friday. We are talking about beer! How does that relate to legal marketing? How doesn’t it, we say! We have put together a panel of folks from breweries around the Northeast to talk about how they differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive market. Sound like the legal industry? We think so. So what better way to close out a conference in October than talking – and sampling – some of the finest craft brews in the Northeast? 

Learn more about the 2018 LMA Northeast Regional Conference, view the agenda and register.

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