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Name: Linda Sanders
Law Firm Name: Troutman Sanders
Title: Senior Business Development Coordinator
In one sentence, describe your job:
I support our Intellectual Property, Real Estate and Business Litigation practice groups in their efforts to generate business for the firm, which includes preparing pitches and proposals, managing event logistics, conducting client and prospect research, and several additional strategic and administrative responsibilities.
Why and/or how did you get into legal marketing?
My foray into legal marketing is a mid-career transition for me. As a licensed attorney with no desire to practice law, I spent the past 20 years working in nontraditional legal positions, including jobs as a senior court administrator, mediator and content developer for a commercial CLE provider. All of my roles have included elements of marketing and business development, and I have greatly enjoyed those aspects of my jobs. After joining LMA about four years ago to broaden my network for my CLE position, and eventually joining the Atlanta Local Group leadership team, I became convinced that a traditional legal marketing career was the natural next step for me. Thanks to my LMA mentor - Erin Ryan at McGuireWoods in Charlotte - I was able to prepare and position myself for a legal marketing role when the right opportunity arose. Legal marketing allows me to continue working in a nontraditional legal role while operating daily in my areas of strength - event planning, writing, research, project management, interpersonal relationships, and more. I look forward to spending the next 20 years learning, growing, thriving and leaving my mark as a legal marketing professional.
What is a "typical" day for you?
After only two months in my position, I've quickly learned that there is no "typical" day. I begin each day with an idea of what I need to accomplish based on deadlines, scheduled and upcoming meetings, and loose ends I still need to wrap up from the prior day. It is not uncommon for my plans to quickly go awry when a phone call or email comes in about a new project or request that requires immediate attention. I enjoy that there is a great deal of variety in the job, which helps to keep me challenged and engaged.
In your job, what is your biggest challenge?
As a new legal marketer, prioritizing tasks has been challenging. In juggling so many daily tasks, I'm constantly mindful of the Eisenhower principle of time management, i.e., distinguishing what's urgent from what's important. I hope this will become less of a challenge as I become more experienced in traditional legal marketing and better understand the personalities and expectations of all of the people I support.
What do you like most about your job?
The people. I am fortunate to work for a manager who is incredibly knowledgeable, hardworking, confident and empowering, and a team of competent, friendly and helpful attorneys and marketing professionals. That makes coming to work something to look forward to.
If a college student were to ask you for advice about a legal marketing career, what would you say?
I would tell him or her that legal marketing is a good fit for someone fascinated by the law and lawyers, but not interested in practicing law. I would encourage the student to obtain a solid background in marketing, communication and/or project management and to learn to master all of the capabilities of Excel. I would also tell them to start early in the profession - not after working 20 years in another field!
What books do you recommend to fellow LMA colleagues?
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Both skills are critical when working for attorneys that can sometimes be skeptical about the value of legal marketing.