President's Message

Spring is here! We finally get to say good riddance to the lingering cold and blustery days (granted, mild compared to our brethren in other regions), and hello to the warmer sunshine and longer days. Here in the Southeast, the beautiful flowers and trees are blooming, we are closely watching the Master's Tournament, and many of us are gearing up for what legal marketing gurus have dubbed "the event of the year" - the LMA Annual Conference! I attended my first annual conference in 2011. I remember my manager calling to tell me that I had been selected as one of the lucky attendees to represent our firm at the conference. After a muffled scream, and a few spins around my chair in excitement, I pored over the agenda. As I am prone to do, I started down a rabbit hole of internet research. I looked up all of the conference speakers and topics, and planned out who I could talk to at the networking activities. I was overwhelmed, but in the absolute best way possible. 

To focus my journey at the conference, I began to ask questions of those in my network who had previously attended. I was amazed by their insights, and I realized that the value of the conference only begins with the programming. This year, I passed those insights on to my colleagues at McGuireWoods who are heading to New Orleans next week. I even sprinkled in a few other best practices that I have picked up over the years, including many from a few select LMASE past-presidents (thank you Ioana Good, Nikki Sherrill, Brook Redmond, Jill Huse, and Kathryn Whitaker). 

And now, I want to share them with you. Regardless of whether you are attending the Annual Conference, I hope these tidbits help you get the most out of your LMA experience. 
  1. Download the LMA Conference App - Add the presentations that sound most appealing to you as well as those focused on topics outside your wheelhouse. It is always good to broaden your scope of knowledge and this conference is a great "one stop shop" for insights into leading legal marketing trends.
  2. Do Your Homework and Create a Game Plan - Comb the agenda for speakers that resonate with you. Maybe you've heard about them, read articles they've authored, or they have a niche expertise you'd like to learn more about. Set goals to meet them, tell others that you'd like to meet them, and ask for an introduction if they know them. Personally thank the speakers for their comments on a specific topic. If you would like to continue the discussion, they'll likely be amenable to a call after the conference. Do the same for the Your Honor Awards nominees and winners. Talk to them about their projects, how they implemented them, etc. They are eager to share their success, and can give you tangible ideas to take back to your firm.
  3. Connect, Network, and Say Hello! - Avoid the tendency to stick with your co-workers and Southeast region friends. Get to know people and expand your network. While it might seem like everyone at LMA knows one another, this community is a warm and welcoming bunch, so walk up and introduce yourself to strangers. Everyone has an interesting story to tell about their career path and LMA involvement. Practice what you preach to your attorneys: meet people, ask lots of questions, and listen intently. You never know what might come from a LMA connection. Don't forget your business cards!
  4. Explore the Exhibit Hall - Talk to the service partners at LMA. They have a wealth of knowledge about industry best practices, and they can connect you with peers at other firms who are doing great things.
  5. Engage in Social Media - You can't be everywhere at once, so the real-time tips and nuggets can be a fantastic way for you to follow along while at the conference. The conference feeds are also a great resource to review before you debrief your team back home. You can find valuable intel and takeaways from the sessions that you attended, as well as the ones you missed.
Safe travels to those headed to NOLA! Please remember to join us on Wednesday, April 11 for a Southeast Regional networking lunch. Look for the tables reserved for "LMASE." Please also say hello to Erin Hunt, our 2018 LMA Annual Conference Scholarship Winner. Erin will be taking over our LMASE Twitter feed with live conference updates. 

For those not attending, I hope you will take up LMA on the option to attend virtually on Facebook Live, April 9-11, via Virtual 2018 LMA Annual Conference, and by following the #LMA18 and #LMA18Selfie hashtags.

Amy Norris
2018 LMASE President