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  • November 20, 2019 3:35 PM | Deleted user

    By Andrew Hutchinson

    The legal industry is getting with the program, so to speak. Like many industries before it – including technology, financial services and manufacturing – a large part of the legal industry now recognizes data is a strategic asset. Further, modern law firms are now striving to build data-driven cultures enabled by emerging and innovative technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and blockchain.

    Progress has been made on this front, but it’s still early in the new technology adoption curve for this industry. Despite the fact that law firms possess significant amounts and types of data, it is often fragmented by lawyer or practice silo. In fact, the Intapp Experience Management Survey 2017 found that 42% of firms lack a centralized process to collect, store and analyze data on an ongoing basis.

    Siloed data makes it impossible to derive the necessary insights and collaborate effectively. And most of the centralized systems and processes that do exist are legacy systems – e.g., spreadsheets, generic CRMs, SharePoint – that are incompatible with the rest of the firm’s technology and workflow processes.

    The result? Legal practices are missing business opportunities as the complexity of engagements continues to increase. And firms are losing market share to competitors that take a more modern approach to data. This dynamic has become a major issue facing law firms in the client-empowered era that exists today with more discerning, price-sensitive clients and leaner margins.

    While the top 1% of global firms will be insulated from profitability concerns for the foreseeable future, the other 99% need to take action based on data-driven decisions in collaboration with institutional knowledge.

    The CMO’s dilemma

    While the scenario above applies to all functional areas of a law firm, the problem is particularly acute with marketing.

    Rather than delivering proactive client insights that inform new business opportunities, many law firm marketing departments remain mired in administrative work due to the heavy responsibility of manual data gathering. In a 2018 Bloomberg Law study, legal marketeers cited “lack of time” as their No. 1 challenge.

    Eliminating the manual data gathering tasks to free up time for strategic consultation is critical. CMOs, in particular, cannot discuss strategy with lawyers and identify new business opportunities without the necessary insights that come from client data and relationship knowledge.

    The modern law firm and technology innovation are inextricably connected

    When people ask me what being a “modern” law firm entails, I tell them it means employing strategies, initiatives and investments that enable the firm to keep pace with rapidly changing client demands, market conditions and new technologies. These modernization initiatives typically involve unifying people, processes and data.

    The most successful firms are those that transition their organizations from a reactive to an insights-based posture. Making this transition accelerates a firm’s ability to win business with both new and existing clients. The key is unifying data across the entire client lifecycle so the people who need it are able to easily access it. Data that flows with limited friction throughout a firm – where and when it is needed – delivers insights and value.

    So how do these modern firms make the transition? The highest-impact move is to replace legacy systems with a robust, full client lifecycle platform that facilitates key client planning (the “80-20 rule,” where 80% of an organization’s profits come from 20% of its customers, is just as true in the legal industry) to better positioning themselves for growth.

    Specific to marketing, a unified system powered by modern technologies like AI and cloud computing eliminates “random acts of marketing” and allows CMOs to spend more time, energy and discipline on enhancing the client experience.

    By the same token, lawyers can use the best possible and most up-to-date data to make decisions, increasing their chances of exceeding client expectations and keeping retention rates high.

    The net-net: by making the move to a modern, unified platform, firms gain the ability to use their data to seize nearly every opportunity for growth as opposed to not having the data they need and missing opportunities.

    Data may or may not be the “new oil” as the (now clichéd) maxim goes. But it’s pretty clear that every business operates in what is now a data economy. So it’s not surprising that law firms – armed with the right data at the right time in the hands of the right people – can extract insights that drive better decision-making. And better decisions are every firm’s best fuel source for revenue growth and continued profitability.

    About the Author

    Andrew Hutchinson is Practice Group Leader – Marketing and Business Development – North America for Intapp, a provider of Client Lifecycle Management solutions to law firms and other professional services organizations. Andrew has spent the last 15+ years working with a broad cross-section firms in EMEA and North America, helping them drive innovation in the delivery of services through the use of technology, including: CRM; Document Management; Finance; Case Management; and Business Process Management.

    In his current role, he helps firms achieve strategic objectives around growth and client management with the help of OnePlace. As part of this process, he spends considerable time both listening and presenting to key stakeholders, including firm leadership, marketing and business development teams, and the fee earner community. He has a deep understanding of the role marketing and business development play in the wider law firm context, along with the range of objectives they seek to achieve, and uses this knowledge to support them in driving both effectiveness and efficiency.

  • November 17, 2019 5:44 PM | Deleted user

    By Helena M. Lawrence, Marketing/Business Development, Orrick

    The future of the legal profession is here. Legal services are changing, and clients are purchasing differently. Drivers of this change include (1) innovation – creating value, (2) technology – efficiency in cost, time and delivery, (3) commoditization – repeatable work delivered by alternative service providers, (4) creative thinking – demanded by clients, and (5) alternative business models – delivering high value at lower cost. Law firms need to adapt to stay competitive and the productization of legal services is one way to do that.

    Historically law firms have been service providers providing unique one-off answers for an individual client’s problems. But if firms can build a single “thing” – product – and deliver it to many clients, it can be used as a door opener to new clients, or deepening client relationships, creating the opportunity for strategic legal advice. Technology makes this possible and scalable. Its price point can be based on its value, not necessarily the cost to make it, or the cost per user to use it. It can be marketed at its value or, potentially, given away as a comp for relationship building.

    There are many sales benefits to selling legal products:

    1. Unique Competitive Differentiator – provides an opportunity for a focused, unique sales campaign to use for lead generation and profile building
    2. Showcase Expertise – provides an opportunity to profile your legal talent
    3. Relationship building – opportunity to strengthen relationships with current clients and contacts
    4. Revenue generation – legal products can be used as independent revenue generators

    Sales executives are uniquely positioned to identify legal product opportunities because they bring together the perspectives of global macro factors, client needs and firm culture. Global macro factors that may create opportunities are political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental.

    Sales executives are on the ground with clients and are aware of organizations’ inhibiting and supporting factors. They can listen to clients and watch their actions. For example, they may notice an uptick in certain types of matters and issues. This pattern may signify a need, even if our clients are not verbalizing it to us. Sales executives may notice clients asking questions during meetings or client feedback interviews.  

    Finally, when looking to identify legal product opportunities, sales professionals need to look inward at their organization and who their firm is and what their strategic business objectives are.

    Strategy is where goals, culture, opportunities and delivery meet. By knowing your firm’s identity, what it wants to achieve, understanding the global marketplace and knowing your clients, the right opportunity for your firm can become clear. Is there a way to use innovation to create something that creates value for your clients and firm? Can you build one tool and use it as a blueprint for future legal products?

    This is the future of the legal sales executive.

    About the Author

    Helena Lawrence took the road less traveled and it led her to a career in marketing and business development in Washington, D.C. She provides strategic guidance, thought leadership, and recommendations for innovation, product development and marketing, client service, business development, and marketing initiatives. Helena is the Strategic Marketing Lead on Orrick's award winning GDPR Readiness Assessment Tool and global marketing campaign. Helena and the team from Orrick received the 2018 LSSO Sales & Service Team Award.

    Contact Helena at or visit

  • November 15, 2019 8:51 AM | Deleted user

    Ballard Spahr has a great opportunity currently available for a dynamic and successful business development professional to join the Marketing team as a Business Development Manager supporting the Finance Department. Read More!

  • October 30, 2019 2:42 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    The purpose of this position is to develop and implement business development plans and promotional strategies to enhance and increase the visibility and profitable growth of Dechert’s transactional groups. The Marketing and Business Development Manager will assume global responsibility for specific product lines as well as practice areas, including the Firm’s market-leading Permanent and Private Capital practice and Leveraged Finance practice, in addition to supporting other corporate practice and firm wide initiatives that involve areas such as marketing planning, industry and client targeting, pitches and proposals and profile raising activities.

    Learn more and apply

  • October 25, 2019 8:45 AM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    This first of its kind survey is demystifying the responsibilities, salaries and important statistics of sales and service professionals in law firms. Please take the survey and/or share the survey with law firm business development, sales and services professionals.

    2018 Survey Results

  • October 17, 2019 8:04 PM | Deleted user

    By Eric Dewey, MBA, eLegal Training, LLC

    Conventional business development training programs follow a familiar path. They teach lawyers to: find qualified prospects; make connections; build relationships; identify legal needs; make a proposal; overcome objections and close the engagement. Sound familiar?

    As popular as this business development process is, it can’t explain fundamental challenges that we see so often in our business development pursuits. For instance,

    • why a prospect stalls or disengages from the selling process,
    • why new decision makers sometimes enter sales discussions,
    • why lawyers with a strong company relationship are not always selected,
    • why some engagements get signed quickly and some take months, and
    • why some prospects recognize a legal need but don’t solve their problem.

    Without a good explanation for this seemingly erratic behavior we conclude business services buyers are, at least sometimes, ‘irrational’ or ‘emotional’- a characteristic of individual consumers, but not corporations. Consumers are motivated by the experience the purchase promises, an emotional pursuit. Business people, on the other hand, are motivated by the expectation of profit the purchase will produce, a decidedly rational pursuit. If these responses, then, are not irrational, it suggests there is something missing in our understanding of the buying process.

    Unknowingly, legal business development training has adopted certain assumptions that mask the fact that our selling process is fundamentally flawed. We teach a process that, in practice, only works in a fraction of selling situations. To compensate, we urge ourselves and our time-constrained lawyers to increase the volume of contact. When the process doesn’t work, we blame the buyer, the ‘lawyer personality’, their unwillingness to sell, or the buyer’s resistance to being ‘sold’. Instead, we should look closer at what we’re teaching our lawyers, or more accurately, what we’re not teaching them.

    The legal sales/business development process has assumptions embedded in it that distort the errors in the selling methodology. It assumes that:

    • When companies recognize a legal need, they are inclined to buy a solution. (Not always.)
    • There is one ultimate decision maker. A key to success requires access to this person. (There are many influencers in the decision. Ultimate decision makers manage decision consensus.)
    • Close relationships are the best path to new engagements. (Not necessarily, expertise does it too.)
    • There is a single, linear sales method that works for all selling/buying situations, all lawyer/sellers, all practice areas, and all buyer types. (Legal services don’t fit neatly into a single method. The practice area/legal need significantly influences the purchasing process and time frame.)

    Conventional business development methods ignore an important part of the buying - selling process: the buying decision process. This is a process that occurs prior to a company’s decision to solve an issue, problem, or opportunity (IPO) and it is the source of much of our frustration with selling. It’s surprisingly sensible. So much so that this plain truth is overlooked. A company will not be ready to buy until it has decided to buy the services of outside counsel. That decision has two parts: the first decision to solve the problem and the second decision of which provider to use. We tend only to focus on the latter in our sales training.

    A company’s buying decision process includes much more than simply the recognition of an IPO and the selection of a provider. The buying decision process includes a unique internal process, obscured from view, that prioritizes, builds consensus and projects outcomes for the array of possible solutions. This internal buying decision process happens before a company can find a solution or a provider and yet it is fertile ground to influence the decision, the selection criteria and even the choice of provider.

    We can’t fully understand how buyers buy until we have insight into how buyers decide to buy. Focusing on the decision to buy completely changes almost everything we know about ‘selling’. We learn to listen for sales opportunities and respond to those ‘sales triggers’ by ‘selling’ our services or attempting to persuade the buyer of our unique offering. Companies, however, are not always ready to buy even when they’ve discussed the possibility. A view into the internal decision process demonstrates the complexity of the buying process in matrixed, profit driven organizations. Without that internal view, we don’t understand that ‘selling’ is useless, even counterproductive at certain points. ‘Selling’ before a company is ready to buy creates ‘sales pressure’ that ignites skepticism and makes relationships harder to form. Without internal consensus, no amount of selling, relationship building, negotiation skills or discounting will move companies to engage, a fact that has been widely overlooked in conventional business development and sales training.

    Companies at different stages of their buying process react differently to our business development initiatives because their level of readiness to engage outside counsel is more or less matured. For example, a lawsuit that threatens the company’s survival requires little consensus-building within the company. There is quick and strong agreement to defend the company against the action. However, a company considering strategic acquisitions has to do some homework. They need first to understand how the acquisition will affect financial, operational, human resource, and other corners of the business before they can get the multifunctional agreement to proceed. Lastly, a company asked by an earnest seller to consider changes to their licensing agreements or technology contracts, is even further behind in their internal decision-making process. They have to determine first whether to address the issue and then how to address the issue in a way that creates the least disruption to the company’s operations. Yet, lawyer/sellers are taught to pitch their services in the same way regardless of where the company is in their internal buying decision process. This results in little success and lots of frustration.

    It's not hard to understand why the internal buying decision process has been left out of sales training. Outside counsel is, obviously, on the outside of the company. Outside lawyers are not privy to the internal politics, the relationship dynamics, the cultural norms and values, the history and hard-fought lessons that determine how the company operates, how it makes decisions, and how it selects providers. It’s hard to see how they could influence internal buying decisions.

    They can, however, help facilitate the decision process from outside by helping their contacts ask better questions, get better information, understand the stakeholders, and more clearly understand the resistance to the changes some legal solutions will cause inside the company. They can help facilitate the internal decision process in the same way a counselor might advise you in assessing your career options- they don’t care what career path you take, only that you make a decision. Fortunately, it doesn’t require a deep understanding of each company’s business or industry, only a change in mindset and a new questioning strategy. That’s not to say it’s not helpful to understand the company’s business or industry, its simply more helpful to understand its culture because business decision facilitation is actually cultural change facilitation.

    Expanding our definition of the selling process to include the company’s buying-decision process sheds light on the internal dynamics, motivations and time frames companies have about solving their legal problems. This revelation led to a new business development process called Decision-Strategy Selling™ that provides lawyers with a framework to evaluate where the buyer is in their internal buying decision process and presents a new set of skills to help find the quickest path to an engagement decision. It complements existing sales training because it helps lawyers pinpoint the situations in which selling skills will be most effective. And it builds relationships more quickly because the lawyer is more often able to start the relationship as a trusted advisor and not as a sales person. In short, Decision-Strategy Selling™ gives lawyers more company insights and more opportunities for the types discussions that lead to engagements.

    Eric Dewey, MBA, is the Founder of eLegal Training, an online business development training, coaching, resource and referral network platform. He is the creator of Decision - Strategy Selling, a more effective path to new legal engagements and would love the opportunity to incorporate the buying decision process into your sales training. Contact  or visit or visit

  • October 15, 2019 9:14 AM | Deleted user
    The position will serve as the Business Development Manager for assigned lawyers in Austin; provide strategic and tactical support to assigned lawyers and collaborates with marketing and business-development team members and other firm business professionals to ensure the execution of the business development plans and their alignment with firm-wide business development priorities and practices.

     Read More.

  • October 11, 2019 11:41 AM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    As the Business Development Manager is a leader who possesses a client-focused mentality, is highly service oriented, and has the ability to guide, direct and advise lawyers in a sophisticated marketing and business development environment. Responsibilities include helping shape the strategic positioning within the context of the Goodwin brand for both the Financial Industry (“FIN”) business unit (which spans both litigation and transnational work) and the Fin-tech practice; supporting client relationship-building initiatives; facilitating cross-selling opportunities with other practice groups and geographies; lead generation; and identifying effective thought leadership opportunities.

    Learn More

  • October 11, 2019 9:00 AM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Now in it's 17th year, the RainDance Conference has earned a reputation as a must attend event for senior level law firm sales and business development professionals.  With their big firm and smaller firm perspectives, this year's co-chairs are planning dynamic sessions with practical takeaways for everyone.

    David Bowerman is a Director of Client Development at K&L Gates were he helped lead the creation of the firm’s Client Development function.  Based in the firm’s Seattle office, he has more than 20 years of experience in the professional services sector leading teams, building revenue-generating tools and bringing new ideas to market across a range of business development, communications, and sales roles.  David was a member of the hit Fishbowl sales session at RainDance last year.

    Jenna Schiappacasse is the Director of Client Development at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, a 45-attorney firm with 5 offices across Maryland, Delaware, DC and New York. Over the past several years, Jenna has transformed her position from a marketing and communications focus to a market-facing client development role, directly responsible for generating revenue, in addition to coaching the firm’s attorneys on their client service and business development efforts. Jenna was a finalist in the 2019 LSSO Sales & Service Awards. 

    Message from our Co-Chairs to you:

    The buzz around legal sales is at an all time high. At RainDance, you'll be surrounded by client-facing, client service and business development professionals. We are going to have you on your feet collaborating and participating in workshops and sessions that are going to teach you new sales strategies, make you rethink your approach to client service and expand your network of colleagues. 

    Register Now

  • October 02, 2019 2:11 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Now in its 17th year, the RainDance Conference has earned a reputation as a must attend event for senior level law firm sales and business development professionals. Partnering with the Legal Sales & Service Organization (LSSO) allows companies to demonstrate their expertise and thought leadership before a national audience and receive a high level of visibility with LSSO's members throughout the year.

    Contact Kirsten Lovett, LSSO Executive Director, to learn more.

    Why Legal Sales and Service Organization (LSSO)?

    Legal Sales and Service Organization (LSSO) is the go-to organization for education, ideas and networking focused solely on legal sales and client service.  We provide law firm sales, business development, and service professionals with the resources and strategies they and their teams need to achieve the highest levels of success. 

    What is LSSO’s RainDance Conference?

    LSSO's annual RainDance Conference, now in its 17th year, is the key resource for sales and service professionals.  The two-day conference is filled with high-level interactive sessions, roundtables and lively discussions with industry thought leaders.   

    RainDance continues to offer less of the theory and more of the practical, effective sales and service strategies for attendees to bring back to their firm and implement immediately.  With an intimate setting, sponsor partners can expect open and honest dialogue among the attendees about the challenges they face in meeting the demands of the increasingly competitive and evolving industry.

    Who Attends LSSO’s RainDance?

    RainDance is for firm leaders who have significant responsibilities for client retention, client growth, new business development, client service, and process improvement strategies to shape the future of their firms.  Attendees come from law firms of all sizes. Last year 56% were from AmLaw 100 & 200 firms and 44% from mid-size firms.

    RainDance is recognized and known for attracting the highest caliber of attendees who are regarded as the thought leaders and decision-makers in their firms and consultants who work with them to help shape the industry. 

    Why Be Involved in LSSO’s RainDance Conference?

    We recognize that your #1 goal is to network and make valuable business connections which will result in new business.  We work with our partners to establish a year-long relationship.

    Partnering with LSSO and our RainDance Conference is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your target market to demonstrate how your product or service will help to drive revenue in law firms. LSSO’s RainDance Conference is unlike other industry conferences.  Our sponsor partners are shoulder to shoulder with conference attendees, who are the decision-makers at their firms.

    Contact Kirsten Lovett, LSSO Executive Director, to learn more.

LSSO | RainDance Sponsors & Partners

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