Log in


Carolyn Sandano, Owner and Principal

The Law Marketing Coach and Business Development Services

Carolyn Sandano is a highly engaged, experienced, hands-on business development and marketing professional and certified master coach. She maintains a proven track record in client development, marketing and sales functions for law and other professional service firms. Clients repeatedly say that her entry into their worlds is seamless, and her rapport-building skills extremely valuable in pressure-filled environments.

What inspired you to pursue a career in legal sales and service?

I was in legal marketing for several years, and realized that the tide was turning and law firms were beginning to take stock of how business development executives could impact behaviors and ultimately, the bottom line, of relationships with clients.  I wanted to be part of revenue increases to best prove my value and be able to better measure success.  And earn my keep!

What is the greatest reward of being in your role?

Bringing together disparate groups of lawyers or team members in pursuit of a goal, and watching them learn to work with one another very successfully. And – enjoy the process and stay connected.

Can you share a memorable success story or milestone from your career?

The American Lawyer was writing a lengthy article on my firm, and the Chairman ordered every partner to do their best to get the story in advance.  I was friends with a wonderful colleague at AmLaw in the advertising area who allowed me a copy. Watching the face of the Chairman when I gave him the story – which quelled his anxiety – was pretty special. He told the partnership that I could work at the firm for the rest of my life.  Our legal industry relationships are absolutely everything.

How do you stay updated on industry trends and developments?

I play close attention when I see trends starting to form – and my initial thoughts there come from four things: 1) AmLaw headlines daily for moves, trends and firm news; 2) Paying attention to who is busiest within client firms, and why /how clients are buying. Patterns are important.  3)Then I look at business papers – WSJ; NYT; The Economist and sometimes Financial Times to test my findings; 4)I talk to friends – many in LSSO – to further see if what I am intuiting may be right.

What's one book, resource, or person/mentor that has had a significant impact on you?

I have worked for two partners at different firms who sat squarely in the seats of their clients at all times and spoke to them like a business partner and guided them in practical ways to reach their goals.  They never spoke to them like lawyer gatekeepers – quite the opposite – and clients adored them.

What advice would you give to someone looking to advance their career in legal sales and service?

Know what clients are buying, and figure out how you can support your firm in getting their attention in substantive and meaningful ways in an authentic voice.

What is the greatest piece of advice YOU ever received?

Easy. My Dad told me on the first day of my first job that corporate life would present choices in terms of morals, values and ways to treat others.  He suggested I make choices that allowed me to sleep well at night.  I think about that almost every day (and I sleep well! )

It would surprise people to know that…

While of an Irish background, I am a citizen of Italy. 

What do you believe are the biggest challenges facing the legal sales and service industry today?

The world is moving so very quickly.  I think listening and truly hearing what another human is saying is the most in-demand skill you can have today.

What does the future of the legal sales and service industry look like to you?

I think we will distinguish ourselves next by being in clients’ offices and directing a large part of the sales process.

How do you balance the demands of your role as with maintaining a healthy work-life balance?

I spend time with those I love best.  Being together is everything.

Outside of work, what hobbies or interests do you enjoy that help you recharge and stay creative?

I love learning and interacting with painters, artists, interior designers and anyone who listens to their inner thoughts to create beauty as only they can do.  Remarkable. It allows me to tap a different part of my brain.

Can you share a favorite quote or mantra that guides your leadership philosophy?

Simple. Treat others in the way you wish to be treated – with respect.  No matter the degree of emotions at the moment  - respect always.

Chris Newman, Senior Director, Business Development and Client Solutions

McDermott Will & Emery 

With a dynamic background overseeing high-performing teams focused on complex client development and marketing initiatives for AmLaw 40 global law firms, including Cravath, Ropes & Gray, Cooley and McDermott, Chris Newman brings 17+ years of experience transforming firms’ brands and generating millions of dollars in revenue through industry leading growth initiatives. Chris is currently the Senior Director of Business Development + Client Solutions at McDermott. He operates as the second most senior leader in the firm’s MCBD department that has been shortlisted for awards from The American Lawyer and Financial Times, as well as receiving LSSO’s “Law Firm of the Year” award in 2023. Chris brings a significant amount of experience developing and executing sales enablement strategies, structuring operational infrastructures, building and deploying client-facing digital products, leading large-scale teams, and delivering lucrative results in fast-paced work environments.  

What is the greatest reward of being in your role?

Intellectual curiosity stimulation and daily opportunities to learn, teach and tackle novel needs with innovative solutions. Working in legal, especially Big Law, provides endless chances to get smarter – a motivation that has fueled my fire since I started in this industry ~21 years ago. I love the challenge of learning tough practice related subject matters and being able to have smart/savvy conversations with lawyers that help advance their thinking about go-to-market strategies, client needs and the state of the industry. I also love having opportunities to share this knowledge in the form of mentorship, serving as a sounding board for my peers, helping junior team members grow and/or influencing the industry through thought leadership and case studies. 


What's one book, resource, or person/mentor that has had a significant impact on you?

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni is one of the best books I’ve read about creating high performing teams. It’s a quick read that does a fantastic job laying out the struggles that teams often face and never address head-on to achieve the results they set out to accomplish. Lencioni conveys his holistic observations and pointed takeaways in a smart, engaging fictional story. Understanding the five pillars that tend to lead to result driven organizations is foundational guidance that you can build on in micro and macro bursts. It’s easy to overlook why teams aren’t performing and this book redefines how to evaluate those situations, generate solutions, and grow from executing them.


Can you share a favorite quote or mantra that guides your leadership philosophy?

Years ago, when I was co-chair of a regional conference, the planning committee and I developed the tagline “simplify to maximize” as our theme. From the first moment I heard this three-word statement, it resonated with me and how I look at my role, my teams, the operations of a company and getting the results you desire. In an era where most people feel overwhelmed by the different paths they or their organizations can take to be successful and the constant flood of information and opinions being fed to us, sense making and simplifying our focus has never been more important. By regularly reminding myself that simplification can often lead to better focus and thus results, I feel better prepared to achieve what I want from myself and my teams.

Christie Cáceres, Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer

Sheppard Mullin

Christie Cáceres is the Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer at Sheppard Mullin, an AmLaw 50 firm with over 1,000 lawyers. Christie has over 25 years of experience in legal marketing and oversees the firm’s BD and Marketing team which encompasses business development, marketing communications, sales, marketing technology, budgets, BD training and coaching, graphics, digital marketing, marketing programs, client feedback and client experience. 

Christie is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Legal Sales and Service Organization (LSSO). She is also active in charitable and community organizations. Christie serves on the Board, and is Fundraising Chair, for TotalLink2 Community, an organization which provides innovative programs and services that teach critical life skills to help prepare young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities for the world of work. She is also active in her local school district’s Parent Teacher Organization.

What is the greatest piece of advice YOU ever received?

    • A friend and mentor shared this with me when I came back from my first maternity leave and it changed my outlook on work/life balance. I try to pay it forward and pass along whenever I can. “You won’t be able to excel at everything every day. Some days you’ll be a great employee and a not-so-great spouse. Some days you’ll be a great mom and a not-so-great friend. Once you come to terms with the fact that you can only do what you can in a day to be your best, you will be more at ease.”
    • Can you share a favorite quote or mantra that guides your leadership philosophy?

    • I have two: “Feedback is a gift.” And “Assume positive intent.” The first is critical for any growth professionally and personally. Sometimes it’s hard to hear but if we don’t ask, we won’t know. And the second is one that I think reminds us that we are all human. Someone giving a trite response to your question may not be something you need to overanalyze. People are innately coming from a good place and they could just be having one of those days.

    • How do you stay updated on industry trends and developments?

    • This industry is small and people are very willing to share what works for them in their firms or with their teams. I am part of a few CMO roundtables and I find the interaction and peer network to be invaluable. Every firm is different so sharing best practices doesn’t mean you are sharing your firm’s strategic plan. You will need to make it your own at your firm but sometimes the inspiration is in the sharing. I also attend a few programs throughout the year that I think are very insightful, including LSSO Raindance.

    ©2024 Legal Sales and Service Organization, PO Box 1572 Manchester, MA 01944