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  • October 22, 2020 1:16 PM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    Be proactive with key stakeholders. This activity facilitates lawyer engagement (the ongoing biggest challenge identified by all BD surveys). The biggest complaint we hear from partners is the BD team is not proactive. Right or wrong, make it a point to build strong relationships with your internal clients.

    Nothing replaces that. Then recruit key partner(s) to support your critical initiatives.

    Conduct client feedback interviews. When a specific project for a practice group or partner is completed, go to their office or schedule a 10-minute Zoom call and conduct an “after project feedback” call. Any input will go a long way to helping you build relationships and provide feedback to your team.

    Turn non-responses into opportunities. Keep in mind lawyers are compensated to do work, bill work, and collect fees. The rest is done in their spare time, including important firm citizen roles on committees, and business development, or off-the-clock meetings for clients. If you need their input on something, go to their office or schedule a call. Make it easy for them to do business with the business development team.

    Practice your pitches. For important practice groups, executive committees, or other firm meetings, practice your presentations to be as smooth as possible. We ask the lawyers to do this for client meetings, so doing the same for your internal client meetings will make things go smoother and further build your confidence.

    Hand out compliments when appropriate. Send a hand-written note if you enjoyed working with a partner, or they did a good job presenting or running a client meeting. Everyone likes feedback, and lawyers seldom receive it from anyone. Everyone appreciates positive feedback in the form of compliments.

    Keep in touch. It is critical to keep in touch with your network of peers, sponsors/vendors/suppliers, and others. Do not wait until you need them—that is insincere. Keep in touch at least once a year and not with an e-holiday card. Be genuine by making a call or sending an email to see how people in your network are doing. Create a list of 20-50 people you should be in touch with annually or more often.

    Continue your education. Whether the firm pays for it or not, attend one program a year (writing skills, negotiating skills, presentation skills, etc.) to sharpen the skills you need to be good at what you do.

    Invest in yourself! Ask your team members to do the same. Ask your Professional Development team who they recommend and have outside consultant/trainers come in to train your team to sharpen skills.

    Be the best you can be at all times.

    Connect with peers in commercial businesses who have your position. Build relationships with peers from accounting or other professional service firms that allow you to expand your network and, at the

    same time, will enable you to build opportunities for you to connect one another’s professionals for programming, writing, speaking, etc. Stay connected outside of your legal network to learn best practices you can bring back to your firm and present to partners.

    Be happy. If you are, you will be your best. Take time for yourself—it is a demanding, busy industry we are in. 


    Silvia Coulter
    LawVision

  • October 21, 2020 4:21 PM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    Before the pandemic, it used to be so simple. Two professionals could meet and catch up in person over coffee. These brief “check-ins” were a convenient way to remain top of mind and to stay abreast of market intelligence. All that changed in March and, since then, we have all been forced to use digital replacements.

    If you are entrusted with maintaining market visibility for your firm, the solitude-laden summer of 2020 was disorienting, emotionally taxing and, at times, downright depressing. But recently, since shelter-in-place orders have been lifted and venues have become more accommodating, I’ve hosted several one-on-one, in-person, networking coffees and found them to be extremely worthwhile. These meetings brought on a brief sense of normalcy but could be more accurately described as “business as unusual.”

    ...an invitation for an in-person networking coffee, in most instances, will be much appreciated by your clients

    If done with proper forethought, extending an invitation for an in-person networking coffee is no longer considered cavalier and, in most instances, will be much appreciated by your clients, referral sources and prospects.

    Before reaching out, consider these six steps to help ensure success.

    1. Listen Carefully

    Get a reading on your potential invitee’s comfort level with in-person meetings. Your goal is to identify others who share your desire to meet face-to-face and not to guilt anyone into stepping outside of their comfort zone.

    There is no reason to rush.

    I hesitate to call it risk tolerance, but that is probably the most accurate definition of what you are attempting to assess in others whom you may consider inviting. If you sense any wariness or trepidation from your potential guest, politely assure them that you are happy to wait until a later date to meet in-person. There is no reason to rush.

    2. Research Your Venue

    Locate a venue that has plenty of outdoor seating, follows local social distancing guidelines, limits the number of patrons, employs attentive staff who wear masks, and displays a consistent, visible cleaning regimen. Visit the location ahead of time to make sure that their posted rules and regulations are being practiced.

    Spacious hotel lobbies, outdoor cafés, open-air galleries, and restaurants with patios all make the most sense. Avoid small coffee shops and restaurants that appear crowded and ramp up everyone’s anxiety. You may also find success in neighborhoods, parks and on greenways with walking or yoga meetings. Just add coffee!

    3. Consider Your Timing

    Always avoid peak hours.

    It is easy to determine when most places are busy by checking their “popular times” information online. Even with social distancing rules in place, it is important to avoid the rush. Try a 10am coffee or an early afternoon tea.

    Ask your guest when they would like to get together, and you may be surprised at the flexibility most people now enjoy during their work from home days.

    4. Bring Your PPE

    Personal Protective Equipment is important to stay safe and to help relieve anxiety. Make sure to wear your mask initially and always bring extra, packaged masks with you in case there is a need.

    ...put your guest at ease

    Many people may prefer to keep their masks on in public even while seated and distanced, so be prepared to do the same. Also, it is prudent to have some hand sanitizer for yourself and to potentially share with your guest. I always suggest pocket-sized disinfecting wipes in case you want to do some extra cleaning on the table or chairs, which may help put your guest at ease.

    5. Stay Flexible

    If 2020 has taught us anything, it is not to be surprised if something changes. Things happen, schedules blow up, personal or professional emergencies can and will arise.

    Don’t sweat it. Gather the pertinent facts, make informed decisions, be prepared to offer logical next steps and then move on. It might be you it might be them. Trust me, everyone gets it… it is 2020 after all.

    6. Be Empathic

    Keep in mind that everyone has a lot rattling around in their heads these days. We are all shouldering many visible and invisible burdens, so don’t be surprised if your guest begins to unpack a lot more than just their current business issues.

    Always listen with intent and be willing to offer encouragement where needed. We can all use a little moral support these days. “That must be hard” or “I hear you and I get it” can be miraculous phrases at times. Listen with empathy and positivity.

    Follow these suggestions and, undoubtedly, you will plan a safe and successful networking coffee and create an atmosphere that will reward you and your guest with a renewed sense of purpose and connection.

    Virtual meetings are serviceable but nothing can replace the authenticity of an in-person visit. Make the effort and you’ll both likely find it therapeutic and energizing.

    Good luck and stay safe!


    David Burkhardt is Client Service Director at law firm Wyrick Robbins



  • October 06, 2020 12:00 PM | Eva Booth (Administrator)

    The evolution of business development at law firms has taken the forefront as firms virtualize and engage with clients in new and different ways. It is now more important than ever that law firms hone in on meaningful and measurable business development practices to connect the firm and enable growth. Intapp’s Lavinia Calvert, General Manager, Marketing & Business Development Practice, Silvia Coulter, Principal at LawVision, and Gillian Ward, CMO at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, recently held this thoughtful discussion on current trends in law firm business development practices.

    Topics discussed at this webinar, included:

    • The structure and maturity of the business development processes
    • Trends in the way firms are engaging clients and enabling growth
    • Opportunities for facilitating improvement
    • The next frontier - where innovation and investment are happening
    Access the Webinar

    Speakers

     
    Gillian Ward

    Gillian Ward

    Gillian Ward serves as Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s global chief marketing officer, leading the firm’s business development, branding, and marketing efforts worldwide along with managing global marketing operations including a team that spans 30 offices across the firm’s platform.


    Lavinia Calvert

    Lavinia Calvert

    Lavinia leads the marketing and business development solutions at Intapp. She maintains global responsibility for driving growth and success for her business unit, focusing on serving the technology needs of marketing and business development professionals.


    Silvia Coulter

    Silvia Coulter

    Silvia Coulter is a co-founding principal of LawVision. She is widely regarded as one of the legal industry's most experienced business development and leadership consultants. Silvia also serves on the board of advisors for the Legal Sales and Service Organization. 



  • September 30, 2020 3:35 PM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Ballard Spahr LLP seeks a dynamic and successful marketing and business development professional to join the Ballard Spahr team as the Proposal Specialist supporting the firm’s efforts to respond to proposals within the guidelines of firm strategy, business development, and client relationship management goals. The successful candidate will report directly to the Senior Proposal Manager, while working collaboratively with the practice group and regional business development teams.

    This position can be located in any Ballard location.

    Learn More

  • September 25, 2020 6:47 AM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    The process of getting a comprehensive understanding of the important risk, opportunities or trends facing a company or industry sector is difficult. This information deficit results in professionals being reactive to clients’ needs and changes in their industry.

    Download the Current Awareness Toolkit to learn how you can utilize machine learning to empower your organization to demonstrate situational awareness.

    In this toolkit, you will learn:

    1. The problems with current awareness today and its impact
    2. How AI and Machine Learning Has Revolutionized the Way We Stay Informed
    3. Real-life examples of how you can use machine learning to identify risk and opportunities in your industry.

    Download the Toolkit

    LSSO thanks Manzama for providing this tool kit as a resource to our members.




  • September 09, 2020 11:52 AM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    As a member of the firmwide marketing department, the Senior Marketing Communications Specialist will be responsible for helping lead numerous strategic projects and initiatives furthering our external and internal communications goals. This position is responsible for helping manage, organize and contribute to Fenwick’s public relations efforts, original content development and content marketing (client alerts, white papers, newsletters/bulletins, videos, etc.), online marketing (social media, the firm’s website and blogs), internal communications and awards and directory submissions. This position can be based in any of our offices.

    Learn More

  • September 09, 2020 11:40 AM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Ballard Spahr has an excellent opportunity for an experienced, dynamic and successful marketing and business development professional to join the Marketing team as a Business Development Manager for our Litigation Department. The successful candidate will work with the leadership of the department, and lawyers nationwide, on a wide range of marketing and business development projects and initiatives. Remote opportunity available.

    Learn More

  • August 17, 2020 8:05 AM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    As a member of the firmwide marketing department, the Temporary Marketing Communications Specialist (approximately 6-9 months) will be responsible for supporting numerous strategic projects and initiatives furthering our external and internal communications goals. This position is responsible for helping manage and contribute to Fenwick’s public relations efforts, original content development and content marketing (client alerts, white papers, newsletters/bulletins, videos, etc.), online marketing (social media, the firm’s website and blogs), internal communications and awards and directory submissions. This position can be based in any of our offices.

    READ MORE

  • August 12, 2020 11:25 AM | Kirsten Lovett (Administrator)

    Ballard Spahr LLP has a terrific opportunity for a talented Proposal Coordinator to join the Ballard Spahr marketing and business development team. The primary responsibility is the preparation and delivery or pitches/proposals/RFPs. This role reports to the Proposal Manager and interacts with attorneys, directors of practice management, Legal Pricing/Project Management, Risk Management, Finance/Accounting, Human Resources, Information Systems, legal administrative assistants, and partner firms to coordinate and complete projects.

    Learn more and apply here

  • August 03, 2020 3:23 PM | Jenifer Hamilton (Administrator)

    Fenwick & West has a temporary opening for a Marketing Data Analyst (approximately 4-5 months) who will work with the marketing technology team to execute on reporting requests received from marketing and business development team members. This position can be based in the Mountain View/San Francisco (CA), Seattle (WA) or New York (NY) office.  READ MORE


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