Thoughts and news from the LMA-MN – Midwest Region – Minnesota Local Group

Webinar Alert! From Art to Science: The Coming Paradigm Shift for Law Firm Websites #LMAMKT

Date: Thursday, June 02, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM Central Daylight Time
Duration: 1 hour
Register here.

A confluence of new technologies and market forces will be ushering in a new type of law firm website that sets itself apart from previous generations of law firm websites in three remarkable ways:

  • It uses new, powerful analytics to track website visitors, by name.
  • It generates and nurtures new business leads.
  • It quantifies success.

Law firms will inevitably begin to think of their websites very differently. These websites will be considered proactive business development tools whose performance can be measured and optimized. And this could revolutionize the field of legal marketing by shifting it from being an art to a science.

Robert Algeri, co-founder of Great Jakes Marketing Company, will examine the tremendous benefits that law firms can expect from the next generation of websites—as well as the challenges to making them work. During his presentation, he will touch on a variety of highly debatable topics, including:

  • Fear – Will law firms be willing to adopt “scary,” “Big Brother” tracking tools?
  • Technology – Will firms be willing to make the necessary technology investments?
  • Staffing – Do marketing departments have the right people to analyze the data?
  • Content Creation – Are firms ready to become publishers?

Domain: Business Development
Content Level: Advanced
Firm Size: Small, Medium, Large

Robert Algeri
Great Jakes

Robert is a co-founder of Great Jakes, a marketing firm that develops “smarter websites for law firms.” He is a frequent writer and speaker on issues relating to legal marketing. His work has appeared in a variety of industry publications such as LMA’s Strategies Magazine, Marketing the Law Firm, and the National Law Journal. He has also been a featured speaker at recent LMA chapter events in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Arizona, St. Louis and Virginia, as well as at the International LMA Conference.

#LMA16 Conference Recordings Now Available

The Legal Marketing Association has released session recordings from the 2016 LMA Annual Conference. The recorded programs are geared for marketers of all levels, and map to the domains, skills and competencies outlined in the Body of Knowledge (BoK). At #LMAMN’s April program, panelists identified the following sessions as particularly valuable:

  • ROI: Measuring So You Can Better Manage
  • Live Client Feedback Interview: Deconstructing and Best Practices
  • The Black Gold of Public Relations (includes a useful checklist of 50 PR tactics, plus results from a law firm PR survey)
  • The Macro and the Micro: Growing and Enhancing the Revenue Portfolio (for anyone interested in business law topics, and role of BD in profitability analysis)
  • Email Message Reputation Impact on Your Engagement Metrics (for anyone interested in understanding how your email reputation score impacts deliverability and engagement)
  • Elevating the Value of Your Marketing and Business Development Resources (includes BD Effectiveness Self-Assessment and a BD maturity model)
  • 20×20: Your Honor Awards Meets PechaKucha
  • Big Law Wants to Crush You Like a Bug: Learn How to Turn the Tables (BTI Consulting)
  • TED Talks
  • GC Panel

The entire conference session bundle and individual session titles are now available for purchase on the Legal Marketing Association’s website.

Reinventing the Law Firm Business Model: Making the Most of Business Development Opportunities

It is essential for law firms, particularly those Bruce MacEwen describes as occupying the “hollow middle,” to develop a framework for law firm strategic planning focused around the concept of designing a better business model. Reinventing the Law Firm Business Model: Making the Most of Business Development Opportunities, encourages law firms to take a holistic approach to confronting the myriad challenges they face in today’s ever-evolving legal market, rather than haphazardly trying to overcome each obstacle individually.

By focusing on four intersecting dimensions, law firms can approach the market with a much more robust strategy than simply trying to offer the same services to the same clients priced at either a flat or discounted hourly rate.

To utilize these four dimensions, law firms must examine:

  • their client selection;
  • their pricing and profitability models;
  • the scope of activities they offer; and
  • how they win and keep that business.

Or, put another way, the strategy relies on doing the most profitable activities for the most profitable clients, priced in a way that allows the firm to capitalize on the value they create for the client, with a focus on how the law firm retains that client in the long term.

Initially, some have been hesitant about the applicability of this approach to BigLaw Firms. They question is, why?

True, mid-size law firms may have fewer moving parts and may be better able to approach new strategies somewhat more nimbly than their BigLaw colleagues. But large law firms rarely operate under a single unified strategic plan, at least when it comes to how matters are handled. Instead, it is quite common to find individual practice areas — if not even individual attorneys — determining for themselves how matters should be handled. In this way, large law firms operate less like monolithic enterprises and more like a collection of smaller firms. Because of this, large law firms have much the same opportunity to take a strategic approach to business design as do their mid-size law firm competitors.

In fact, some are doing just that.

Akerman recently announced the launch of their Akerman Data Law Center, a service that allows clients to obtain answers to their data practices questions without necessarily having to consult a lawyer. In an age where clients increasingly demand efficiency and cost containment, efforts like this fit the bill, while also creating a natural funnel of potential business for Akerman’s lawyers. “Got a question the Data Law Center can’t answer or need additional advice? One of our friendly attorneys will be happy to assist.”

And Akerman is hardly alone in this venture. Littler Mendelson has several alternative service model offerings including ComplianceHR and CaseSmart, both geared toward helping clients managing their Labor and Employment law needs more efficiently.

The Magic Circle firm Eversheds offers their Agile service, helping clients find effective, flexible staffing solutions to help meet client goals of controlling costs and bringing more work in-house, but in a way that still provides a profit stream for the firm.

There are more examples, of course, but they all have a few things in common. All focus on a specific segment of the firm’s clients. All offer an innovative way to create value for the client, while also capturing a portion of that created value for the firm to realize as profit. All confine the scope of activities offered to those that most directly address the identified client need, and do so profitably for the firm. And all allow the firm to create and maintain close control over the client relationship in order to protect the law firm’s future profitability. None of these examples rely on a relationship partner to maintain the flow of money from any client. Instead, the profit flows first to the firm, and the relationship with the client is strengthened through the unique delivery of a valuable service.

Law firms, whether small or the biggest of the big, can follow these examples to create new, innovative ways to ensure future profitability. The white paper linked above can help lay out more of the details of one helpful framework to start along this path. And it will be fascinating to see what other innovations law firms can develop in the near future.

Post provided by Ian Turvill, CMO of Freeborn & Peters LLP and William Josten, Senior Legal Industry Analyst, Thomson Reuters. 

#LMAMN (Nice) Update – May 2016

Regionalization Update

In October of 2015, the Organizational Structure Task Force, in conjunction with the Board of Directors, announced an update to the organizational structure of the Legal Marketing Association. Effective January 1, 2017, LMA will shift to a regional structure. All city groups, chapters and members at large will be organized into six new U.S. regions.

The increased efficiencies and collaboration of regionalization will allow you to access:

▪ More programming options locally, regionally and internationally

▪ A broader network of peer members with whom to share experiences and best practices

▪ Exposure to more resources, tools and service providers

▪ Increased diversity of leadership opportunities at the local and regional levels

For more information, visit www.legalmarketing.org/regionalization.

New Member Spotlight

TriciaTricia L. Harris
Firm Administrator
M. Sue Wilson Law Offices
Minneapolis, MN
Joined LMA: 2016
One thing I read every day:
The Star Tribune and my Twitter Feed.
Favorite TV show:
An oldie but a goodie …The West Wing.
Favorite movie of 2016:
Best advice:
Put your best into each task and leave each situation better than I found it.
Favorite non-work activity:
Chasing after my two kids.
Fun fact:
Compete with my kids each day to who has the most steps for the day. I’ve never won.

Save the Date!

2016 LMA Midwest Conference
Tuesday, October 11
Minneapolis Events Center

Save-the-date for a full day of programming focused on hot topics affecting our industry. The conference will close with a Your Honor Awards reception. Programming will be relevant to marketing professionals of all experience levels. Stay tuned for more details.

Legal Marketing Association Releases Body of Knowledge

The Legal Marketing Association (LMA) announced the release of their widely anticipated Body of Knowledge (BoK) at the 2016 LMA Annual Conference. The BoK was created by the LMA Education Advisory Council (EAC) and education staff and constitutes the first educational resource of its kind for the legal marketing community. The BoK is available to members on the LMA website (www.legalmarketing.org/body-of-knowledge) in digital format, and a printed version of the document may be purchased for an additional fee. In addition to the BoK, members have access to competency analysis tools for each domain that can be used to assess staff or personal professional development opportunities.

Next Month’s Program

The Science of Business Development
Presented by Tim Corcoran. Principal, Corcoran Consulting Group, LLC
Tuesday, June 14, 2016 | 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.
200 South Sixth Street, Suite 4000
Minneapolis, MN 55402

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