Tuesday, February 13, 2007

More on Law Firm Marketing

Larry Bodine had an important post at the LawMarketing Blog a couple of weeks ago about the importance of the marketing professionals in service firms.

Yes, it is true, there are disconnects between lawyers, accountants, consultants and those who run the marketing departments inside those firms. Many firms look at the marketers as "cost centers", and see them as less important than the professionals who make up the rank and file of the firm.

But the reality is that the top marketing professionals in these firms are valuable assets. To treat them without respect will make them vulnerable to being lured away by the competition. Larry shows how when one marketer changes firms, a whole ripple effect of moves follows throughout the industry.

Firms have a bad habit of looking at those who work inside the firm on two unequal tiers: Lawyers and non-lawyers. The term "non-lawyer" always bugged me when I worked inside a law firm. The most arrogant and smug jack-ass lawyers were the ones who viewed those without a JD as sub-human (yes, these people exist!). Most of them could not survive the day without their support staff, but they will never acknowledge the contribution. (Some firms even have separate holiday parties for lawyers and staff....and the lawyer party is nicer...which flaunts this HORRIBLE message!)

The average tenure of a marketing professional inside firms is less than three years. Firms either decide to "change directions" or the marketer leaves for greener pastures. The best thing a firm can do if they want to achieve success with their marketing team is to be as committed to the marketing staff as they would be to a laterally hired attorney (lawyers reading this are screaming right now in horror). They need to make sure that everyone realizes that they are committed to the game - and changing quarterbacks every quarter is just dumb.

Alas, I could write about this forever. I predict I could re-run this post in February 2026 and the problems inside big service firms will still exist.

Have A Great Day.



Anonymous said...

No reputable law firm still has separate parties for staff and attorneys. Their large company clients would look down on such a practice.

thomsinger said...

I disagree with anonymous saying that firms no longer have separate holiday parties. I know of a number of firms that have segregated parties for lawyers and staff.