Capital Ideas, from the Capital Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association
A Message from the President       


Ezra Crawford 

I don't know about you, but I'm convinced we have the best Chapter in all of LMA. We're 250 members strong, have three major social events and eight programming events each year, and many of our members go on to have leadership roles at LMA International. Thank you to all of you who come out for programs, volunteer on committees and the Board, sponsor our events, and otherwise take time to help our Chapter deliver outstanding member benefits!


So far this year, we've had what I consider to be exceptional programming, including sessions on Creating a Sales Culture with Steve Bell; Crisis Communications with Rudy Burwell and John Hellerman; Creating Business Development Leaders for the Future with Jill Weber; the Law Firm Business Model with Tom Clay and a panel discussion with Chapter CMOs titled "If I Knew Then What I Know Now." Collectively, we've had more than 350 people attend these programs, with many of you coming to more than one program!


Also, on May 16 we had our first official "unofficial happy hour" at Asia Nine, which was organized by Board Members Sarah Painter and Sabrina McGowan. The event was promoted entirely through the Chapter's LinkedIn group page, Twitter, and Facebook accounts and a couple dozen people turned out to blow off steam and connect outside of regular Chapter events. If you are not already following the Chapter on its social media feeds, I'd recommend you join/like/follow now as future "unofficial happy hours" will be announced the same way.


With all of what has been going on in the Chapter we've probably still missed a few of you so far in 2012! If that's the case, please join us for our annual June Networking event on the 21st, sponsored by The Homestead (Side note: My son Cameron learned to walk in their Great Hall and they make a mean "Goldbrick" Sundae).


If you can't make the June event, here is what is in store for the Chapter for the rest of 2012:


2012 LMA Capital Chapter Program Calendar:

  • June 21 - Networking Event
  • July 12 - Circumnavigating the Globe: International Opportunities for Law firms. Presented by the consultants of Edge International.      
  • August 16 - Webinar: Best of the Web for Professional Development. Presented by Heather Morse, Director of Marketing for Barger & Wolen LLP.
  • August 9 - Summer Social
  • September 12 - How Generosity Can Generate a Triple Bottom Line for Your Firm. Presented by Deb Knupp of Akina.
  • October 24 - Annual Half Day Program - Legal/Digital: Innovations in Online Marketing and Business Development. Presenters TBD.
  • December Holiday Party (Date Pending)



Ezra Crawford
2012 LMA Capital Chapter President


Ezra Crawford is Director of Marketing at BuckleySandler LLP 


GettingAheadGETTING AHEAD    
Quick Start Online Course
A Guide to Getting Ahead and Getting Involved  

By Faith Brinkley, Marketing Coordinator, Bryan Cave LLP


Whether formally or informally, some of our jobs as legal marketers include guiding attorneys in the area of professional development. In an effort to practice what we preach and avoid being the pot calling the kettle a professional hermit, LMA's QuickStart course is one way legal marketers can increase their knowledge of the profession, network with members and potentially set themselves on a fast(er) track to promotion.


New Capital Chapter member Jenna O'Connor, Director of Marketing for Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, LLP, is a graduate of the QuickStart program. She took the course at the March 2011 LMA Conference in Orlando, and at the time served as Rosenberg's Marketing Coordinator. Jenna was promoted to Director of Marketing within four months of completing the course, with two years in the legal marketing field to date.


Prior to taking the course, Jenna was "inventing the wheel" as the first marketing staff at her firm. She left the course with "...a packet full of amazing ideas and furiously scribbled notes..." The sessions' provided valuable information on attorney interaction, understanding firm culture, mistakes and lessons learned, legal technology and software, and creating a successful legal marketing career. Jenna said, "It was a wonderful way to start my first conference, and I'd recommend it to anyone in their first few years in the legal marketing world!"


For those who cannot make it to an Annual Conference, QuickStart is now available online in 10 on-demand, 50-minute sessions with learning objectives for each session. The sessions include branding, business development, the business of law, career development, communications, event management, public relations, research, strategic planning and technology. The cost is $499 for members and $599 for non-members. Click here to learn more.

BigIdeaBIG IDEA      
Chambers 2013
How Legal Marketers Spend Their Summer in the City

By Helena M. Lawrence, Business Development Manager, Proskauer

First the good news - this year, Chambers considered, but did not, drastically change its submission process. Now the bad (?) news - it is once again Chambers time. Again this year Chambers is using rolling deadlines, with state sections due before nationwide sections - but Chambers deadlines have been moved up this year, and submissions are due starting June 1.


Here are some of the changes in the Chambers process that legal marketers need to be aware of this year.

Optional - Client Referees

In June, firms have the option to send up to 10 referees per submission in advance of the section's official submission deadline. Then firms can "top off" the remaining clients on their submission when it is due, bringing the total number up to 15 referees per submission. Clients will be contacted for the earliest submission for which they were referred.

When submitting clients early, firms must use the Chambers referee spreadsheet template. A separate spreadsheet must be submitted per section.

The benefit of this option is that clients will be contacted only once and Chambers will become aware of all the practice areas to inquire about during the interview. "Saving" five referees for later allows firms to highlight new work or new lateral partners.

Note, Chambers will only contact 15 referees per submission; if firms submits more, Chambers will choose who to contact.

New Sections

The new sections in Chambers 2013, some of which will be highly relevant to D.C.-area firms, are as follows:

  1. Nationwide Gaming & Licensing
  2. Nationwide Immigration
  3. Indiana Environment
  4. Massachusetts Banking & Finance: Public Finance
  5. Missouri Intellectual Property
  6. Texas Capital Markets

Here are some additional valuable tips in preparing a Chambers submission.


From Chambers' perspective, client interviews are more important than firm interviews. Accordingly, Chambers might be conducting fewer firm interviews this year. Not having a firm interview, in fact, does not impact your firm's rankings.


When interviews are granted, Chambers wants to talk to the lead in that submission practice, not the firm lead for that practice. During an interview Chambers wants no more than two people on the phone. From Chambers' perspective it is hard to know who is talking when there are too many people on the line.


References are very important to Chambers and your referees should be prepped for Chambers outreach. Provide referees who know your firm's lawyers, have time to talk, and will respond to Chambers call.


During the research period, firms can contact Chambers and find out how it is going. Chambers cannot share the specifics, but can give firms a sense of if their contacts are responding to Chambers' outreach.


To learn more about the specific sections of a Chambers submission click here.



To Pin or Not to Pin? That is the Question.


By Jenna O'Connor, Director of Marketing, Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, LLP


When social media first entered the legal marketing arena, it was met with a slew of naysayers and timid acceptance. For the legal universe, notoriously behind the times in technological advances, this seemed far too complex to pitch to wary attorneys who already had enough on their plates with billable hours, hectic schedules and the ever present push to grow their book of business. As luck would have it, the legal world has since embraced social media and learned the power of its network-expanding potential and general ease of use. But, with evolving platforms being released all the time, when do we cry uncle and draw the line on what is and is not valuable to a legal marketing practice? The concept has been highly debated in recent years, and the veteran sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and more recently, Google+) have stood the test of time. And now, enter stage right: Pinterest. This vastly popular, visually-charged social media platform is sweeping the nation, amidst an onslaught of legal and copyright related reservations, even outside of the law firm realm. Which all begs the question: is it really worth it to push your law firm's brand on Pinterest?


Each of the successful social media platforms seems to have found its niche market. LinkedIn provides a professional environment with which to network without ever leaving one's desk, providing pertinent information for both internal firm relations, potential client research, and reconnecting with old contacts; Facebook, being very valuable for some firms and practice groups in a networking stance if its key client base is highly engaged therein, is used primarily for recruiting and brand management in other firms. A few years ago, many firms refused to accept Facebook as a viable networking tool, due to its origination as a university-based forum used mainly for sharing personal information; today, many firms use it successfully for brand management. Twitter allows firms to engage their clients on a real-time, short-burst interaction basis, and is valuable for firms that have a heavy focus on SEO. Google+ seems to have been poorly utilized as a networking tool, but since Google's algorithm rules the universe, many firms are still choosing to use it in hopes that the SEO benefits will be worth the time invested. The new kid on the block, Pinterest, is virtually an online scrapbook where users compile groupings of images (with attributed links to the original source and the associated content therein). It has been touted as being incredibly useful for wedding planning, kitchen and other home renovations, wardrobe and fashion choices, and other popular topics. If you have never used Pinterest, please check out the Pinterest Beginners' Guide for a step-by-step explanation of how it works.

I firmly believe that you must decide three things before delving into a firm or brand-related Pinterest account: 1) who is your target audience?, 2) is this a beneficial use of marketing time?, and 3) are you well informed on the copyright issues beginning to arise from Pinterest use, and are you willing to deal with the aftermath? While those seem like no-brainer strategic planning questions that should be considered before all marketing endeavors, they seem to be especially pertinent with this platform. The vast majority (97%) of Pinterest users are women; ironically, a very high percentage of legal marketers are also female. If your target client base falls into that category (for example, a Family Law practice might be a good fit) then it might make sense to have a presence on a social media platform that is almost exclusively used by women.


Our society is rapidly embracing visually stimulated media, which is evidenced by the explosion of Smartphone photography applications, such as Instagram, in expressing their interests. Beyond that, Pinterest is a great way to organize blogs, articles, and other infographics into one neat location where you can find, share, and keep track of information pertinent to your practice areas and attorneys. If you Pin a photo of each attorney under a Board titled "Our Lawyers", each photo could link back to his/her bio page on your website (thusly, driving traffic to your site). If you were to task a specific attorney with managing one of the practice area-specific Boards, he/she could Pin relevant blog entries from other attorneys, news articles on hot legal topics, or simply white papers that the firm has written on a topic. As far as business development efforts go, an "Our Clients" Board could contain Pins of client's brands, photos, or other links that would further the client's marketing efforts, as well as show the relationship therein. The hope would be that if the client has a presence on Pinterest, they would in turn Pin your brand efforts on their board, and your network would expand further to their followers. There are clear ways to use Pinterest within the parameters of your current social media and online marketing efforts, and I'm sure as time goes on more will become evident.


Another possible tactic is to use the rapidly popular "humanizing the attorney" marketing method, allowing attorneys to post on personal Pinterest pages (or Boards within the firm's page) products, books, vacation spots, etc. that they like. This would be in hopes that a potential or current client finds a common ground with the attorney, thusly forming the "trusted advisor" bond that many lawyers hope to achieve. On the flip side, some clients may not care to share their likes and dislikes with their attorney, and the oversharing of information may be misconstrued or considered unnecessary. Again, this is not a one-size-fits-all-firms situation. Do your own due diligence as to what would work best in your firm's culture. Also, remember that some attorneys will only invest time in efforts that translate directly to ROI; others see the bigger picture benefit of showcasing their expertise in a less measurable fashion, and in the act of having a presence being a valuable enough metric.


On the flip side, there are several obvious negatives. First, the ever present struggle against the clock: do you have the time/manpower within your staff/energy to follow through with yet another social media outlet to the point where it is worthwhile and beneficial to business development and brand management? If the answer is no, it might be wise to hold off and see if other firms find success in its use before you fold it into your social media plan. Like many have said, there are only so many hours in the day, and only so many of those can be dedicated to social media efforts. If you don't have a specific strategy for how you will measure success in this instance (though it may be an unorthodox metric in this case), it may not be worth the time and effort invested in the ongoing project.


The second drawback, which is rapidly becoming newsworthy, is regarding the copyright issues noted in Pinterest's Terms of Use. It is expected that a user will ensure that each and every Pin on their Boards is attributed to the original author, lest they violate the terms and can face prosecution therein. Where rapid Re-Pinning occurs, it is easy to lose the trail along the way, and with one click you may enter into a situation you don't even realize is violating the Terms. In a brilliant article by Gina Rubel of Furia Rubel Communications, she cites that according to Business Insider, "users must have explicit permission from the owner to post everything." This wouldn't pose a problem with original firm content, but anything beyond that could pose a problem depending on how stringent the rules are. While there hasn't been much in the way of litigation on these matters yet, the hot topic of debate may rear its ugly head down the road. With all of the ethics issues surrounding online legal marketing to begin with, it's all a matter of whether or not you think it is worth taking the risk.


Pinterest is indubitably a worthwhile organizational social media tool, and has been proven valuable in many companies' brand management efforts. However, as far as its beneficial use in law firm marketing is concerned, I believe the jury is still out.



MemberProfileMEMBER PROFILE        

Sarah Laughlin   

Regional Marketing Coordinator, McGuireWoods LLP 


By Jonathan Groner 


Sarah Laughlin, a regional marketing coordinator at McGuireWoods LLP, is part of the firm's large marketing and business development team and serves as the go-to marketing resource in the firm's Washington, D.C. and Baltimore offices. She is responsible for office-based event and sponsorship executions, office marketing budget management and local assistance for client meetings, pitches and proposals.


"I also help individual attorneys leverage their memberships in civic organizations so that they get the maximum benefit from those memberships in terms of business development," she says. "One of the parts of the job I particularly enjoy is working with the associates and giving them ideas. I sometimes just drop by and introduce myself, and we talk about their marketing goals and what I can do to help them get there."


Laughlin first began her career in legal marketing at the intellectual property law firm of Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, PLLC. Laughlin's first foray into IP law began while she was an intern at a music production company in Denver. There she met an attorney who did some IP work for the company. She found the subject interesting, and when she moved to D.C. after graduating, she was fortunate enough to see a posting for a marketing position at Sterne Kessler. Her interest in IP, Laughlin says, helped her land the job. "I didn't know exactly what being a legal marketer would entail," Laughlin says, "but I knew what IP was about, so it seemed like a natural fit."


Laughlin, now 26 years old, spent two years at Sterne Kessler before moving to McGuireWoods last October. Laughlin says it's quite different to work for a large firm like McGuire Woods, with 19 offices, than for the one-office Sterne Kessler.


"Leaving Sterne Kessler was very difficult for me," she says. "[Marketing Director] Tammy Mangan and [Communications & Marketing Manager] Erin West really taught me what legal marketing was all about and served as valuable mentors."


At Sterne Kessler, her efforts were rewarded with national recognition. She was part of the team that won a second prize in the LMA's national "Your Honor" awards for 2012 in the "Marketing on a Shoestring" category for "The Breakfast Club," a series of 30-minute business development-oriented training sessions for attorneys.


Laughlin says she was brought up in a marketing environment - her father is a worldwide sales director - and that she has valued networking ever since she was a teenager.


"That's just the way I was brought up," she says, "to reach out to people and make new connections. I attribute my outgoing personality to my family."


Outside the office, Laughlin has kept up her interest in musical performance. She sings with the Capital City Voices, a jazz chorus, and has performed with them at Blues Alley and other local venues.


Jonathan Groner is a public relations and writing consultant in Washington, DC.



Please send brief announcements of any job changes, promotions, or lateral moves to Jonathan Groner.


Tahisha Cunningham has become Marketing Manager at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. She was previously Business Development Coordinator at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP.


Kelly Ernest has left her position as Assistant to the Marketing Director at Tydings & Rosenberg in Baltimore and has become marketing coordinator at Halt, Buzas & Powell, an accounting firm in Alexandria, Va.


Kim Lynch has become a Business Development Coordinator at Steptoe. Previously, she was the Assistant Managing Clerk at Cleary Gottlieb.


Nikki Stevens has left her position as Marketing and Business Development Manager at Foley Hoag LLP and is now a Business Development Executive at Hogan Lovells.


  -  -




Quick Start Online Course


Chambers 2013


To Pin or Not to Pin?

Sarah Laughlin, McGuire Woods, LLP

Affordable Care Act

Hot Links is a roundup of  favorite places on the Web from writers of Capital Ideas.


Hot Links is a roundup of favorite places on the Web from the writers of Capital Ideas.


Below are a few websites that we feel are particularly timely resources for those interested in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We encourage you to share these links with your attorneys whose practices are focused in health care and related public policy. This site, which also incorporates the HealthCare blog is a good place to start reading and learning about the Affordable Care Act and the new programs, benefits and rights under the health care law.


The Health Care Blog. This blog runs guest posts by influential bloggers about healthcare. Since the passage of the Obama administration's health reform law, they have paid particular attention to the Affordable Care Act, tracing the implications of the Act for industry and consumers, as well as the looming legal battle over the law's future.


ACA Litigation Blog. If you're interested in the latest news updates, legal analysis and official documents related to the various constitutional challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010), this blog is one you'll want to bookmark. For those of you keeping a tally of how the litigation is shaping up, there is even an ACA Litigation Snapshot Overview: a spreadsheet summarizing the current status of the various lawsuits.


American Health Lawyers Association. An ongoing discussion by healthcare lawyers from various law firms of various aspects of healthcare reform, this blog provides "Healthcare Reform Legal Essentials." Some recent articles include: Election May Impact Healthcare Law More Than High Court, Tax-Related Provisions of the Patient Protection, and Affordable Care Act, and Now That We Have Federal Healthcare Reform, How Will the States Actually Implement It?


PPACA Impact and Opportunities. Many law firms have blogs related to healthcare law and reform, but this blog by Epstein Becker & Green is particularly informative. In the blog, EBG lawyers address such issues as alternative provider reimbursement models and how they will be treated under the new rules, how the rules in the new act will affect flexible spending arrangements (FSAs), and the new rules' impacts on consumers and the health insurance market.


Inclusion of a site in Hot Links does not constitute an endorsement by the LMA Capital Chapter. Please note that some of the sites featured in this column may be

subscription-based services.


Does your firm or company have an interesting and informative site or blog? To suggest a site for possible inclusion in a future Hot Links column, contact Sabrina McGowan at

Inclusion of a site in Hot Links does not constitute an endorsement by the LMA Capital Chapter. Please note that some of the sites featured in this column may be subscription based services.
We would like to hear from you! If you have a suggestion for an article or news that you would like to share with your fellow Capital Chapter members, please e-mail one of the Communications Committee members listed below.
Sabrina McGowan, Chair 
McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

Faith Brinkley
Bryan Cave

Jonathan Groner
Freelance Writer & PR Consultant
Greenfield/Belser Ltd.
Kristin Keen
Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald LLP

Elaine Noble
Noble Pursuits LLC  

Jenna O'Connor
Rosenberg Martin Greenberg LLP

Raychiel Webb
Bryan Cave

Helena Lawrence

Marguerite Downey 
Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg LLP

Ellen Katkin
Gilbert LLP

Diana Kroner
Dickstein Shapiro


To view the Capital Chapter events calendar, click here



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