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Presidents’ Gift Recipients Share Their Stories

Posted by LMA International on Jan 19, 2016 9:30:00 AM

trophy.jpgThis year, LMA awarded three members the Presidents’ Gift, providing them the opportunity to attend the 2016 annual conference and a pre-conference program. Here, the recipients — Chelsea Berglund (Maslon LLP), Heidi Box (Stern & Curray LLC) and Kathy Kildea (Goodman Allen Donnelly PLLC) — tell us why they decided to apply for the award, as well as what they think makes for a successful career in legal marketing and the impact they’d like to leave in the industry.

Chelsea Berglund
LMA member for two years 

chelsea_berglund.jpgWhy did you apply for the award?
When I took a look at the speakers and subject areas at this year's annual conference, I wanted nothing more than to attend. In particular, I thought the pre-conference topics would be extraordinarily valuable for the role I fill at my law firm, Maslon LLP. At the urging of my supervisor, I applied. I'm so glad I did — I am thrilled, honored and humbled to be selected as a recipient of the Presidents’ Gift.

What are you looking forward to most at the 2016 LMA Annual Conference?
From what I understand, the networking at the LMA conference is excellent, and I look forward to meeting and speaking with many of the attendees. As someone fairly new to legal marketing, I can't wait to soak up all the wisdom and experience that will surround me. I'm also looking forward to the sessions, specifically the “Masters in Digital” pre-conference program. 

What do you think are important factors in having a successful career in the field of legal marketing?
As in any field, I think being comfortable with the people you work for (in this case, attorneys) is paramount to being successful in the field, and I'm fortunate to have good working relationships with many attorneys at my firm. (Hopefully, I'm not just imagining that!) Additionally, being flexible, adaptable and able to switch gears at any moment is critical as deadlines change and new projects zoom into focus. Finally, an ability to see the big picture and think just a little creatively can allow us legal marketers to find solutions in difficult dilemmas. Sometimes turning a problem on its head can yield a great idea.

How would you like to impact this industry now and in the future?
It's a bit early in my career to imagine any really exciting ways I might be able to impact the industry, and I'm certain I'll continue to figure it out. That being said, the disruption and change we are seeing and hearing about in the legal industry might actually be an exciting opportunity for innovation. As pressure to lower fees mounts and client service standards increase, I'm hoping to imagine new and creative ways to thoroughly engage our clients and referral sources. I also hope to be a part of any emerging digital and social trends in the legal landscape.

Heidi Box
LMA member for two years 

Box.Heidi_-_2015.jpgWhy did you apply for the award?
Michelle Friends, the former Rocky Mountain LMA chapter president, encouraged me to apply. She spoke so positively about the conference experience that I decided to give it a shot. I am thrilled to be a recipient this year!

What are you looking forward to most at the 2016 LMA Annual Conference?
That’s a tough question because I am as excited about the programming as I am about the opportunity to network with so many other legal marketers. The sessions on branding, strategic planning and metrics stand out to me, and I am looking forward to synthesizing the three into my firm’s marketing plan.

What do you think are important factors in having a successful career in the field of legal marketing?
Being willing to teach yourself and trust your instincts. My background isn’t in marketing, but I have been fortunate to learn from a number of different sources, including LMA and other members. Even though I’m often teaching myself, I find that my gut is just as valuable in determining the best next step.

How would you like to impact this industry now and in the future?
As a marketer in a small firm, I am particularly interested in expanding programming that more explicitly engages small firms. By broadening the appeal and accessibility of legal marketing, we in turn elevate the value of the field. Just as much as large firms benefit from interweaving marketing into their daily operations, so can small firms in order to better guide strategic planning and develop new initiatives.  

Kathy Kildea
LMA member for five months

KathyKildea.jpegWhy did you apply for the award?
I applied for the award because I want very much to attend the conference, and wasn’t completely confident that my firm would have underwritten my attendance. I’ve been listening to the 2015 conference recordings for the last several weeks, and found the recordings valuable and informative – I’m excited by the prospect of attending sessions in person in 2016.

What are you looking forward to most at the 2016 LMA Annual Conference?
Every one of the sessions available at the conference looks interesting and valuable, especially to me as a newcomer to the field of legal marketing. I am particularly interested in sessions that explore ROI, social media and professional development for our firm’s rising stars. (And I won’t lie – I can’t wait to see Austin again! I haven’t seen it since college days!)

What do you think are important factors in having a successful career in the field of legal marketing?
An important factor for success is understanding our own firms: practice areas, firm culture, partners and goals, as well as an understanding of the firm’s history. Being able to align business development strategies with talent/resources within the firm is also key. Although I’m new to this position, I’ve been with the firm for several years, and I believe this familiarity has helped me transition well. An effective marketer needs to focus on keeping multiple projects and deadlines moving forward all the time — and grow eyes in the back of their head to not miss a fleeting opportunity! They keep their ears to the ground, keeping abreast of trends and a changing landscape, and are open to explore new technologies and strategies.

How would you like to impact this industry now and in the future?
I hope that I am able to contribute to my firm’s growth and to the professional development of the attorneys within our firm. As part of the larger LMA community, and in the spirit of “A rising tide lifts all boats,” I look forward to serving on an SIG or other capacity within the LMA. We all have problems in need of a fix, and strengths/suggestions to offer each other.

As part of the Presidents' Gift grant program, LMA selects legal marketing and business development industry professional(s) to receive complimentary Annual Conference registration as well as admittance to a pre-conference program of their choosing during the Annual Conference. 



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