What’s Trending in Legal Marketing: Insights from the LMA 2024 Conference

Key Takeaways from LMA24 Berbay Marketing and PR Blog Article

The Legal Marketing Association (LMA) 2024 Annual Conference went ALL IN on the latest innovative strategies and best practices to drive successful outcomes and differentiate your firm in the industry. If you couldn’t attend, we’ve got you covered with the essential takeaways you need to know.

Improving Lawyer Collaboration

In the session “The Neuropsychology of Bad Collaboration: Why Partners Falter So Badly & How to Overcome It,” speaker Jarrett Green of NKB Consultancy examined the science of why so many partners struggle to collaborate in developing new clients and serving existing clients. He explained that collaboration requires a skillset that is fundamentally different than the prototype lawyer skills, and two main challenges exist:

  • Einstellung effect – Lawyers may fall prey to doing what they know, even though there may be a better approach.
  • Egocentric bias – Lawyers, like anyone, can be susceptible to egocentric bias, where their own perspectives and experiences influence their judgment.

He offered science-backed communication tools to enhance partners’ self-awareness and collaborative behaviors:

  • Perceived Autonomy: Rather than telling lawyers what to do, build perceived autonomy in their minds so they convince themselves to change their actions.
  • Motivational Interviewing: Identify the lawyers’ motivations and core values, and express empathy, to motivate action.
  • Incisive Questions: Focus on thought-provoking questions versus proclamations or statements to obtain new insights and encourage in-depth discussion.
  • Accusations Audit: Uncover the lawyer’s doubts about business development and marketing to establish trust and reduce resistance.
  • Silver-Bullet Argument: Provide one reason for doing something – it can be more powerful than providing multiple reasons.

Building a Cohesive Brand

Branding is often considered a firm’s logo and color scheme, but it’s so much more – it’s how you look, what you say and what you do. The panel on “Achieving Differentiation Through Branding” heard from marketing directors on their strategies for branding projects that distinguished their firm in the legal industry.

In one example, a law firm panelist took the audience through their process for the firm rebrand and website, which focused on four guiding principles: Agile, Creative, Savvy, Caring. Within each, the firm identified proof points (characteristics that differentiate the firm in the marketplace) and related client benefits. As the firm moved through the rebrand, they went back to these research points to ensure they were on track. At the same time, they needed to satisfy the needs of different practice groups. For example, their Advertising & Marketing practice required a different branding approach than their Corporate practice. The law firm used a “volume switch” to dial-up the brand for more creative clients and dial-down the brand for more conservative clients.

This in-depth rebranding approach reinforces that a brand extends well beyond a logo and encompasses your firm’s values, messaging, client experience and much more. As the panelists said: you should be able to put your hand over the logo and still be able to tell what firm it is.

Working with In-House Counsel

It wouldn’t be a legal marketing conference without a panel on working with in-house counsel. Here is a rundown of the key tips the speakers recommended to have a successful working relationship:

  • Be an extension of their company. Understand their business and pressure points and offer strategic advice.
  • Even if you’re not actively doing work, share your knowledge and be thinking about how you can provide value; don’t communicate only when they need help. Offer lunch and learns and send information
    that may be of interest.
  • Recognize evolving needs and address them early on – artificial intelligence, ESG, etc.
  • Offer different voices and perspectives from your firm, not just one lawyer’s.
  • Make quick decisions. In-house counsel doesn’t always have the luxury of going through the entire legal process for one issue.
  • Give them gut checks. In-house knows their options, but wants your opinion.

Using AI the Right Way

It’s no surprise artificial intelligence was a hot topic given that new tools seem to pop up almost daily. While many law firms are hesitant to leverage AI, speakers pushed for lawyers and marketers to consider how they could implement it into daily operations. With nearly every firm looking to reduce time spent on cumbersome administrative and research tasks, AI is a tool that could alleviate this pain point. From document analysis and management to research and virtual assistants, law firms can capitalize on AI to streamline operations.

That said, the panels also stressed that it’s not about simply using AI, but using it the right way. Lawyers and staff need to be educated on AI platforms first and have a clear understanding of its capabilities and limitations.

Partner with a Trusted Los Angeles Marketing and PR Agency

Berbay Marketing & Public Relations has nearly three decades of experience providing law, real estate and financial firms with strategic marketing and public relations services that propel your business forward. Berbay’s dedicated team has demonstrated success securing media placements, achieving nominations and rankings, revitalizing websites and social media, obtaining speaking engagements, and more.

Looking to grow your firm with a proven marketing and PR team? Contact Berbay at 310-499-2584 or info@berbay.com

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