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March 12, 2012 / Steve Hennigs

2012 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference – The times they are a changin’

The 2012 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference will kick off this Wednesday and I cannot wait to go!  I am actually arriving Tuesday with my colleagues from Siteimprove and we are hosting a Networking Event at Esparza’s Restaurant that evening (please join us if you can).

I am very pleased to see that the theme of this year’s conference focuses on “Leadership and Effecting Change”.  I say this because the digital age is forcing every industry to change a bit to how they attract new business and retain existing business.  Law firms will have to adapt to the new demands of clients and it will take strong leadership to enact that change.

Some firms will succeed and reap the benefits while others will go the way of Howrey, being forced to merge with or be bought out by one of the successful firms.

It is very interesting to me that the Keynote for this year’s conference focuses on The Science of Loyalty with expert James Kane .  Law firms (and those who market them) are going to have work harder than ever achieve loyalty from the clients for this simple reason: I can always Google another law firm.

By performing a search on Google for “Minneapolis law firm” (I live in Minneapolis suburb Bloomington) I am greeted with 11 different law firms on the first page of the results.  This easy access to information is going to force law firms to up their game when it comes to serving existing clients and claiming new ones.  Why would I settle for a firm with less than stellar client service, a fee arrangement that fits my needs or one without the expertise I am seeking when I can just find another one with little hassle?  The answer is I would not settle.

The problem that I keep hearing from Legal Marketing and Business Development professionals is that it is difficult to get their firm’s attorneys to buy into change because they are so set in their old ways.  That is where I hope that this conference can have the most impact.  If attendees go away believing they have the knowledge about why a change is necessary and the template for how to get that change going than 2012 LMA will be a huge success.

I will be attending as many sessions and Networking Events as I can throughout my time in Texas and will post next Monday, March 19, with my thoughts.  Here is my proposed schedule:

Tuesday, March 13

5:30 pm:  Networking Event at Esparza’s Restaurant

Wednesday, March 14

7:30 am: Breakfast
8:15 am – 5:00 pm: LMA Quick Start – Legal Marketing Core Competencies
5:00 pm: First Timer’s Reception
5:30 pm – Sleep: Welcome Reception

Thursday, March 15

7:30 am: Breakfast
8:30 am: Opening Remarks
9:00 am – 10:00 am: Keynote
10:00 am – 10:45 am: at Siteimprove’s booth (#112).  Come on by!
11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Featured Speaker
12:00 pm: Lunch
1:45 pm – 3:00 pm: LMA Vendor Special Interest Group
3:30 pm – 4:45 pm: The Evolution of the Law Firm Brand. How to Promote Individual Attorneys within the Parameters of the Firm’s Brand
6:15 pm – Sleep: LMA Night out, thanks in advance Akina Corporation

I will be tweeting from @stevehennigs using the #LMA12 when I can.  I look forward to seeing everyone at the conference and learning how Legal Marketing will evolve in 2012.  Have safe travels everyone and as always, thanks for reading.

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