Getting the RIGHT Seat at the Table

goldilocks-and-the-three-bearsBuzzwords and trendy phrases are a part of legal marketing. Cross-selling, content, alternative fees, managing up, strategic planning and thought leadership are some current favorites. But buzzwords are only buzzy for so long – ideas have legs and longevity. Which is why I read with interest another recent article about “getting a seat at the table,” and realized that the term is just as prevalent in legal marketing circles now as when I started in the industry seven years ago.  With years of discussion under our collective belts, there are myriad interpretations of what “having a seat at the table” means and how to best get there. It’s a little bit like a classic fairy tale – let’s say, Goldilocks and the Three Bears – the same overarching ideas are always there, but with each retelling, the narrator adds their own flourishes and interpretations.

A seat at the table is a concept that LMA – at the national and chapter levels – has embraced. In recent months, the Virginias Chapter scheduled a panel on the topic at their Continuing Marketing Education conference, LMA National held “C-Suite Summit – Take a Seat at the Management Table” and the Bay Area Chapter has an upcoming program titled “Creating a Career Map to Obtain a Seat at the Table.” The topic was also explored at a national conference panel in 2012, which Leslie Knapp listed as one of her top five conference moments. (Her take? “our CMOs have more than earned a seat at the table; it’s time the lawyers invited them to sit down already.”)

Also like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, everyone has a different vision of which seat is “just right.” Depending upon your career path, firm culture, team structure and seniority, the seat may come in the form of an invitation to sit in on a meeting…or to present to the entire partnership. Your seat may look like a collaborative strategy session with firm leadership…or a two-minute presentation on LinkedIn. What’s clear, though, is that regardless of what our seat looks like to each of us, having one matters to all of us.

The below articles and presentations explore the topic from several angles – hopefully, one of these perspectives leads you to your perfect seat.

When you’re feeling affirmative…
Give Marketing a Seat at the Table – Law.com

When you’re feeling skeptical…
Do Legal Marketing Professionals Deserve a Seat at the Table? – Real Lawyers Have Blogs

When you’re feeling critical…
Do Legal Marketing Professionals Want a Seat at the Table? – TinkerX

When you want to see what LMA says…
Reserving Your Seat at the Table – LMA Strategies

When you want to learn what managing partners think…
Managing Partners Share Forecasts and Insights (Part 1 here, Part 2 here) - Marketing Tales from the Trenches

When you need a video break…
A Seat at the Firm Strategy Table – Marguerite Downey, Adduci Mastriani & Schaumberg LLP

When discussions turn to fees…
Pricing: A Way for Marketing to Earn its Seat at the Table – Silvia Hodges

When the path seems unclear…
The Path to World Class – Exploring the Attributes that Distinguish Top-tier Legal Marketing and Business Development Teams – Zen and the Art of Legal Networking

When your job description feels unclear…
Not All Legal Marketers Are Created Equal – Legal Water Cooler

When you’ve just gotten back from a conference…
Legal Marketing: What To Do Now – Myrland Marketing

When it’s time to take the next step with content marketing…
Cultivating Visibility – Success

When you want to relate to your lawyers…
Legal Business Development: Are You Earning Your Seat at the Table? – JDSupra

When you’re looking forward…
What Does a Chief Strategy Officer in a Law Firm Do? – Law Firm 4.0

When you’re worried about the economy…
Job Security: Demonstrating Value to the Management Committee – LawMarketing.com

When you want a broad view…
5 Ways to Get a Seat at the Table (Or at Least Improve Your Chances) – Brandon Hall

3 comments on “Getting the RIGHT Seat at the Table

  1. Thank you very much for linking to my post about getting a seat at the table after attending conferences. This is a great topic, and one I care about deeply because I started my legal marketing career in-house, and feel very protective of my in-house LMA colleagues. Great job on this post, and adding all of the links!

    • Thanks, Nancy! I’ve come back with conferences full of ideas and excitement – but without the tools to share what I learned or take concrete actions. Your post did a great job of outlining specific steps on how to capitalize on that excitement while also showing value. Everybody wins!

    • Thanks, Nancy! We’re big fans – we’re linking to some of your posts about marketing ethics in our upcoming chapter newsletter!

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