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Key Takeaways from the 2024 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference – Part Five

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Our fifth post in this series on the key takeaways from the 2024 Legal Marketing Association (LMA) Annual Conference delves into another exciting session attended by our strategist on April 4th.

Up Your Ante: Stacking the Deck to Create a Successful Business Development Curriculum

Drawing on their wealth of experience, the panelists of this breakout session explored how to successfully design a comprehensive business development curriculum. The session was moderated by Alycia Sutor, Managing Director at GrowthPlay, and included panelists, Holly Barocio, Managing Director at GrowthPlay, Robyn Charles, Director of Business Development for Husch Blackwell, Bobbie Conklin, Director of Business Development for Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, and Jasmine Trillos-Decarie, Chief Client Officer for Lathrop GPM LLP. Here are the key insights we gathered from each panelist:

Holly Barocio

Holly leverages a business development program that recognizes the importance of navigating generational differences within teams and emphasizes the need for an integrated partnership approach. This involves strategic planning sessions with revenue generators to discuss competency and establish benchmarks for success. Clear expectations are set for all participants, and the development of soft skills – particularly emotional intelligence – is prioritized to enhance overall effectiveness and collaboration. Generally, regular evaluation of the program ensures that it defines and redefines the right mindset for success.

Robyn Charles

At Robyn’s firm, the business development program is viewed as a continuous learning cycle, where each learning experience builds upon the last. Fundamental knowledge is shared, and insights from the top 25 revenue generators are drawn to establish the program’s four key pillars. The overarching goal of the program is to meet lawyers at their current level, prioritizing their comfort and confidence. The program incorporates various elements such as peer-to-peer discussions, one-on-one coaching, coaching pairs, and modular learning sessions, all led by the business development team.

Bobbie Conklin

Bobby inherited a business development program that appeared ineffective and transformed it into a thriving initiative within her firm. Transitioning from the old mentality of “fixing” struggling lawyers, she introduced coaching sessions and shortened the program duration from 24 to 12 months. To foster enthusiasm among participants, she made the program competitive by implementing an application process. To ensure the right fit, criteria include lawyers with 5-10 years of experience, a tenure of at least two years at the firm, and those yet to develop unfavourable habits, with no lateral hires considered. The program includes a 90-minute session with firm leaders, during which participants share their learnings, plans for implementing these learnings, and needs from the firm for continued success.

Jasmine Trillos-Decarie

Jasmine assisted her firm in implementing an 18-month business development program, integrating individuals from all practice areas. Prioritizing diversity and the value of varied perspectives, the initiative serves as both a retention and recruitment tool. Notably, the program extends its invitation to laterals, promoting inclusivity and broadening participation. With a focus on younger lawyers, the program aims to alleviate pressure on top contributors while nurturing the professional development of emerging talent.

Read our previous blog post in the key takeaways from the 2024 LMA Annual Conference series for insights on the first session our strategists attended on day two of the conference. 

What is the LMA Annual Conference?

The LMA Annual Conference is a premier event in the legal marketing industry, bringing together professionals from around the world to explore innovative strategies, forge meaningful connections, and learn about industry developments. It typically features keynote presentations, breakout sessions, panel discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities designed to facilitate knowledge sharing, skill development, and professional relationships among attendees.

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