By Gina F. Rubel
Special to the Legal
At this year’s Legal Marketing Association International Conference, several GCs shared tips for winning and maintaining law firm relationships with big business. The panel of general counsel discussed best practices law firms need to implement to get their companies’ legal business and foster long-term relations with in-house counsel.
Here’s what they had to say, shared through the tweets of attendees:
“Law firms must invest in leadership training and professional development for their lawyers.” -Tammy Mangan
“Lawyers need to understand their corporate clients’ pressures, billing deadlines, business and growth objectives, financials, accounting calendar and more.” - Lindsay Griffith
“Lawyers who don't routinely read their clients' public filings have bigger problems than marketing.” – Jonathan Ezor
“Don’t send email alerts about law changes a week after they happen. GCs all read The Wall Street Journal.” – Nancy Myrland
“Law firm clients communicate in a variety of media. Don’t always assume email is the easiest, most efficient way to communicate. Sometimes a simple phone call is the way to go.” - Jill Clark Rako
“In-house lawyers never pick a law firm because they have a great social media presence but they love and use timely blogs and use LinkedIn for validating outside counsel.” - Adrian Dayton
“Law firm billing must be reviewed internally before sending an invoice to a client. One of the worst things that can happen is to have to review and redact incorrect bills. For outside counsel, pay attention to billing guidelines.” – Sheenika Shah
“The corporate client’s job is not to ensure that the lawyer hits the threshold of their minimal billable hour.” – Heather Morse
“In-house attorneys call around to ask each other who the go-to firms are in specific areas. They do refer their colleagues to lawyers and firms they like.” – Nancy Myrland
“The role of the outside lawyer should be a strategic partnership. There is no longer room for ‘back room lawyering.’ Businesses need business partners.” – Shelly Swanson
The program was moderated by Tom Duggan, group publisher of InsideCounsel and Cate Flahardy, editor-in-chief of InsideCounsel. The panelists included Megan Belcher, vice president and chief employment counsel of ConAgra Foods Inc.; Kevin M. Schubert, associate general counsel – transactions, Las Vegas Sands Corp.; Simon Manoucherian, assistant general counsel, director of litigation, GRIFOLS; and Karen Cottle, senior counsel, Sidley Austin (former SVP, GC and corporate secretary of Adobe Systems Inc.).
Gina F. Rubel is the owner of Furia Rubel Communications, a strategic marketing and public relations agency with a niche in legal marketing. A former trial attorney, she is the author of Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers. Rubel and her agency have won many awards for legal communications, PR, media relations, website and graphic design, strategic planning, corporate philanthropy and leadership. She maintains a blog, is a contributor to National Law Review, The Legal Intelligencer Blog, AVVO Lawyernomics and The Huffington Post. You can find her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter. For more information, go to www.FuriaRubel.com.