Should we offer our lawyers marketing training?

by Ross Fishman

Yes. Marketing education is critical in today’s economy.

Most marketers and marketing committee members routinely attend high-quality marketing programs.

It’s so much a part of the job description that it can be hard to remember that most lawyers rarely get any sort of marketingRoss speaking at LMA Philly2 education.  In today’s challenging economy, it’s harder to find quality clients, so firms need more marketing boots on the ground.

Firms used to offer marketing training during their annual law firm or partner retreats. But the number of firm retreats has dropped precipitously since budgets were slashed in 2008.

Marketing Committees can really help the firm by pushing internal training programs.  Most larger firms have a “[Firm Name] University” run by skilled professional-development experts who develop comprehensive substantive and practice-oriented training curricula. Most smaller firms don’t have this internal expertise.

Therefore, firm retreats or internal training programs can shape an entire firm’s marketing attitude all at once.

Done well, marketing training can be the platform to aggressively advance the Marketing Committee’s goals and motivate the lawyers to participate.  For example, if a branding, positioning, or niche marketing program is on your mind, a law firm retreat’s program can lay the educational foundation for what’s to come.

One of our most-popular training programs is “How to draft an effective LinkedIn profile.”

That’s a nice lunch program that can boost your lawyers’ and firm’s SEO quickly, as well as improve everyone’s client development.

If you are developing a cross-selling, advertising, public relations, or technology program, some related training can plant the seeds in advance.  And when you’re ready to roll it out, your attorneys will already have an underlying context for it. It greases the wheels.

So much of the marketing-related frustration inside of law firms is due to the partners’ lack of understanding regarding what marketing is, or can do for them. A dynamic marketing-training program can help a frustrated marketing committee, by educating the lawyers about the exciting possibilities available to them. Breaking this logjam often results in elevated respect for marketing and marketers, which helps them do their job better.

More tangibly, it can provide the fundamental marketing tools and techniques that can improve the lawyers’ individual performance.  In addition to LinkedIn training, some of my favorites in this category are networking and working a room; social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and other tools; telling your story online; sales and listening skills; and niche marketing.

Practice development is not taught in most law schools; lawyers must learn this material elsewhere.  And although a large-group format might not always be the best educational setting, lawyers are quite comfortable learning in big classrooms.

Consider your firm’s goals for the retreat or internal training program.

In a law firm or partner retreat, it’s important to keep everyone informed about what’s going on day-to-day at the firm.  But at least an hour of every firm retreat day should be dedicated to marketing education. And providing some marketing training every quarter can keep your lawyers’ skills sharp.  Conducted the right way, much of it can also receive Ethics CLE credit as well. 

If the program is fun, interesting, and energizing, it can make your job much easier — a little high-level education spread over the entire firm can be quite invigorating.



Written by:

Ross Fishman

Fishman Marketing, Inc. on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.