At the Legal Marketing Association’s annual conference two weeks ago in Dallas, LMA president Alycia Sutor took a new approach to the typical president’s address to members, and posed a startling question. “So what?” she asked, referencing the impressive skills and savvy of those in attendance. So legal marketers work hard helping firms gain a competitive edge so they can make more money and attain more resources – is that enough? Sutor thinks legal marketers have an opportunity to do more. We know lawyers are highly intelligent, creative, expertly skilled professionals who are vital contributors of society. As Sutor stated in her address, lawyers “operate as a very important center of influence to the world of business, to the world of government, to a world that protects and nurtures scientific innovation and social enterprise and education and the list goes on and on.” And yet lawyers are branded with a very negative reputation that seems to overshadow any good they strive to do. Sounds like a marketing problem, doesn’t it?
Sutor’s next question was “What if?” What if legal marketers considered it part of their job to help solve the reputation problem that has lawyers struggling with their very identities and sense of purpose? Legal marketers do so much to support the legal industry, but our job doesn’t have to be trivialized to party planning, sending press releases, and helping lawyers get famous. We have the knowledge and power to change the perception of lawyers across the board; to show them as the force in society we know they are. What if we became champions of the cause, and while helping lawyers find greater purpose in their work, we found greater purpose in ours? That would be something to celebrate.
Do you agree that legal marketers have a rare opportunity to reshape the public perception of lawyers? Let us know how below.