You know that moment when you need an innovative solution to something, and then that solution seems to almost magically appear?
That was KHS People and Grateful.
Thank you to Grateful for featuring us as one of your case study success stories. We are grateful to you!
Myth #1: A resume should be one page. Substance over length, every time. An Executive Summary or Professional Summary is a one-page document (usually used by more senior professionals for networking purposes). It doesn't matter how short or long the resume is, if it's not substantive and relevant, it won't be read regardless of length.
Myth #2: Only include the professional experience relevant to the role. My view on this is that the "whole professional self" is needed to understand your career journey. Many people now have several careers which can be separated by sub-headings. I have never once seen a prior career in a resume that isn't somehow relevant to where you have got to and the skills you are equipped with to be a high-performing legal marketer.
Myth #3: The writer assumes knowledge. Every hiring manager is busy. Make it easy for them to understand your background and career trajectory. Include a brief sentence at the start of each role outlining the type of company or firm you worked for and what your remit was in the role.
Myth #4: A general resume is the best resume. Yes and... if you're sharing your resume with someone like myself, then yes. If you're sharing you're resume with a hiring manager, or in response to a specific role, then your resume needs to be tailored to directly answer the role you're applying for. You will naturally want to emphasize certain things which show the reader you understand the role.
Myth #5: Create a visually appealing resume. Law firms actually prefer a relatively simple, no flair, resume. A ton of visually eye-catching formatting is likely to distract them, and they will wonder if you understand law firms and how they receive information.
By Kate Harry Shipham | Principal | KHS People
With C-Suite contributions by:
There are three common themes emerging on the minds of marketing and business development professionals in mid-sized firms at this moment in time.
Most frequently, they share with me their concerns in relation to the current economic uncertainty. How might this impact their role and, specifically, their career development? Promised promotions and career advancements can be on hold or taken off the table entirely.
Secondly, they have questions on flexibility and firm’s attitudes to the newer working arrangements.
Lastly, we talk about the future of the marketing and business development function as a whole. Where is this function headed? It seems to be much busier, much more visible.
How can a marketing function adapt in economic uncertainty
Where marketers do best during these uncertain economic times is to be especially deliberate and purposeful. Their intentionality around what they do, and how they do it, becomes their sole goal and driver.
“It’s not the time to throw stuff at the wall and notice what sticks,” shares Bruns. “We look at our strategic goals and get more value out of what we do if that core focus and intention is unwavering.” It is these moments where Bruns and his team were able to re-shape the focus with the necessary intentionality to be adaptable, no matter what the economic outlook was projected to be.
This laser focus also allows firms to capitalize on the growth and momentum they had in 2022 and drive forward key initiatives for the firm.
“We are increasing our budget and investing more as we are anticipating more activity,” Lakhani shares. “Like many firms, we experienced a record year in 2022 and we are using that to propel us forward and re-invest in that success for 2023.”
Both Bruns and Lakhani work in firms which run a leaner model. Both note that this means they don’t have to make cut-throat decisions during these times. They can – and do - stay focused on their goals and double down on the intentionality around these goals.
Bruns also sees the benefit in how marketers, and particularly his team, can overlay their tried and trusted processes during these more uncertain times.
“My team and I are engineers in our processes, and these processes have stops and starts.” Bruns continues: “Our strength is figuring out how to get over any wall that comes up in our process.”
This versatility and adaptability are signature traits of marketing and business development professionals. Their day-to-day role is full of uncertainty and therefore the need to flex and adapt on the fly. Arguably, this is the perfect training ground to launch from in an uncertain market.
What is different so far from 2022 to 2023
There is more of a meeting of the minds with attorneys being at a good moment in time to be face to face with their clients. They are re-energized to be asking their clients directly about the effect of their work and their business challenges more generally.
Paoletta shares: “Our attorneys are motivated to be physically in front of their clients and to be constantly asking themselves what impact they can be having with each of them individually.”
She shares that there is a heightened level of motivation “to look specifically at revenue and focus on marketing activities that directly increase our revenue targets.” Getting buy-in now, thankfully, seems to be mostly behind us; attorneys are all in.
Paoletta sees this moment in time and shares: “In the short time I’ve been here so far, I can already see them leveraging what marketing is doing and I hope to keep them focused on this moment in time to keep client engagement moving in the right direction.”
Lakhani also sees something unique about this moment in time. He says that “clients are fully aligned with the active and creative engagement that attorneys are providing.”
He continues: “The timing is wonderful. Everyone feels like, for the first time in a while, they have their feet firmly under them within the firm.” Lakhani says he continues to see this positivity and fresh engagement and that is creating a shift in the local market.
This positivity and re-energization is being fully leveraged by marketers. Indeed, that is their jam. It allows them to prioritize and narrow their laundry list with a laser focus.
The future of flexible working arrangements
I remember working in law firms where if you were not in your office, the assumption was that you weren’t working. That ugly assumption hung over our heads.
The legal industry has undergone a massive shift in the last two-three years. The working styles and arrangements that seemed to be imbedded into our firm’s fabric were entirely undone. And guess what? It didn’t end badly.
Firms seem to be in two camps. Either, doubling down on their real estate to create refreshed work environments that will entice people back into the office for the majority of the time. Or, relinquishing real estate and rethinking their office footprint and layout to factor in less bodies in the office on a weekly basis.
“Space isn’t culture.” Bruns shares. “Culture is the experience you have when you go into the space.”
Bruns’s firm is using this time to rethink their office space and use. While they have been triggered to do so because their lease ends later this year, Bruns shares that it’s actually come at the perfect time given all of this. The informal three-time weekly check-ins that runs in Bruns’s leadership DNA (both pre- and post- Covid) doesn’t stop or start depending on where everyone is physically located, he shares.
So, for Bruns’s team, their new office will have a lot of collaboration space, lounge areas, and meeting rooms. Their firm surveyed their people – all of their people – and it was clear: not everyone wants to go into the office.
Like many new-era legal CMO’s, Bruns is pragmatic. He is listening to his team and adapting his leadership style to accommodate, and across multiple locations. He takes ownership of this new arrangement and changes to meet his team where they are.
Lakhani has a similar rationale. He owns this shift as a leader of the firm and applies tweaks or fixes where needed: “What works well is having a broader policy and then giving team managers discretion as to how to manage that policy. If there’s a fix that needs to be done, that’s on the leader.”
Lakhani’s leadership style is one of implicit trust. He can do this because he’s helped hire and build the right managers in the team. That type of connection is something special in legal marketing teams.
This moment in time is centered around listening to the marketer. Leaders are all ears and are – finally - adapting to each individual team member. This is not just the case for working arrangements, either. I see this across both working styles and hours.
The CMO role post-pandemic
The legal CMO at this moment in time is not one that stays within their lane. Their remit is broad and their visibility is high.
Lakhani shares two pieces in particular that have changed in his CMO role.
First, he shares that he has taken a wide role within the firm: “Internal messaging has grown, including elements such as how to write on social justice issues. I have been leading and writing this internal messaging and helping our firm leaders on this piece, which I really enjoy. It helps me, it helps our team, and it helps our firm articulate our culture.”
Secondly, Lakhani shares that there is a “people management art” which has had to be perfected: “I am a mentor and advisor for the firm, not just my team. I realized I had the capability to be a motivating force across the whole firm over the last few years.”
It certainly helps that Lakhani has been a constant within Porter Hedges for over ten years. His longevity and investment in the firm reflects his values: “It has been a hugely challenging time for law firm leaders, particularly helping people stay engaged, and so I could see that natural extension for myself and the firm more broadly. It is a tremendous responsibility to engage in this way and be a boarder leader at the firm. I took on mentorship and guidance opportunities where I saw I could be influential.”
Paoletta notes a similar experience. She shares that the breadth of the CMO role has changed to incorporate a wider leadership role within the firm that is very visible to its C-suite peers.
“I have always been very much a leader of the firm,” Paoletta shares. “I have marketing objectives and goals, and I support those, and they roll up to a higher goal within the firm.”
Paoletta’s CMO roles have long included “coaching, succession planning, marketing-to-HR liaison and advisor, leadership development, and new-leader recruitment.” Having different professional service industries in her background has set her up well for this moment in time.
“Marketing’s involvement is at a higher level than I’ve ever seen it”, she shares. “My background across different industries and professional services lanes allows me to flex my financial muscles and my complementary sector experience. I use that to make this firm achieve what we have planned together.”
The future of marketing and business development in firms, judging by this moment in time, will produce a business professional whose title will miss the mark if it remains as “marketing”.
Further, for the opportunistic junior and mid-level marketer, they are seeing firsthand how their career could continue to morph over time into being a prominent leader of the firm - and industry. What an exhilarating time to be a legal marketer.
Each year will pose a different challenge, a different threat, or a different opportunity to the legal marketer. Indeed, each quarter may shift what you thought you had understood and mastered from last quarter.
What is for certain, however, is that the change, when embraced and harnessed with the right amount of optimism and brain power, will keep marketers forging ahead in our law firms. They are the future of our firms. Watch out.
KHS People has previously covered the salary history bans, along with the debate highlights and the impact on hiring managers.
It's timely for a further review as there is now an added step of compulsory salary disclosure in some cities and States.
First, below is a table of the updated various States and cities impacted by region. Note that this table only includes established bans that impact professional services firms.
FIGURE 1: Salary history ban laws in effect
Secondly, below are the areas that now have salary range disclosure laws in effect. This means that firms must provide the salary range for the role to the applicant.
Some areas have conditions, or quirks, to note about this request.
The biggest region to be included to date is New York City, which is expected to come into effect later this year.
FIGURE 2: Salary range disclosure laws in effect
Welcome Marketing Partner Forum attendees. Please use the link above to download your complimentary copy of Salary & Profile Insights for the Legal CMO. This document is intended only for MPF attendees and is password protected. Please do not share widely.
Note: The password to read the document was included next to the QR code you used to access this page. Please reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you require assistance.
This KHS People Salary Survey for legal marketing professionals was conducted during July and August 2022. 460 respondents provided their input.
The purpose of the KHS People Salary Survey is to continue to capture important data to help educate and drive our industry forward by ensuring there is transparency and equality.
A summary of the results will be available to everyone. Specific, curated data will be provided upon request.
The survey questions
Each respondent answered these 10 questions:
It was a requirement to answer each question, and each question had a multiple choice format to ensure accurate and clean data at the conclusion of the survey.
10 questions multiplied by 460 people produces a wonderful amount of data. This data is expansive and can be viewed from different angles, depending on your purpose.
When looking at the data points relevant to you, keep in mind that they are accurate snapshots of salaries at this moment in time. For some, the data may be validating. For others, the data may be surprising or even disappointing. Remember that this data is a guide only.
Voluminous data like this is, naturally, open to interpretation. It is possible for each person to have a different interpretation; there will be context for each interpretation. This is perhaps both the best and worst thing about salary surveys.
The "lagging effect"
As this data is an accurate snapshot of salaries at this moment in time, know that this means it does not give you data as to what may be achieved if one were considering a move to a different role at a different firm. We're calling this the “lagging effect”.
What is, and is not, provided
Given the volume of data, decisions need to be made how best to present this data for the majority.
The KHS People Salary Survey reveals the median salaries. This means that the data is not skewed by especially high or low salaries. For this reason, the median is typically seen as a more neutral data point; it can't be pulled higher or lower (unlike an average).
The higher and lower ends of each range are not shown. This decision was the hardest one to make when presenting the data points. Ultimately, while helpful to some, these more extreme data points are simply too open to interpretation without the proper surrounding context. We are happy to provide this context and these data points to any person who wishes to see this. We have said from the start that a summary of the results will be available to everyone and, specific, curated data will be provided upon request. Let us know what specific need you have.
To ensure accurate and clean data, the survey questions relating to salary and bonus asked for a number range by way of an answer.
These ranges were very small so they would not impact the quality of data. For example, the majority of the salary ranges provided were in ranges of $2,500 each (such as: $100,001-$102,500 and $102,501-$105,001).
Therefore, where you see data points ending in “001” or “501”, this is the reason.
Where it seems to us that revealing a particular data point will jeopardize anonymity, this data point has not been revealed.
As a general rule, we applied the “less than three respondents test”. That is, if there were less than three respondents on a particular data point, it would not be shown in order to protect the confidential information and identity of the respondents.
This piece is of the utmost importance. And - given this - not every single data point is available.
The responses span hundreds of different cities.
The bigger cities naturally attract the bigger number of responses. The smaller cities naturally attract a smaller number of responses. In this context, we reiterate our comments above: where a data point in a smaller city may jeopardize the anonymity of the respondents, it has not been provided.
Please reach out to us with your specific request if this applies to you. We will provide some general salary information and greater context to assist you.
We encourage legal marketing professionals to reach out to offer their feedback on this salary survey.
The KHS People Salary Survey is a yearly survey, and hearing from you as to what is helpful, what isn't helpful, and your thoughts on tweaks going forward, continue to provide rich and quality data for you.
We will always value your feedback: email@example.com
Years of experience: showing ranges in each title
Dominant years of experience, by title
Kate Harry Shipham is the Principal of KHS People LLC, an executive search firm for BD and marketing people in professional services firms. Kate has done search and recruiting for 14 years and prior to that was an attorney. She loves what she does, and is always open to continuing the discussion: firstname.lastname@example.org