“With the rise of social media, knowing how to use it can be a vitally important tool. We had two experts from Clark Hill, Roy Sexton and Alexandra France, give an excellent presentation on its use and how to create a lasting presence on social platforms.”
Honored to have my New Year’s resolution included in a feature in Of Counsel Magazine!
“Another personal resolution that carries firm-wide repercussions comes from the Detroit offices of the international law firm Clark Hill by marketing director Roy Sexton, who also serves as the 2023 president of the Legal Marketing Association – LMA International. ‘My New Year’s resolution,’ he says, ‘is to keep elevating the level of discourse intellectually where legal marketing is concerned, to learn and share best practices from other industries, and to move us all forward in terms of more sophisticated ways of doing this work.’”
Thank you, dear pal Ross Fishman and new friend Steve Taylor, for the opportunity. AND kudos, Ross, for the magazine excerpting your Ultimate Law Firm Partner’s Marketing Checklist book, one section at a time. All of us are grateful for your leadership and everything you do for the profession and our community.
We are all grateful for YOU and for all you are doing for our profession and industry. EXCERPT:
“I’m Roy Sexton, Director of Marketing for Clark Hill Law and I am also the 2023 international President of the Legal Marketing Association – LMA International. I am thankful for a group of humans I met early on when I joined the Legal Marketing Association. Gina Furia Rubel, Nancy Leyes Myrland, Heather Morse-Geller, Gail Porter Lamarche, Lindsay Griffiths, and Laura Toledo
“We’ve all kind of now moved on and gone our separate ways in some respects, but that was the core group. I tell this story quite a bit. I was at the Orlando LMA annual conference and shy and nervous, which nobody believes, and feeling very insecure and I was lurking around the pool. Nothing good usually comes from that. And they were all there as a social media special interest group, having a meetup.
“And Gina saw me and she said, ‘Come over here. Who are you?’ And sometimes I cry when I say this because she just wrapped me in love and got to know me during the course of that afternoon. And they became my mentors and my friends, and they have been with me ever since, supporting me, giving me hard truth, and helping show me the way through this profession.
“And I had always had a fairly serendipitous career until I met them. And it really locked in that I like what I do, I like who I support, and I will always credit them for the mentoring they provided me early on, the way they adopted me and the way they’ve looked out for me ever since.”
Here are screen grabs of the published summary of the various awards together with comments from the judging panel.
The judges noted (page 15) that “Clark Hill was a clear winner in this category, with its Simply Smarter rebrand and market engagement campaign standing head and shoulders above the rest. This campaign showed clear strategic understanding and deployment of brand as the identity and DNA of the firm’s people”.
Thank you, Beth Little Bell, for joining Rob and me today! You are such an authentic soul with a keen eye toward story-telling and culture building. #LMAmkt is truly fortunate to have you in our community. Appreciated how you painted a clear picture of the life of the solo marketer as brand and culture builder and how you use social media, community engagement, and thought leadership to support the DeFur Voran team.
And that team LOVES you – I don’t think in the history of the show we have EVER had so many of a marketer’s attorneys watch and express their heartfelt appreciation. You are clearly doing something right! Congrats on that new grandbaby, and thanks for all you do for Wabash College as well. Thanks one more time to Greg Castanias for connecting us.
Show description: Roy’s guest on our October 6 show was Elizabeth Bell, who leads marketing efforts for DeFur Voran LLP. She has also worked in the legal space as a law firm administrator and paralegal. Spoiler alert: she, like Roy, is a Hoosier AND has a storied background with his alma mater Wabash College. (And she just may have attended Wabash’s fierce rival school DePauw University … so sparks may fly!)
Beth is currently building a marketing program at her firm, and can speak to the opportunities and challenges facing the solo marketer. Roy and Beth unpack how one can leverage servant leadership to help support a small firm on its growth journey and how to build out the resources needed to “do all the things” required for effective law firm marketing and business development when you are a mighty team of ONE!
Legal Marketing Coffee Talk is brought to you by: By Aries and Kates Media: Video Production.
Thrilled to be moderating the opening session of this essential #legalmarketing boot camp. Thank you, LMA Northeast Region, Michelle Upchurch Murray, Jennifer Manton, Deborah Scaringi for your leadership here in bringing this to our Legal Marketing Association – LMA International members.
SESSION DESCRIPTION: We are privileged to work in a dynamic, rapidly evolving industry. The legal marketing and business development profession has a multiplicity of career paths and opportunities. Since hustle is our middle name as legal marketers, our own needs sometimes get lost in the shuffle of being in service to others. Being intentional about aligning your talents, desires, interests, and aspirations is more crucial than ever to continued success.
Please join us for a candid, lively conversation with leading lights in our industry on how they themselves shaped their careers amidst an ever changing landscape. We will highlight the career tracks available to you – business development, technologist, marketing and digital strategy, events, branding, coaching, consulting, and so much more – as well as projects you should pursue to maximize your visibility and impact. We will cover the importance of your own personal branding, how to stay relevant and known in this industry, and the importance of leaning on this LMA community to enrich your career.
Moderator – Roy Sexton, Director of Marketing, Clark Hill Law
Robyn Addis, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, Legal Internet Solutions Incorporated
Michael Coston, CEO, Coston Consulting
Melissa Ertek, Chief Development Officer, Winston & Strawn LLP
Audra Triplett, Senior Manager, Business Development & Marketing, Foley & Lardner LLP
Roy’s guest on our October 6 show will be Elizabeth Bell, who leads marketing efforts for DeFur Voran LLP. She has also worked in the legal space as a law firm administrator and paralegal. Spoiler alert: she, like Roy, is a Hoosier AND has a storied background with his alma mater Wabash College. (And she just may have attended Wabash’s fierce rival school DePauw … so sparks may fly!)
Beth is currently building a marketing program at her firm, and can speak to the opportunities and challenges facing the solo marketer. Roy and Beth will unpack how one can leverage servant leadership to help support a small firm on its growth journey and how to build out the resources needed to “do all the things” required for effective law firm marketing and business development when you are a mighty team of ONE!
An episode you won’t want to miss. Join us live this Thursday, October 6th at 3 PM right here on Facebook.
Legal Marketing Coffee Talk is brought to you by: By Aries and Kates Media.
Important, sobering, essential analysis done by ALM. Thank you, Kayla McCaleb, Patrick Fuller, and team. Change is needed. Yesterday. Thank you, Patrick Smith, for the wonderful chat today and for including my reactions in this coverage.
McCaleb said she was also disappointed, but not surprised, to find that even as salaries for chiefs and first-chair directors went up across all firm size segments, men were the beneficiaries of the majority of those gains.
“Probably the single most shocking finding for me was that despite the overall average annual salary increased by a stable 11% in each of those versions, the pay gap between men and women increased by 50% from 2018 to 2020 and 40% from 2020 to 2022—both of those percentages being substantially higher than the 11% overall average salary increase,” McCaleb said via email. “In 2018, men out-earned women by $50,000. In 2020, that number increased to $75,000. Now in 2022, $105,000 separates men and women chiefs and first chair directors. It just makes me wonder what that wage gap is going to look like in 2024.”
Although this pay gap exists, for most firms, it is not an intentional or malicious decision to pay women less, according to several observers. Yet, here we are, and good intentions and happy thoughts don’t fix problems.
Roy Sexton is the director of marketing for Clark Hill in Detroit and the 2023 Legal Marketing Association International President. He has been in the legal industry for over a decade.
He believes there are a series of factors that play into creating these gaps, ranging from retrograde thinking on women’s role in the workplace to how marketing and business development are viewed in the legal industry.
“There are those of us who may have felt, at our core, that we are not wanted,” Sexton said. “Historically, some organizations have treated women, as well as people of color and the LGBTQ community, that they should feel grateful to be there.”
He said this thinking perpetuates behaviors such as not asking for a raise or a larger bonus because one doesn’t want to rock the boat and be replaced by someone who can be counted on to not do so.
“We need to arm people with negotiation skills and the fortitude to walk away from a job that is underpaying them,” he said. “But there is fear, perpetuated by that ‘grateful’ mindset, that they won’t find another job. So they just accept where they are.” …
Patrick Fuller, vice president and general manager and another author of the study, said, “Over the past decade, law firms’ concerted efforts to improve diversity and inclusion amongst FTE attorneys produced steady year-over-year improvements. As the marketing and business development compensation survey data shows, law firms must also focus on compensation equity for business professionals. It is beyond unacceptable that women comprise 75% of large- and mid-market chiefs or first-chair directors, yet earn, on average, 30% less than their male counterparts.”
I hope at least once in everyone’s career they get to have a boss like this. It looks like we are about to launch into a duet of “Islands in the Stream.” But actually this was at the end of our #simplytogether22 Clark Hill firm retreat. My boss Susan Ahern (pictured here) told me how much she appreciated my contributions, how meaningful they were, and how important I was to her and to our work family. I said I felt the same about her. There may have been tears (mine … natch).
It’s a rare privilege to work with someone, let alone an organization, that celebrates you for your authentic self, letting you shine in ways meaningful to you. I have that at Clark Hill. Susan has encouraged and inspired me to be myself fully at all times, to center my talents around empathy and grace and compassion, to leverage the strategic “pause,” and to work harder and smarter than I ever have in my life. She’s elevated me and my work in ways I’d never thought possible. She’s been my ally and my advocate, and she’s helped me discover a higher standard for what I do.
Ask for more in life. You deserve it. And one day you’ll find you have the good fortune to have a Susan in your life too.
Thank you to my beloved colleague Maram Salaheldin, an epitome of intelligence and wit and kindness, for snapping this moment for posterity.
P.S. I think that “encore” behind us is prescient and apropos after this amazing event.
Drew writes: “Every once in a while in a marketing leader’s life, a major rebrand occurs. On today’s episode of The Marketing Accelerator Podcast – featuring three insights in about three minutes – Roy Sexton, Director of Marketing at Clark Hill Law, is fresh off a rebrand launch, so I hit him up for the inside scoop. #roysexton #drewdinkelacker #rebrand #rebranding”
Excerpt (from yours truly): “What we [Clark Hill Law] learned from the surveying we did was that people wanted to tell their stories about their experience in the firm. This aligned with what we were hearing people expect around culture change, diversity, equity, inclusion, mental health, and so we put pieces together that allowed our folks across geography, across race, sexuality, gender, to tell their stories of their experience in the firm. This benefitted us because our clients want to know what kind of people they’re working with, and also the talent who will come work at the firm wants to know this is a good and welcoming environment. And that just enriched what was a very strong and clean and sophisticated brand with that humanity that was much needed.”
Grateful for the opportunity to discuss organizations I love like Clark Hill Law, Legal Marketing Association – LMA International, Ronald McDonald House Charities Ann Arbor, and Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit. And I want to frame this intro you wrote! 🙌
“When I picture the sort of person who would be heading up marketing for a law firm like Clark Hill, Roy Sexton wasn’t who I had in mind. But I’ll be totally honest: I’m glad.
“After nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, and business development Roy has risen to the top of his game and now sits as President-Elect of the LMA for 2022. An impressive feat for sure, but what really draws me in is his character.
“Roy is a warm, charming iconoclast, pushing his lawyers to bring more to the table than, well, just law. There’s an air about him that he deliberately chooses to be different, almost as if he’s smiled in the face of corporate law and said ‘let’s try this another way, shall we?’
“We spoke about his team, his philosophy, and why a master’s degree in theatre beats an MBA.”