Nearly a month ago, nearly 1,200 legal marketing professionals gathered in Hollywood, Florida, for #LMA23, and now we’re hitting the highlights (and high notes) with “#LMA23 … the Aftermath LIVE”—Andy Cohen and the Bravo team only wish they could produce a reunion show this juicy and grand!
LMA ‘23 fab keynote speaker – acclaimed best-selling author, catalyst, and executive coach, Laura Gassner Otting – will join us to share her reflections on the event, as well as chat about her background, love of dogs, supportive family, her new book, “Wonderhell,” and… well, any other topic that springs to mind. This is sure to be a joy-filled, funny, candid conversation with host Roy Sexton.
But wait! There’s more! That Greek Goddess, the Queen of Miami, Athena Dion, will be putting in an appearance as well, revisiting that moment this trio stormed the stage in Florida for their definitive, sequin-filled musical statement on the importance of inclusion and community. Don’t miss this episode!
Thank you, Nick! I’m grateful for you and for this lovely opportunity. ✨ Nick writes: “Attention all entrepreneurs, leaders, and marketers! 🔊🎙️ In this week’s podcast episode, I sat down with the remarkable Roy Sexton to explore the fascinating intersection of theatre and business.
“What I found most inspiring about this conversation was Roy’s authenticity and vulnerability as he shared his childhood stories and how they have shaped his leadership style.
“If you’re looking for fresh perspectives and innovative strategies to take your business or career to the next level, you don’t want to miss this episode. Tune in now and join us for a captivating conversation that will leave you inspired and empowered.”
Show description: “Welcome back to another episode of Leadership Lessons podcast, where we explore the intersection of leadership, entrepreneurship, business and life. Today, we have a very special guest with us, Roy Sexton, a leader in legal marketing and a great human being. In this episode, we dive deep into the topic of authenticity in leadership and marketing. Roy shares his insights and experiences on how being authentic can impact the success of your business and leadership style. We discuss the importance of understanding and communicating your values, staying true to yourself and your brand, and how to build trust with your audience. Roy shares his strategies for creating a culture of authenticity within his own organization and how it has positively impacted his team’s performance. And we delve into Roy’s childhood stories and how they have shaped his leadership style and marketing approach.
“This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in leadership, marketing, or the intersection between theatre and business. John’s insights and experiences are both inspiring and informative, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy our conversation as much as I did.”
Thank you, Jeremy Barker and Above the Law, for this wonderful and thoughtful coverage of Legal Marketing Association – LMA International’s #LMA23, notably our dynamite GC panel, moderated by conference co-chair Jennifer Petrone Dezso with panelists Descartes Systems Group’s Peter V. Nguyen, Bates White Economic Consulting’s Jodi Trulove, and Fender’s Aarash Darroodi. Some great nuggets here for law firm leaders, attorneys, legal marketers, business development pros.
EXCERPT: Nearly 1,200 attendees packed the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida, late last month for the Legal Marketing Association’s annual gathering.
The agenda was filled with programs exploring niche areas — ESG guidance for firms, the science behind rainmaking, and DEI communications best practices, to name a few.
A keynote by the author Laura Gassner Otting and networking events like an ’80s dance party helped round out the three days of professional offerings (and good vibes).
“The energy and sense of community at this conference was unique, motivating and palpable,” LMA President Roy Sexton wrote on LinkedIn.
One perennial LMA favorite is the general counsel panel, and this year’s drew inspiration from daytime TV.
Presented on a festival-style stage, “How to Win Big at the Legal Marketing Gameshow” saw Jennifer Dezso of Thomson Reuters leading three GCs through a wide-ranging discussion of what law firms are doing right and what they’re getting wrong.
If there was one clear theme throughout the panel, it’s that private practice lawyers who show curiosity about their clients will score big points with general counsel.
Peter Nguyen, GC of the Descartes Systems Group, described curiosity as the key differentiator in evaluating the law firms he works with.
“I want to have that engagement,” he said. “I want you to really understand — want to understand — what it is about my business that you can help us with.”
This curiosity is often central to the value law firms provide.
That’s because general counsel aren’t looking to just get answers to legal questions. They want guidance based on an organization’s unique goals and circumstances.
“Sometimes lawyers are a little hesitant to actually weigh in and give an opinion on what you should do,” said Jodi Trulove, general counsel at Bates White LLC. “We want you to tell us what you think we should do, but you have to understand us first.”
For law firms looking to demonstrate this trait to potential clients, the RFP process provides one big opportunity.
Fender’s general counsel, Aarash Darroodi, described receiving template-based RFP responses from law firms — an approach he called “fundamentally a mistake.”
Instead, he would like to see a law firm respond to an RFP with an offer to come look at the company’s operations in-depth, gaining a better picture of his organization before a proposal is prepared.
Thank you, Tasneem K. Khokha, Alycia Sutor, Debbie Knupp, Holly Barocio, and GrowthPlay 💕 … I am honored by this inclusion, but even more touched that this is my mom‘s mantra carrying on. Thank you for all you give to our community. Your hearts and brains and beautiful intentions inspire us all. Love you very much!
Fate brings people together at just the right time and just the right moment. Laura Gassner Otting is such a gift. This message below had me beautifully gobsmacked. I’m honored and touched – but more importantly I love how she sees our Legal Marketing Association – LMA International community. These are special souls and her message will mean the world to all.
This past week I keynoted one of the most fantastic events ever. It was the Legal Marketing Association’s annual conference, and while you might think that an association conference could never be exciting or even surprise you… you’d be wrong. Dead wrong.
And here’s why.
Roy Sexton is the chair of the association, and Roy knew his members, and he knew what his members needed: an emotional release, unbridled joy, and amplification of their truest selves after a long few years of taking it on the chin. And, he decided to give them exactly what they needed in the form rainbows, sequins, wigs, and platform heels.
Yes, my friends, there was a drag queen duet to start a conference of 1100 legal marketers. Because why not, right?
My call time for the stage was 9am. At 8:15am the doors opened. All 1100 of the legal marketers in attendance filed in and found their seats. (My parents, who had never seen me speak, were also there and filed in alongside the attendees.) People were subdued, back together for the first time in years, an early morning after late night travel, and while they were excited to see each other, there was a palpable nervousness in the air.
At 8:30am, the room went dark, and Roy, backstage and bejeweled from head to toe in a rainbow-sequined tuxedo tails and silver shirt and pants started singing the opening bars to Born This Way by Lady Gaga. The audience started clapping in time as he came out from behind the curtain and performed the first part of the song.
But, wait! There’s more!
As he began to belt out the chorus, Athena Dion, The Greek Goddess, strode out to join him, and together they sang. The audience was on their feet. The room was pumping. The audience sang and danced as they worked the room like a runway.
Regardless of where you stand on the nonsense fight going on about drag queens — I mean, let’s face it, with the existential climate crisis and rampant mass shootings, don’t we have bigger fish to fry?!? — you can’t help but fall in love with love.
(By the way, if this week’s newsletter offends you, feel free to show yourself out here by unsubscribing. It’s cool.)
Roy wanted to open this conference — the first time they were all back together in three years — with a message: a welcome mat laid out wide, love for all, amplification for every one of us.
Here’s what I know to be true this week: There are million billion miles between being loved and being seen. (Tweet this.)
So many of us feel unseen. Even if we feel loved, we stand nervously on edge, worrying about whether of not people will love the real us when we show them who we really are. Roy blew the doors off of that notion, inviting the entire audience in to his world, and showing them that they could invite him into theirs.
Oh, and, from now on, I’m going to insist in my rider that a drag queen opens every keynote for me.
Thank you, Robert Clarke and Elevate, for the lovely chat and this interview write-up. I enjoyed our conversation immensely ✨
“Roy Sexton on Teams, Leadership and Learning: ‘You’re only as good as the rest of the cast. Bad actors are the ones who only worry about themselves, whereas good performers think: How can I help the entire cast be good? The audience experiences the entire show, not just one performer – not just the lead. It’s the same in business…’ #elevateelite #leadership #learning Click image for more.”
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.”
Want to join me in supporting a good cause? In honor of my 50th (!!) birthday (December 28!), I’m raising money for Ronald McDonald House Charities Ann Arbor, and your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps. This will be my sixth year of doing this birthday fundraiser for RMHCAA: I’m honored to be an RHMCAA board member but I’m even more honored to help support this incredible mission.
The mission of the Ann Arbor Ronald McDonald Houses is to provide families of children experiencing a serious illness or injury requiring hospitalization or treatment on an outpatient basis, a “home away from home” that assists in alleviating the families’ emotional and financial stress.
LMA is pleased to announce its 2023 International Board of Directors. The slate of candidates was ratified on September 2, 2022, and the newly elected and continuing officers and directors will begin their terms on January 1, 2023. More: https://legalmarketing.org/2023-International-Board
Legal Marketing Association – LMA International welcomes:
President Roy E. Sexton Director of Marketing Clark Hill Law Detroit, MI (Midwest Region)
Immediate Past President Brenda Plowman Chief Marketing Officer Fasken Vancouver, B.C. (Canada Region)
President-Elect Kevin Iredell Chief Marketing Officer Lowenstein Sandler LLP New York, NY (Northeast Region)
Secretary Amy Payton Verhulst Senior Business Development Manager Jackson Lewis PC Houston, TX (Southwest Region)
Treasurer Andrew Laver Business Development Manager Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC Philadelphia, PA (Northeast Region)
Treasurer-Elect Rachel Shields Williams Director of Knowledge Management Sidley Austin LLP Washington, D.C. (Mid-Atlantic Region)
Member-At-Large John Byrne Chief Marketing Officer Gould & Ratner LLP Chicago, IL (Midwest Region)
Member-At-Large Jessica Haarsgaard Business Development Manager Burr & Forman LLP Greenville, SC (Southeast Region)
Member-At-Large Diana Lauritson Senior Marketing and Business Development Officer Hogan Lovells Washington, DC (Mid-Atlantic Region)
Member-At-Large Trish Desilets Lilley Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer Stroock New York, NY (Northeast Region)
Member-At-Large Jaime Lira Marketing Director Cohen & Malad, LLP Indianapolis, IN (Midwest Region)
Regional Leaders’ Committee Chair Robin Devereux Gerard Chief Marketing Officer Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth PC Newport Beach, CA (West Region)
Chief Executive Officer Danielle Gorash Holland Legal Marketing Association Chicago, IL
So darn excited to work with these amazing souls, all of our fab volunteer leaders, our incredible membership, and marvelous HQ support team next year. ✨
REGISTER:https://bit.ly/3wwtImc … “Law firms and legal service providers: Know who’s gonna join us for Stack Ranking, Part 2 on 9/30?
“Meet our special guests: Roy Sexton of Clark Hill Law; Drew Hawkins of Womble Bond Dickinson US LLP; and Gordon Braun-Woodbury of Calibrate.
“Our esteemed colleagues will weigh in on the 2022 RubyLaw Legal Marketing Tech Study and opine on our insights. Come hear what they have to say!”
I seem to have started a flame war with Britney Spears 😂 – Britney, we do love you, but please stay kind.
“After supporting the rebranding of Clark Hill Law, Roy realized just how magical the combination of branding and culture development can be. In the process of branding, you’re uniting company values, the customer experience, and a diverse team, which, in turn, helps develop the true, authentic culture of your organization.”