A Bright Future For This Legal Marketing Blog

We’re sure you have noticed the new look, new logo and new faces. Why? Because we: Paula Black, Daniel Decker and Marc Cerniglia have joined forces with Tom Kane.

The legal environment is changing rapidly. Success in the legal industry – just like any other industry – requires evolution and adaptation.

With this blog, Tom Kane has built a foundation of timeless marketing wisdom for lawyers of all shapes and sizes.

Now, we’re excited to build on this foundation and adapt these proven marketing principles into our world in 2018 and beyond. There’s massive change swirling all around us – the internet has changed the way that lawyers market themselves, and even the way that practices must operate. But the fundamental legal marketing principles that have worked for centuries are still vitally important today. And it’s our mission to show you how to apply these tried-and-true strategies to your daily life.

Daniel Decker and Marc Cerniglia, founders of Spotlight Branding, will serve as your guides to a better way of marketing your law firm on the internet. They argue passionately that the proven, foundational approach to legal marketing – ie, a focus on relationships, reputation, referrals, and repeat business – is more relevant than ever in 2018. And they’ll show you how to create marketing strategies and systems focused on these objectives.

Paula Black, a coach, author, and speaker with over 30 years of experience in the legal industry will show you how to create a marketing plan that aligns with your professional goals – but more importantly, with your goals for your life. Paula believes that lawyers can and should find harmony between work, family, and play – and she’ll show you how to make this happen in your own life.

And Tom Kane will continue to participate; contributing his sage wisdom on marketing a legal practice that builds a thriving firm, and his insights on the legal profession.

We hope that you will subscribe now so that you don’t miss anything. We look forward to building on Tom’s foundation and helping you market your practice effectively in 2018 and beyond.


Paula Black

“I help lawyers who want to take their practice to the next level… more clients, more credibility and more fulfillment in life.”

I love travel, cooking, music, and the movies… and my number one passion is my work. I love coaching and consulting with lawyers as we work, together, through the process of business development.

Many people tell me I work too much… they have not heard the saying “find what you love and you never have to work a day in your life.” I consider myself fortunate to have found my passion—and I wake up each morning grateful for the opportunity to spend another day doing what I love most.

For nearly 30 years I’ve been working closely with clients in a variety of industries to develop results-driven business development solutions. I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with lawyers and law firms from around the globe (on four continents!) on everything from powerful and innovative design to marketing strategy and business development. I have helped firms of all sizes—from one attorney to one thousand—to separate themselves from their competitors and achieve the growth they desire.

I am fortunate to have the opportunity to speak regularly on law firm topics including branding, marketing, business, and personal development. I love interacting with lawyers and other professionals in a variety of settings, whether it’s giving a presentation to hundreds of attorneys, facilitating an intimate workshop for a small group, or working one-on-one with a lawyer.

You can learn more.


Daniel Decker

“I believe that good storytelling can change the world!”

I live in Huntersville, North Carolina – a charming lakeside suburb just 15 minutes north of Charlotte, North Carolina and only an hour from the Blue Ridge Mountains. With gorgeous summers and mild winters, the setting provides the perfect mix of action and relaxation. As the co-founder of a thriving business and the father of two kids and a German Shepherd, I get plenty of both!

I’m a student of marketing, and at any given time I’ve got 3 or 4 books on my nightstand. From legends like David Ogilvy, Walt Disney, and Joseph Sugarman to contemporaries like Dan Kennedy, Seth Godin, and Donald Miller, there’s almost nothing I’d rather be doing than learning and synthesizing information – and then figuring out how to apply these principles to my business.

I also happen to think that the legal industry is missing out on a huge opportunity and I hope to help change this. That opportunity is the power of branding – and more specifically, the art of storytelling. The most memorable brands, past and present, have learned how to tell a story. A story that makes their clients the hero. A story that positions the brand as a trusted guide to help their clients solve their problem, overcome the obstacles, outwit the villain, and ultimately reach the promised land. I think that lawyers can capitalize on this strategy and move their marketing forward in a massive way. With this blog – and at my “day job” as a partner at Spotlight Branding – I will show you how to make this happen.

My passion for storytelling spills into other areas of my life as well. I occasionally work in a communications and messaging role for local and statewide political campaigns. And I co-host three different podcasts – the Law Firm Marketing Minute, focused on legal marketing strategy; the Lake Norman Business Podcast, dedicated to shining a spotlight on local businesses in my community, and the just-launched Together Charlotte podcast, which highlights incredible people and non-profit organizations making a difference here in Charlotte.

You can learn more.


Marc Cerniglia

“I believe there is a better way to market a law practice.”

As much as I enjoy my interests such as sports, learning about business and investing, and being a foodie, one of my favorite things in life is finding ways to improve things. I love to look at ideas, products, and processes and methods that already exist, and find ways to make them better.

Before I even fully understood this about myself, it is what lead me to start my first successful business, Spotlight Branding. My business partner and I saw a better way for lawyers to market their practice. We were (and still are) tired of marketing companies being overly focused on search engines. Too often, I see lawyers neglecting the marketing basics.

I believe the best marketing starts with building a strong brand as the go-to expert at what you do, regularly staying in touch past clients and colleagues, and focusing on building your image, network and referral base.  To not be focused on search engines, but instead focused on relationships, and your brand…this is the “better way!”

When I am not helping lawyers create a better marketing strategy, I enjoy spending time with my wife Emily and exploring our new home state of North Carolina. We enjoy learning together through books, podcasts, documentaries, and great conversation with friends. And, I’m always looking for that next business idea…something in which I can find a way to do better!

You can learn more.


Thomas Kane, Esq.

“I believe it is critical for lawyers to market their practice in a meaningful and ethical way.”

I’m a former practicing attorney – as an Assistant Attorney General in North Carolina and in several private practice positions. Also a retired U.S. Navy Reserve Captain, a legal marketing and business development consultant and blogger.

After practicing law for many years it became clear to me that lawyers were struggling to market their practice and I knew I could provide guidance. For over 17 years I served as an in-house marketer for several firms and as a consultant to the legal industry.

For nearly three decades, I have been involved in all aspects of legal marketing and business development, from training, coaching, planning, and public relations to conducting image campaigns, market research, advertising, and client feedback programs. I oversaw the development of promotional materials, newsletters, proposals and presentations, firm marketing events, and databases for various firms.

I now live in Sarasota with my bride of 38 years and love the weather, the arts and my new relaxed lifestyle.