Seems like a pretty silly question doesn’t it? Well, I’m not so sure, after reading the post by Bruce MacEwen of Adam Smith, Esq. fame on the recent 12th Annual “Law Firm Leaders Forum” in San Francisco.Following a brief synopsis of the talks by four speakers he identifies, he recaps anonymously 46 observations from those in attendance. He tells us that he didn’t identify the sources because he wasn’t authorized to do so, and besides, it was a “think out loud” type of session, and for other related factors he didn’t think that doing so was appropriate.

So, with that little preamble, you may want me to get to the point. I shall.

In 46 bullets Bruce identifies “the more noteworthy assertions” by these leaders. Guess what words do not appear in a single one of those bullets? Marketing, Legal Marketing, Law Firm Marketing, Lawyer Marketing, Business Development – you get the point.

Now, it could be that Bruce, who I admire very much, did not think that any assertions he heard relating to marketing or business development were “noteworthy” enough to be included, or the topic wasn’t important enough to the “leaders” in attendance to warrant being brought up. 

N.B. a number of the observations did in fact relate to marketing of course (such as whether the billable hour is dead or alive) and there were others as well; but, what struck me as so odd, is that in all of the 46 noteworthy comments, not once was marketing or developing business even mentioned. Yet, one of the assertions proffered was that first-year associates’ salaries would reach $250,000 in New York – “in less than 5 years.” I don’t know how you feel about it, but I would venture to say that that makes the topic even more critical.

Thus, I return to my original question. Where does/do the leader/leaders of your firm come down on marketing? More interestingly, were they at the San Francisco Forum?