Thursday, March 02, 2006

Feeling Healthy as Law Firm Marketer

A few days ago a post was put on the lawmarketing listserv (you must be a member to visit that post) that contained some harsh words for the desparity between the earnings of partners at law firms and equally skilled marketers (with regard to grasp of profession). The comments were based on seeing a chart noting the significant decline in productive time as partners became more senior, though, as we all know, their income continues to climb. On the other hand, as the commentor noted, senior marketers were still held to hard expectations about remaining highly productive without an equal standing in monetary reward.

I've thought about that commentary a lot, because, for the most part, it is true. But something felt uncomfortable to me about its tone (of entitlement?).

Today I had a meeting with the business development committee (BDC) at my firm. The main topic was the marketing budget and the discussion focused on the large differences in how each practice area could best develop business; And, what is the best way to spend "firm" dollars while preserving the ability of attorneys to pursue individual client development plans.

After the meeting two partners commented that they hoped I knew none of this (discussion) was personal to me (it wasn't and I didn't see it that way even though I am the catalyst of so much discussion).

But it came together for me just then. The post from earlier in the week on the listserv and the role I play in the bigger picture at my firm (or any firm for that matter).

I LOVE being a witness to change. It's my role. That is what I do. Absolutely I would like to make more for doing less; Or, make more for doing more. It does not matter. I make what I make because I wanted to work for this firm at this time. I could've done better, and I could've done worse (with regard to income). There are partners at my firm making a lot of money working not as hard as me... But that is not the point at all.

The point is; I have my deal, they have theirs. I'm not an attorney and I entered an industry at a time of change. Really BIG change. As a marketer I'm doing pretty darn good. I'm going to do better than my father; Better than my brothers and sister; I am going to be a catalyst in the right place at the right time.

If money was my only reason working in the legal industry than I can get myself off to a law school, work hard to do really well, get hired by a fast moving firm and hope for the years ahead (this is not a discussion about what motivates attorneys but commentary on the non-attorney legal marketers who grouse about their lot in life).

Instead I am going to keep doing exactly what I do because I am having the time of my life, making a difference, and creating something in a place it has not been created before. How many people get to do THAT!