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Why are legal marketing professionals treated so poorly?

Thom Singer, author of Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Grow and Keep Your Business Relationships, has a great post about the value of legal marketing professionals and how poorly these folks are treated by many law firms.

Firms have a bad habit of looking at those who work inside the firm on two unequal tiers: Lawyers and non-lawyers. The term ‘non-lawyer’ always bugged me when I worked inside a law firm. The most arrogant and smug jack-ass lawyers were the ones who viewed those without a JD as sub-human (yes, these people exist!). Most of them could not survive the day without their support staff, but they will never acknowledge the contribution. (Some firms even have separate holiday parties for lawyers and staff….and the lawyer party is nicer…which flaunts this HORRIBLE message!)

The average tenure of a marketing professional inside firms is less than three years. Firms either decide to ‘change directions’ or the marketer leaves for greener pastures. The best thing a firm can do if they want to achieve success with their marketing team is to be as committed to the marketing staff as they would be to a laterally hired attorney (lawyers reading this are screaming right now in horror). They need to make sure that everyone realizes that they are committed to the game – and changing quarterbacks every quarter is just dumb.

Starting LexBlog has given me the opportunity to meet some wonderful legal marketing professionals. Based on the way some of them are treated, there ought to be a special place in heaven for these folks.

And for folks not familiar with Thom Singer, his blog by the same name as his book is a good read for those looking to improve their networking skills. I had the pleasure of sharing a cup of coffee while speaking in Austin last year. Great guy.

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