Program Details

Download the 2011 ABA Marketing Strategies Conference  Program Guide and the Program Materials (30 MB .pdf)


Tuesday, November 8, 2011


9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.     

Keynote #1: Lie to Me! "Emotion Management" of Your Marketing Will Invite Trust, Not Contempt

Dan Hill, President, Sensory Logic, Inc., Minneapolis, MN


Does your marketing enhance or hinder your reputation as a lawyer? It's a well-worn yet true cliché that "trust is the emotion of business." There is probably not a profession in which that holds truer than the business of law.


Thanks to the power of "facial coding", it is remarkably easy to predict what a buyer thinks of you and your message. We welcome our keynote speaker, Dan Hill, an internationally recognized authority on the use of facial coding to identify what works in marketing for his global, Fortune 500 clientele. Learn how your efforts can attract and gain credibility.


The author of Body of Truth: Leveraging What Consumers Can't or Won't Say; Emotionomics: Leveraging Emotions for Business Success (chosen by Ad Age as one of "10 Books You Should Have Read in 2009); and About Face: Ten Secrets to Emotionally Effective Advertising, Hill is frequently featured in the national media discussing facial coding analysis in matters ranging from presidential elections to the baseball steroid scandal.



10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.                 

ROI: Examining the Return on Investment for Business Development Spending


As law firm investment in marketing and business development efforts increase, so does the interest in understanding how much to spend and how to measure success. In this program, we examine strategic budgeting and spending approaches, ways to address issues of origination and credit, measuring the impact of public and media relations, and other ways to strengthen your bottom line.


Moderator: Micah Buchdahl, President, HTMLawyers, Inc., Moorestown, NJ

Panel: James Diaferia, Partner, Infinite PR, New York, NY; Michael Nestor, Partner, Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, Wilmington, DE; Samuel Silver, Partner, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, Philadelphia, PA



11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.                 

The Business of You – Surviving and Thriving in Big Law


Most attorneys at a big law firm assume that they do not need to market since they are working under the umbrella of their firm branding. At some firms, associates and partners are not encouraged to market themselves because the firms would rather have them billing than networking. However, in order to survive in the current legal market, it is a necessity for attorneys to market themselves, not only to clients and potential clients, but also to their colleagues and to the staff. In this program, we examine the paths and strategies of attorneys who are currently working or had previously worked at big law firms and how their various strategies have led to where they are today.


Moderator: Daniel McKenna, Associate, Ballard Spahr, LLP, Philidelpha, PA

Panel: Dianne Coady Fisher, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Philadelphia, PA; Justin Gdula, Associate, Dechert, LLP, Philadelphia, PA; James Gilliam, Deputy Executive Director, ACLU of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA



12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.                    

Luncheon: Effects of Rankings & Ratings on the Legal Profession


Perhaps no other topic illicits greater response than the issue of rankings and ratings. There are literally thousands of companies playing in this space—from Chambers USA and Martindale to American Lawyer Media and Avvo. Which companies have the greatest impact? What are the ethical quandaries? How do you deal with so many surveys? What are the pros and cons of participation? The ABA Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference continues to be at the forefront of this controversial subject. This roundtable program will feature participation from perspectives that include law firm management, in-house counsel, traditional print and online rankings entities, and the media.


Moderator: Mark Britton, Founder, CEO & President, Avvo, Inc., Seattle, WA

Panel: Michael Downey, Partner, Armstrong Teasdale LLP, St. Louis, MO; Walter Karnstein, In-House Counsel, Hewlett-Packard, Portland, OR




2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.                      

An Ethics Guide to Lawyer Marketing


This interactive program will use hypotheticals to cover various topics involved in lawyer marketing, including:  the standards for judging lawyer marketing (including constitutional issues and the reach of a state's ethics rules); the rules governing content (including self-laudatory and unverifiable claims, testimonials and endorsements); law firm marketing issues (including Web sites and law firm names); individual lawyer marketing issues (including areas of practice, inclusion in honorary lists and descriptions of past successes); direct mail marketing; solicitation (including in-person and electronic solicitation); and the use of new technology in lawyer marketing.


Speaker: Thomas E. Spahn, Partner, McGuireWoods, McLean, VA



3:15 p.m.  – 4:15 p.m.                     

The Power of Video in Lawyer Marketing

As technology evolves, so too does law firm marketing.  In this panel, we will discuss how the use of technology, specifically video on the Web, can be a powerful boost to a marketing plan. We will review scenarios in which video is your optimum medium, as well as cover the pitfalls to be avoided. We will also touch upon the tools and how small and medium-sized firms and individual practitioners can stretch their marketing dollar to be as tech savvy as the big firms.


Moderator: Nick Gaffney, Partner, Infinite PR, San Francisco, CA

Panel: Kelvin Chin, Sales Director, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC, Washington, DC; Sarah Feingold, General Counsel, Etsy, Inc., Brooklyn, NY


Wednesday, November 9, 2011



 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Keynote #2: "In Search of…Lawyers" How the Internet Has Changed Everything
Peter Shankman
, Founder, Help A Reporter Out, Founder and CEO, The Geek Factory, Inc., New York City, NY


Peter Shankman has been described as “redefining the art of networking.” Learn how social media, marketing, and public relations converge on the Internet to change the way lawyers see themselves…and more importantly, are seen and retained.


We welcome our second keynote speaker, Peter Shankman, who is a spectacular example of what happens when you merge the power of pure creativity with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and a dose of adventure, and make it work to your advantage.  An author, entrepreneur, speaker, and worldwide connector, Peter is recognized worldwide for radically new ways of thinking about Social Media, PR, marketing, advertising, and customer service. 



10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.                 

Social Media: Does Your Firm's Marketing Plan Need A Face Lift?


Tired of the one size fits all social media "gurus" that tell lawyers to use social media as a marketing/advertising tool to reach potential clients and to follow a cookbook approach to things that you "must" do to get those clients flooding in?  Then attend this session which will focus on the ways to use social media tools, where the primary focus is not marketing, but methods that fit your personality and comfort zone, that could yield both expected and unexpected marketing benefits.


Moderator: Steve Silverberg, Partner, Silverberg Zalantis LLP, White Plains, NY

Panel: Dennis Kennedy, In-House Counsel, MasterCard Worldwide, O'Fallon, MO; Tom Mighell, Senior Consultant, Contoural, Inc., Dallas, TX; Tim Stanley, CEO,, Mountain View, CA



11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.                 

Associate Business Development Training


It's not taught in law school, but it is a prerequisite for a successful career as a lawyer. Business Development.  Associate Business Development training is designed to support the retention and advancement of a firm's most valuable asset: its human capital. Firms that provide the tools attorneys need for success in their ongoing efforts to develop their practices and build a solid book of business, will find themselves with associates better able to contribute to the current, and future, bottom line. The techniques we will cover include programs and products designed to complement the myriad of resources available to associates, with a focus on marketing and business development.


Moderator: Rachel Silverman, Business Development, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, New York, NY

Panel: Michael Downey, Partner, Armstrong Teasdale LLP, St. Louis, MO; Kelly Hoey, Business Network Strategist, New York City, NY


12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.                    

Luncheon: 10x10 – 10 Topics, 10 Presenters, 10 Minutes Each. (It's like speed dating, but better)

Always a conference favorite, an LPM original, the 10x10 is back with tons of useful information presented in a flashy format. Once again, we provide 10 marketing topics from 10 attorneys for 10 minutes each.


Among the topics will be:


  • Personal Branding
    William Ferreira, Founding Partner, Ferreira & Herbert Law Group LLC, Englewood, NJ
    In a competitive marketplace, a strong personal brand can differentiate you from the competition. Membership in professional and industry associations, but more importantly, involvement in key roles, can help develop your professional network, increase firm recognition and ultimately boost your bottom line.

  • Webinars 3.0
    Richard P. Rollo, Director, Richards Layton & Finger, P.A. Wilmington, DE
    Plenty of law firms do webinars. But the format and technology has become tiresome to many of us. Learn how one law firm has taken the webinar and their Corporate Law quarterly webinar series to a new level.

  • The Incidental Benefit: When Charity is Good Business
    J.W. Alberstadt, Jr., Partner, MacDonald Illig Jones and Britton LLP, Erie, PA
    It is possible to be strategic and authentic in giving efforts. When done right, giving can increase a firm’s visibility in the community, boost employee morale, and even lead to new business opportunities. 

  • Niche Marketing: How to Decide Which Niche Works for Your Practice
    Scott Borsack, Partner, White and Williams LLP, Philadelphia, PA
    Focusing on a niche, or specialty area, allows you to be more focused in your marketing efforts. How do you hone in on an industry that best fits your practice area and offers the most potential for new business? Hear how one lawyer did just that as he shares his tips for evaluating opportunities. 

  • Business Development: Cementing and Expanding Relationships
    Meredith Carter, Associate, Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz LLP, Wilmington, DE
    Business development doesn't end when the prospect becomes a client. Learn some tips on how you can continually strengthen and grow the client relationship.

  • Spread the Wealth: Equality When Allocating Marketing Dollars
    Peter Spirgel, Managing Shareholder and COO, Flaster/Greenberg PC, Philadelphia, PA
    Most firms are spending ever-increasing amounts of time and money on marketing initiatives. Allocation of these marketing resources can become very political and breed resentment within a law firm.  Our firm system of allocating marketing resources has increased the effectiveness of our marketing dollars and removed much of the politics and resentment.

  • Using Social Networking Tools to Complement Your Recruiting and Business Development Strategies
    Michael E. Adler, Partner, Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby LLP, Philadelphia, PA
    Recruiting is no longer about ads in newspapers or job boards or retaining expensive recruiters. Learn some easy and cost-effective tips about building a social network for when you are looking to expand your practice area by hiring lateral associates, partners or support staff. Develop new client opportunities and learn about your competition.

  • Top Ten Tops for Getting My Business: An In-House Counsel Perspective
    Walter Karnstein, In-House Counsel, Hewlett-Packard, Portland, OR
    In-house counsel shares what really matters to them when hiring (and firing) outside counsel.

  • Drinker Biddle’s First Year Associate Training Program: Responding to Client Demands and the ACC Value Challenge
    Scott B. Connolly, Partner, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Philadelphia, PA
    In 2009, Drinker Biddle launched an innovative training program for first year associates to improve the value of its legal services to its clients.  Now in its third year, the program has received positive feedback from clients, the ACC, and the firm’s partners and associates, and is a differentiator in the legal marketplace.

  • Wildcard
    Some topics are better left unplanned.  Given the constant changes in trends and updates in technology, this session is being saved for a last minute hot topic.  Stay tuned!