Legal Industry News: Law Firm Awards, Lawyer Moves Across the Industry and Legal Marketing Updates and Opportunities
Law Firm Awards and Recognition
Womble Bond Dickinson was named a Best Place to Work for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer workplace equality, earning a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for the seventh year in a row. The CEI is a benchmarking survey administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that measures LGBTQ workplace equality policies and practices.
“Diverse, inclusive workplaces are better equipped to serve 21st Century clients and compete in the global marketplace. It’s no coincidence that many of our clients also were named to the Corporate Equality Index,” said Merrick Benn, Co-Chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee. “Striving for equality and inclusivity is good business—and it’s also just the right thing to do.”
Perkins Coie also received a top rating of 100 percent from the CEI survey, earning them a spot on the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality for the 13th year in a row. Additionally, the firm also achieved Mansfield 3.0 Certification Plus from Diversity Lab in 2020 for its commitment to recruit women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ attorneys, and attorneys with disabilities.
“We’re truly honored to be recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for our enduring LGBTQ+ initiatives and practices which are critical to the success of our inclusive workplace and culture for all our attorneys and staff,” said Genhi Givings Bailey, Perkins Coie’s chief diversity and inclusion officer. “While we know we have more work to do, we remain fiercely committed to building on our record of diversity and inclusion progress.”
Labor and employment law firm Fisher Phillips also achieved a top rating of 100 percent from the CEI survey and were included on the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality list. Fisher Philips said that it ensures both domestic partner benefits and transgender-inclusive health care benefits, in addition to supporting national LGBTQ+ events such as Lavender Law.
“It is an honor to be recognized for our commitment to LGBTQ equality and inclusion,” said Roger Quillen, Chairman and Managing Partner of Fisher Phillips. “We continue to recruit, hire, develop, retain, and promote the best attorneys regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, backgrounds, and viewpoints. As an employment firm, we operate under the belief that diversity and inclusion strengthens our ability to serve clients with an assortment of viewpoints and critical insights about the legal issues they are facing in the workplace.”
Ward and Smith launched its new staff internship program in January aimed at increasing diversity in staff positions, including positions such as paralegals, office service assistants and legal administrative assistants.
To launch the internship program, Ward and Smith partnered with Durham Tech, Pitt Community College, Hillside High School in Durham, South Central High School in Greenville and West Craven High School in New Bern.
"An essential part of maximizing our firm's effectiveness is creating an environment that allows people of different backgrounds, views, and ideas to work together," said Michael Christman, the firm's Director of Human Resources. "We decided to be more strategic about our staff recruiting process by creating opportunities, like the staff internship program, to attract a broader range of talent."
The Deals named Jenifer Smith, a partner and co-chair of the Emerging Growth and Venture Capital practice at DLA Piper, to its 2020 Top Women in Dealmaking list. Smith is one of 48 women on the list, which recognizes women attorneys that are shattering the glass ceiling in M&A sphere and making a difference in the corporate world.
In her practice, Smith focuses on strategic and corporate governance issues, compliance with securities laws and SEC disclosure requirements and serves as an outside corporate counsel to public and private companies.
Law Firm Moves
Gabriel Silva has joined Vinson & Elkins as a partner in New York. His practice focuses on M&A and private equity in the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Asia with a focus on the digital infrastructure sector. Silva is the fourth attorney with a specialization in Latin America to join the firm in New York over the past two years. Previously, Silva was a partner at Linklaters in New York and São Paulo.
“Gabriel is one of the leading young M&A partners in New York, with a strong blend of digital infrastructure, Latin America and general private equity experience,” said Keith Fullenweider, co-head of the firm’s Corporate Department. “His practice fits beautifully with our platform, including our leading infrastructure practice. We have also invested recently in adding experienced lawyers with strong connections and deal experience in Latin America, which Gabriel will certainly enhance.”
Silva earned his Brazilian law degree from Pontifcia Universidade Catlica de São Paulo, and a specialization degree in Brazilian Corporate Law from Fundao Getlio Vargas de São Paulo. He also has an LL.M. degree from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
Arent Fox selected Partner Anthony V. Lupo as the fourth Chair in the firm’s 79-year history, succeeding Mark M. Katz as part of a planned transition. Lupo began his career at Arent Fox in 1995, serving on the Executive Committee since 2002, as co-leader of the Intellectual Property department, and as leader of the Fashion & Retail and Media & Entertainment industry groups.
“I have worked with Tony for more than 20 years, and his incredible enthusiasm for the work, the firm, and our clients is second to none,” said Cristina A. Carvalho, firmwide Managing Partner. “As our new Chair, he will bring his excellent business sense to clients in every industry we serve.”
Lathrop GPM named Kate Tompkins as the leader of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group, marking the first time a business professional was selected for a top leadership role of a practice group at Lathrop GPM. Tompkins joined the group in 2015, helping grow the firm’s Boston office. She has over 25 years of professional services experience. Previously, she served as a Director of Practice Management.
“Kate’s expansive knowledge of our firm’s IP clients, partners, and processes makes her ideally situated to lead our Intellectual Property Practice Group,” said managing partner Cameron Garrison.
Katherine M. Katchen joined the Managed Care + Employee Benefits Litigation Group at the Philadelphia office of Robinson+Cole, bringing more than 20 years of litigation experience in the areas of managed care and insurance law.
Specifically, Katchen’s practice focuses on health insurers, managed care companies, and insurers and third-party administrators in state and federal actions around the country.
“We are pleased to welcome Kate, an experienced litigator, to our growing Philadelphia office,” said Stephen E. Goldman, Managing Partner, Robinson+Cole. “Her broad ranging litigation experience provides depth to our litigation capabilities in the Mid-Atlantic region, and her experience in managed care and employee benefits litigation will be a great complement to our existing vibrant practice. The addition of Kate is another step in the execution of our Strategic Plan of building on our strengths and expanding our capabilities in our major metropolitan geographies.”
Legal Marketing News and Opportunities
fSquaredMarketing released Legal Marketing Trends 2021, annual analysis of what Legal Marketers might expect over the next 12 months. While 2020 was a rollercoaster and predictions for 2021 are a fraught proposition, fSquared Marketing provided insights from leaders and legal marketers across the industry, on topics such as Crisis Communications, Google’s Core Web Vitals updates, the rise of digital accessibility and the increasing importance and emphasis on meaningful diversity and inclusion. While 2020 was challenging in multiple ways for the legal industry, in many ways the pandemic accelerated the adoption of technologies in the legal industry, creating opportunities. For example, Jennifer Whittier, President of ContactEase points out that the transition to targeted, purposeful client communication necessary in 2020 creates an opportunity to “build a business case for CRM, reintroduce the need for targeted and strategic outreach, and increase engagement among lawyers and clients.”
Learn more here about the fSquared Marketing Legal Marketing Trends 2021.
Good2BSocial recently announced the launch of its Good2BSocial Academy, designed to provide legal marketing and business development training for marketing, business development and communication professionals at law firms on demand. With the goal of enhancing the understanding of digital technologies in a law firm/legal marketing context, this course features multiple courses with webinars, podcasts and certifications. A unique learning dashboard provides access to the materials created by Good2BSocial over the years on topics ranging from online advertising to marketing automation to account-based marketing, and many more critical areas. Courses are helmed by industry experts, with real world lessons and built-in takeaways, all neatly organized on an easy to navigate site.
Guy Alvarez cites the positive feedback on their live Digital Marketing Certification course as an impetus to creating the Academy. He says, “It was a natural next step to create a robust, organized offering that is flexible and accessible to anyone who’s interested in taking their practice and career to the next level.”
Learn more about the Good2BSocial Academy at https://academy.good2bsocial.com
What’s New with the National Law Review
The National Law Review started off 2021 with a bang--after taking a minute to look over the details from 2020, we saw that our main website had over 25 million views over 2020, a 258% YOY increase from 2019 and 54 million impressions overall on all owned properties. Eilene Spear of the National Law Review, spoke with Guy Alvarez of Good2BSocial on the LegalMarketing 2.0 podcast about this uptick in traffic, you can listen to the interview for more details. Additionally, Eilene Spear and Guy Alvarez are teaming up to present a webinar on SEO Lessons Learned from The COVID-19 Pandemic, to extrapolate on some of the SEO takeaways from 2020. The webinar is complimentary, and will be held on February 16.
Building on this success, NLR staff members presented a three-part webinar series with McDougall Interactive, drawing out how to create an SEO strategy in 2021. Jennifer Schaller, Billy Thieme and Rachel Popa all contributed their expertise to the webinar series. In Part 1 Schaller focused on Content Marketing strategies for 2021. In part 2, Billy Thieme explained SEO principles and illuminated some of the most cirtical SEO strategies. Rachel Popa discussed best practices in Podcasting, and how to get the most out of a video series or a podcast. That’s the news for now, but there is much more on the horizon.