Growing Ranks of Spin-off Law Firms Get Marketing Support from LIFTOFF LAW

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In the last year, over 110 partners left AmLaw 200 law firms to start or join small legal practices. According to figures reported by The American Lawyer, the number of partners migrating to boutiques grew by more than 50% in 2009. To address their needs, eight senior marketing and business development specialists have joined forces to form LIFTOFF LAW llc. LIFTOFF provides turnkey business development and marketing support to BigLaw spin-offs, new boutiques, virtual law firms and traditional firms engaged in new initiatives.

Our model is aimed at getting in, getting the job done and getting out of the way

In the last year, over 110 partners left AmLaw 200 law firms to start or join small legal practices. According to figures reported by The American Lawyer, the number of partners migrating to boutiques grew by more than 50% in 2009. After separating themselves from the costs and overhead of larger law firms, these spin-off practices seek to provide clients with the same high-quality services, at lower costs, and with greater flexibility.

While entrepreneurial lawyers are often met with appreciative clients, they are simultaneously faced with the daunting task--foreign to many--of marketing their new firms. To address their needs, eight senior marketing and business development specialists have joined forces to form LIFTOFF LAW llc. LIFTOFF provides turnkey business development and marketing support to BigLaw spin-offs, new boutiques, virtual law firms and traditional firms engaged in new initiatives.

"Entrepreneurs leaving larger firms need to get their message out quickly and effectively to clients," said Wendy Horn, founder of LIFTOFF. "What they don't need is the bureaucracy and fixed costs that hampered their ability to provide nimble, affordable client service in their old firm."

To provide turnkey launch services, LIFTOFF taps into a small group of highly regarded legal industry experts. The team includes Duo Consulting (websites and internet strategy), Hellerman Baretz Communications (media and PR), Hildebrandt Baker Robbins (client development training/coaching) and zunpartners (corporate image/design).

LIFTOFF's partners have all worked at or for major national firms and all have developed, launched and managed their own business initiatives. Notes Silvia Coulter of Hildebrandt, "We've all walked the same path that many legal entrepreneurs are starting down today, and with our combined background, we can set them up for long-term success."

"Our model is aimed at getting in, getting the job done and getting out of the way," added Bill Ferdinand of zunpartners. "What we'll leave behind is a strong structure that's easy to manage, adaptable and allows the firm to focus on its top priorities: serving clients and growing their business."

LIFTOFF resources include:

  • Business planning, marketing strategy and project coordination by Wendy Horn (Minneapolis), LIFTOFF's founder. With 25 years' experience, Wendy is a veteran professional services marketer. She was CMO for two AmLaw 100 firms, ran a global legal network for a decade and pioneered the in-house marketing function for two international accounting firms.
  • Business development coaching by Hildebrandt Baker Robbins' Client Growth and Development Practice. Silvia Coulter (Boston), a Vice President, was formerly CMO for two global law firms and has 25 years' experience in business development education, coaching and training. Jim Cranston (Orange County), also a Vice President, was previously a business development executive with Price Waterhouse, Arthur Andersen and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw. He has 20 years' experience teaching sales skills to partners.
  • Targeted PR campaigns by Hellerman Baretz Communications. John Hellerman (DC), named "2008 Agency Executive of the Year" by PR News, helps attorneys and their clients manage their high-stakes litigation PR needs. Spencer Baretz (NY), called a "communications expert" by The American Lawyer, helps law firms develop new business by positioning partners as subject matter experts in the media.
  • Corporate identity projects by zunpartners. CEO Bill Ferdinand (Chicago) has 19 years' experience creating and launching visual brands for professional services firms, including Deloitte, Arthur Andersen and Baker & McKenzie.
  • Website development by Duo Consulting. Sonny Cohen, Director of Internet Strategy (Chicago) has 30 years' experience as an internet marketing specialist helping law firms create, organize and manage their websites, including search engine optimization, pay per click search, email marketing, blog strategy and strategic social media marketing.
  • Newsletters, pitch materials, practice descriptions and attorney bios by David Alan Moore (Chicago), a legal and business writer. With an MBA in International Finance, his writing clients include six of the NLJ Top 50 law firms.

For more information, visit LIFTOFF-LAW.com

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Wendy F. Horn
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