We are a 25 lawyer insurance defense firm in Northwest Dallas. We are managed by a managing partner, firm administrator, and director of human resources. We have been discussing the need for a marketing director. Are we too small? If we decide to hire one what should we be looking for and where should we start our search?
There is no magic size. I have seen five lawyer firms effectively use a marketing director and thirty lawyer firms that do not have one. It all comes down to your firm's specific need, what you are wanting to accomplish, and what the lawyers are willing to let a marketing director do.
While the popular title is marketing director, director of client and business development, etc. some marketing staff in smaller firms often function more as marketing coordinators and event planners. If you are looking for someone to help the firm devise a competitive strategy, lead the firm's strategic planning effort, help diversify the practice, etc., you need to look for an experienced marketing director with five plus year's experience in law or other professional service firm marketing at a director level.
If you need someone to update the website, write bios, write blogs, update social media, create brochures, and plan and coordinate events - you may only need a marketing manager or coordinator with excellent writing skills. Prior experience in law or professional service firm marketing is a plus but not required. Journalism and mass communications are popular degrees for this position.
The Legal Marketing Association (LMA) is an excellent source for finding candidates. Here is a link to the LMA job bank
John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC