A lawyer's personal brand is essential to the livelihood of a law firm, according to entrepreneur and lawyer Chrissie Lightfoot.
This will be the key message of Lightfoot's presentation at the 2011 Australian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) Summit this Friday (16 September) and Saturday (17 September).
Lightfoot will explain how lawyers can create a niche for themselves and devise an effective personal brand that dovetails into their firm's brand.
"Traditionally, people say brand is all about the entity. I challenge that because brand is actually the people. The 'Brand Me' is the oxygen to the lifeblood of a company, which is the 'Brand Firm'," said Lightfoot when interviewed by Lawyers Weekly.
"It's people that attract the business, not the firm."
Lightfoot, a solicitor-turned chief executive officer of EntrepreneurLawyer and author of The Naked Lawyer, generated and referred £562,000 ($860,000) of new client legal work enquiries in her final year as a trainee solicitor (during the 2009 recession) and says building a personal brand is critical given the changing role of a lawyer.
"I'm taking a practical approach. If I was able to do it then you are. There's nothing special about me ... It's [about] a paradigm shift in thinking about what a lawyer's role is," she said. "It's more of a paradigm shift looking at innovation."
At the summit, Lightfoot will also address issues such as building lawyers' emotional intelligence and using social media to build personal brand.
Other speakers at the two-day summit include Deloitte Australia's national partner of people and performance, Alex Bashinsky, chief executive officer of Maddocks, David Rennick, managing partner of Cooper Grace Ward, Chris Ward, and the founder of Do Something! and Planet Ark, Jon Dee.