How do you find a good match between a law firm’s need for specialized marketing expertise and a marketer who can adapt to their unique demands?
This question comes up from time to time, so it’s time for an answer. First, a disclaimer: we work with law firms, so we direct a lot of content to them. And we are not recruiters. However, most of the CMO2Go team worked in-house for decades.
We’ve found that it’s often far more disruptive for the person who joins a law firm’s marketing department to discover that it’s not a fit than the other way around.
So – here are a few questions that we asked when interviewing (or that wish we had asked):
- What are the firm’s top marketing priorities over the next few years? (And be prepared to talk about how those priorities line up with your experience, assuming they do.)
- How do the internal clients (mostly the partners, but there are others) like to work with the marketing team? With someone in the position you’re interviewing for?
- Ask people at the firm to describe the firm’s marketing culture – do the partners believe in the firm’s marketing strategy and tactics?
- What are some examples of when partners were not necessarily on board with marketing priorities? How did that affect or influence the marketing team or direction of marketing?
- Does the firm have a marketing partner or marketing committee? How does that person or group work together with the marketing team?
- How do the various segments of the marketing team work together? Are there any places where the team doesn’t see eye to eye and if yes, how is that addressed?
- When you meet other people in marketing, you may want to ask what they learned on the job about the firm that they wish they had known earlier.
When you interview, try to meet a bunch of the staff and lawyers you’d be working with – not just the interviewer. Their answers will tell you a lot about what their values and priorities are, and how you fit into that. If you meet only one or two people, you may not get as full a picture as you’d like before making a career decision.
Everybody you meet doesn’t have to be in agreement. But you do want to have enough of the people rowing in the same direction.
What other questions would you add to this list?