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Spotlight: Julie Gurney, Benesch

We talk to an expert about entering the Chicago market.

At Page 2, we understand and value the crucial role marketing directors play in helping law firms articulate and communicate their brand to the marketplace. Today, we want to introduce you to one of the best, Julie Gurney, Director of Marketing and Communications at Benesch. Julie is responsible for the overall strategy, daily management and implementation of global strategic communications for this powerhouse firm, which recently opened an office in Chicago. We wanted to hear more from Julie on her strategy for getting the word out. Welcome, Julie!

Q: Benesch made a big splash when it entered the Chicago market. How did you tailor your communications strategy to Chicago in particular, and which efforts were most effective in helping to introduce the firm?

A: I think (as you suggested, Deb) a “steady drum beat” of information being released to the media about the firm—whether it’s a new attorney joining, or a new practice area, or an award we’ve won—having our name out there consistently has been the most effective approach. Also getting the firm involved with women’s and diversity programs in Chicago has helped raised our profile.

Q: Benesch takes a thoughtful approach to recruiting and retention—how do you spread the word about what makes Benesch different from other firms, without that information getting lost in the noise?

A: We offer an attractive platform for lawyers coming from “Big Law.” Our rates are much more competitive than the AmLaw 100, which clients love, and lawyers have the opportunity to be “big fish in a smaller pond.” We devote a plethora of marketing and business development resources to our lateral attorneys. So, essentially, we offer all the expertise and sophistication of a “Big Law” firm at a much better value, which is attractive for clients and thus our recruits.

Our Managing Partner, Gregg Eisenberg, is deeply involved in our recruiting process, which I think is different than many other firms. He is constantly meeting with folks and texting them and calling them—and I think it helps our recruiting efforts when recruits know how important they will be to Gregg personally and to the firm.

Q: What kind of marketing support is most effective for younger partners working to build their books of business?

A: I think getting involved in community and “extra-curricular” activities is hugely important. Meeting other professionals who may eventually be clients or referrals and building trust and rapport with them before they are in a position to choose legal counsel is key.

Thank you, Julie, for sharing your insights with us. Keep up the great work at Benesch.