Featuring Sally Schmidt, President at Schmidt Marketing, Inc.
In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re spotlighting a woman law firm leader achieving success for her firm and making progress toward equality in the workplace. We caught up with Sally Schmidt, president of Schmidt Marketing, Inc. and founder of LMA, to discuss her career journey and aspirations.
How did you get started with LMA, and what do you get out of it?
When I was hired for a marketing position in a law firm, my lawyers and I thought I was the only person in the country in that role. Soon after, I read an article written by a marketer from another law firm. I contacted her, as did about 15 other in-house marketing people working in law firms around the country. We got together in San Francisco and decided to start a national organization, which became LMA.
I’ve gotten so much from LMA: friendships, information, professional development, leadership opportunities, visibility and business. Now, as a long-time member, I am also enjoying taking on the role of a mentor.
What do you like most about your role?
I enjoy the relationships I develop. Every firm is different; every lawyer or marketer is different. By really understanding the firm, the people and the situation, I can become a trusted advisor and often a friend. It’s fun and intellectually rewarding to figure out the best path forward for a given client.
The legal industry is still challenging for women lawyers and marketing professionals. I advocate for them in a number of ways…
Women have made significant progress in the last year toward equality in the workplace. How do you advocate for your fellow women in the legal space?
The legal industry is still challenging for women lawyers and marketing professionals. I advocate for them in a number of ways: by seeking out great women for opportunities; by being a cheerleader for them as they take on new roles and responsibilities; and, probably most importantly, by coaching them on how to address difficult issues, many times involving resources, credit or opportunities, in a business-like fashion.
What are some specific initiatives you are most proud of?
I am most proud of the outcomes I help clients achieve that make a real difference: helping a law firm save a client relationship through the process of gathering feedback; coaching a lawyer to double his book of business and become an equity partner; working with a marketer to build support to hire staff.; and connecting people to resources that make their jobs or lives easier. I’ve always been results oriented, and initiatives like these give me the most satisfaction.
Sally Schmidt is President of Schmidt Marketing, Inc. in Edina, Minnesota, offering marketing services to law firms. The company’s consulting clients have included over 450 law firms throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, New Zealand and Australia, ranging in size from two to over three thousand attorneys.
Schmidt was a founder and the first President of the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) (formerly called NALFMA). In 1994, she was inducted as a Fellow into the inaugural class of the College of Law Practice Management. In 2007, Schmidt was inducted into the Legal Marketing Association’s first Hall of Fame and was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award.