Leslie Valenza is a communications professional with 15 years of legal marketing experience. As a vice president at Poston Communications, she manages the development of a range of knowledge-based content for law firm and other professional services clients, from awards submissions to blog posts and bylined articles, to website copy and video scripts, along with other digital media materials.
Before joining Poston Communications, she worked for nearly 10 years at an Am Law 100 firm where she collaborated with leaders to elevate the firm’s brand in key markets and industries as the manager of media relations.
Prior to that role, Leslie worked at a strategic communications firm.
Leslie is a member of the Legal Marketing Association’s Mid-Atlantic Region Newsletter Committee. She has volunteered for a range of nonprofit organizations, including the American Cancer Society, RaiseAChild and the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival, for which she led the organization’s first East Coast event.
She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and daughters.
Learn more about Leslie in this Women Who Wow profile and connect with her on LinkedIn.
Why did you choose your profession?
Growing up, I didn’t have a personal connection to the public relations or legal marketing fields, but I was lucky enough to have a journalism teacher who selected me to be our high school’s communications liaison.
In this role, I published a biweekly column in a local paper sharing school news and announcements. This experience sparked an interest in communications and paved the way for me to earn a bachelor’s degree in public relations. After a series of internships, I landed my first job at a PR and crisis communications firm, where I was introduced to legal marketing.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love storytelling and boiling down complicated information into useful, digestible points that benefit a target audience. A story is like a puzzle, and we have to identify the pieces that might be most helpful to editors judging awards submissions or corporate legal departments reading client alerts, as examples.
Ultimately, great storytellers demonstrate through concise messaging why audiences should care about an issue. Whatever the project – be it a PR pitch or a piece of content – our goal is to ensure it’s useful. For example, if an attorney or law firm wants to raise its profile by writing an award submission, we pinpoint elements of the story that would most resonate with the editors or judges.
Sometimes lawyers may be uncomfortable talking about their achievements, or firms may struggle to distinguish their experiences from competitors’ practices. There’s an art to uncovering the details that best demonstrate those strengths, and that part of the process is particularly rewarding.
Any advice to young women about succeeding in the workplace?
Be teachable and open to helping with all kinds of projects. Gaining a range of experience – from handling administrative tasks to stepping up to manage a project – will grow your skillset early in your career. Doing so will position you as a helpful, adaptable team player, and you will discover what work you enjoy most.
At Poston, we have a saying that “we live in a constant state of improvement,” and that’s a value that any young woman in legal marketing could adapt.
What do you wish you could tell your younger self?
While no one workplace is perfect, it’s important to find a supportive team that encourages you to trying new things and embrace new experiences. If there’s a silver lining to the pandemic, it’s that many employers are hiring remote workers, which creates new opportunities.
I’m lucky to have benefited from that development when I joined Poston after it became a distributed team in 2020. We are now able to recruit talent from across the United States, which has allowed us to diversify in clients and in our service offerings.
Copyright © 2022, Stefanie M. Marrone. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 33