I’ve been working in legal technology before it was even a thing.
Over the past 20 years, the field of legal digital marketing has taken off and become a legitimate business need.
As the legal world has become more competitive, the need to keep pace the business world requires law firms to have strong digital marketing talent.
The business of law
To put myself through law school, I worked weekends at large law firm handling every job imaginable: filing, moving offices, answering phones, researching, and delivering mail along with lunch.
Plus, during one spring break, I spent the entire week dinking around on Prodigy–I was fascinated. I know I’m dating myself but it gives you a sense where the industry was when I was in law school.
While I was studying for the bar and waiting on my results, I helped the firm to build their first electronic filing system. I wasn’t yet a programmer but worked closely with the developer to design the system. I soon realized I needed to learn code so I wouldn’t get the wool pulled over my eyes.
It was also during this time was when I learned to run a business and realized that I preferred the “business of law” rather than the practice of law.
E-discovery, chat rooms and server rooms
After passing the bar, I practiced family law then expanded into plaintiffs law. Leaps in technology saw the advent of using technology to perform discovery and document production. I was also considering the impact of the ethics rules on AOL chat rooms.
Then life veered again when I moved directly into technology. Cloistered in a server room, I developed training and marketing material for an e-commerce site. Mostly, I remember how cold the room was and that no one had any pens or pencils at their desk. Why would they–I was surrounded by programmers.
Graphic, digital and web design
At that time, few people knew how to use PhotoShop, Illustrator or PowerPoint, which made me more marketable.
Lured back into law to work as a graphics designer, I worked at a white shoe firm. Not only handling their graphics, I designed their intranet and built their web site. The developer hired to build the site disagreed with the design and refused to build it. So I learned how to code and built it myself, winning a nice award in the process.
Project management, social media and online advertising
Websites, microsites, blogs, online advertising, social media are just the front-end of the projects that I’ve managed. Yes, graphics are a part of the project but the most enjoyable part of my job is the intricacy of navigating through the multiple systems that drive the sites.
Like embroidery, websites are beautifully patterned images made from thousands of multicolored strands of code. The front is beautiful. The back-end; well, I strive for neatness.
I enjoy my job immensely and think I have the best of several worlds: the law, technology and marketing.
Who would have imagined I would have ended up here?
Thanks again, Robert, and kudos to all women who work in legal.