The Legal Marketing Association (LMA), an association committed to creating a global community for legal marketing and business development professionals, recently went global and launched a new region in Europe. As a result, LMA now supports a fully functioning and successful Europe Region – achieved in less than four months.
LMA has approximately 3,500 members across the United States and Canada. Its members are law firms – many of them global with a strong presence in Europe and Asia. For the past several years, a growing number of influential leaders in LMA’s community have been urging the organization to explore expansion to Europe, an underserved market with the potential for thousands of new members.
LMA transitioned from a chapter model to a regional structure in 2016 in an effort to deliver greater member value across the association. Because LMA had not yet expanded beyond its original eight regions, there was no roadmap on how to establish a new region – let alone how to do so outside of the continental U.S. In January 2021, LMA launched a task force to explore the untapped opportunity in Europe.
The Smithbucklin membership and operations client team supporting LMA developed the project plan, which was inclusive of managing the international task force made up of four stakeholder work streams. With the guidance of Smithbucklin, a Europe value proposition and regional structure was developed.
Once approved by the LMA International Board, the Smithbucklin team began determining the legal and financial implications, developing marketing collateral and messaging, training the LMA Europe Regional Governing Board, and managing a successful London launch event.
It was integral for LMA to secure buy-in from key stakeholders in both the U.S. and European markets. LMA needed individuals in the prospective market who could help spread the message, so they recruited passionate volunteers who matched the passion of the staff team. LMA found that identifying volunteers who had both the skills needed and market research to support their vision was pivotal in making the initiative successful.
In less than four months, through effective communication, best practice gathering, and client-centered service, the LMA client team achieved a fully functioning and integrated Europe Region. The LMA Europe Regional Governing Board is now made up of ten highly engaged volunteer leaders. A successful in-person, in-market launch event was held in London in November 2021 with nearly 100 attendees representing 50 individual law firms, and a virtual launch event was held the next day, with 40 attendees representing approximately 20 law firms. The board is fully functioning – and in 2022, the Europe Region is on pace to be financially self-sufficient with robust plans to host several educational and social events.
Georgie Seago is in the Corporate Marketing unit at Smithbucklin.