NYLMA Mentoring Program: Valuable Experience for All

by Kenya Jiu on September 29, 2015

Madeline O’Connor, an account executive at Hellerman Baretz Communications LLC, thought it would be helpful to her career to meet and learn from experienced leaders in the industry. So she joined the Metro New York chapter’s Mentoring program.

“As someone who’s just starting my career in legal marketing, it’s important to me to be able to discuss trends and issues with a variety of experienced individuals,” said Ms. O’Connor. “It’s been great to have someone outside of my own firm who I can bounce ideas off of and, go to for advice.”

Thanks to the Metro New York chapter’s Mentoring program, veteran LMA members are sharing their professional experience and wisdom with younger and newer LMA colleagues, such as Madeline O’Connor, to help them move their legal marketing careers forward.

Ficano Linda 2015The Mentorsing program chaired by Linda Ficano (right), Director of Business Development & Marketing at Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, and Michael Mellor, Marketing Manager at Katten Muchin Rosenman, makes available the experience of veterans of legal marketing to LMA members who are seeking advice, be it about their current work challenges, marketing and BD in general, or a position change within the industry, whether they are employed or not. The engagements are flexible, open-ended, and confidential.

There are currently 18 individuals involved in the program. Mentors meet with their mentees at least three times a year. In addition, the committee invites both mentors and mentees to attend social events for casual networking opportunities such as the Mentor/Mentee Get Together that Linda hosted at Fitzpatrick in July.

The NYLMA mentorship program offers benefits for both the mentors and mentees involved. “This program is tremendously important because when I started in this field almost 20 years ago there were very little resources for someone pursuing legal marketing,” Linda explains. “The seasoned professionals who are members of the NYLMA have a great deal to offer to those who are less experienced. As mentors, we all want to see the younger generation do well and their professional growth will improve the industry as a whole. This is an opportunity for me to give back to the legal marketing community because I always valued any support I was given throughout my career.”

The individual mentors and mentees are matched based on profiles submitted by the mentees that identify their interests, strengths, and professional objectives. A mentor is then selected who will offer the mentee a person he or she can reach out to for guidance. Many of the mentees describe the process as very straightforward and the benefits immeasurable.

Mentors not only provide a sounding board for mentees, they also offer encouragement, share knowledge and advice.

“When I heard about the mentoring program I thought it was important to take advantage of the opportunity,” explains Leora Kaplan, another account executive at Hellerman Baretz. “Having someone who can provide recommendations on how to handle certain situations is extremely beneficial.” Leora joined the program at the inaugural SIG event at the beginning of the year.

Shanicka Hubbard, Business Development Manager at Fitzpatrick, also enjoys the beneficial aspects of having direct access to a mentor who has been in the legal marketing industry for a long period time. “This is a very helpful resource for professionals who are looking to build their careers. It is such an important program for those of us looking to increase our knowledge and understanding of the industry.”

The Mentoring Committee is always looking for marketers with 5 years of experience, as well as those seeking mentoring advice. If you are interested in participating in the program, please contact Linda Ficano at 212-218-2284 or lficano@fchs.com.

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