“I’m a solo marketer at a small firm and I’m hungry for the ‘big law’ experience. What do I need to be aware of with this career move?”
I love working with solo marketing and BD professionals who come from smaller firms. Why? They are typically resourceful, relationship-minded and client-centric professionals. They have also had to be solutions-focused in an environment with minimal marketing and BD leadership, and with little to no resources under and around them.
But I find some of the small firm solo marketing professionals in my network feel that they may not have what it takes to go up against their bigger firm peers. And yet, many big law firms seek out skills unique to smaller firm candidates.
There are certainly pros and cons to working in both small and large firms. As an eternal optimist, I focus on the pros, but I am aware of the cons. After this, my best advice to the solo marketers seeking a bigger firm is to leverage the things that make you different to your competition (not the things that make you the same). Firms like different. They embrace that perspective and seek it out. And, if you are a great cultural fit for them, then it often does not matter what size of firm you are coming from.
As a person who spent her early years in smaller firms before also getting hungry to work in the bigger firms, consider this as you contemplate your ‘big law’ move:
Kate Harry Shipham is the Principal of KHS People LLC, an executive search firm for BD and marketing people in professional services firms. Kate has done search and recruiting for nine years and prior to that was an attorney.