Branding may not seem crucial to in-house lawyers, but it’s actually linked to a number of areas that are significant for legal teams. Moving the legal team to be seen as colleagues and business partners; making connections with colleagues which will help with influence and collaboration; defining the range of skills lawyers bring to the table not just technical legal skills.
By Catherine McGregor
- Think more broadly about branding. It is not just about you as an individual it can also be about your team or function. As a member of a particular team or function your actions not only brand you but also your colleagues and what you do. If you are trying to change perceptions of your broader function, think how you can work as an individual ambassador to do this. This can be significant for in-house lawyers, particularly if you are in a legal department that has suffered from negative stereotypes.
- Sometimes when trying to change our own brand. It’s as much about connecting with others. Develop active listening techniques. Show an interest in other functions. Listen to what colleagues are saying. Ask to sit in on meetings as a learning experience, not by demanding a seat at the table. You will get known as someone who is interested. As you gain more confidence, start to offer opinions and ideas. You will also be a brand ambassador for the broader legal function.
- How do you define yourself outside of your technical job role/title? Could you describe what you do in three lines without using your job title, industry, or technical achievements. What would the adjectives and verbs that you use be? Think about using these adjective and verbs to guide how you present yourself. Consider that the subtitle under your name on LinkedIn isn’t really meant to be used for your job title. Think about it as an elevator pitch for what you can do. For example: ‘Strategic idea maker; excels at big picture thinking, but also making ideas realities.’
- Your key adjectives and verbs will give you a strategy for your personal brand plan. What do want to become known for- it should not just be being a great lawyer: that’s a given. Plan and write it down- Give yourself goals and objectives and deadlines. Start slowly: liking or commenting on LinkedIn posts, sharing articles internally or externally with a comment as to why you are sharing. Build up to making your own posts, writing a blog or article, speaking on a panel discussion etc.
Dr Catherine McGregor MCMI ChMC
Consulting, Thought Leadership, Training
+44 (0) 7753 196264