The particularly-challenging nature of CEE law firm marketing becomes especially relevant as we bid adieu to a good friend in Bulgaria, who, after more than four years doing law firm marketing and business development with several of Bulgaria’s leading law firms, is leaving the profession altogether. We asked her some final questions on her last day, honoring her request for anonymity in the process.
CEELM: First, tell us a bit about your background and how you got into the law firm world.
A: I was a project manager at a venture equity company, but I had an applied legal background; I was not a lawyer but I had a great focus on law in my education, and I had prepared many legal documents as a project manager.
I was looking for diversity – for something new, for new challenges. I thought at that time the legal industry was very interesting. I thought it would provide a very dynamic environment, working with a lot of people, and a lot of projects. And It was very dynamic. Indeed, I was quickly quite overwhelmed with work. I was the only person in the business development departments at both firms I worked with, which meant all work went through me. Which is very difficult. It was very interesting, of course, and very challenging, because I participated in proposing new working procedures, new challenges, new networking challenges, and new marketing opportunities for the companies. But in terms of the unending submissions, and the frustration of trying to overcome Bulgaria’s bar restrictions, it was very frustrating, and very consuming.
CEELM: So why have you decided to move on?
A: It was just high time to leave the industry. I became very frustrated. Working with the lawyers was difficult, while trying to maintain my dignity. Of course, I value many of the relationships I was fortunate enough to develop, but whether it’s because of the stress they face, or the particular incentives, or simply the kind of characters that are attracted to the profession, I’m afraid I discovered that many of them are simply not very nice persons. And I’m afraid that non-fee earners are not persons that are much loved at law firms.
CEELM: Did you not feel that you were getting enough support?
A: With more support I would have been happier, obviously.
CEELM: It sounds like you don’t feel that you were given enough respect, ultimately.
A: Yes, exactly. That’s the right word. I didn’t feel I was receiving any real respect for the amount of work I was putting in. Still, I don’t want to be too negative. There were many parts of the job I enjoyed a great deal, including online marketing projects, helping develop and implement content strategies, participating in negotiations with clients, and creating/hosting client events.
CEELM: So what’s next for you?
A: I’ve accepted a position in a whole new industry: telecom. I will be managing telecom infrastructure projects.
We wish you the best and the CEE law firm marketing world is the worse for your departure!
This Article was originally published in Issue 5.9 of the CEE Legal Matters Magazine. If you would like to receive a hard copy of the magazine, you can subscribe here.