Facilitation, Training and Coaching
Strategic Planning, Business
Development, Process Improvement, Project Management, and Organizational Development for Competitive Advantages
Catherine Alman MacDonagh, JD is a former corporate counsel and successful law firm executive. With FIRM Guidance, she
offers strategic planning, marketing, business development and process improvement (Lean Sigma) consulting services with
a particular focus on the legal profession. Her unique combination of experiences allows her to deliver FIRM Guidance with
diplomatic but straightforward and practical advice that considers the sometimes competing perspectives and interests of client,
firm, department, administrators, practitioners, and consultants, as well as organizational goals and culture.
Catherine is known for her inclusive approach to strategic planning and change management,
for devising and delivering innovative training programs and workshops, and for leading groundbreaking and first-to-market
initiatives, particularly in relation to firm/client relationships, associates, women lawyers, client development, and process
improvement. She believes in creating an enjoyable environment while focusing seriously on work, using flip charts and
lots of sticky notes, experiential learning, and developing and working with high functioning teams.
My pledge is to provide practical
and straightforward advice without using a lot of "consultant speak." Whether we are working on strategic planning,
organizational structuring, marketing or business development, I strive to provide
coaching clients, audiences, and workshop or training participants with engaging, productive experiences that deliver
a substantial return on their (and the organization's) investment.
My primary focus is the legal profession, though I enjoy working with different types of organizations. Things are
changing, but when I went to law school, there were no courses that taught me how to stucture or manage a law firm or legal
department. No one discussed the difference between marketing and business development or taught me how to grow (not to mention
improve) my business.
Now, having been both an inhouse lawyer/client and a law firm marketing and business development professional, I am
particularly passionate about using my experience to help those in the legal profession. There are ways of getting, doing,
and delivering work (and service) in ways that provide value to all. My approach is always tailored to meet the needs of clients, since a "one size fits all" approach is ineffective. Regardless, my role is to facilitate the development of
critical new skills by lawyers and the business professionals who work with them so that they can achieve their (not my) goals.
At this point, it should be clear that
having a strategy, selling and project management skills, and highly efficient processes are not luxuries. Rather, they are
never suggest that any person fundamentally changes who she or he is or ever be disingenuous - it's critical for people
to be authentic in forging and furthering relationships. I also won't recommend engaging in activities that people find terrifying
or excruciating or spending a lot of time working on weaknesses, since I believe
in working with each organization's, group's and/or individual's unique strengths and interests.
I do ask for a commitment to continuous development,
improvement, and growth. This, by definition, means constantly stretching beyond comfort zones, trying new things, and
learning from failures and successes. As with any learned activity, new skills require practice and only become second
nature with repetition, consistent effort, and coaching.
Developing competitive advantages is serious and challenging work. It can also
be the greatest, most enjoyable professional experience; as such, I always endeavor
to deliver services and programs that are highly relevant, experiential, immediately useful, practical, and entertaining (I
have theater and improv experience and I think it shows).
People learn and contribute more when they
are fully engaged, enjoying the experience, and having fun!
"A dynamic speaker who kept us
engaged and, more importantly, delivered useful information and important, serious messages with a great sense of humor, timing
"It is so much easier to be trained and coached by
a lawyer who was a corporate counsel and has worked with so many lawyers in firms – she gets it! My practice has really
grown. And so have I – she is terrific.”
"Catherine MacDonagh was very knowledgeable … and made the time fly by with
great tips that I can and will use.”
"Catherine MacDonagh made this (conference)
for me. She was just great and I’m so glad we had her talk about personal marketing skills!”
"What was exemplary (about a day long retreat) was Catherine MacDonagh.”
“Well worth the
time and money.”
Lean Six Sigma for Law FirmsAny law firm interested in creating a successful shift to modern management methods, should set about
acquiring this book -Phillip
I applaud Catherine in creating this primer on process
improvement - It is critically needed by our profession. -Tom Sager, Former Sr. VP and General Council, Du Pont Legal
The Law Firm Associate's Guide
to Personal Marketing and Selling Skills
MacDonagh and Cuzzone ably demystify marketing
and selling for associates by breaking the process down into straightforward, commonsense steps. This slim volume is crammed
with tips and advice that are sure to rev up even the most reluctant associate’s marketing metabolism. — Cherie W. Olland, Global Director of Business Development and Communications, Jones Day
The authors have delivered wonderful content for an undeserved firm and industry need: associate
business development training. By explaining marketing and sales - and even more important, how they work together - this
book gives lawyers a framework for client driven success. Well done. — Ed Schechter,
Chief Marketing Officer, Duane Morris LLP
Attorneys looking to earn more, build more,
and close more — regardless of tenure — will find this book invaluable! —
John Klymshyn, President, The Business Generator Inc. and author
gets this training in law school or in continuing education programs, yet every lawyer needs it to survive in a professional
services world where every client is coveted. Lawyers can also find ways to connect with their most desired client partners
through use of careful questioning, dynamic listening and individualized techniques that will make every client feel special.
— John O. Cunningham, Esq., Former General Counsel, Pizzeria Uno, law and business
If you are the average law firm associate, developing personal
marketing and selling skills is like starting an exercise program: you know you should do it but you’d just as soon
put it off for another day. The Guide offers solid practical advice that will nicely complement a law firm’s existing
associate development program and that will serve as a powerful tool in the firm’s marketing and business development
arsenal. — Kathleen B. Patton, Director of Professional Development, Brown Rudnick
The book is pure gold… I have seen no better roadmap, done in such a succinct and practical
way than this 115 page book… Every law firm in the country should buy it for their associates as a sign of their commitment
to professional development (and their desire to retain them). -Holly Lentz Kleeman,
Lentz Productions, Senior Marketing Manager, Duane Morris, LLP
The Woman Lawyer's Rainmaking Game
Women Lawyer's Rainmaking Game] drills down on the gender issues that make it difficult for women to take control of their
markeitn efforts but which, it utilized, make women particularly effective. In addition to providing practiceal steps for
building your business, [the] book underscores the importance of being straight-forward and confident in your approach to
building those trust relationships which endure and prosper." - Margaret T. Brueener, Partner, Schirmeister
book give practical advice that you can actually implement. The authors break down the process into small, baby steps, so
you are never afraid to get started. And they provide a variety of recommendations to suit a variety of personalities."
- Denise DeFranco, Senior Partner
"[This is] a highly readable book filled with informaiton that only an experienced
and successful practiioner could impart. It is an important book for those who are new to business development and to experienced
rainmakers as well. This book should be required reading for anyone who needs to undersand and master the art of rainmaking."
- Shelly Canter, Ph.D.
Strategic Planning and Individual Business Planning
Facilitation, development, refinement and/or execution of strategic, business and client acquisition/development
plans for Boards of Directors, Executive/Management Committees, Practice Groups, and Client Teams. Values workshops, SWOT
Analyses, Stakeholder Analyses, strategic goal setting and prioritization, talent acquisition and retention.
Develop overall program
either for or in collaboration with firm. Conduct client interviews and present findings.
Management, Department, Practice Groups, Partner, Associate, Women Lawyers, and other groups.
Business Development Coaching
Practice group or individuals.
Management/Executive level coaching.
Training Programs and Workshops - Sample topics
- Introduction to marketing and business development
- The client lifecycle (from the service provider’s perspective)
- Buyer personality types
- Communication styles
- Creating Your Plan
- Your Elevator Speech
- Communicating Your Plan and Moving from Planning to Action
- Networking Skills / The Mocktail
- Successful Client Meeting
- High Performing Client Teams
Myers-Briggs Type IndexOnline evaluation
followed by training session and explanation of results by individual and/or team. With a proven record of reliability spanning more than 50 years, the MBTI offers a foundation for
understanding individual differences and applying that understanding to the ways people think, communicate, and interact.
The MBTI assessment is used to develop the participants’ understanding and abilities in such areas as communication,
team building, leadership, and business/client development.
Individual, confidential coaching is
where the practical application of learning, accountability to self, and real progress takes place. It is
provided for the purpose of ensuring follow up and assisting each individual in: the creation and implementation of an actionable
plan, learning how to overcome obstacles, realizing successes, leveraging strengths and acknowledging weaknesses,
and developing both personally and professionally.
Proud to support
More about Catherine:
- A Legal Lean Sigma® Black Belt and a certified Six Sigma Green Belt, Catherine is
the CEO and Co-Founder of the Legal Lean Sigma® Institute, which provides consulting services, workshops, and the first process improvement programs and certification courses specifically
designed for the legal profession.
- Catherine developed
and is Chief Enthusiasm Officer of the Mocktails LLC, which offers both The Mocktail™ and the Legal Mocktail™, experiential networking training programs.
- She’s is also a Co-Founder of the Legal Sales and Service Organization. LSSO is exclusively focused on sales, service excellence, and process improvement and presents the annual LSSO’s RainDance Conference™. Catherine directed LSSO’s pioneering research, Women Lawyers: Sales and Business Development Issues in
2004 as well as LSSO’s 2008 Women Lawyers Study. She currently serves on the International Board of the Legal Marketing
- Adjunct professor at Suffolk
University Law School and at George Washington University (Masters in Law Firm Management program).
- She frequently publishes articles and is a highly rated speaker for the Association
of Legal Administrators, the Legal Marketing Association, the Legal Sales and Service Association, among others.
- Honors and awards Catherine has received include: Elected Fellow, College of Law Practice
Management, Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, two years on the prestigious MLF 50 (Marketing
the Law Firm Top 50) List, and several Legal Marketing Association Your Honor Awards.
Read more about Catherine Alman MacDonagh at Legal Lean Sigma Institute, The Legal Mocktail, The Mocktail, RainmakingGame.com, and Legal Sales and Service Organization.