More than half of the lawyers that are signed up to attend my upcoming Legal Marketing Academy are bringing their wives with them. The wives won’t be sight seeing at Pike Place Market or the Space Needle while they are in Seattle. They will be actively participating in the academy with the idea of becoming the law firm’s marketing director.
I am the director of operations and marketing at my husband’s law firm. Ever since I started speaking at legal marketing conferences almost 10 years ago, I have sought to inspire other spouses to support their partner’s law practice. No one will ever care about your law firm’s marketing strategy as much as you will—except someone else who directly benefits from the firm’s financial success.
Back in 2007 I decided to start working with my husband to help manage and grow his law practice. Lots of people warned me that spouses should not work together—they said it would be difficult and strain the marriage. I have found the opposite to be true. Here are just a few of the reasons why.
Since we started working together both our personal and professional goals have come into complete alignment. We are working together to set the goals. We are working together to achieve them. It’s no longer “his law practice” and “my career”—it’s “our life” and “our business”. We are a team.
My husband knows how hard I work every day. When we started working together he started helping out more at home and with the kids—I LOVE that. Personal responsibilities are shared more evenly now. And together we decided to outsource some home services such as house cleaning, laundry and landscaping. We eat out some but also use a meal delivery service. Our home environment is far more relaxing than it used to be.
Working together has made it much easier to carve out vacation and family time—because we work at the same office and I don’t’ have to adhere to an employer’s paid time off policy.
Since we each know how hard the other works, we are more understanding; and are more aware of what may be creating stress for our partner.
We spend so much more time together than before! When I worked at Microsoft, curing the work week we spent about 30 minutes together in the morning. And perhaps only 2 or 3 waking hours together in the evenings. Now we are together almost all day every day—with offices on opposite ends of the hallway just to give us a little distance.
Our relationship is closer and stronger than before we started working together. We enjoy driving to the office together, grabbing coffee in the middle of the day, having lunch together, and just touching base whenever we like.
People often say that they think Chris was lucky to marry someone with marketing skills and experience. I like to say that I am lucky to have married such a brilliant attorney—because having a great product or service to market is more than half the battle.
I think we make a great team.
INTERESTING ARTICLE: Together, at Home and at Work, The New York Times, November 15, 2013.