Originally published in Law Week Colorado.
Most people who work in legal marketing don’t plan on it, according to Meranda Vieyra, owner of Denver Legal Marketing. They fall into the niche and have to learn on the job. Vieyra hopes her new course, offered this spring at Metropolitan State University of Denver, will offer more direction for students who end up on the legal marketing path, whether by choice or by accident.
“I want to make this more deliberate,” Vieyra said. “I think it’ll bring validity to what legal marketers and legal professionals do in general.”
One of the goals of the three-credit, 16-week course is to help “create the next generation of legal marketers,” according to Vieyra. The undergraduate-level course, which begins Jan. 20, is designed to equip third- and fourth-year marketing students with a roadmap for marketing law firms and other legal organizations.
But the course isn’t limited to MSU Denver students. Lawyers, paralegals and anyone else who wants to learn about marketing and business development in the legal field can fill out the university’s application for non-degree students and, once accepted, contact the marketing department to enroll in the course. The class will meet Wednesday evenings during the spring semester.
“I certainly get a lot of calls from law firms asking me to train somebody that they’ve hired. And this [class] is pretty much a plug-and-play for that,” Vieyra said.
Vieyra, who has two decades of legal industry experience, will draw on her own knowledge, selected readings and a series of guest lectures to teach the fundamentals of legal marketing. Students will be encouraged to network with the guest speakers—a group she said could include attorneys, videographers, and representatives of bar associations, among others.
“I think one of the most unique aspects of this is the guest lecturing component,” Vieyra said, “because networking is such a big part of pretty much everything in Colorado law. It really is based on relationships.”
Students will develop their own “best practices handbook” for the industry and gain practical experience by helping Legal Entrepreneurs forJustice (LEJ), an incubator for socially-conscious law firms, with its marketing needs, from social media and e-mail marketing to event planning.