Strategic Plans

In order to properly market a firm, or a particular practice area, whether M&A or white collar crime, it’s key to define the proper target audience and how a firm can truly differentiate itself in a crowded marketplace. Only by having a defined strategy and tactical plan can effective business development and communications take place.

While the approach to each situation will be unique, the tactics used to develop a strategic plan often involve message creation, competitor analysis, examination of a firm’s current client portfolio, or conducting client surveys. When required by an assignment this often includes guidance on internal communication and the use of social media and technology related tools.


Deborah Farone is a sought after keynote speaker and chair at conferences and retreats throughout the U.S. and in Europe. She currently serves along with Brad Karp of Paul Weiss as the co-chair of PLI’s annual “All Star Business Development for Lawyers” and for several years, has served as an advisor or co-chair of American Lawyer Media’s Legalweek conference. As a former adjunct faculty member at New York University and the former President of the New York Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association, she is well-versed on exciting ways to capture an audience’s attention, involve them in the materials and provide actionable take-aways. She is a regular speaker at programs hosted by LMA, Thomson Reuters and Ellevate.
While she believes that all presentations should be customized to an audience’s particular needs and goals, some of the topics on which she has recently presented include:
  • Best Practices in Law Firm Business Development and Marketing, Key Influences Shaping the New Legal Profession and What the Future May Hold
  • Creating a Rainforest: How the Country’s Leading Rainmakers Develop Business
  • The Necessary Steps: Building a Successful Individual Practice
  • Practices Make Perfect: Creating Your Best Strategic Practice Plans
  • Starting with Raindrops: Rainmaking for New Partners
  • Rainmaking for Women
  • Media Marketing: Marketing with Traditional and Social Media
  • The Inside Scoop: Creating and Operating a First-Class Marketing Department

Marketing Management

For a firm to achieve its goals, a marketing team must be structured to align with the businesses overall strategy. A skills assessment and marketing audit involving interviews with partners, staff and clients can help realign a department structure and position the firm for long term success. As part of longer-term engagements, Deborah has work on a retainer basis to successfully locate C-suite professionals, including CMOs and CCOs.

Training & Coaching

Working with professional practices and companies to develop their business requires a highly bespoke process, based on an in-depth understanding of the individuals’ talents and the marketplace for their work. In most cases, a combination of classic training methods and teaching, along with one-on-one coaching is the best approach.

While this can be done on the individual, practice or firm level, it is based on the belief that each professional will have a highly nuanced practice and their own unique strengths and capabilities. Deborah’s goal is to partner and work with individuals and their practices to help define an actionable roadmap and to coach them to attract those clients best suited for their practice.

Reputation Management

Today’s world is awash with negative business news, whether sparked by an individual’s action, a business misstep, a breach of cybersecurity, or an act of nature. Reputations are your most valuable asset. They are difficult to build and easy to destroy.

When faced with the impact of a crisis on employees, clients, or partners, it’s important to have an experienced advisor involved to help guide your organization to help get through the minefields. Deborah’s experience on the frontline, both in-house and an outside advisor, provide a unique perspective when facing the unexpected.

What Leaders in the Profession Say

Deborah Farone is the leading expert in law firm marketing. Not only has she studied this complex topic from at the peak of the legal profession, her research into what works and what doesn’t is priceless for anyone interested in growing their business.

Heidi K. Gardner, PhD, Distinguished FellowHarvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession

Deborah is a connector, linking clients and legal service providers. She is our go-to person when we are looking for authentic industry knowledge and insights on where the legal market is trending.

Connie BrentonChairman of the Board, CLOC | Senior Director of Legal Operations, NetApp, Inc.

Deborah helped us at Cravath develop internal systems from the ground up and obtained experience through working in the trenches and dealing with the most challenging marketing and public relations issues in professional services.

C. Allen ParkerGeneral Counsel, Wells Fargo & Company

Being savvy to best practices in business development is more critical now than ever. Deborah Farone is an industry leader who helps professionals navigate the evolving legal landscape. She brings an exceptional wealth of notable experience, insight, and forward thinking that continues to elevate our profession.

Cynthia P. VothDirector of Client Engagement & Innovation, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP, Legal Marketing Association President - 2019

Grace under fire. The clear-headed thinking to be a visionary when surrounded by hundreds of genius lawyers. The grit to survive the twists and turns that are modern law firms. Those are just three of the traits needed to succeed as an elite legal CMO. Farone has those and more.

Katrina DeweyFounder and CEO, Lawdragon

Deborah Farone has a unique perspective on the modern American law firm. Her years of experience inside “big law” make her an invaluable source for those who provide and consume legal services.

Evan CheslerChairman, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

The gold standard in marketing.

Ralph FerraraPartner, Proskauer

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