On September 14, AABANY and Perkins Coie presented a panel on “How to Pitch,” which featured senior in-house attorneys alongside the moderator, Dennis Hopkins, a Partner in the Perkins Coie Intellectual Property and Patent Litigation practices.
The diverse and incredibly experienced group discussed the challenging process of pitching companies on legal services. The practical strategies they offered were often accompanied by humorous anecdotes from their own careers that most often demonstrated what not to do. The panel agreed on the importance of diversity on the part of law firms when constructing presentations for companies, but authenticity was particularly stressed and much of the advice centered on the more social aspects of professional life, rather than the purely functional elements of practicing law.
At one point, LaTanya Langley, Vice President & General Counsel at BIC, stated that if you are an attorney in the room, then she is going to often assume that you can do the job. Therefore, she focuses on the “how” of the pitch and not exclusively on the what. Additionally, Langley offered a useful structure for preparing a pitch, one that she called the four R’s of reliability, responsiveness, relationship, and rates.
Many of the panelists expanded on these ideas and everyone agreed that a successful pitch is about so much more than just subject matter expertise. Sumeet Chugani, Senior Counsel & Vice President at Citizens Financial Group, Inc., highlighted the importance responsiveness has played in his own experience. Another panelist, Miki Kamijyo, Chief Compliance Officer & Legal Counsel at GreenOak Real Estate, shared her unique advice from the perspective of working at a smaller company. Amy Ngai, Associate General Counsel at The One Group, filling in for Sonia Low, General Counsel at The One Group, shared her thoughts coming from the hospitality industry.
Overall, the panelists together with Mr. Hopkins provided a thoroughly enjoyable yet distinctly candid and rewarding discussion on how to pitch companies successfully.
All the companies represented at the how to pitch program will be participating in the pitch sessions at the Fall Conference on September 23. Many of the audience members will be participating in the pitch sessions, and we hope they will take to heart the panelists’ advice as they meet with in-house counsel participants at this year’s Fall Conference pitch sessions.
Thanks to all the panelists, thanks to Perkins Coie for hosting and to Dennis Hopkins for moderating.