Q&A: Meet Kevin McMurdo, Class of 2015
Kevin McMurdo, principal at McMurdo Consulting, has been a voice of creativity, authenticity, and kindness in the legal community for more than 25 years. Kevin has mentored and coached hundreds, if not thousands, of lawyers and staff in his roles as consultant and director of client relations, marketing, and chief marketing officer at some of the largest law firms in the Pacific Northwest, including Perkins Coie.
A prolific speaker, Kevin has helped generations of marketers and lawyers understand the importance of personal relationships and clear communications, as well as the power of focus, to building an effective network and career. A pioneer in legal marketing, Kevin led the Legal Marketing Association in its earliest years, was inducted into the LMA Hall of Fame in 2010, and continues to serve the profession by leading key initiatives in education and professional development.
Where were you born and raised?
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area – Walnut Creek to be precise. A California boy. Undergraduate work at Chico State College, graduate work at the University of Iowa.
What achievement outside of work makes you most proud?
Outside of raising a family. Completing a marathon on my 60th birthday.
Did you choose your career or did it choose you?
A bit of both. After many years as a community college instructor (speech and theater) and administrator (public information and college relations), I aspired to become a community college president. The position required a doctoral-level degree. I chose law school. After graduation and successfully passing the Oregon Bar, and attempting to build a solo practice part-time (I remained a community college administrator while attending law school at night at Lewis & Clark College Northwestern School of Law), I accepted a position as the first Director of Client Relations at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt – a Portland, Oregon-based law firm of approximately 150 attorneys. That was 1987. I have worked in-house in professional services marketing, including stints with Coopers & Lybrand and Deloitte, up until 2014 when I relaunched my consulting work.
Who was your mentor and what made him or her so influential?
Mike Reynvaan, marketing partner at Perkins Coie, was the best of the many mentors I was fortunate to know in my career. Mike was a friend and confidant who taught me how to handle even the most difficult partners. He respected my abilities and always had my back. He was no rubber stamp, but he was always willing to try new approaches and pilot projects.”
What is the most vivid moment or experience in your career?
- There were a few, memorable “aha” moments while working with individual lawyers on business development pursuits.
- We launched an ad campaign in 2003 for Perkins Coie that featured clients, not our lawyers. It was a big deal at the time and very well received.
- Realizing that “Our Market is our Network” changed my professional focus from marketing to business development/sales.
Of the law-related projects or initiatives you’ve worked on in the past year or so, what has you the most excited or shows the most promise?
- Collaborating with the Wicker Park Group on business development training programs.
- Developing new retreat/training exercises.
- Launching a presentation skills, facilitation skills training program, designed as a core competency for associates and partners alike.
What is the most engaging law-related thing you’re doing right now?
Developing the presentation skills curriculum. Also converting/translating a training topic to an elearning platform.
Get to know the rest of the Fellows by visiting the Recent Inductees page and by browsing the Fellows Directory.