I am proud to announce that April 2014 marks Stacey E. Burke, P.C.’s first year in business as a full-time operation. I look back across my career path with gratitude, pride, and happiness. I have been fortunate to work for some of the most supportive and successful lawyers in Texas. Now, in my consulting practice, I am thrilled to work with the same caliber of law firms (and a few other entities) on a national and international level.
Gratitude for my Experience
I began my legal career in earnest by working at the maritime law firm of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, LLP (SMSH). I worked primarily on maritime catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases, as well as industrial accidents and motor vehicle accidents. Focusing on client management, I enjoyed helping our clients feel comfortable with the litigation process. Over time, I transitioned out of a litigation role and delved into the business side of the law firm - all while maintaining my focus on client handling. One of my mentors, Matt Shaffer, knew of my background in public relations journalism, and suggested that I begin to manage the websites and blogs for the firm. I became a self-taught Internet marketing maven. I also implemented, customized, and managed the firm’s Needles database.
In 2011, I was hired away from SMSH by one of the best litigation firms in Texas, and likely the country, Watts Guerra LLP, to focus exclusively on new case acquisition – developing an intake department, constructing a digital marketing strategy, planning and executing targeted business development events, booking speaking engagements, attending industry events across the country, and so much more. The opportunities I experienced during my time with Watts changed my professional career forever. I could not be more grateful for having been a part of the firm and working with its talented employees.
Building a Business
I had always wanted to “go out on my own,” whether it be my own law firm or my own consulting business. In 2013, I felt that the time had presented itself. The support I experienced from Watts Guerra made my transition practically pleasant. The firm has always supported me and “had my back” no matter what, and I cannot adequately express my appreciation with words.
In starting Stacey E. Burke, P.C., I furthered the same goal I had when I first dove into legal marketing – to empower lawyers and law firms to make educated and cost-effective decisions that drive quality cases to practitioners who will take good care of the clients.
Craft Law Firm offered my fledgling but growing business office space in Houston, which kept me grounded and close to another mentor of mine, Hunter Craft, who believed in me from the first day we met. Meanwhile, I began interviewing marketing folks, as I needed a right-hand man or woman.
Everyone in Houston knows Marc Nathan as the man who knows everyone. He has a knack for placing certain connections of his together for a variety of business reasons – sort of a professional matchmaker. Marc made my match. What began as a contract position in which I was one of her clients, gradually transitioned into Mandy Graessle becoming my first full-time employee. Mandy’s fresh perspective, coming from her arts and non-profit marketing background, has complimented my skills in ways I could have never anticipated. Mandy is absolutely the sunshine in my everyday, one of my biggest professional supporters, and a gem of a person and co-worker. Well done, Marc Nathan.
After a few years of virtual friendship on Twitter and even a few in-person meetings, Haley Odom left her previous position with Slack & Davis to join me and specialize in legal technology. Haley’s extensive knowledge of information technology, hardware, software, and most specifically law firm technology has proven invaluable to many of our law firm clients already. Haley is a sought-after national speaker on legal technology, social media for law firms, and law firm efficiency, with upcoming speaking events in May at the Aderant Momentum 2014 Global User Conference and in June at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting.
In October 2013, we moved our Houston headquarters into Pulaski & Middleman LLC. The synergy between good friends and fellow marketers has proven to be a nice match over the past seven months.
While we focus primarily on my specialty niche – legal marketing – we have undertaken projects in the oil and gas industry, insurance industry, for legal vendors, photographers, and in wholesale distribution.
In the future of Stacey E. Burke, P.C., I see us continuing to broaden our client base. I see us moving into our own dog-friendly space so that my Ruby and Mandy’s Waylon can come to work with us. I see a continued learning curve for me in business acumen, but with my support system of family, friends, and colleagues, I know that we will continue to grow and succeed.
Above all, I am beyond grateful to our first 28 clients whom I have been lucky enough to work with in my first full-time year as Stacey E. Burke, P.C. To see some of our work, please visit our portfolio.