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2020 Top Legal Innovations: Chief client officer role

Lathrop GPM/Jasmine Trillos-Decarie

Jasmine Trillos-Decarie

Jasmine Trillos-Decarie

It goes without saying that we live in uncertain times.

“The regulatory atmosphere is changing. The laws are changing. The access to the courts is changing with COVID,” said Jasmine Trillos-Decarie. “How can we proactively make sure that we have the right people in place to go to our clients and say, ‘Look, we feel you might have this problem, and you might encounter this?’”

That’s not a question a traditional marketing person can answer. Trillos-Decarie, however, is anything but a traditional marketer. Since October, she’s filled a new role at Lathrop GPM — a role created and designed by the firm to bridge gaps and apply a holistic approach to client service. As the firm’s new chief client officer, the East Coast native said she hopes to create synergy with a foot in several different parts of the firm.

“We interviewed a lot of great candidates, a lot of really talented people,” said Lathrop GPM Managing Partner Cameron Garrison. “But it was when we met Jasmine that we knew we found the person who really was able to master all these different areas and bring them together successfully.”

Those areas range from marketing and business development to communication, practice management and pricing.

“They looked at it and said, what are all of the areas on the business side of a law firm — not the attorney specifically — that touch and help the client from the day they start to research us to find out ‘Hey, we have a legal problem. Who are we going to work with?’” said Trillos-Decarie.

That means examining how the firm communicates, how it staffs a given matter, how it collects feedback, whether it is prepared to meet new needs and what it charges.

Trillos-Decarie isn’t an attorney herself. In fact, her original degree in environmental economics presaged a career path working against deforestation.

But after a stint at a New York City law firm where she worked in the business development department, she became the director of marketing for a Boston firm. Later came a move to the Pacific Northwest, where she served as a chief client service officer.

Now, she looks for ways to add value at Lathrop GPM by keeping her finger on the pulse of clients’ needs.

“What they did is — rather than just making this a typical marketing role, [firm leaders] said we really want to put the focus on the client and give all of our clients a business-side voice in the law firm that they can rely on to help make sure their goals are being achieved and that the firm is well-positioned to help them in the long term,” she said.

That proactive approach means there is never a dull moment.

“I really like being involved in all the different areas in the business of law, not just marketing,” she said. “I like being involved in the [practice] management, the business-intelligence component of it. The pricing component I find really interesting.

“Every day you start off thinking you’re going to be working on X, Y and Z,” she added, “and the next thing you know it’s A, B and C.”

Missouri Lawyers Media