The upcoming semester of the Business Development Institute (BDI) provides  an emphasis on Legal Marketing Technology. This online training course provides legal marketers with the technological knowledge, confidence, and resources to drive more successful BD initiatives at their firms.

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Essential Skills for Legal Marketers

Marketing technology. CRM, ERM, Client Experience Management, Pipeline Management, Social Media, etc.

The Business Development Institute is a 3-month remote training course that provides legal marketers with the tools they need to empower and manage successful marketing and business development initiatives. The upcoming semester will focus on how to leverage the latest legal marketing technology for better business results.

Over 95% of our past participants recommend this program as a professional development resource for legal marketers.

BDI will actively engage in a series of five 1-hour sessions covering a range of topics on coaching lawyers to develop new business from existing clients. The program will impart actionable insights on the following topics:


Session 1: The Marketer’s Journey Through Technology

In this panel discussion, a junior, mid-level, and senior marketer discuss their career path and relationship to technology in our industry. They will also share the MarTech resources and techniques that have helped make them successful at their firms.

May 11
10-11am PT
1-2pm ET

Session 2: The Intersection of Experience Management and Pipeline Management

Learn how Pipeline Management systems and principles can intersect with Client Experience Management to maintain, broaden, and deepen client relationships.

May 22
10-11am PT
1-2pm ET

Session 3: Developing a Long-Term Digital Strategy

To be competitive in the digital age, it is no longer sufficient to simply have a website and a twitter handle. In this session, you will discover how successful law firms are investing in long-term digital strategy as a core business development and marketing asset.

Jun 7
10-11am PT
1-2pm ET

Session 4: The Intersection of CMO and CIO at the Law Firm

Is your firm a leader or a laggard when it comes to legal marketing technology? In this session, we provide insights on how CMOs must coordinate with CIOs to effectively deploy MarTech, invest limited budgets wisely, and position the firm to compete.

June 21
10-11am PT
1-2pm ET

Session 5: Capstone (peer discussion on MarTech trends and program takeaways)

The final session will be an interactive discussion, moderated by David Ackert, in which participants will have an opportunity to hear from other firms as they share their technology challenges and successes.

July 7
10-11am PT
1-2pm ET

The program is designed to accommodate a busy schedule. All of the assignments are reasonable in scope and there is ample time between sessions to complete them. Assignments include attending live webinar sessions, watching the recordings, reading industry articles, and completing a final assessment questionnaire at the end of the program.

Enrollment in BDI entitles participants to the following:

  • Access to all 4 webinars and the final capstone session
  • An official certification that can be added to participants’ resumes and LinkedIn profiles
  • Access to the alumni directory for ongoing peer networking and idea exchange
  • Access to Practice Pipeline, the simple business development software platform for lawyers
  • Access to Practice Viewer, a dashboard platform that aggregates all of your legal marketing technology KPIs into one central location for easy review and analysis

The cost of the program is $750.

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“The takeaways I got from the Business Development Institute have made me a more well-rounded marketing and BD professional. I’ll be able to look at marcom programs with a more holistic approach and seek out BD opportunities that can result from them. The program gave me valuable takeaways that I can use to help attorneys develop their BD plans and maximize my own time on strategic initiatives.”

Kevin Dixon, Marketing and Business Development Manager, Allen Matkins




David Ackert, MA, is the President of The Ackert Advisory and a mentor to high-achieving professionals in the legal, corporate, finance, and accounting sectors. David has advised hundreds of lawyers, CEOs and professional-services executives on overcoming business development and marketing challenges. He has developed and implemented business development programs for countless firms, from AmLaw 100s to local boutiques.


Sunny Bane is the Director of Marketing Operations at DLA Piper, the second largest law firm in the world by revenue. She oversees marketing-related technology, manages the department budget, and develops tools and programs designed to support the strategic growth and business objectives of the firm. She is a frequent speaker on how legal marketing technology can drive new business for law firms.


Jacqueline Madarang is the Senior Marketing Technology Manager at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, an AmLaw 200 law firm with over 500 attorneys. She leads the firm’s digital marketing efforts, works with firm-wide attorneys and focuses on developing digital, social and communications programs that further business development objectives. She manages all legal marketing technology tools, including the implementation of new tools firm-wide to assist in marketing and business development.


Kalev Peekna serves as Managing Director of Strategy at One North Interactive LLC. He has decades of experience in communications, marketing, and project management in interactive design. He also consults broadly on content marketing, social media, consumer applications, CRM, financial systems, data analytics, and transaction systems. His specialties include Marketing Strategy, Business Development, Writing & Communications, Product Development, Information Architecture, UX/UI Design, Creative Design, Brand Strategy, Relationship Management, Business Intelligence, Social Media. He studied at the University of Chicago, University of Cambridge and Brown University.


Paul Ward is the Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at He has been building innovation, strategy and talent operations for professional services firms for over 20 years. At Innovation Playbook, Paul specializes in building unified and simplified technology and client-centric market approaches and execution. He is the former Client Innovation Officer at Holland & Hart, where he launched and led the Client Services department and became co-leader of new Office of Innovation function for leading national law firm. In his role at Holland & Hart he drove major strategic projects including a rebrand, website and 70th-anniversary campaign, and the transformation of the firm’s tech posture through deep analysis and strategic hires. Paul earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Communication at Southern Utah University and received his Certificate in Business Management and Administration at Tulane University School of Business.


Read the biographies of our Faculty Emeritus

”The Business Development Institute provides practical, focused insight into legal BD topics, and the sessions are delivered by experienced practitioners through an engaging format. The discussions are augmented by access to Practice Boomers suite of excellent online training modules, and the program is relevant for both newer and more experienced  professionals.”

Steven Medley, Marketing Research & Reporting Specialist, Garvey Schubert Barer


BDI Certification


The Ackert Advisory offers professionals the opportunity to expand their professional development credentials by becoming a certified BDI graduate. This certification can be added to their resume and LinkedIn page, demonstrating their mastery of the core principles of training and strategy essential to effective performance in a business development role. Certification is valid for two years.

Over 100 AmLaw firms have enrolled their marketers in the Business Development Institute.


“The skills I learned from BDI will help me develop and implement long-term strategic plans, for both practice groups and individual attorneys, with a focus on targeted opportunities that generate new business for the firm.”

Kim McLaughlin, Senior Marketing Manager, Fish & Richardson

Business Development Institute certification on legal marketing manager's LinkedIn profile

Register for BDI


Membership in the Business Development Institute is limited to ensure that each session is engaging, relevant and high-value. If you feel that you or someone at your firm would benefit from participating in BDI, click the link below to reserve your seat. The total cost of the program is $750.

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Have questions? Contact Olivia Watson ( to discuss how BDI can benefit you and your firm.


“I thoroughly enjoyed all of the BDI: Legal Marketing Technology sessions. Each online session was an opportunity to gain added insights and a deeper understanding on the use of current technologies which we’re using in our daily work endeavors.

I enjoyed the group’s exchange of ideas on the use of these technologies, and to see how my industry colleagues approached and adapted their use into firm environments. It also provided an opportunity to evaluate our use of these technologies, and to consider potential enhancements on our use of these technologies at Wilson Elser.

The session recordings and PowerPoint slides provided after each session were very helpful, as I could replay each session at the end of the busy work day, and review my notes and the slides during the less hectic and quiet part of the day.”

Thomas Vitale, Marketing Technology and Business Intelligence Manager, Wilson Elser