The Business Development Institute is an online training course that provides legal marketers with the knowledge, confidence, and resources that drive successful BD initiatives. Watch the video to learn more.

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Essential Skills for Legal Marketers

Business development coach delivering training to classroomThe Business Development Institute is a 3-month remote certification program is specifically for entry-to-mid-level legal marketers whose firms are adopting a more business development oriented focus. Participants will learn the BD skills essential for coaching lawyers more effectively and contributing high-impact growth strategies to their firms.

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 six 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:

  • BD Foundations
  • Connecting the Dots Between Technology and Business Results
  • Overcoming Coaching Roadblocks
  • Social Media: How to Turn Reluctant Lawyers into Marketing Machines
  • Negotiating a Mutually Successful AFA
  • Live Capstone Webinar

Enrollment in BDI entitles participants to the following:

  • Access to all 5 webinars and the final capstone session
  • Access to Practice Boomers, the award-winning business development training curriculum
  • An official certificate of completion that can be added to participants’ resumes and LinkedIn profiles
  • Access to the alumni directory for ongoing peer networking and idea exchange

The cost of the program is $750.

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Program Curriculum

Sessions 1 through 5 are available as on-demand recordings.

Session 6 will be a live webinar on November 23rd, 10-11am Pacific/1-2pm Eastern.

The program is designed to accommodate a busy schedule. All of the assignments are reasonable in scope and you can watch the session recordings on your own time. Assignments include:

  • Watching video lessons from the Practice Boomers curriculum
  • Completing a final assessment questionnaire at the end of the program



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.


Adrian Dayton, JD, is the Founder of ClearView Social, the first ever social sharing software designed specifically for lawyers. Adrian is an internationally recognized speaker on social media and business development. He has trained over 10,000 professionals in the US, UK, Canada and Australia on LinkedIn and successful social media use.



Jeanne Hammerstrom is the Chief Marketing Officer at Benesch and brings 27 years of legal marketing experience to her post. Jeanne has firm wide responsibility for marketing, communications, practice development, and oversees a staff of business development, public relations, advertising, event planning and other professionals. She also participates in the firm’s Executive Committee, Strategic Growth Committee and Client Service Committee.


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 marketing technology tools, including the implementation of new tools firm wide to assist in marketing and business development.


Monica Phillips, M.A., is a Client Development Executive at DLA Piper. She is an experienced strategic marketing and business development professional with a passion for technology and 18 years of experience developing and executing strategic initiatives to help organizations identify and expand successful lines of business, strengthen client relationships, and build brand identity. Since 1998 she has led law firm marketing initiatives in-house at several large law firms including at Arent Fox, Steptoe & Johnson, and Troutman Sanders.


Terence (Terry) D. Williams is the Global Director of Strategic Pricing at Hogan Lovells. He joined the firm in December 2015 as Managing Pricing Director of the Americas before assuming his current role in November 2016. Prior to joining Hogan Lovells, he was with AIG where served as Vice President and Deputy Director of Legal Strategies in their Legal Operations Center. In this role, Terry was responsible for the design and implementation of global legal strategies focused on legal process, cost efficiency, and qualitative outcomes.


Read the biographies of our Faculty Emeritus

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.



Register for BDI


Membership in the Business Development Institute is limited to ensure that each session is are 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 Cowenhoven ( to discuss how BDI can benefit you and your firm.