This morning, I went to use a pen that I got at a conference from a law firm service provider. It’s my favorite pen. It writes perfectly, it never leaks, it has the perfect consistency and it is a bright color, so I can always find it in my purse. It also still works two years after I received it.

On the flip side, I have another pen, from a top 10 Am Law ranked law firm that ran out of ink the second time I used it. It’s flimsy and plastic. I was surprised that a firm of this caliber would give out these pens to their clients, recruits and prospects.

It’s incredibly important that each touchpoint your target audience has with your brand is truly reflective of your brand.

That means even the pens you hand out at a conference, the coffee you serve, the way the bathrooms look and the tidiness of the reception areas (including ensuring the plants in the reception area are healthy looking) need to be well thought out.

The type of swag (or promotional items or “tchotchkes” as I prefer to call them) you choose to represent your company is much more important than you may think. It’s part of your outward facing brand and can be an easy way to gain positive visibility for your organization.

As we return to in-person networking and conferences, it’s a good time to think more strategically about the kind of swag items your company is using.

Company swag is the abbreviation of “Stuff We All Get.” It is free stuff and giveaways that employers give out to their current employees, alumni, recruits and clients.

As with so many things in marketing, one size doesn’t fit all, so it’s important to have multiple promotional pieces from which you can choose. Many firms keep closets full of promotional items and have an online catalog to make it easy for employees to choose items when they need them.

It should go without saying that your company branding should appear on every promotional piece.

So, how do you choose awesome company swag that your clients and other target audiences actually want?

While women are almost half of the U.S. labor force, they comprise less than 5% of CEOs and less than 10% of top earners in the S&P 500; and for women of color are nearly invisible on both S&P 500 boards and Fortune 500 boards.

Catalyst reports that today, women still get offered fewer of the high visibility, mission-critical roles and experiences that are important to reaching the highest levels of leadership.

When it comes to law firms the numbers are also grim, but they don’t start out that way.

Half – if not more than half – of all law school classes are composed of women.

So men and women enter law firms in almost equal numbers, but then something happens, and the men keep rising and the women become flat or decline, and they wind up leaving their firms according to research by legal intelligence leader Leopard Solutions.

We know that there are a lot of reasons why this happens, including the fact that women are being asked to do more, they have family responsibilities, they’re looking for a complete change since the pandemic and they’re not necessarily always getting the support that they need from their firms in order to succeed.

So why are women leaving the practice of law today? And why aren’t women aren’t making partner like men are making partner in the legal industry today?

If your alumni relations program is not a priority for your marketing, recruiting and business development efforts for 2022, it should be!

Here are some ideas for how to creatively

Meet Patty Morrissy, a partner-level legal recruiter, with a significant network and credibility in the most elite segment of the New York City market and more broadly along the East Coast.

Prior to starting her own legal recruiting firm, Patty was Managing Director and Senior Legal Recruiter for partner searches with Macrae, Inc.’s New York City office, which she helped establish.

Earlier, she worked at two of the highest ranked law firms in the country, serving as Chief Recruiting Officer at both Sullivan & Cromwell and Paul Weiss, and as Chief Administrator for the legal and compliance department of a major investment bank.

In the public sector, Patty was head of legal hiring for the Brooklyn District Attorney and Associate Dean of Career Services at Cardozo Law School.

Patty’s broad experience has given her a unique understanding of how law firms think and make decisions, which benefits both her law firm and corporate clients as well as the candidates she represents.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Patty at two different law firms – Paul Weiss and Sullivan & Cromwell – and learned so much from her and always found Patty to be a true supporter of women and others.

Learn more about why Patty is a Woman Who Wows.