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Jax Daily Record Monday, Feb. 19, 201806:50 AM EST

Law firm takes a new direction in communications

Elizabeth Lopez helping guide Smith Hulsey & Busey into its next century.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Elizabeth Lopez says her job at one of Jacksonville’s longest established law firms is “evolving.”

She’s guiding Smith Hulsey & Busey in a new direction as the firm marks 100 years of providing legal counsel and service in Jacksonville.

“I’m here to help determine the strategic changes the firm needs to make – and implement them,” Lopez said.

She’ll be helping the firm's team of about 30 attorneys in the areas of business development planning, including coaching and training, internal communications and identifying potential growth opportunities, such as new clients.

“I’ll help the partners and associates identify their strengths and help them to understand weaknesses can be overcome,” Lopez said.

Social media is part of the strategy, particularly LinkedIn.

“It will help our attorneys connect with their clients and they’ll be able to post articles. It will help build the reputation of the firm as a thought leader,” said Lopez.

“If I can get 50 percent of the firm active, it will be a benefit. We need to get LinkedIn on their schedule,” she added.

Business and professional evolution is familiar territory for Lopez, 44.

 A Brooklyn, New York, native, she majored in broadcast journalism at the University of Miami and in 2008 graduated from St. John’s University School of Law.

 She was admitted to the New York Bar and went into private practice in New York City, specializing in the defense side of medical malpractice litigation.

After the firm where she worked underwent a downsizing, in 2015 she became director of business development for the Major, Lindsey & Africa global legal recruitment firm at its New York office.

Four years later, Lopez transferred to the firm’s Atlanta office, where she worked for about a year, then joined the Atlanta office of JW Michaels & Co., a national executive search firm.

She came to Jacksonville in 2016 at Florida Coastal School of Law as assistant director for its Center for Professional Development. It allowed her to use her expertise while being closer to the legal profession.

“I recruited and interviewed staff and worked with the third-year students to help them prepare for job interviews. Professional and business development is part of being a lawyer,” Lopez said.

She’s planning Smith Hulsey & Busey’s third annual health symposium scheduled in May.

It will be an all-day program tailored for clients in the health care fields and will include panel discussions and continuing education credits.

“It’s another way to connect with our clients,” Lopez said.

She’ll be doing that while coordinating the firm’s public relations, working with local news media, creating client appreciation events and preparing an annual marketing budget.

“I like having a lot to do,” said Lopez.

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