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After eight years managing marketing and media relations at Chicago’s Sidley & Austin, attorney Larry Bodine is reshaping his career — again. The one-time reporter and former publisher of the ABA Journal is molding himself into a high-tech legal marketing guru as president of the Law Firm Marketing Institute. In what can only be described as an ideal situation for an Internet entrepreneur, Bodine, while no longer an employee at Sidley, still has an office there and benefits to boot. With Sidley as his first “client,” Bodine will continue to provide internal and external communications services as an independent contractor for the 900-lawyer firm. He no longer has a say in long-term strategy, seminars or new business proposals. But he gets to solicit additional clients to help him pay the bills. One of those new clients is Santa Monica, Calif.-based SelectLaw.com, described as the first U.S. Internet law firm to deliver legal services exclusively online. The bulk of his time, however, will be spent managing The LawMarketing Portal at http://www.lawmarketing.com/, launched in June. This Web site is where Bodine hopes he can attract the largest audience, from large firm marketing experts to sole practitioners. One key objective, he says, is to provide a convenient forum in which these pros can go to share advice and comment about the latest trends. One visitor already described the site, he said, as “the biggest group therapy session online.” The site’s Listserv boasts some 1,300 members. And Bodine said LawMarketing.com gets about 50,000 page views a month, as well as 5,000 unique visitors during that time. He hopes to build on that impressive beginning and find other ways to profit from the site. Right now, any revenue comes from banner ads and text ads placed in the related print newsletter. There is, however, a deal in the works that may give Bodine a cut of software sales. And he does profit somewhat from books sold on the site, too. Though this may seem like a dramatic change from a full-time slot at Sidley, Bodine actually is turning something that started as a hobby that he tinkered with on lunch hours and after work into what he hopes will be a profitable business. Anyway, Bodine is used to dramatic career changes. RISE TO THE TOP: A reporter by training, Bodine cut his teeth on general assignment reporting at papers in New Jersey, then at the New York Daily News and later as an assistant editor and news reporter at the then-new National Law Journal. During his eight years of reporting the news, he began looking for something more specialized, so he entered law school, taking night classes for four years at Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, N.J. After graduating in 1981, he joined a Madison, Wis., law firm where he practiced for only a few months before being recruited to edit and publish the ABA Journal. He spent another eight years there, taking the periodical from a staid monthly that regurgitated case decisions to an independent, news-driven magazine. Bodine hired his successor, Gary Hengstler, away from Texas Lawyer before leaving in 1989 for a brief stint as publisher of Lawyers Alert (now Lawyers Weekly). He joined Sidley & Austin in 1991. FAMILY: Bodine, 49, of Glen Ellyn, Ill., is married and has a 15-year-old son. HOBBIES: When he’s not putting in 14-hour days maintaining the Web site, talking to clients, and reading newspapers on his Palm Pilot, he tries to bike 10 miles at a time to keep fit. LAST BOOK READ: “Marketing and Legal Ethics: The Boundaries of Promoting Legal Services” by the ABA’s legal services staff attorney William E. Hornsby, who volunteers his time updating the calendar of events on Bodine’s site.

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