Two-Time Am Law 200 CMO Sparks a New Agency: Firesign

FAIRWAY, Kan., Feb. 22, 2017 – Legal marketing veteran Katherine Hollar Barnard today announced the launch of a new agency, Firesign, that will help attorneys attract, win and retain business.

Barnard, most recently the chief marketing officer at Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, said she was inspired to launch Firesign to address friction between lawyers and the clients they serve.

“The legal profession is crucial to protecting justice, civility and innovation, but there is significant discontent on both sides of the service,” she said. “‘Attorney’ ranks among the unhappiest jobs in America, while 60 percent of clients would not recommend their law firm to a friend.

“I believe both sides deserve better, and I want to help.”

Firesign’s approach of “enlightened legal marketing” extends throughout its service offerings, which include branding and positioning, business development and client retention. For lawyers, the ultimate results will be stronger client relationships, greater income stability and more enjoyable work, Barnard said; for their clients, more effective business discussions, more empathy in representation and more satisfying service.

From its headquarters in metropolitan Kansas City, Firesign can serve law firms and legal industry clients nationwide, Barnard said.

In an industry with a reputation for one-size-fits-all marketing, Firesign’s founder distinguished herself with work lauded for creativity and results. As CMO at Shook and Lathrop & Gage, she led the business development and marketing communications teams. At Lathrop, she created the firm’s client feedback program and initiated its agribusiness industry group. Her rebranding efforts at Shook earned “Best Identity” from the Legal Marketing Association’s Midwest chapter. During her tenure at both firms, her departments brought in nine figures of new business.

Susan Hackett, CEO of Legal Executive Leadership LLC and the former general counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel, described Barnard as “a natural treasure” who connects with the lawyers she serves and the clients they represent.

“In my world – the world of in-house counsel – trusted relationships are everything,” Hackett said. “Katie is the person with the people skills to build relationships that build success.”

About Firesign

Firesign helps attorneys attract, win and retain business. We build brands that connect and business plans that deliver for law firms and legal industry clients nationwide. For more information, visit

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