Steven M. Bell Principal

Mobile: (202) 421.5988

A pioneer of law firm sales and business development, Steve created one of the legal industry’s first sales functions in 2001 when at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice (now Womble Bond Dickinson). Professional services firms around the globe now seek his guidance in structuring and operating successful sales departments, navigating ethical requirements, and designing compensation systems for salespeople that attract and retain high-caliber talent.

An early student of the Miller Heiman methodology, which focuses on relationship building, authenticity, and mutual benefit, Steve is fluent in every major sales training language and process. He began his career in professional services as account executive for the C-Suite at companies such as Northrop Grumman, United Technologies, and MCI. While at Price Waterhouse (now PwC), he was integral to the development of the firm’s sales function, initiating meetings with prospective and current clients as well as leading teams of accountants on global sales initiatives. He originated the sales function at Grant Thornton and when at Womble, in addition to overseeing the firm’s entire sales and marketing program, led significant sales pursuits resulting in the origination of multimillion-dollar client matters such as British Petroleum (BP Horizon Oil Spill), Dell Computers, World Bank’s DC real estate portfolio, and more. He was also the primary liaison for Womble’s near 20-year partnership with the Association of Corporate Counsel, the world’s largest organization dedicated to in-house counsel.

Steve’s experience and expertise has helped numerous law firms navigate opportunities and challenges resulting from unforeseen global events such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the burst of the bubble, the ‘great recession,’ and – most recently – the global pandemic. He also served for seven years as the Vice-Chairman, Americas for Lex Mundi’s Marketing & Business Development Committee, helping steer the global branding, marketing, and business development initiatives and create the BD function of the 160-member-firm, 21,000-lawyer organization.

Just prior to his tenure in the professional services industry, Steve was an accomplished journalist, public relations manager, and corporate communications executive, garnering numerous awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and a Gold Quill Award, a premier honor given by the International Association of Business Communicators to recognize excellence in the field of business communication around the world.

Steve is a certified Gallup Strengths Coach – focusing on leveraging a person’s strengths versus fixing real or perceived weaknesses – and an in-demand thought leader, author, and speaker on the subjects of building and managing sales forces, sales strategy and tactics, strategic account management, marketing automation, and business and executive communications.

Thought Leadership


Highlighted Feature Blogs from LawVision’s (weekly) Insights for Law Firm Leaders

Series for Legal Sales & Service Organization

Guest Author

Speaking Engagements

  • Get to the Point (of Sale) [LMA Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting Presentation, 2023]
  • Tactics to Build Relationships with Buyers of Legal Services [LMA Northeast Regional Meeting, 2023]
  • Creating (and Sustaining) a Law Firm Sale Culture [LMA Mid-Atlantic Conference, 2020]
  • Marketing Law Firm M&A [Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute CFO/COO Forum, 2019]
  • The Vampires of Business Development [Co-Presenter, LMA Southeast, 2019]
  • The State of Law Firm Sales & Marketing [Emcee, Legal Sales & Service Organization RainDance Conference, June 2018]
  • Law Firm Alchemy: Transforming Lawyers into Salespeople [LMA Mid-Atlantic, Nov 2018]

Past Professional Associations & Boards

  • Vice-Chairman – Americas, Lex Mundi’s Marketing & Business Development Committee
  • NY Chapter, Association of Accounting Marketing Executives
  • Indiana Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists
  • International Association of Business Communicators
  • President, Board of Deacons, Rye (NY) Presbyterian Church
  • Scoutmaster and other volunteer Scouting positions, New York and Missouri
  • Chair, Staff/Pastor Parish Relations Committee; Post-Covid Relaunch Committee; Planning & Policy Committee; Mission Council, and other leadership positions, Centreville United Methodist Church

Awards & Recognitions

  • Gold Quill Award, International Association of Business Communicators
  • 2x Sponsor of the Year, Association of Corporate Counsel
  • Multiple LMA 'Your Honor' Awards
  • 2x LMA Capital Chapter 'Big Idea' Awards
  • 2x Marketing Partner Forum 'Marketing Initiative of the Year' Awards 
  • LMA National Capital Chapter Hall of Fame


  • Coaching Advantage Master Coach, Legal Sales and Service Organization
  • Certified Strengths Coach, Gallup
  • Certified Sales Practitioner, Miller Heiman Group, A Korn Ferry Company
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