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Idea Awards

2015 IDEA Award Recipients

As the undisputed leader of the business of law, ALA members and Chapters are encouraged to strive for excellence. ALA IDEA Awards are presented to ALA chapters, committees, regions, individuals, firms, or organizations (including business partners) that create unique and innovative programs, services, and events that improve our ALA chapters and/or legal communities. ALA IDEA Awards recognize new practices that deliver great value and transformational impact through innovative achievement.

ALA’s Region One

ALA Cash Cab

Contact: Kevin Costello,

Looking to combine innovation and education with fun and interaction, Region One developed a game-show theme for an educational luncheon. Based on the Discovery Channel show “Cash Cab,” two attendees sat in the backseat of a “cab” and a moderator would test their legal management knowledge. The audience interacts with an occasional opportunity to shout out an answer. The idea began with the Boston Chapter and quickly spread throughout the region.

View the complete entry for more details.

ALA’s 2014 Business of Law Conference
Planning Committee

BOLD Bites

Contact: Debra Elsbury,

Recognizing the demand for the delivery of meaningful information in quick bursts by multiple experts, the 2014 Business of Law Conference Planning Committee selected five speakers from different disciplines to each present a 15-minute deep-dive with no slides or fillers, much like a TED Talk. The flexibility and scalability of this format allows it to be used in various contexts and formatted in different, creative ways — including the reformatting of the ALA newsletter, BOLD Bites.

View the complete entry for more details.

ALA Greater Los Angeles Chapter

Promoting Deeper and More Meaningful Connections

Contact: Terri Oppelt,

The Greater Los Angeles Chapter saw an opportunity to turn around their Annual Holiday Luncheon from frustrated feedback to satisfied accolades. They created a networking opportunity uniquely suited to their audience: it utilized the business partners’ (BPs’) selling strengths to promote various charities, and gave members the chance to interact with BPs on a level that didn’t feel like they were being sold.

View the complete entry for more details.

ALA’s Puget Sound Chapter

PSALA Brokers a Coalition of the Pacific
Northwest Legal Community

Contact: Barbara Paige,

In an effort to create alignment, synergy and opportunities for cross-promotion and education among legal organizations, PSALA came together with the Association of Records Managers and Administrators, International Legal Technology Association, Legal Marketing Association Northwest, Washington State Bar Association and, later, the Law Librarians of Puget Sound to form the Northwest Legal Industry Alliance (NWLIA).

View the complete entry for more details.


ReDesign Law: Office of the Future —
A Collaboration Between ALA and Gensler

Contact: Steven Martin,

Gensler has responded to the shifting work patterns and employee expectations in today’s law firms by conducting a two-year research project in collaboration with ALA. They built a pop-up legal workplace at ALA’s 2014 Annual Conference & Expo to experiment with and spark conversations about the legal workplace of the future, featuring a series of interactive vignettes of efficient and innovative office environments.

View the complete entry for more details.

Sidley Austin LLP

D.C. Diversity Committee/1L Diversity Summer
Mentorship Program

Contact: Steve Dempsey,

The Diversity Committee in Sidley’s D.C. office created a program designed to introduce diverse law students to private practice, particularly in large law firms. The program provided personal and sustained mentoring, content-rich professional development presentations, and opportunities to talk with lawyers in private practice about potential career paths. Launched in D.C. in 2010, the program has expanded to Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles.

View the complete entry for more details.

Summaries of All IDEA Awards Entries   

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