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Idea AwardsAs 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.

IDEA Award submissions can be made in any category. Below is a list of suggested categories, but it is not intended to be a complete list. More than one submission can be made, so long as they are not duplicative. There will not be 1st, 2nd or 3rd place "winners," as there will not be competition within categories. For example, three chapters may receive an ALA IDEA Award for their innovative and creative CLM Study Group programs. Awards will not be based on Chapter size or by submission category (Chapter, member, Region, etc.), but the Awards Committee may take that into account during the judging process. For firms and legal organizations, the person submitting the award application must be an ALA member. For business partner submissions, they must be a current advertiser or exhibitor (within the past 12 months).

Possible submission areas (not exhaustive):

Chart courtesy of David Oxley, CLM
  • Alternative Fee Arrangements
  • Bar Relations
  • Business Partner Relations
  • Client Service
  • CLM Related Activities
  • Communications
  • Community Connection
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Generational Awareness
  • Global Reach
  • Green Initiatives
  • Lateral Hiring and Retention
  • Leadership
  • Legal Project Management
  • Space Planning and Usage
  • Succession Planning
  • Talent Management
  • Technology
  • Visibility

The IDEA Awards Committee will review all award applications. The committee will collectively decide which entries will receive the ALA IDEA Award. Entries will be judged on:

  • Innovation
  • Impact and results
  • Creativity and originality
  • Success of project
  • Significance
  • Long-term impact

The 2014 IDEA Awards entry submission is closed, but hold that IDEA because ALA IDEA Awards will recognize your innovation every year. If you'd like to be notified when submissions for the next year's program are open, please email

The 2014 IDEA Awards Ceremony will be held on Tuesday, May 20 at the ALA Annual Conference in Toronto.

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