November 15 2012

Look for ALA Currents next Thursday
Member focus

Recognizing Former ALA Presidents
ALA wishes to recognize several former ALA Presidents for their recent achievements. William Migneron Jr. joins the College of Law Practice Management's Board of Trustees as Treasurer, and Patricia Lane, CLM and Richard Nigon, CLM have been inducted as Fellows for their contributions to excellence in law practice management. Congratulations!

Connecting with Members Online
Last month Your ALA News highlighted the Association's three discussion forums — a benefit available only to members. If you haven't had a chance to visit the forums yet, take a moment to read this recent member discussion below about attorney-to-secretary ratios.

Question: I'm aware this has been discussed several times in the past, but I am curious about current secretary to attorney ratios. Can you share your ratios? Does it differ between litigation and transactional?

Select member responses:

  • In our domestic offices the mandated ratio is 5 to 1, which we have easily met. This includes a night secretary and two floaters in the count. There is no difference between transactional and non-transactional groups. We do have one litigation secretary, an obvious superstar, who handles seven associates, all of whom are happy campers.

  • We are a 32-attorney firm in Texas. Our ratio of attorneys to secretaries is 3 to 1. Our ratio of attorneys to all other staff is almost 1 to 1.

  • We are a 60-attorney firm and keep our staff to attorney ratio just at or below 1 to 1. We have some administrators with two attorneys and some with five attorneys. We do provide a strong foundation of underlying support for this group, including dedicated file clerks, a full service copy center, word processing center, and of course, the runners.

Have a discussion of your own to introduce? Take advantage of the ALA discussion forums that provide real world examples from peers in addition to networking opportunities.

Disclaimer: The Editor's response in this study is not intended as legal advice. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate legal and other professional advice. Some responses have been edited for grammar and clarity, but not for content.

Members on the Move
South Florida Chapter member Sandra Borriello has joined 119-year-old Arnstein & Lehr, LLP as the Office Administrator for both the West Palm Beach and Boca Raton offices.

Barbara Brill, a member of ALA's Houston Chapter, is the Administrative Manager for Paul Hastings LLP's new office in Houston, Texas.

The firm of Dean Mead Egerton Bloodworth Capouano & Bozarth, PA announced that Patricia M. Chin, CLM from the Central Florida Chapter has joined the firm as their Executive Director. In her new role, which is based in the firm's Orlando office, Chin is responsible for leading the administrative team and overseeing the regional, multi-faceted operations of the law firm.

Wendy Rice-Isaacs, CLM, a former ALA President and current member of the Orange County Chapter, recently joined Bryan Cave, LLP's Irvine office as the Director of Administration.

Have you switched firms or do you have a new job title? Please let us know by emailing Associate Editor Kelly Zimmerman at kzimmerman@alanet.org.




Association news

2013 Annual Conference Registration, Housing Now Open
Register now for the premier education and networking event for legal management professionals — the 2013 ALA Annual Conference & Exposition, April 14-17, in National Harbor, Maryland. Don't miss out on more than 75 educational sessions, opportunities to connect with your colleagues and one-stop information gathering at the Exposition.

Throw Your Hat in the Ring
ALA is looking for a few good volunteers to fill positions within the following groups: Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, Business Partner Advisory Panel, Business Partner Relations Committee and the Foundation Board of Trustees. Make the most of your membership by getting involved!

Member Needs Survey
ALA is conducting a survey to help define current and future needs of our membership. All participants will be entered for a chance to win one of two iPads. The survey closes November 19 (that's Monday!), so please don't delay.


Office Max


Committee corner

Update from the Business Partner Relations Committee

As the Business Partner Relations Committee (BPRC) grows in recognition, we are often asked about the value of business partners. For many, the answer is quite simple. A good business partner makes our firms run smoother, allowing us to focus on other important firm business. For others, the BPRC works to help members and business partners understand the value.

Value is not easily measured. The merit of business partners is more than the intrinsic value of their services — the value is in the relationship. Successful business partner relationships, like any relationship, are built upon mutual trust, respect and open communication.

The BPRC is currently working on several initiatives with the Business Partner Advisory Panel (BPAP) that will help business partners, chapter leaders and members develop more successful relationships going forward. Some of our plans include online orientation opportunities for business partners and chapter leaders as well as assistance to chapters leaders who are looking to start or enhance local business partner programs.

If we can be of assistance please feel free to contact a member of the BPRC or ALA staff.

And remember, if you allow your business partner to collaborate with your firm, you will have moved from getting service to having a true partnership. It is at that point that you begin to find the value of ALA's business partners.


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