April 4, 2013

Look for ALA Currents next Thursday
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Member focus

Regional Photos
Thank you, ALA members, for sharing your latest photos of chapter activities and events! Take a few minutes to peruse the recently updated photo galleries for recent highlights from each of ALA's six regions. Make sure to keep an eye out for the next group of albums, featuring highlights from the 2013 Annual Conference & Exposition.
[View photo galleries]

Members on the Move
ALA members are on the move! Congratulations to the following members who have new positions:

Diane L. Camacho, CLM, a member and Past President of the Golden Gate Chapter, is the Office Administrator for the San Francisco branch of Littler Mendelson, PC.

Joe Cerone, CLM, a member and Past President of the Raleigh/Durham Chapter, recently became the Office Manager for the North Carolina State Bar in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Linda Copson, CLM from the Granite State Chapter has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Downs Rachlin Martin, PLLC.

Tracey Gallegos, CLM from the Greater Chicago Chapter is now Manager, Legal Operations for Argonne National Laboratory, an engineering and scientific research facility with the U.S. Department of Energy in Lemont, Illinois.

Denise Gaskin, Oregon Chapter member, has been named Chief Operating Officer for the Pacific Northwest firm Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt.

Roxanna Krueger, CLM from the Mile High Chapter has moved to Gordon & Rees, LLP and is Office Administrator for its Denver, Colorado branch.

Heather Larrick, CLM - President-Elect of the Silicon Valley Chapter and member of the Golden Gate Chapter - is now the Bay Area Office Administrator for Shearman & Sterling, LLP, and manages the firm's San Francisco and Palo Alto offices.

Joyce M. McPherson from the Minnesota Chapter is the Administrative Manager for Cummins & Cummins, LLP in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Yvonne Mills, CLM, a Past President and current Treasurer of the Silicon Valley Chapter, is now the Sr. Office Administrator for Goodwin Procter LLP's Menlo Park, California office.

Janis Painter joined Dean Mead Egerton Bloodworth Capouano & Bozarth, PA - a Florida-based firm - as the Human Resources Director for all of its offices.

Tina Sabbagh, a member of the Gateway Chapter, is now Chief Operating Officer for The Driscoll Firm, PC in St. Louis, Missouri.

Would you like to tell your fellow members that you have switched firms or have a new job title? Please let us know by contacting Associate Editor Kelly Zimmerman.


Association news

2013 Compensation and Benefits Survey
Are you up to date on the latest compensation trends?

ALA's 2013 Compensation and Benefits Survey questionnaire is almost ready for your participation. The survey findings will provide you with the most relevant statistical information on compensation and benefits in the legal industry.

New this year, ALA has contracted with ALM Legal Intelligence (publishers of The American Lawyer and The National Law Journal, as well as many industry surveys) to administer and prepare the survey on our behalf — and it's all online. No paper forms to fill out and mail!

ALA will be sending out the survey notices via email early next week; watch your inbox, and plan now to respond as soon as possible. Remember, more participation makes the report more valuable, and means better information for everyone.

All respondents will be able to purchase the report at a significant discount. Don't delay! The deadline is Monday, May 20, 2013.

Latest VIP Business Partner: Infinisource
Meet ALA's newest Value in Partnership (VIP)SM business partner, Infinisource, which provides real solutions to today's complex employee management issues. Solutions include iSolved, a single application for HR, payroll, TimeForce time and attendance, and benefits administration, as well as administration for COBRA, flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements. See the VIP page below for special offers for ALA members, including a lifetime rate lock.
[Learn more]

New iPad Products from ALA
Buy our new book bundle from the ALA Bookstore and save 10 percent when you purchase both iPad in One Hour for Lawyers and iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers. Offer expires April 30. Also new to the Bookstore is the ALA iPad Stand Padfolio. Get organized and show your ALA pride!
[Order the iPad book bundle]     [Order the iPad stand padfolio]

April Webinar
Join us for "Mentoring: It's Déjà Vu All Over Again," our monthly Webinar on April 17. During this one-hour presentation, Michael Moore, J.D. discusses how effective mentoring programs are critical to a lawyer's professional development and for sustained success in law firm management. Plus, learn strategies for developing a plan for exceptional mentoring.
[Register now]


Committee corner

An Update from the Certification Committee

The Certification Committee consists of nine ALA members with staggered terms. Typically, at least one person rolls off the committee each year, so we conduct a call for volunteers each fall. As part of our goal to demystify the certification process, we explain here how committee members are selected.

We receive quite a few applicants for the open committee position(s) — all from extremely qualified individuals. It's very difficult to select, so we have chosen to use the following criteria:

Specialization: The Certification Committee members write the questions for the Certified Legal Manager (CLM)SM exam. In order to write quality questions, it is important to have committee members with varying backgrounds and areas of expertise. If an outgoing committee member has a strength in finance, we often favor applicants who have a strong financial background, such as a CPA. Likewise, if an outgoing member had a specialization in human resources, someone with a PHR or SPHR certification might be a leading candidate. This does not, however, mean that general administrators would not be selected. We just look for a balance.

Firm Size, Gender, Geographic Location: When looking for new committee members, we consider the demographics of our current members, and we try to balance firm sizes, genders and firm locations.

Quality of Application: It is critical that exam questions are written with clarity and correct grammar. We carefully review the committee applications for proper grammar and spelling. We also pay close attention to the reason why a person is interested in serving on the committee. We are looking for passion.

Other ALA Commitments: Our Committee meets during the ALA Annual Conference each year to conduct item writing training. It is very important for a new committee member to attend that orientation. If he/she has other ALA responsibilities during the Conference that would interfere with orientation attendance, he/she would likely not be selected that year for the committee.

ALA Prior Leadership: We have received feedback that we should spread out the volunteer opportunities among our ALA members. With that in mind, we have tried to balance committee membership between new and seasoned ALA volunteers.

After scrutinizing each application, we narrow our selection, and members of the committee call the candidates and appropriate references. We have a detailed due diligence form that is used consistently. During this process, our goal is to get to know the candidates. Do they do what they commit to do? Can they check their egos at the door? Are they good team players? Will they keep certification material confidential? Do they have a good sense of humor?

The Certification Committee members pick their preferred candidates, and that recommendation goes to the ALA Board of Directors. The Board makes the final decision.

If you have any questions about the Certification Committee, please visit with any member.

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