August 22, 2013

Look for ALA Currents next Thursday
This Issue Sponsored By

Steelcase offers an extensive range of services and products — interior architecture, furniture and technology solutions — founded in a research methodology that focuses on how people work and how great spaces can help. ALA Members now will receive exclusive discounts on Steelcase Inc. products.

Member focus

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

Gateway Chapter member Paul Atkinson has moved from Marketing & Proposal Manager at Thompson Coburn LLP to Business Development Manager at Husch Blackwell LLP. Atkinson will lead business development for the firm's Energy and Natural Resources group and will work at the Denver, Colorado office.

Dean Boeschen, a member of the Gateway Chapter, has moved from Greensfelder Hemker & Gale, PC to Husch Blackwell LLP, where he is the Director of Business Management.

Grace Lopez, a member of the South Florida Chapter, is now Director of Administration for Carlton Fields, PA in their Miami, Florida office.

Kerry Schiller, who recently joined ALA, is the new Chief Operating Officer for Goldberg Segalla, LLP. In her new position, she will be responsible for driving and implementing strategic initiatives in addition to managing the firm's business service functions.

Gateway Chapter member Kristi Simmonds has moved from Administrative Services Manager at Husch Blackwell LLP to Director of Administration at Spencer Fane Britt & Browne, LLP in their St. Louis, Missouri office.

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 Kelly Zimmerman.

Welcome, New Members
ALA is proud to welcome 155 new members who joined the Association in the month of July. Click through to view a complete roster of our new members, and be sure to involve them at your chapter's next event.
[View the new member list]

ALA Members' Firms Rank in Top 10 for Prestige
Vault.com released its Vault Law 100 rankings for 2014, a list that positions law firms based on their prestige. About 17,000 law associates were surveyed, and they were not allowed to rank their own firms during the process. Below are the 10 top firms that appeared on the list of 100. All 10 of these firms have at least one ALA member who is employed there as an administrator.

  1. Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz
  2. Cravath Swaine & Moore, LLP
  3. Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP
  4. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, LLP
  5. Davis Polk & Wardwell, LLP
  6. Weil Gotshal & Manges, LLP
  7. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP
  8. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, LLP
  9. Kirkland & Ellis, LLP
  10. Latham & Watkins, LLP

Congratulations to law firm Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, which has been leading the charge on this list for more than a decade! The firm has grabbed the No. 1 spot on this list for 11 years in a row.

Association news

Registration Open for Regions 1 & 3 Conference & Expo
Join us for two days of intensive learning and networking experiences at the Regions 1 & 3 Conference & Expo, taking place October 24-26, 2013, at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio. This year's topics include The Law Office of Tomorrow, mobile device deployments, succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, and more.
[Register today]

Regional Conferences Open to All Members
Did you know that you can attend any of ALA's Regional Conferences, regardless of where you work or live? Don't feel left out if your Region's conference doesn't work for you this year. Join us at any one of them!
[Learn more]

Don't Miss Your Chance to Volunteer
It's already time to prepare for the 2015 Annual Conference & Exposition, which will be held on May 17-20, 2015 at Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee; however, ALA cannot start the process without volunteers! If you are interested in applying for a seat on the 2015 Annual Conference Committee - which will work with ALA headquarters staff to put together the right mix of educational and networking events for our members - we want to hear from you. Get started now, as the deadline is September 4 - less than two weeks away!
[Apply today]

Play the "iSpy Summer Giveaway" for your chance to win an iPad mini.
Congratulations to our Week 5 winner, Sarah Taylor.
Week 6 Question: What Tabs3 and PracticeMaster Platinum feature can be used on smartphones, tablets and offsite computers?

Find the answer in Legal Marketplace and enter to win. Entries subject to the Official Rules.


Committee corner

Update from the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion
Change: It is the key word that all of us who manage legal services organizations should learn to embrace. As Andrés Tapia outlined during his keynote remarks at the 2013 Annual Conference & Exposition, the demographics of our organizations, communities, country and world are changing. Technology has pushed all of us to embrace how we work differently. It is becoming impossible to achieve and maintain professional success without being able to leverage technology to meet the demands of today's work world. The same holds true for how our organizations manage diversity and inclusion.

Long-term success is not achievable without increased diversity in our organizations. That is the guiding mantra that focuses the efforts of our committee. Increased diversity has to come with a true commitment to making sure inclusion is the underpinning of everything we do. Tapia is correct: "Diversity is the mix. Inclusion is making the mix work."

Here is how ALA and its Committee on Diversity and Inclusion are developing tools and resources to insure that all of us are successful in meeting the challenge of being prepared for the future. Our resources include timely Tip Sheets, the new ALA Diversity & Inclusion Scorecard - Road Map to Change, ALA Diversity Toolkit and the ALA Guide to Cross-Functional Mentoring. With the mission to help the profession attract, retain, and develop diverse attorneys and staff, ALA continues to host a wide range of resources on its website for administrators, firms and chapters interested in broadening their knowledge of diversity and inclusion best practices. These resources include new items, must-read reports, studies, podcasts and web links hosted on the ALA Diversity Resource page.

ALA continues to look for ways to increase diversity and inclusion within our membership, leadership, business partners and headquarters staff. The ALA Board has increased the Association's support of our efforts to provide new resources. We introduced the ALA Diversity and Inclusion Scorecard - Road Map to Change. The Road Map is a tool to assist ALA chapters and legal workplaces to advance diversity and inclusion. In the future, it will also serve as a means to gauge trends and best practices among legal workplaces and ALA chapters. It is a significant undertaking for ALA, but one that will deliver meaningful change and results in the future.

ALA continues to invite Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises to the Association and make them aware of the opportunities that exist for providing products and services to our members. The initiative that we started last year will receive additional focus in the coming year.

The Committee presented a session at the 2013 Annual Conference in National Harbor, Maryland and two sessions at the 2013 Chapter Leadership Institute in Atlanta, Georgia. Our plan is to do the same at future Annual Conferences. For the second year, the Committee held a mid-year meeting. It enabled us to continue our strategic approach to diversity and inclusion in the Association.

In addition to these efforts, we recognize that the best way we can create change in our profession is to extend opportunities for you, your chapter and your firm to become involved in creating more inclusive, respectful workplaces. We are continually looking for opportunities to support advocacy-related activities at both the Association and chapter levels. To that end, you can join the ALA Diversity and Inclusion Discussion Forum on LinkedIn.

"A Change is Gonna Come", a song written and made famous by Sam Cooke, tells us: "It's been a long time coming... But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will." Well, that change is here. For some of us, the change has been here for years, and for others, it is truly on the way. It is no longer a nice proposition to say, "Yes, we probably should make a results driven commitment to diversity and inclusion, but we really don't see a need or are not ready." As leaders of legal workplaces and organizations that want to be successful, we cannot ignore that change is here.

The Committee's plan over the next year is to continue developing resources that support the ALA Diversity & Inclusion Scorecard - Road Map to Change. We will continue to develop other resources and tools. We also plan to develop presentations for chapter meetings and events. The Committee is looking forward to another educational session at the 2014 Annual Conference. We want to forge new relationships with organizations in the legal community who have a focus on diversity and inclusion. Finally, we will continue our ongoing efforts to improve support of chapters and members who see that the change is here and want to make a difference.

In conclusion, we appreciate your taking the time to read this update. We invite your suggestions as well as any comments you have about how we are doing as an Association in the area of diversity and inclusion. We want to know what you need and what challenges you face both within your chapter and within the workplace. To submit a comment, email John Delavan, Staff Liaison, Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.

Copyright © 2013 by the Association of Legal Administrators. All Rights Reserved.