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January 9, 2014

Look for ALA Currents next Thursday
 
This Issue Sponsored By

eBillingHub is a SaaS e-billing solution that helps law firms quickly and effectively respond to client demand for electronic invoicing. The e-billing process is dramatically simplified through a single portal, resulting in reduced write-downs and improved cash flow for law firms. For more information, visit eBillingHub.com.

 


Association news

ALA Extends Agreement with GLJ Benefit Consultants
ALA Extends Agreement with GLJ Benefit Consultants ALA is excited to announce a multiyear extension of its VIP agreement with GLJ Benefit Consultants. In the portfolio, members can find exclusive services from GLJ, Infinisource, National Pension Professionals and Principal Financial Group. The new agreement was signed with members of ALA and GLJ leadership in attendance, including ALA Executive Director Oliver Yandle, Garry Johnson, Alan Wilson, Eric Johnson and Corry Johnson. ALA thanks the entire GLJ team for its support.

Please note that as of December 15, 2013, Hanover Professionals no longer offers the VIP LPL Program to ALA Membership as originally negotiated. In light of this development, Hanover Professionals is no longer a participant in ALA's Value in Partnership program. Contact GLJ Benefit Consultants at 1-800-892-8826 with any questions or concerns.

Get Legal Management for Your iPad or Android Tablet
Get instant access to ALA's top go-to resource from your tablet devices — from Android to Apple! Download your free iTunes app for iPads or Google Play app for Android tablets, and start interacting with our digital preview issues right away. Specially selected content from both our October/November 2013 and December 2013 issues is currently available in the app, and the complete January 2014 issue will be available later this month. Learn more about Legal Management's exciting and innovative transition from print to digital in our new video.

Conference Early Bird Rates Available Now
ALA's 2014 Annual Conference & Exposition registration is open — but the early bird rate (which saves you $200 off the regular rate) is available for only a limited time. The conference website is packed with information for your review, including a comprehensive daily schedule and complete descriptions for our 90-plus educational sessions, sortable by category/competency or date/time. Save big by registering today!

New! IDEA Awards Celebrate Innovation
ALA will present its all-new IDEA Awards at the 2014 Annual Conference & Exposition. Members, chapters, committees, regions, law firms and business partners are all eligible to submit their innovative ideas that drove success in the past year. Learn more about the IDEA Awards — including types of innovations to consider for submission — and enter by January 27.

 

Member focus

New Year's Resolution — Reap ALA Member Benefits in 2014!
Ring in 2014 with a whole year of ALA membership benefits and opportunities. Don't miss out on another 12 months — jam-packed with education, networking and events. Now, you can print your personalized invoice, too! If you have not done so already, sign in and renew your 2014 ALA membership dues today.

Members on the Move
ALA members are on the move! Download the new Legal Management app — for iPads or for Android tablets — and peruse the ALA Faces section of the December issue to find out where some of your colleagues are now working. If you would like to share a new job title or place of employment in ALA publications, please email Kelly Zimmerman.

GWU Targets ALA Members with Advanced Education
The George Washington University, an ALA Business Partner, offers a Master of Professional Studies in Law Firm Management. For ALA members looking to learn more about this program, GWU is offering an online information session on Tuesday, January 14, at 1 p.m. ET. Join GWU and learn how to advance in your career and to strengthen your strategic leadership skills. RSVP today at cps.gwu.edu/lawfirm or call 1-800-JOIN-GWU (564-6498). If you cannot join the information session this month, note that future hour-long sessions are scheduled for February 11 and March 4, and you can RSVP for those now as well.

 

Committee corner

Turning the Page
By Mark Bridgeman, CLM

"Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one."
— country music artist Brad Paisley

Happy New Year! It is my hope that 2014 will bring all of us an abundance of wonderful things and new beginnings. For my family, we will certainly "turn several pages" as we begin new chapters in our lives. We will be blessed with the birth of our first grandchild in May, Steve will be leaving the ALA Board of Directors, I will join the Board in May, and we will walk another daughter down the aisle to begin her life in marriage in November.

Additionally, as the 2014 Conference Chair, the Conference Committee and I are thrilled that we will be part of a new chapter in ALA's history, as we put the finishing touches on ALA's premier educational event — the ALA Annual Conference & Exposition, An Education and Networking Mosaic, to be held May 19-22 in Toronto.

Why will we be "turning the page" to a new chapter? To capitalize on ALA's new strategic plan, this year's conference will be fresh and invigorating, and like no other member experience you've had before at an educational conference. We have designed more than 90 educational sessions that will have something for each and every ALA membership demographic, including government, corporate, independent, international, large firm and functional specialty.

You probably have already visited the new and improved conference website and explored the easy-to-use interface. Check it out often, as content continues to be added. We have created some unique educational programs, including:

  • Special Monday education programming, including, but definitely not limited to:
    • The Social Media Hive Kickoff;
    • Cushman Wakefield Session — National Legal Sector Benchmark Survey Results — A Comprehensive Perspective of Today's Legal Marketplace (Business, Financial and Operational);
    • The Future Law Firm Special Presentation; and
    • Business Matters Sessions.
  • Partnering with LMA for two new pre-conference marketing certificate programs — one full-day and one half-day program. There is an additional cost for these dynamic programs. Please be sure to check out the conference website for up-to-date information on these and other educational offerings.
  • Managing Partner Suite — Educational programming designed for not only senior management, but also for our managing partners.
  • Select education sessions presented in both French and English.
  • Senior Administrator Guided Education (SAGE) Suite education designed for senior administrator teams.
  • Educational programming complete with HRCI (including strategic credit) and CLM education, recertification, CLE and special Canadian credits will be provided. In addition and new this year, we will provide specialized education credit for our Canadian members — CHRP (for HR), CGA (for accounting) and Law Society of Upper Canada credit (for lawyers).
  • Social Media HIVE Sessions — Learn how to use social media and how it can benefit both your firm and you, personally as well as professionally.
  • Educational programming designed with the "Future Law Firm" in mind, including human resources, technology and business management. Also, attendees can tour "The Legal Office of the Future: Innovation Lab," presented by ALA in partnership with Gensler.
  • Hot Topic sessions for the legal professional that will be designed right up to the moment conference starts with the most current and relevant information.

"For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning."
— T.S. Eliot

We have already announced our special keynote address (new and on Tuesday morning this year), Endeavour to Succeed, presented by former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords and her husband, Captain Mark Kelly, a retired combat pilot and astronaut. Their message will undoubtedly inspire all of us to lead our firms and businesses to success, as well as have a powerful and personal impact on how believing in ourselves can take us to new heights in our lives and profession.

In an effort to reinvigorate the fun we have in ALA, we have written some very new and exciting networking scripts. There will be a variety of networking opportunities, such as the captivating Welcome Reception and the Leadership/Newcomer's Connection (formerly the Newcomers' Reception) on the conference program. In addition, we hope you will join in the fun at ALA's inaugural IDEA Awards, which replace the Chapter Awards and will honor not only chapters, but also individuals, law firms, business partners and others who have been innovators in the past year. And, again this year, our Grand Finale event will start with dinner, followed by a full concert by a famous 70s-80s pop-rock band we will be announcing very soon, ending the evening with a DJ, dancing, chocolate and champagne at the Fairmont Royal York, ALA's headquarters hotel.

The page also is turning for the former Exhibit Hall, which will be transformed into the new Legal Marketplace at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This chapter will allow you to venture with us and visit with all of our valued ALA business partners, as well as to explore "The Legal Office of the Future: Innovation Lab," presented by ALA in partnership with Gensler, a global design and architecture firm. This special event and exhibition will feature a panel of technology and management visionaries and a fully built-out display to showcase how the legal office of the future could look. You will able to take tours of this spectacular 2,500-square-foot exhibit on the floor of The Legal Marketplace in Toronto!

We will also have several unique "lounges" in the Legal Marketplace, including the HIVE, in which you will learn how to use social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more) most effectively, as well as how social media can benefit you and your firm/business. We will also have the The Hub, in which you will learn about new products, have the opportunity to attend educational sessions and, of course, be able to "Ask the Experts" about the latest and greatest in legal and business products and services. Finally, we'll offer space to "Recharge," where you can connect with your office back home, recharge your devices and yourself, before launching into more of the dynamic education.

What will remain part of our story is that all of you attending the 2014 Annual Conference & Exposition will be making a wise investment, not only for your firm or business, but also for yourself. We know that you will, without a doubt, be "turning your own pages" and creating several new chapters in your conference story — bringing back ideas and concepts to improve your firm/business processes, motivate your staff and attorneys, and increase productivity (yours and your staff's).

While I trust that your new year will already be off to a very good start by the time of our conference in May, I hope this article has been a page turner for you — one that will encourage you to open the book and explore and discover what's in store for you in Toronto. Learn more on our website and register now to attend at special early bird rates. Be a part of your own story of new inspiration, as you reconnect with your colleagues, connect with new and old friends, and explore the opportunities to lead your organizations into the future.

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."
Edith Lovejoy Pierce

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