2017-20 Strategic Plan

Since 2008, the legal industry has experienced dramatic and historic change.  We have seen unprecedented law firm mergers and acquisitions; increased demands by corporate clients for greater efficiency, transparency, and cost control; the rise of new organizations providing legal services; rapid changes in technology; the creation of new legal management roles; and the introduction of the largest living generation into the workforce.  To help legal management professionals conquer these new challenges, the Association of Legal Administrators adopted an ambitious strategic plan to position ALA as the undisputed leader in the business of law. 

ALA's Annual Meeting — Online

The first phase of the plan (2013-16) resulted in the following:

  • ALA Online Communities
  • Business of Law e-Learning Center
  • Compensation & Benefits Survey, enhanced with digital dashboards
  • Virtual conferences
  • Webinars: enhanced subscriptions and reduced fees
  • BOLD Bites weekly digital newsletter and monthly print edition
  • ALA IDEA Awards program
  • ALA conference apps
  • White papers
  • Legal Management digital magazine
  • Legal Management Talk Podcasts
  • Regional Legal Management Conferences, with higher education content
  • Exclusive member benefit programs, like Teladoc, Infinisource, BreachPro, Allied World and National Purchasing Partners
  • Creation of the Mexico Chapter
  • Creation of the Uniform Process-Based Management System

Throughout 2016, the ALA Board of Directors, Regional Representatives, Committee Chairs and Chapter leaders have been engaged in extensive dialogue and discussion to develop the second phase of the plan, building on the progress achieved in Phase 1 and setting a strong foundation for long-term growth.

Our vision, to position ALA as the undisputed leader in the business of law, remains the same. Over the next three years, we will focus on five strategic goals:

  1. Define Our Identity: As the legal management profession changes and evolves, ALA must clearly define its role and leadership in the industry.  Establishing and communicating a compelling and engaging identity is essential to achieving our long-term vision.
  2. Increase Member and Business Partner Value: ALA has a long history of delivering essential resources, knowledge and networking to its members and business partners. With increasing competition, ALA must continue to build and enhance its reputation for value.
  3. Enhance Industry Thought Leadership: Leadership in the business of law requires that ALA take an active role in addressing key issues facing the profession and advance positions to elevate the critical role legal management professionals play in the industry.
  4. Advance Legal Management Professional Development: As legal management professionals face increasingly complex challenges, ALA must develop educational programs, resources and networking opportunities to provide them with the knowledge, skills and abilities to succeed.
  5. Build Community and Engagement: ALA members and business partners have identified networking and community as the most valuable benefits of their involvement in the organization. Building on that strong foundation is essential to our continued, long-term success.

Each goal is defined by a statement of the current condition, the change we are seeking to effect, and how we plan to measure progress for each of the goals.  Specific tactics will be developed each year as part of the association’s budget and plan of work, and progress on the plan will be communicated regularly to the membership via the ALA website, weekly BOLD Bites newsletters, and other communication platforms.  We look forward to working with the entire ALA community – members, business partners, chapters, and other leaders in the business of law – to achieving these goals.

ALA Vision
ALA is the undisputed leader for the business of law, focused on the delivery of cutting-edge management and leadership products and services to the global legal community.  We solve the most critical strategic and operational challenges our members and customers face today, while we prepare them for the opportunities and challenges of tomorrow.

2017-2020 Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Define Our Identity

Define a clear, compelling organizational identity that reflects who/what the association represents and that effectively focuses its programs, services and activities.

Condition: As the legal industry has changed, so too, has ALA’s membership, member and business partner needs, and ALA’s role in the profession. As we have tried to respond, our identity has become unclear.

Change: To develop a clear, compelling and well-recognized organizational identity.

Level: Achieve annual rate of 90% or higher brand alignment among members, business partners and other legal management professionals in surveys measuring brand perception vs brand promise.

Goal 2: Increase Member and Business Partner Value
Develop relevant, actionable, timely, responsive resources to increase value of ALA to members, business partners and other legal management professionals.

Condition: Facing increased and more complex challenges, members and business partners are seeking greater value for their investment.  To attract and retain members, business partners and customers, ALA must provide modern resources, expert insight, and invaluable connections for its constituencies.

Change: Increase value and perception of value received by members and business partners from membership and engagement with ALA.

a) Increase net promoter score by .3/year through 2020[1]

b) Increase non-dues revenue by 5%/year through 2020

Goal 3: Enhance Industry Thought Leadership
Become recognized as a thought leader in the legal industry by conducting critical industry research and developing new ideas, innovations and solutions to guide the legal management industry.

Condition: Market research indicates that ALA is not perceived as a thought leader in the industry.

Change: Enhance ALA’s image as a thought leader through original research, trend analysis and innovation.


a) Increase unique web hits by 5%/year through 2020

b) Increase number of ALA media impressions (Meltwater/Cision) by 10% per year

c) Increase speaking and content requests from external audiences (other associations, media, attorney associations, for profit groups) – 2 new per year through 2020

d) Secure endorsement of ALA UPBMS from ILTA, LMA, AALL, ARMA, ABA, ACC by Dec. 31, 2020

e) Increase sales to solo and small law firm practitioners by 5%/year through 2020

Goal 4: Advance Legal Management Professional Development
Advance the knowledge, skills and leadership of legal management professionals and strengthen the role of legal management professionals in the legal industry.

Condition: The legal industry is experiencing rapid, transformational change. The skills and training necessary for success is increasingly complex.  ALA must provide resources to help legal management professionals achieve continued career growth and raise awareness of the critical role they play in the industry.

Change: Increase the value of legal management professionals in the industry by developing relevant, insightful, actionable resources to advance their skills and leadership.


a) Improve average session evaluation scores by .05 /year through 2020

b) Increase the number of CLMs by 5% per year through 2020

c) Increase the number of professionals obtaining micro-credentials[2] (50 new per year through 2020)

Goal 5: Build Community and Engagement
Build a stronger sense of community and shared purpose and increase engagement among members, chapters, business partners, and other stakeholders.

Condition: Member and business partner engagement in ALA is declining. Limited resources are creating increased competition for financial support, time and talent.

Increase cooperation and collaboration among ALA components. Increase member and business partner participation in ALA programs and governance.

a) Increase in-person attendance across all conferences 3%/year through 2020

b) Increase number of business partner participants across all conferences 3%/year through 2020

c) Increase participation in member online communities 3%/year through 2020

d) Increase number of qualified applicants for volunteer opportunities


[1] *”Net promoter score” is a member loyalty metric and is determined by asking members “How likely are you to recommend ALA to a friend or colleague?” and having them respond using a 0-10 point rating scale, with 0 being not at all likely and 10 being extremely likely.  Promoters are those who respond with 9-10, detractors are those who respond with 0-6. Passives are those who respond 7-8. The score is determined by taking the percentage of members who are promoters and subtracting the percentage who are detractors.

[2] Micro-credentials are competency-based recognitions that students can earn to boost their résumés and showcase their growing skills. Micro-credentials focus on mastery of a singular competency