Strategic Plan Update — Q1 2021

  • ALA's Strategic Direction Development:
  • The Board of Directors is developing a new strategic direction for the next three years. Currently, they are creating success indicators for five goal areas. 

    Once the success indicators are established, ALA staff will develop tactics to achieve and metrics to measure them. The Board is reviewing programs, services and the budget to ensure that it all aligns with the new strategic direction. Then, the Board will have ongoing conversations with members and stakeholders on how to achieve the goals together as an Association.

  • ALA Celebrates 50 Years:
    ALA is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and is looking to have members share their stories. Members can go to to share their ALA story, and to watch 50 Years, 50 Stories, videos from ALA members and also find a 50 Years of ALA interactive timeline.

  • Member Recruitment Marketing
    ALA will continue its Membership Dues renewal campaigns through March 2021.

  • 2021 Dues Renewal Through February 2021:
    • 2021 Membership Stats:
      • 8,304 total members as of 2/15/21
      • 456 organizations enrolled in 2021 organizational pricing
      • 11 new firms that did not have any current members
    • 2021 Dues Renewal through February 15:
      • Individuals: 3,729 renewals for 65% renewal rate
      • Organizational Pricing: 436 orgs representing 1,842 individuals
    • 2021 Dues Renewal Campaign continues through March
      • February 19, dues statements were mailed to 1,952 individuals
      • 1,580 downloads by members of the Job Description Toolkit

  • Continuing Education Courses:
  • Legal Management Continuing Education Credits
    Read an article in the magazine and then demonstrate knowledge. The March 2021 course features an interactive e-learning scenario. It's available for needed subject areas like substance abuse.

    Summit Series Webcasts
    This member benefit allows ALA members free access to webcast interviews and a reduced price on products that can help enhance their career and improve skills they use every day. The Summit Series webcasts are: 

    • Series of interviews with legal management experts sharing latest insights on the industry.
    • Each one-hour webcast includes two interviews.
    • After the initial air date, the webcasts will be available to view on-demand at your convenience.

    In the fourth series of webcasts, Ari Kaplan returned to present a series of interviews with legal industry experts and consultants who discussed creating a culture of business development, dealing with irrational people and creating highly functional teams. The webcasts cover the topics of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness for lawyers; how to grow your influence and impact; and the quick and easy way to go from manager to leader.

    Click here for the latest on the ALA Summit Series Webcasts.

  • Weekly E-Newsletters:
  • ALA emails cover standard content topics each day, so audiences will learn to expect specific information (education, or events, or leadership, etc.) on set days during the week. Each day of the week features the following topics:

    • Monday — BOLD Bites
    • Tuesday — E-Learning
    • Wednesday — Membership News
    • Thursday — Events
    • Thought Leadership
  • Job Bank and Career Center:
  • ALA rolled out a new and improved Job Bank and Career Center. It's easier than ever for members to search and find job posting. ALA's Job Bank was the most viewed page on in 2020. Last year, 317 were posted and there were 625 applications sent through our system. 

  • Online Communities:
  • ALA’s Online Communities are a place for members to have discussions and network with one another on daily business questions. The conversations grow organically and often include samples and checklists that other members provide. Top searched terms in the Online Communities include: “job descriptions,” “retention” and “bylaws.” Within the Online Community, the Reference Library continues to grow with content that Regional Representatives previously updated from the old ALA Management Encyclopedia. In the coming months, ALA will be adding additional checklists, forms and job descriptions to the site so members can easily access them. You can easily find the Reference Library in the Online Communities.

    In 2021, ALA will be introducing a new platform. We've already created three new SIGs this year including: International, C-Suite and Legal Marketing. The most active conversations are happening in the General Discussion, Large Firm and in Information Technology. In 2020, there were 98,736 thread views, 11,946 posts and 2,697 conversations started.

  • ALA Virtual Meetups
    ALA offers new live networking that include opportunities for legal management professionals to interact, commiserate and share solutions to common problems over Zoom.

    ALA Roundtables are virtual member-centered discussions providing a forum for members to share knowledge and best practices in our rapidly changing environment. They focus on topics of current impact, predetermined and driven by member need and facilitator input. The sessions have an interactive component and allow for discussion and Q&A.

    ALA Hangouts offer another option for communicating member-to-member. Members get together to exchange ideas and solutions and informally chat about timely topics of interest. Each session's ad hoc agenda is fueled by lively member sharing and interaction.
  • ALA Business Partners:
  • ALA business partners, current and prospective, can find all the information they need related to ALA events and marketing opportunities at the ALA Business Partner Portal. The ALA Business Partner Portal was awarded the 2017 Gold Excel Award by the Association Media & Publishing, recognizing the best, and the brightest in association media and publishing.

    Legal Marketplace: ALA's free, one-stop resource for business solutions and services is visited more than 2,700 times each month by members seeking a competitive edge for their legal organization. Legal Marketplace features enhanced business partner profiles, interactive content, and easy-to-navigate solution categories like “exhibitors,” “business development,” “finance” and “human resources.”

  • Compensation and Benefit Studies:
  • Nearly 900 participants submitted data for the 2020 Compensation and Benefits Survey. The data was compiled into reports. ALA had partnerships with ILTA and LMA that allowed us to add legal technology and marketing positions, job description and new data collection points. This year's survey also had a special white paper supplement, "COVID-19: Retooling the Legal Machine" that looks at data after the report closed. The final 2020 Survey Reports are available now. Contact [email protected].
  • Legal Management Magazine:
    The magazine has more readers than ever ... January 2021 has had 3,333 readers! LM Extras delivers fresh content in between issues, too. As of February 2021, 11 LM Extras published. And now readers can sign up for notifications when a new issue hits. Just visit the LM Notifications page and subscribe to receive an alert direct to your device when new content is available. The print issue this year will be devoted to ALA's 50th Anniversary and will publish in late July.

  • SALI Alliance:
    ALA is a Founding Member of the Standards Advancement for the Legal Industry (SALI) Alliance, a not-for-profit organization comprised of legal industry professionals leading the development of industry standards for efficient and innovative legal services. The latest revision of the SALI Legal Matter Specification Standard (LMSS) 1.0 revision 3, is now posted on, and is open for public comment. For more information on SALI, click here

    In addition, ALA's Standards Review Committee is working with SALI to align our Uniform Process-Based Management System (UPBMS) standard with the LMSS.
  • White Papers:
    The most recent white papers include "The Risk: Cybersecurity Dangers During and After COVID-19," written by Drew Sorrell and "COVID-19: Retooling the Legal Machine," written by Phillip M. Perry. The next paper coming in the first quarter is on telecommuting as a tool for recruitment and retention. The Content and Publications team is working to find new topics for future papers. You can find all our white papers here.
  • UPBMS:
  • ALA has developed a comprehensive system of code, a taxonomy, that encompasses the wide variety of processes needed to support the practice of law. The UPBMS provides standard framework for legal operations to develop, implement and maintain successful management and operational strategies. It encourages use of a common language and approach to legal support operations across the industry.

    The most current UPBMS code set is available on the ALA website. Using the UPBMS codes, ALA has developed a Job Description Toolkit that is available at no additional cost for ALA members. Updates to the Toolkit are in the works. ALA members have used the UPBMS codes to assist with staffing decisions, work allocation, employee time analysis, business continuity planning, and overall operational process improvement. Please watch the two complimentary webinars, by Catherine MacDonagh, JD, discussing UPBMS utilization. They can be found: The ALA Standards Review Committee is responsible for updating the taxonomy on a regular basis, in addition to promoting its use.

  • ALA's 2021 Annual Conference & Expo:

    ALA’s 2021 Annual Conference & Expo is taking place in Austin, Texas, October 3–6. Learn more at

  • Virtual Events:
    The ALA Professional Development team is working on two virtual events at this time.
    - April 28-29, Master Class focused on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility
    - June 9-10, Workshop on Outside Counsel Guidelines

    We are collaborating with subject matter experts to design education and secure speakers who will deliver relevant content to meet our members' needs.

  • Webinars: Live and On-Demand:
    ALA's webinars span functional specialties and topics for every legal management professional. The sessions are 60 minutes in length and offer continuing education credits. There is access to more than 80 webinars on-demand. The content is relevant to what is happening in the world now, as content is set only two to three months in advance.
  • Resource Hubs:
    In a crunch and looking for specific legal management knowledge, information and materials? Then you’ve found the place to be!

    Whether you need assistance with your area of focus in legal management or tips on how to navigate through your career path, ALA is your resource for webinars, articles, podcasts, e-learning and information. And keep checking back — we’re adding new stuff for you all the time.

    Discover recent educational material about human resources management that ALA has produced. It is available in a single place: the new Legal Management Resource Hub for HR.

    Find the recent educational material about financial management that ALA has produced. It is available in a single place: the new Legal Management Resource Hub for FM.

    Find ALA-produced information and education for legal management professionals who want to develop a more comprehensive perspective and sharpen their human resources, financial, operational and leadership skills will benefit most from this program. It is available in a single place: the new Legal Management Resource Hub for Law Firm Management Essentials.

    Find ALA-produced information and education for legal management professionals serving in an executive level management role in their firms and legal departments. C-Suite often includes chief operating officer, chief executive officer, chief financial officer, etc. It is available in a single place: the new Legal Management Resource Hub for the C-Suite.

    Discover ALA content on communications management. Get resources on oral, written and interpersonal communication skills, as well as stress management techniques and time management strategies. It is available in the new Legal Management Resource Hub for Communications Management.

    Get ALA content related to the legal industry and business management. Learn more about law firm management and professional conduct, liability issues, changes and trends in the legal industry, records management and retention requirements in the business of law. It is available in the new Legal Management Resource Hub for Legal Industry/Business Management.

    Access content related to operations management and IT. Learn more about work product quality control, lease/contract agreements, project management, workplace safety, and development strategies. Technology includes knowledge of the features and capabilities of computer and network hardware and software systems, internet, websites and security. It is available in the new Legal Management Resource Hub for Operations Management.

    Now you can also find COVID-19 or Diversity & Inclusion resources. 

  • CLM Program:
    2021 exam registration is open for the spring and fall exams, and application deadlines will close two months prior to each test date.

    The CLM exam has just been reevaluated for relevancy to the current moment and may be updated. As we wait for this news, we are creating some new resources to support learners: an online trivia night for members studying for the exam to compete with one another and an e-learning resource with interactive exercises. We are also surveying CLMs about what would have been useful to them.
    ALA is also creating new resources for studying including a group trivia event for information on the CLM exam in May 2021, and an e-learning self-study resource that has vocabulary matching, scenarios and other exercises.
  • Conference Recordings:
    ALA has combined session recordings from our 2020 virtual events with webinars, CE courses from Legal Management, and e-Learning courses to offer educational packages to ensure that legal management professionals have comprehensive education at their fingertips. The following will be available by March 1:
    • ALA Today: The Virtual Conference, 12 bundles
    • Master Class: Critical Skills for Legal Management Success, 4 bundles
    • ALA Right Now: A Virtual Conference, 3 bundles

  • Online Education:
  • ALA offers expert instruction, skill building and timely content through two types of learning.

    Law Firm Management Essentials e-Learning Courses: These self-paced online courses cover the fundamentals of our profession. They are available a la carte or as a complete set of five courses. They cover five areas including Financial Management, Human Resources, Leadership, Legal Industry, and Operations Management.

    Web-Based Courses: Six-week instructor-led online courses for each (HR1 and HR2 OR FM1 and FM2). Human Resources courses are happening in the first half of 2021 and the Financial Management courses will be held in the fall. HR1 and HR2 or FM1 and FM2 completion provides the option to earn a Legal Management Specialist Certificate in the respective area. 

  • Social Media:

    ALA has launched the official ALA’s Instagram account — @ALA_buzz. ALA’s social media channels can keep you up to date on the latest in industry trends, education opportunities, chapter news and member events. In 2020, ALA is emphasizing increased engagement on all social media platforms. Be sure to follow us, tag ALA in your posts and use #ALABuzz.

  • Navigation:
    ALA updated it's navigation on the website in order to better align its structure with what members get the most value out of. New menu tabs were created for Networking and Resources. ALA always had those items on our website, but we've reorganized our navigation to make them easier to find.

  • Chapter Support:

    The Chapter Resource Team (CRT), formed in April 2019, assists chapters by:

    • Providing guidance in the development of creative strategies that promote and educate members on ALA policies, programs and initiatives.
    • Providing support and resources to chapters.
    • Serving as mentors to chapter leaders.
    • Serving as subject matter experts on a variety of chapter-related matters.

    In addition to serving as mentors to their assigned chapters, the CRT is responsible for hosting virtual sessions provided as part of the Chapter Leader Educational Series. These sessions, which are open to all current or prospective chapter leaders, focus on topics related to chapter leadership. They are similar in content to what you might expect of CLI session and are recorded for future reference. The CRT also assists chapters by providing content for Just the Facts, ALA’s bi-monthly e-newsletter for chapter leaders.

  • ALA Education Hub:
    ALA has a new mobile app on the way. This app serves as a marketplace for all ALA Education Opportunities. Chapters can upload and offer sessions to all members. All ALA members can search the entire database to find what they need. ALA will be adding new features regularly.

  • ALA Logo Shop:
    Show your ALA pride! Find exclusive ALA-branded apparel and accessories in the ALA Logo Shop. For a limited time, ALA is offering 50th Anniversary products, too.