2017 Susan L. French Scholarship Recipientsfoundation-give

The Susan L. French Emerging Leader Scholarship Fund was established by GLJ Benefit Consultants in memory of former ALA President Susan L. French. The fund was established in recognition of Susan's commitment to professionalism, dedication to the advancement of law firm administration, development of future leaders and record of long-term service to the Association of Legal Administrators.

The scholarship fund will assist ALA members who want to develop their leadership skills through ALA's Chapter Leadership Institute. Please review the Susan French Emerging Leader Scholarship Fund Application for more information.

The Foundation was excited to be able to help five members attend the Chapter Leadership Institute held last July in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Here are some insights from our attendees.

I was an attendee at the July 2017 ALA Chapter Leadership Institute. My overriding, “macro” impression was of simply how useful I found the institute for gaining a deeper understanding of the value ALA offers through its educational offerings, business partnerships, online communities and strategic direction.

On a "micro" level, I got many interesting ideas from and had great experiences in the various sessions offered. We participated in breakout sessions -- organized by chapter size -- that provided us with innovative methods and ideas for driving member recruitment and engagement. In other sessions, we worked on our leadership skills through course offerings and close networking with local, regional and national leaders.

I found CLI to be a great "add-on" to participation at the annual conference, and I strongly encourage ALA members to attend!

Tammie L. Gonzalez, SHRM-CP
Office Administrator
Stoel Rives LLP

CLI is a unique experience where the sessions are not just “general education”. While we do have opportunities to learn how we can better manage various aspects of our individual law firms, the sessions also provide specific information and clear strategies for improving our local Chapters in a variety of ways: increasing membership, elevating the quality of educational meetings, deepening relationships with business partners, recognizing the value of the CLM, innovation with social media and so much more. On top of all that, we learn techniques for being a better Leader in all of our endeavors.

Sessions such as the keynote, "Empowering Chapters to Understand and Create Relevance with the Next Generation (Millennials)" is a good example of what I feel CLI is all about. The topic was relevant to managing the multi-generational law firm, but was also a good lesson in the direction that we need to be taking our Chapters and even gave us tips on how to better parent our teenagers to boot! These are Life Lessons … Lessons About Human Beings…which is my way of saying that we are provided with tools that we can take back and apply to our Chapters, Firms, families and relationships. Very valuable!

I appreciated that many of the Breakout Sessions were deliberately loosely moderated and provided time and opportunity for open discussion and collaboration. This seemed a very good format for the sharing of ideas and problem solving for specific situations. This is another component of CLI that I think is very valuable, the opportunity to have real-time discussions with other Chapter Leaders about tried-and-true methods (and some fails) of Chapter management and development.

Thank you for the opportunity to attend CLI at minimal cost to my Chapter.

Karen M. Senn
Accounting/Office Manager
Anderson Lahne & Fujisaki LLP

I have only been on my local chapter board for 4 months so seeing how other chapters do things is a great way to see how we can improve our own chapter.

Kari Frerk
Director of Finance
Dickinson Law

The programming was well thought out and thought-provoking. I particularly appreciated the feedback and input given by the different chapters that could be incorporated into my own local chapter.

If ever you have the chance to attend CLI, please do! You won’t regret it. You will walk away reinvigorated about all that ALA does and has to offer. The ability to mingle and network with others outside of your local chapter is icing on the cake to top-notch programming and idea sharing amongst peers.

Monique Mahler
Baker Hostetler

I felt the conference was very well done. We just started providing yearly scholarships to board members and I am going to push that the president-elect go to CLI every year. It’s a great place to evaluate and plan for your chapter.

Paul M. Walker
Snow, Christensen & Martineau