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Ahead of the Curve

September 2018

PURPOSE

The Professional Development Advisory Committee’s (PDAC) purpose in providing you this communication is to further its goal of periodically sharing topical information regarding the legal industry. Our hope is that one or more of the updates will provide a spark of insight to assist with your work on behalf of ALA as well as within your firm or legal department.


    

"WINGING IT NO LONGER, LAW FIRMS BRING IN THE DIVERSITY PROFESSIONALS"

"As law firms and legal departments struggle to speed up racial and gender diversity in the profession, a relatively new niche is taking shape in the industry." There is increasing commitment from law firms regarding their diversity initiatives. Some larger firms are creating a new position of Chief Diversity Officer to assist with their continued commitment to diversity. This article highlights the possibility of bringing in an outside professional to also assist with these projects.

Read more.

Resource: Meghan Tribe, Law.com (requires free subscription)


"THE PROBLEM WITH ASSOCIATE EVALUATIONS"

Employee reviews have been around forever. This article points out great examples of the problems in conveying a message during a review. While the article has great examples related to the review process concerning women, these same messages can be applied to both genders. Employers need to learn how to provide a productive evaluation and leave the meeting with the employee being provided quality feedback that is meaningful to improve their performance.


Read more.

Resource: Lauren Stiller Rikleen, The American Lawyer


"ANOTHER WAKE UP CALL FOR LAW FIRMS"

This immigration firm just distinguished itself in a tough boutique legal services market!   

"The deal brings together PwC UK and the New York-based immigration specialist law firm Fragomen, handing PwC a major foothold in the U.S. market. 

PwC has agreed to an alliance with U.S. immigration specialist law firm Fragomen in one of the most significant examples to date of the Big Four joining forces with a law firm. The alliance between PwC UK and Fragomen—which has more than 50 offices around the world and posted revenue of $577 million (£441 million) for 2017 — will hand PwC a major foothold in the U.S. market, where the New York-based firm has 16 offices across all major financial centers."

PwC Forms Alliance With US Firm, Furthering Big Four's Ambitions in Law


Read more.

Resource: Ben Wheway, The American Lawyer (requires a free subscription)


"STOP SCHEDULING CONFERENCE CALLS AND FINALLY COMMIT TO VIDEOCONFERENCING"

"We all know what happens on conference calls. People dial in and then multitask, barely paying attention. You spend more time refocusing the conversation and getting people to participate than you do solving problems. The next time you have a meeting with people in another office or city, consider using videoconferencing instead. The visual connection ensures that people stay engaged and focused, and that those who are struggling to join the conversation can visually indicate that they’d like to talk. And unlike conference calls, videoconferencing allows us to consider not only the words being spoken but also the facial expressions, posture, and body language involved — all the cues we use to intuitively decode what’s really being said. The discussion will feel more organic, which will increase the quality of the ideas and the thoughtfulness of the comments, and make it easier for you to keep people fully engaged"


Read more.

Resource: Scott Edinger, Harvard Business Review


"WHAT ARE AN APPLICANT’S TATTOOS TELLING POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS?"

"Researchers reach widely different conclusions on what employers think about job candidates’ tattoos."

Read more.

Resource: June D. Bell, SHRM, HR Magazine


"FIRING FOR ONLINE BEHAVIOR"

"What happens online may not stay online. When is it appropriate to discipline employees for their past or present posts?"


Read more.

Resource: June D. Bell, SHRM, HR Magazine


"GEAR UP FOR COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE 2.0"

Eight ways to step up your firm's CI game — and prevent being blind-sided.

Read more

Resource: Mark Beese, Attorney at Work


"LAW FIRMS AT A CROSSROADS: THE NEW PATHS TO SAFEGUARDING DATA AS ATTACKS RAMP UP"

"How do you protect your firm? The vast majority of cyber-related vulnerabilities can be traced to staff and third parties who accidentally or deliberately don’t follow security protocols or are tricked into downloading malicious code."

Read more.

Resource: Brian Lapidus and Keith Wojcieszek, Kroll, Legaltech News (requires a free subscription)

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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Jennifer Colwell, CLM, MBA — McGill, Gotsdinger, Workman, & Lepp

Kevin Costello — Holland & Knight LLP

Tammy Cowser, PHR, CP — Foley & Lardner LLP

Lisa Dasher, CLM, CPA, CGMA, Chair — Wicker Smith O'Hara McCoy & Ford P.A.

Rick Hellers — nQueue Billback LLC

Lana McGinnis, CLM, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Vice Chair — Sturgill Turner Barker & Moloney, PLLC

Teresa Reiner, CLM — Gislason & Hunter LLP

Teresa Walker — Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP

Stephen Wolf, CLM, CPA — Deutsch Kerrigan, LLP

ALA Board of Directors Liaison to Committee

Michael Bumgarner, CLM, CPA, CGMA — Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC

ALA Liaison to Committee

Patricia S. Carrera, JD, CKM, CPLP — ALA's Sr. Director, Member Experience

pcarrera@alanet.org; 847-267-1252