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The 2020 Annual Conference Committee Shares Their Favorite Memories

February 27, 2020

Each year, ALA’s Annual Conference & Expo creates many opportunities to expand upon our knowledge within the legal industry, meet new business partners and reconnect with existing ones, visit with colleagues from across the globe and create new relationships with peers. These relationships have so much to offer in the form of critical business knowledge, wisdom and continuous support — both professionally and personally. Below, members of the 2020 Annual Conference Committee share their experiences:

“Many, many years ago, before I had met so many wonderful ALA friends across the country, I attended a conference where I was the only attendee from my chapter and was a bit overwhelmed. I just happened to sit next to several Gateway Chapter members during a General Session, and they instantly struck up a conversation with me. Once they learned that I was attending all by myself, they took me under their wing and made me feel so welcome and a part of their chapter, which literally changed the entire conference experience for me that year. We are all still great friends today, and I’m looking forward to being able to catch up with them in Salt Lake City!”

Debra Burgos
HR/Office Administrator
Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
2020 Annual Conference Committee Member


“Over 10 years ago while living in Dallas, Texas, and working for the law firm of Baker Botts as their Human Resources Manager, I hired an amazing Conference Services Manager. A year later, I moved back east to another firm and we lost touch. Last year, I served on the planning committee for the 2019 Annual Conference & Expo in Dallas, Texas. She had recently been promoted to be Office Administrator at Baker Botts and immediately joined ALA. While sitting in a General Session, she saw my name and picture on the screen as a member of the Annual Conference Committee. She raced to the front tables where the committee was seated. What an amazing feeling to learn of her promotion and the part I played many years ago in bringing her to the firm. We had a great reunion and spent many hours chatting for the rest of the conference. She’s coming to SLC and we can’t wait to spend time together! I love ALA!”


Elizabeth Christman, SHRM-CP
Director of Human Capital and Resources
Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld, LLC


“While attending conference a couple of years ago, I started a conversation with a CLM sitting next to me at lunch. She had recently passed the CLM exam and I was curious about her study methods and how she managed to digest the massive amount of information available to study for the exam. She immediately directed me to the new CLM Study Guide and put me in contact with a study group in Chicago that I could attend via phone each week. With her guidance, the Study Guide and partnering with the Chicago study group, I passed the CLM last November"


Tina M. White, CLM
Firm Services Manager
Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.


“The Exhibit Hall provides such great opportunities to connect with current service/product providers, meet new business partners, and learn about what’s new and innovative. At an Annual Conference over 10 years ago, I met with a new business partner in the Exhibit Hall. While my firm wasn’t in the market for their product at that time, I knew that when we were ready, that company would be on my short list. We migrated to their document management system two years later. I don’t know where I’d be without the service, products, loyalty and connections with our business partners I see every year at the conference!”


Laura Sears, CLM
Chief Administrative Officer
Gould & Ratner LLP
2020 Annual Conference Committee Chair


Debra Burgos
HR/Legal Administrator
Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
2020 Annual Conference Committee Member

If this is your first time attending, don't be intimidated! The Exhibit Hall is actually one of the greatest benefits of attending the Annual Conference.

Meet Industry Experts in the Exhibit Hall

February 3, 2020

It's hard to believe that ALA's 2020 Annual Conference & Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah, is only three months away. I'm so excited!

While I was registering for the conference and making my travel plans, I was flooded with memories of attending one of my first ALA conferences. I was fairly new to my chapter and didn't know of anyone else attending from Las Vegas. The very thought of attending such a large event with so many people was a little overwhelming. In fact, I was so nervous going into the Exhibit Hall for the first time that I don't think I made eye contact with any of the exhibitors. I was afraid they'd discover how little I felt I knew about the legal profession. I think I even did the "grab and go" technique so perfectly demonstrated in the dos and don'ts laid out in the ALA Member & Business Partner Engagement video produced by Alan Wilson, from ALA VIP business partner GLJ Benefit Consultants, and Katie Bryant, CLM, a longtime ALA member from the Arizona Chapter.

If this is your first time attending, don't be intimidated! The Exhibit Hall is actually one of the greatest benefits of attending the Annual Conference. It gives you a chance to meet with your current business partners and see if they are offering new product lines or new business solutions to support your firm in 2020.

There are also several new exhibitors, including a big jump in tech-related solutions providers like Chetu (software solutions), Foxit (PDF software and document management), Fujitsu (IT services), Fulcrum (practice management), Soluno (trust accounting software) and ZerO (technology and AI) — stop by to say hello and let them know you're a first-time attendee, too. Finally, as always, our ALA VIP business partners will be there, as will returning business partners like Royal Cup, Tabs 3, Traveling Coaches and many more. We make it easy to plan your Exhibit Hall visit with our interactive floorplan.

Looking forward to seeing you all in May!

 


Lisa Matheson
Office Administrator
Quarles & Brady LLP
2020 Annual Conference Committee Member

Imagine how you would feel if you learned of a coworker’s internal struggle after it was too late to act.

Silence is Most Definitely Not Golden!

January 6, 2020

We spend most of our time with coworkers and peers who seem, by all outward appearances, to have everything in their life under control. However, what we do not see are their internal struggles with stress, depression, substance use, sexual harassment and other personal and professional matters. Unfortunately, in today's world, the list is endless, and people often suffer in silence. More unfortunate is that these struggles sometimes lead to suicide.

Look at the person near you in your office. Your attorneys and administrative staff seem OK, but are they really? Imagine how you would feel if you learned of a coworker’s internal struggle after it was too late to act. Now take these same questions outside of the office. Think about your family and friends.

The American Bar Association took action in 2018 by launching a campaign targeting substance use disorders and mental health issues among lawyers. The ABA reports “many of the nation’s largest firms have pledged to support the initiative and adopt its framework for improved well-being.”

We as administrators realize this issue goes far beyond the lawyers in our firm. We know that we must stop the “silence is golden” mentality and provide a safe place where all our employees know they do not have to suffer in silence. We can provide resources to our people and offer the help they need. 

Join us in Salt Lake City, Utah, for ALA’s 2020 Annual Conference & Expo to see “Building a Kinder Kind of Law Firm,” an educational session from human capital consultant David Shar, SHRM-SCP, and “#Legals_Silent_Killers” from the team of Kathleen Pearson, SPHR, and Teresa J. Walker — a Chief HR Officer and a Chief Operating Officer Emeritus respectively. Also, join us for one of the General Sessions, “The Kevin Hines Story,” as told by Kevin himself and featuring his process for wellness, resilience and recovery. In these sessions, you will learn how to raise awareness, identify the signs, take a stand, create a plan and execute it.

 


Paul M. Walker
Controller
Snow Christensen & Martineau

I’m here to set the record straight about Utah and convince you why you want to come to our great state for the upcoming Annual Conference.

Let’s Set the Record Straight About Utah, #ALAConf20 Destination

December 2, 2019

As a native of Utah, I’ve been asked a lot of random questions: Isn’t Utah just a bunch of Mormons? I’ve heard Utah is a dry state, can I get a drink there? Do you have more than one wife? These are actual questions I’ve been asked at ALA conferences. I get a good chuckle out of these ― especially the last one! I’m here to set the record straight about Utah and convince you why you should come to our great state for the upcoming 2020 Annual Conference & Expo.

About half of all Utahns are Mormons. We’re not bad, though — actually, we’re some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Instead of grabbing a cocktail after work, most of us head straight home to our families, which is why Utah is often criticized for not having a nightlife. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! SLC’s Main Street comes to life every night, and you can find plenty of bars and restaurants there that serve alcohol. (That dry state thing is a myth.) You’ll enjoy the nightlife.

Some other great local activities include:

  • Touring Temple Square, which includes the largest family history library in the world. Find your relatives!
  • Attending a Salt Lake Bees minor league baseball game.
  • Shopping at our two downtown outdoor malls: City Creek Center and The Gateway.
  • Visiting the many cultural focal points of the city, including the Natural History Museum of Utah, the Church History Museum, the Utah Pride Center, the Clark Planetarium, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, and so much more
  • Attending outdoor concerts and festivals. The ones at Red Butte Garden and the Gallivan Center are my favorites.

Additionally, you can literally walk or bike from your hotel to some of the best hikes, trails and scenery in the western United States. If you love the outdoors, there are endless activities in the valleys and mountains surrounding Salt Lake City.

Utah as a whole is really famous for its outdoors. If you have a few extra days, I would highly recommend visiting the “Mighty 5” National Parks, including Zion and Arches. Millions of tourists from all over the world visit these parks every year ― you’ll be blown away by the scenery.

Park City is another great destination. It is only 30 miles away and one of the best ski towns in America. If we’re lucky, we’ll have late spring skiing for you to enjoy at several ski resorts not too far away.
For more SLC information, visit https://www.visitsaltlake.com/

 


ALA Annual Conference & Expo

Your one-stop shop

Get Ready for Knowledge, Networking and Innovation at #ALAConf20

November 18, 2019

ALA’s Annual Conference & Expo, is your one-stop shop with 70+ thought-provoking sessions, 100+ dynamic speakers and 17+ networking hours all taking place May 3-6, 2020, in Salt Lake City.

Here’s a sneak peek at the featured speakers showcasing at #ALAConf20:

Danelle Umstead, Blind Professional Skier and 3-time Paralympic Medalist

In Danelle’s session Living the Impossible she shares her remarkable story of losing her vision, losing her mother, and discovering her life’s passion through which she found healing, her husband, and a lifetime of high-speed adventure. During her presentation, Danelle touches on overcoming adversity, teamwork, communication and elite performance, delivered with powerful storytelling.

Kevin Hines, Brain Health Advocate and Storyteller

Kevin Hines is an award-winning brain/mental health and suicide prevention activist, entrepreneur, multiple award-winning filmmaker, best-selling author, international educator and speaker who reaches audiences with his story of an unlikely survival and his strong will to live. Kevin will share his process for wellness, resilience and recovery. You’ll come away with a knowledge of how to build your own toolkit for maintaining mental wellness, as well as the wellness of your loved ones.

Don’t miss Danelle and Kevin’s presentations May 3-6, 2020, along with Keynote Speaker Dr. Catherine Sanderson and many more speakers to be announced.

 

 


Debra Burgos
HR/Legal Administrator
Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
2020 Annual Conference Committee Member

Conferences are more important than ever

ALA’s Annual Conference & Expo Is Absolutely Worth Attending!

November 4, 2019

As a “seasoned” ALA member and legal administrator, I can tell you I sometimes struggle with the idea of whether to attend another ALA Annual Conference.

As legal management professionals, our jobs can be so demanding that sometimes the thought of being away from our firms, even for just a few days, seems overwhelming and you ask yourself, “Is it really worth it?” or “Am I really going to learn anything new?” “Can’t I just Google it online and find the answers to my current problem?” This feeling quickly vanishes as I remember and look back on all of the wonderful experiences and valuable education I have received attending the various ALA conferences over the past 25 years. More importantly, I have made amazing connections that have enriched not only my work life, but my personal life as well.

In this day and age of technology and people accessing industry information via the internet, people mistakenly believe that attending a conference is unnecessary. However, conferences are more important than ever. Human-to-human connections and the accidental “hallway conversations” that our members have with each other are often cited as the most valuable and rewarding parts of attending a conference.  Although these conversations may not be listed as a learning objective or the topic of a breakout session, you learn so much through the interaction among people, discussing the day-to-day struggles in work and life on a deeper and much more personal level. You find out that you are not the only one in your position who is having difficulties with a certain issue and getting possible solutions, and the success of the event to those involved becomes irreplaceable.

It is really the PEOPLE that bring the most value to your time at a conference. ALA’s 2020 Annual Conference & Expo in Salt Lake City is just around the corner, and I for one cannot wait to continue with the valuable conversations and connect with my peers, ALA friends and industry leaders and our wonderful ALA business partners.

 

 


Laura Sears, CLM
Chief Administrative Officer
Gould & Ratner LLP
2020 Annual Conference Committee Chair

There is something for everyone

Make Plans to Attend the Industry’s Most Significant Annual Event for Legal Management Professionals

September 23, 2019

Do this for YOU, your career, and your firm. 
We can promise you will have difficult choices to make as a number of educational sessions will be offered as part of our elevated program.  Our Business Partners will be there in full force in a redesigned Exhibit Hall.  There will be ample opportunities to connect with colleagues.

The 2020 Annual Conference takes place in vibrant Salt Lake City where there is something for everyone, creating an impactful conference for YOU to experience. 

Ten things you may not know about Salt Lake City:. 

  • It’s considered by even the most discerning critics to be one of the best foodie cities in the country.
  • The world’s first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise was opened here in 1952.
  • More lime Jell-O is eaten here per capita than anywhere else.
  • Many of Utah’s quirky liquor laws were overturned over a decade ago. From live music venues to microbreweries, SLC has over 180 locations to throw back an adult beverage.
  • It’s one of the most gay-friendly cities in the country. SLC has a large LGBTQ population and its current mayor is openly gay.
  • What many consider to be America’s first department store was opened in Utah, so you know there will be plenty of shopping options.
  • See why SLC is known as the Genealogy Capital of the World by visiting the Family History Library.
  • There are 21 national parks and monuments within a short drive. Visit utah.com to plan a pre- or postconference trip.
  • You can go for a swim in the Great Salt Lake — you’re guaranteed to float, as it is 10 times saltier than ocean water.
  • Utah has the “Greatest Snow on Earth” (for skiing and snowboarding), and it’s still likely to be visible in the mountains around SLC in early May.

For more SLC information, visit https://www.visitsaltlake.com/
Mark your calendar to join us! 
Our committee looks forward to seeing you there!

 

 

 

GENERAL INQUIRIES:

Customer Service
ALA Annual Conference & Expo
1-888-593-7243
info@alaannualconf.org

GENERAL INQUIRIES:

Customer Service
ALA Annual Conference & Expo
1-888-593-7243
info@alaannualconf.org

AGENDA & SPEAKING INQUIRIES:

Kristy Perkins
Head of Programming
212-352-3220 ext. 5493
k.perkins@alaannualconf.org

AGENDA & SPEAKING INQUIRIES:

Kristy Perkins
Head of Programming
212-352-3220 ext. 5493
k.perkins@alaannualconf.org

SPONSORSHIP INQUIRIES:

ALA Annual Conference & Expo
sponsorship@alaannualconf.org

SPONSORSHIP INQUIRIES:

ALA Annual Conference & Expo
sponsorship@alaannualconf.org

MEDIA PARTNERSHIP INQUIRIES:

Jessika Hunt
Marketing Lead
1-877-927-0718 ext. 7324
j.hunt@alaannualconf.org

MEDIA PARTNERSHIP INQUIRIES:

Jessika Hunt
Marketing Lead
1-877-927-0718 ext. 7324
j.hunt@alaannualconf.org

 
 

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Copyright © 2020 by the Association of Legal Administrators. All rights reserved.

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