Human Resources Management


Redesigning and Managing Today’s Employee Experience

As teams expand and adjust to the constantly changing conditions of the modern law firm environment, today’s leaders are tasked with remaining mindful of how these changes influence the employee experience and shape firm culture. Securing talent and streamlining retention efforts are one of the biggest challenges and most critical aspects of optimizing the multifaceted workspaces provided to our teams. In some instances, law firm leaders have observed a gradual increase in health concerns among younger professionals. This is likely due to a confluence of factors, including an increase in remote work opportunities and a decrease in intrinsic employee involvement, which is preventing the most knowledgeable workers from passing on their information to those who are honing their professional skill sets. In our latest Peek Around the Corner with PDAC, join Professional Development Advisory Committee (PDAC) member Christine Wilbur, MBA, and your ALA peers for an insightful and engaging Roundtable discussion on these topics where you can share your thoughts as we make progress in redesigning today’s employee experience.



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Redefining Legal Secretary/Paralegal Roles

Technology is redefining workflows in many industries, especially legal.

Presented by Liz Coleman, Talent Acquisition Manager, Sands Anderson PC, Richmond, Virginia.



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Recruitment and Retention

As firms struggle to recruit legal support staff, hiring and retention will remain top of mind for firms in 2024. Is your firm doing anything unique or innovative around this topic? From professional development options to flex arrangements, we want to discuss what firms are implementing to make careers in legal support a viable option. Join members of ALA’s Professional Development Advisory Committee (PDAC) Jennifer Trippett, Director of Professional & Staff Development at Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, and Cynthia Thomas, Regional Administrative Manager at Offit Kurman, as they lead a discussion on themes looming large in this area.

Facilitated by the Professional Development Advisory Committee


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How to Deal with Difficult HR issues

December is a busy month in the legal industry, so it's a great time to get some advice from your ALA colleagues on how to deal with some of the HR challenges you're facing. Join facilitators Valerie Williams, Abigail Davis-Hess, CLM, and Karin B. Wiborn, CLM, as they share their experiences and discuss some solutions to those challenges. Come prepared to share your own experiences, too!

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Battling Burnout in the Legal Industry

Intense workloads, added responsibilities and requirements, long workdays, and continual stress. It’s an all-too-common scenario in the legal industry — and it’s a recipe for burnout. It’s more than just a feeling; burnout can take a toll on your mental, emotional, and physical health and start to affect your life outside of work, too. If this sounds familiar, plan to attend our next Roundtable with colleagues who empathize. Catherine Alman MacDonagh, JD, and Joseph A. Samarco, MBA, ALPP, of ALA’s Professional Development Committee, start an open on honest discussion on an issue that widespread within the legal community and offer ideas for battling burnout.

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Anti-Racism and Racial Injustice in Legal and Addressing Systemic Racism

Laurence Winters, Chair of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee will discuss ways to promote anti-racism and racial injustice in legal and address systemic racism.

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End Your Year With a Bang! How to Keep Employees Engaged

Is office morale low or are you battling quiet quitting?  Let’s get together and discuss how to create effective employee engagement in the workplace so that we can ring in the new year with positive office culture and engaged teams.

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Mental Health

This roundtable was facilitated by Karie Rivkin, CLM, and Holly Pulido of the Board of Directors. Because leadership calls for a calm, energized, focused and inspired mind, this Roundtable encouraged participants to continue the conversation about mental health, discuss some of the challenges they might face in responding to a crisis and share stories and tips for keeping their best resource — themselves — sharp!

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Assessing the Short- and Long-Term Workplace Model for Your Firm

This roundtable was facilitated by Sharon Meit Abrahams, EdD, President of Legal Talent Advisors LLC, and John Remsen Jr., Founder of the Remsen Group. Meit Abrahams is also an ALA Membership Ambassador and Chair of the South Florida Chapter Programs Committee.

  • Do you have a date to return to the office?
  • What short-term model will you be using?
  • Will that model differ from a long-term model? If so, how?
  • What is your remote workplace policy? Will it be different between attorneys and support staff?
  • What is your personal feeling about returning to the office? About remote working?
  • What are your managing partner’s thoughts about returning to the office? About remote working?
  • How will you deal with individuals that don’t want to return to the office?
  • Who is enforcing the new rules in the office like one-way hallways, one person in the restroom, etc.? How will the rules be enforced?

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Do Your Attorneys Drive You Crazy?

The roundtable was facilitated by Sharon Meit Abrahams, EdD, ALA Membership Ambassador and South Florida Chapter Programs Committee Chair, and Adilen Montes, Immediate Past President of the South Florida Chapter.

  • What have you identified as problematic behaviors of attorneys?
  • How can you better communicate with these attorneys instead of punishing them?

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Mentorship and Sponsorship Programs

The roundtable was facilitated by Barbara J. Paige, CLM, a member of the Puget Sound Chapter, and Pamela Tobin, a member of the South Florida Chapter.

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Reviewing the Performance Evaluation Process in the New Normal

The roundtable was facilitated by Shelley A. Strong of the Silicon Valley Chapter, a member of the Product and Service Review Committee and the Awards Program Project Team, and Lisa A. Waligorski, CLM, of the Orange County Chapter, who also teaches ALA’s financial web-based courses.

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Possible Handbook and Policy Changes in the Wake of the Pandemic

The roundtable was facilitated by the New Jersey Chapter's Katherine E. Dart and Elyssa A. Goldstein, CLM, PHR, SHRM-CP, a member of the Membership Development Committee.

  • A work-from-home policy?
  • A visitors policy?
  • A travel policy?

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Adapting to the New Normal with a Focus on Stress and Mental Health

The roundtable was facilitated by Veronica Sutton, SHRM-SCP, SPHR PHRca, and Ann S. Callahan, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, CLM, of the Puget Sound Chapter.

  • How do we get a temperature check? With no or limited nonverbal cues, how can we assess the stress levels in our employee ranks?
  • How does stress manifest in behaviors? How do we assess these behaviors and when do we get involved personally vs. when do we encourage people to seek other resources?
  • What do we already know from dealing with other crisis situations? While not the same, are there tips to be had from other plans/experiences with extreme weather, other infectious diseases, fires, earthquakes, etc.?

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PTO Policies and Potential Changes

The roundtable was facilitated by Elyssa A. Goldstein, CLM, PHR, SHRM-CP, and Audrey M. Serban of the New Jersey Chapter.

  • How to handle an influx of paid time off (PTO) requests after returning to work
  • Whether you should consider reducing PTO for the year
  • Whether you should offer more flexible schedules for child and/or elder care reasons in lieu of PTO

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