CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — The Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) held its Association Lunch April 4 at its 2017 Annual Conference & Expo in Denver, Colorado. During the yearly lunch, ALA recognized its current leadership as they rolled off the Board of Directors and made way for the 2017-18 Board. ALA Executive Director Oliver Yandle, CAE, shared insights on ALA’s Strategic Plan and its vision for the coming years.
This year, ALA also celebrated the life and accomplishments of one its founders. The Board of Directors created an award to recognize individuals for their exceptional contributions to the legal management profession — the Founders Award. This recognition, named in honor of ALA’s Founders Mary Ann Altman, Bradford W. Hildebrandt and Robert I. Weil, was last awarded in 2010. This year, Don Akins received the award posthumously for his passion for the association and the profession it serves — a passion that lived on well beyond his retirement.
“He was a beloved mentor to many of my predecessors, and one who was very in tune with the pace of change affecting the legal industry,” said ALA Past-President Laura Broomell, CLM. “He knew that responding to that change was always going to be part of our jobs and the role of ALA.”
Akins passed away in June of last year, and his wife, Barbara, came to ALA’s conference along with his daughters to receive his award and to speak on his behalf.
“The foundation that he and his fellow pioneers laid for ALA continues to serve us well, even in these times of tremendous change in the legal industry,” said ALA Executive Director Oliver Yandle, CAE. “A major focus of ALA’s leadership this past year has been to build on that foundation through the development of a new phase of our strategic plan — one designed to truly elevate ALA.”
In his year in review, Yandle shared several of ALA’s biggest initiatives that came into fruition in 2016 and how ALA will continue to elevate its presence:
- A new, responsive website that is easier to search and navigate
- An updated digital magazine, Legal Management, that makes it easier to share articles, along with a fully designed printable PDF version
- A new way to develop task lists, procedure manuals and job descriptions with the Uniform Process-Based Management System (UPBMS)
- A larger international presence, including a new ALA chapter in Mexico, a Brazil section of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter, and ongoing conversations with representatives from Bogota, Colombia
In 2017, ALA will continue to work on its first goal of its strategic plan – “defining our identity.” During the conference, attendees had many opportunities to share what ALA means to them. Through specific focus groups, surveys and research, ALA will be able to better answer who makes up its membership and what members need.
“The greatest asset we have as an organization is our membership,” said Yandle. “As we have worked on the development of our new strategic plan, we’ve been talking with our members about what ALA means to them, how it has impacted their careers and the experiences that have made them value their involvement in ALA.”
ALA’s Annual Conference & Expo provides access to knowledge, connections and market-ready solutions that transform change into opportunities. Whether new to the legal management industry or a seasoned professional, each attendee has the opportunity to learn from thought leaders and solve problems with their peers.
About the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA)
ALA is focused on the delivery of cutting-edge management and leadership products and services to the global legal community. ALA has nearly 8,300 members representing 30 different countries with 95 chapters. The Association identifies and provides solutions to the most critical strategic and operational challenges its members and customers face today, and prepares them for the opportunities and challenges of tomorrow. For more information on ALA, visit www.alanet.org.
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