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This episode of Legal Management Talk is brought to you by Jelly Marketing. Jelly's free Solutions Series webcast, What Can You Expect and What Should You Pay Your Marketing Vendors?, is happening Tuesday, December 1. Sign up here. Monique Mahler polled her fellow ALA members about what their firms are planning in the post-COVID-19 landscape, questioning them about everything from remote work policies to the future of their real estate footprint. Read more in the November/December Legal Management cover story, "Law Firm Life After COVID-19."  Mahler's research project is for her master's thesis at the University of Denver Strum College of Law. A scholarship from the Foundation of the Association of Legal Administrators helped fund her studies. Speaker Bio Monique Mahler is the HR Manager for BakerHostetler’s Houston and Dallas offices. She is the first recipient of the Foundation of the Association of Legal Administrators’ Student Legal Career Scholarship. Mahler received a bachelor’s in sociology from the University of Houston – Downtown. She will obtain her master’s degree in legal administration from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law in May 2021.
Monica Wofford, CSP, joined the podcast to walk us through the newest Legal Management continuing education course, "Where Are Your Markers?" She argues that re-evaluating how you mark your success can make you a more effective leader. Reading the article is enough to gain some insights, but if you complete a short assessment afterward, you can also earn a CE credit. Legal Management CE courses offer a quick and easy way to earn CE credits, particularly for hard-to-find topic areas like Ethics and Substance Abuse. As such, they’re particularly useful for Certified Legal Manager (CLM)® recertification. Whatever you use them for, it’s simply a matter of reading an article and completing a short assessment. Learn more here. Speaker Bio Monica Wofford is a leadership development coach, consultant and keynote speaker. As Chief Executive Officer of the training and consulting firm Contagious Companies, Inc., she and her team assist organizations and their management in developing powerful skills in leadership. She’s the author of Contagious Leadership and Make Difficult People Disappear. She has also been a frequent speaker at ALA’s national conferences and chapter events. Since March 2020, she has had the privilege of consulting as the Interim CEO of a two-county United Way nonprofit.
Speaker Kathy Gruver, PhD, is presenting two education sessions at the ALA Virtual Master Class: Critical Skills for Legal Management Success: CM10: Welcome and Opening Session: Conquer Your Stress: Go from Worrier to WarriorCM12: How to Get Anything Done with Anyone She joined the podcast to preview these sessions and discuss the importance of "soft skills," which are often devalued in favor of "hard skills." Register now for the virtual conference, happening on October 29! Speaker Bio Kathy Gruver, PhD, has graced stages on four continents — including two TEDx talks, three cruise ships and a handful of islands. She hosts a TV show based on her first book, The Alternative Medicine Cabinet, and has earned her PhD in natural health. Gruver is the 12-time award-winning author of seven books, including Conquer Your Stress, Workplace Wellness, Conquer Your Stress at Work and Journey of Healing. She has studied at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and has spent most of her life studying psychology and human behavior. Gruver has been featured as an expert in countless publications and has appeared on over 250 radio and TV shows. For fun and stress relief, Gruver does fly trapeze.
Diversity and inclusion consultant Michelle Silverthorn is a former columnist for ALA's Legal Management magazine and a speaker at past conferences, including the Brezina session at the 2019 Annual Conference & Expo. Now, with her own company and a brand-new book under her belt, she rejoins ALA to discuss the current state of diversity, inclusion and equity and whether a permanent shift is coming to the workplace. You can read an excerpt from Michelle's book, Authentic Diversity: How to Change the Workplace for Good, in the next issue of Legal Management, which is out on October 9. Visit her website to find out how to purchase the book,  Read past Legal Management columns by Michelle here. In this episode, she mentions the Nice White Parents podcast and the Mansfield Rule. Listen to that podcast here and read more about Mansfield Rule here. Speaker Bio Michelle Silverthorn is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Inclusion Nation, a diversity consulting firm that partners with forward-thinking organizations to design authentic, inclusive workplaces built for success. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Michigan Law School, she lives in Chicago with her husband and two daughters.
In the September cover story of Legal Management, "Working Around Micromanagement," we learned how a tough employee-manager relationship can make work unbearable. Jill Maganza-Ruiz, a senior human resources and talent executive for the largest firm in the United States, joined Legal Management Talk to provide some additional advice for both managers and employees. Speaker Bio Jill Maganza-Ruiz is a senior HR/Talent executive with more than 20 years' experience in the legal industry. She is currently the HR Director for Dentons US LLP and is based in the firm’s New York office. Jill has been a member of ALA since 2006.
ALA member Krista Hart discusses how and why she established a wellness program for staff and attorneys at her firm, Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel. She also talks about how the program has had to adapt to the new normal of a remote workforce with many additional COVID-19-inflicted challenges. Look for Krista's "Tough Topics" column in the September 2020 issue of Legal Management. In the meantime, check out these existing ALA resources: Wellness Strategies During the Pandemic with Lance Breger (podcast) Keeping Your Head Above Water During COVID-19 (webinar) Zoom Fatigued? How to Stay Virtually Engaged Without Losing Our Minds (webinar) Wellness resources and roundtables featuring fellow legal management professionals (COVID-19 resources page) Speaker Bio Krista Hart is a Firm Administrator who is dedicated to assisting the Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel attorneys and staff with all their workplace needs. Motivated by the belief that employees are the No. 1 asset of a firm, Hart sees her role as crucial to maintaining Panitch Schwarze’s workplace culture. She currently serves as President-Elect of Association of Legal Administrators’ Philadelphia Chapter.
ALA member John Jakovenko, CLM, SPHR, MBA, chats about the importance of continuing education in the professional development of staff in a law firm or legal department. After all, the lawyers do CLE, don't they? Jakovenko is the instructor for ALA's HR-themed web-based courses, which delve deep over six weeks into the knowledge needed for success as a legal management professional. You can register now for HR2: Performance Management and Compensation, which begins on September 17, 2020. Speaker Bio John Jakovenko, CLM, SPHR, MBA, is the Firm Administrator at Sparks Law, LLC, in Alpharetta, Georgia. His career spans two decades and includes leadership roles in human resource departments in law firms in Los Angeles and Atlanta. He is also an adjunct professor at Kennesaw State University, teaching courses on human resources.
GrowthPlay Consultant Brianna Leung returns to the podcast to discuss her recent Legal Management cover feature about change, which turned out to be a prescient topic as the COVID-19 pandemic alters our professional and personal lives. Read the article, "Leading Through Change," and take a short exam if you'd like to earn a continuing education credit. You can hear Leung's last appearance on the podcast here. Speaker Bio Brianna Leung is a Principal Consultant with GrowthPlay, where she leverages talent analytics to help legal professionals drive innovation and change within their organizations.
Ross Fishman, JD, expands on his recent Legal Management column about avoiding slashing all marketing costs due to the COVID-19-related business downturn ("The Top 5 Budget Items Law Firms Will Try to Slash in Response to COVID-19"). Instead, he advocates for hustling for new business, emphasizing busy practice areas and focusing your spend where it counts in order to stay competitive. Fishman's newest books can be found on Amazon: The Ultimate Law Firm Associate's Working-From-Home Marketing Checklist and The Ultimate Law Firm Partner’s Working-From-Home Marketing Checklist. Easter egg: See if you can count how many times the host's dog insists her squeaky toy is more important than this interview. Working from home! Speaker Bio Ross Fishman, JD, specializes in branding, websites and marketing training for law firms. A former litigator, marketing director and marketing partner, he has helped hundreds of firms dominate their markets. Fishman was the first inductee into the Legal Marketing Association’s “Hall of Fame.” He’s written seven marketing books, which are available on Amazon.
Lance Breger joins us to talk about how to handle team-building, negative emotions and wellness as we deal with remote work and major stressors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit ALA's Coronavirus Response webpage for more resources. Speaker Bio Lance Breger is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Infinity Wellness Partners, where he helped create a WorkLIFE Wellness Program and Executive Coaching Program. His company partners with forward-thinking executives, organizations and industries around the world to spread holistic health throughout the corporate landscape to make wellness a priority in the workplace every day.
Rob Mattern discusses information governance, outsourcing and back-office efficiency as they relate to his latest educational offerings for the ALA audience. Learn more from Rob through an upcoming webinar, The Getting to Zero Strategy, and his column in the March issue of Legal Management, "The Efficiency of the Attorney Experience in Your Firm’s Back Office." Speaker Bio Rob Mattern, MBA, is President and Founder of Mattern, LLC. Mattern has been widely published, including recently in the The Wall Street Journal, Law Technology News and Legal Management magazine. He is an editorial board member of Law Journal Newsletters’ Accounting Financial Planning for Law Firms.
Rob Mattern and Nathan Curtis discuss Mattern, LLC's first-of-its-kind survey about law firm cost recovery for e-discovery and litigation support. Find the survey here. Learn more from Rob through an upcoming webinar, The Getting to Zero Strategy, and his column in the March issue of Legal Management, "The Efficiency of the Attorney Experience in Your Firm’s Back Office." Speaker Bios Rob Mattern, MBA, is President and Founder of Mattern, LLC. Mattern has been widely published, including recently in The Wall Street Journal, Law Technology News and Legal Management magazine. He is an editorial board member of Law Journal Newsletters’ Accounting Financial Planning for Law Firms. Nathan Curtis, IGP, is a Consultant at Mattern, LLC, where he is focused on emerging technologies and their application in the legal environment, driving results through Mattern’s customized RFP process, and overseeing service, technology and policy implementations. He is also a Six Sigma Yellow Belt.
We spoke with IT consultant Michael Kemps about managing the remote workplace and keeping IT systems afloat as law firms and legal departments revise work-from-home policies in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. He's a featured source in the Legal Management article "Surviving COVID-19: Tips for Managing a Healthy Workforce and Keeping Your Clients Informed." You can find more resources on ALA's Coronavirus Response webpage. Speaker Bio Michael Kemps is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Innovative Computing Systems, Inc., where he cultivates relationships with clients and partners and, with his management team, provides leadership, strategic and ethical direction and oversight of company operations.
Stephanie R. Hanna, Esq., the Founder of professional coaching firm The Other 85, discusses how to retain talented associates, teach them the ways of business and set them on a path toward rainmaker status. Stephanie is speaking at ALA's 2020 Annual Conference & Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her Legal Industry/Business Management education session is titled Building Rainmakers: How to Help Set Up the Next Generation for Success. View the session description here. Speaker Bio Stephanie R. Hanna, Esq., is the Founder and Owner of The Other 85. She has been coaching law students and attorneys for the past decade — helping them navigate the profession, build their reputation and develop their careers. Having been a prosecutor, judicial staff attorney, solo practitioner, magistrate and law firm associate, Stephanie understands the dynamics at play in each environment.
Cynthia Thomas discusses how to protect your law firm's operations by succession planning not only for attorneys but also for administrators. She is speaking at ALA's 2020 Annual Conference & Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her Human Resources Management education session is titled Don’t Let Institutional Knowledge Walk Out the Door: Succession Planning for Administrative Managers. View the session description here, and make sure you're registered for the May 3–6 event. Speaker Bio Cynthia Thomas is the Interim Operations Manager at A to Z Law and Owner of PLMC & Associates, a law firm management consulting company that provides best practices in human resources and staffing. She is the Associate Editor of the editorial board of Law Practice and the Co-Vice Chair of the ABA LP Lawyer Leadership and Management Committee. She often writes articles on and is invited to speak and conduct presentations focusing on law firm staffing of the future and lean staffing.
Anna Cates Williams, JD, MBA, shares her thoughts about improving efficiency by increasing your app use. She is speaking at ALA's 2020 Annual Conference & Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her Operations Management education session is titled Apps and Social Media: A Firm Administrator’s Toolkit. View the session description here, and make sure you're registered for the May 3-6 event. As she mentions in the podcast, you can reach out to Anna with questions via LinkedIn. Speaker Bio  Anna Cates Williams, JD, MBA, is the Executive Director of Walker Lambe, PLLC, a boutique estate planning firm in Durham, North Carolina. She drives marketing, operations and financial initiatives for the firm. Williams has a diverse work history in law firm marketing and operations. She began practicing law with a healthcare start-up in Nashville, Tennessee, where she worked within the legal procurement team, negotiating alternative billing strategies as the client. She later moved into business development and management with a leading legal staffing and recruiting organization, where she partnered with large firm marketing and practice development teams delivering e-discovery and managed services solutions.
Brianna Leung of GrowthPlay talks about New Year's resolutions for the busy professional. She wrote "Resolve to Balance the Scales in 2020," the Business Partner Perspective column for the January issue of Legal Management. Speaker Bio Brianna Leung is a Principal Consultant with GrowthPlay, where she leverages talent analytics to help legal professionals drive innovation and change within their organizations.
Staffing expert and recruiting consultant Jennifer Hill talks about the conclusions she reached and action items she detailed in her white paper for ALA, "The Changing Role of Law Firm Leadership." You can also read her previous white paper, "The Changing Role of the Legal Secretary," and register for her webinars, like Is the Legal Secretary Becoming Extinct? and Creating an Empowered Environment. All of ALA's free white papers can be found here. Speaker Bio Jennifer Hill is President of JHill's Staffing Services, a Division of Marcum Search LLC. She began recruiting in 2003 and has recruited for top-tier law firms and corporations throughout the United States. Hill also hosts a weekly radio show on LA Talk Radio, “Get Yourself the Job,” for more than 30,000 listeners a month; she interviews experts and authors from around the world about landing one's dream job.
ALA Executive Director Oliver Yandle joins the podcast to talk about how conferences are going and discuss what your Association has planned for the future. Here are reference links for some of the things Oliver talked about: Chapter Leadership InstituteLarge Firm Principal Administrators RetreatC4 The Legal Industry ConferenceALA Master Class: Leadership for Legal Management Professionals2020 Annual Conference & ExpoOrganizational pricing optionLegal Management Resource Hub Speaker Bio Oliver Yandle, JD, CAE, is Executive Director of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA), the largest international organization providing support to people in the legal management profession. Before joining ALA in July 2012, he served as the Executive Vice President of the Commercial Law League and the Executive Director of the International Association of Defense Counsel. He also was an adjunct instructor of legal analysis and writing at the Washington College of Law at American University.
Dan Lear, a speaker and facilitator for September's C4: The Legal Industry Conference, discusses the event, design thinking and the legal industry challenges attendees will tackle. The conference will occur September 18-20 in Boston, Massachusetts. The registration deadline for the early bird rate is August 5. Sign up now!  Speaker Bio Dan Lear is a lawyer, blogger and legal industry gadfly. As a technology-focused business lawyer, Lear advised companies from start-ups to the Fortune 100. He has spoken at marquee legal technology events including ILTACON, LegalTech, ReInvent Law New York, ABA TechShow, CodeX FutureLaw at Stanford Law School, and many others. From 2014 to 2018, Lear worked as the Director of Industry Relations at the online legal marketplace, Avvo, where he spoke frequently to lawyers, bar associations and other legal groups. Find him at rightbrainlaw.co or @rightbrainlaw on Twitter.
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