I’ve been a fan of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) ever since joining Affinity and my first ALA National Conference in Nashville. I was drawn to the genuine pride and collaborative spirit I found in every new member I’ve met over the last 3 years. Yet this weekend – my first Chapter Leadership Institute (CLI) experience – completely blew me away!
When you work a booth at ALA National Conference, you get to meet tons of amazing, involved and fun legal professionals, but the scope of those conversations is so limited. There’s so much to do and so little time to do it in! CLI was a whole new level of amazing!
Every chapter leader I met was sincerely passionate about, well – everything. Over and over, I witnessed the exchange of ideas, successes and failures in order to improve all aspects of member experiences, chapter goals and law firm culture.
The speakers and presentations throughout CLI offered insights into not only the business of running ALA Chapters and law firms, but they also dug deeply into how we motivate ourselves and each other. The challenges of working together with “millennials” in our chapters and law firms kept us debating all weekend. I was delighted, as a VIP Business Partner, to hear in several of the breakout sessions the numerous ways in which many chapters are implementing out-of-the-box ideas for growing membership, recruiting business partners and creating new expo experiences to mesh the interests of members and business partners alike. And, all of us will be approaching our meetings and conversations in a new way after Saturday’s final presentation. If life is a series of conversations, as Paul Axtell urged us to consider, how best can we shape those conversations to be meaningful, mindful and remarkable.
The women and men who represent the leadership of our ALA Chapters at CLI truly are the “next generation leaders” and inspire me as a VIP Business Partner to actively seek ways to help them in their quest for excellence. Making our resources, time and talents available to ALA members is what defines the PARTNER side of Business Partner. We bring that to our clients daily as their trusted advisors and I’m thrilled to do the same for our ALA friends as well, whether as mentors to other business partners, as sounding boards for new ideas or just as cheerleaders behind the continued success of those elevating ALA to new heights.
What did I learn at ALA’s CLI? I learned why I love coming to ALA events and why I will continue to encourage every legal professional I know to join ALA! See everyone again at Regionals this Fall and at the National Conference in May!