Mary L. Jennings, CLM, SPHR, is Director of Human Resources at Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C. in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a member of the 2013 Annual Conference Committee and also a member of the ALA Gateway Chapter (St. Louis).
I have been involved in law firm human resources and legal administration for more than 23 years and during that time there has been dramatic shift in attitudes on leading and managing a law firm. Firms are refocusing their client service models through overall practice management, talent management, alternative fee structures, efficiencies through technology and cross-servicing.
The ALA Annual Conference is a great source for the resources and expertise to refocus our law firms. At this year’s Conference, I am very excited that there are so many fresh, new presenters in the HR area. But, I am always looking to expand my knowledge outside of my area of expertise. Here are a few of the sessions (HR and others) that I am particularly interested in attending:
Monday, April 15
- Talent management is the key to building and sustaining relationships in our firms. During her session, “Build, Motivate and Inspire Using 3 Strategic Tools (3ST).” Jeri Schultz of Jeri Schultz & Associates will show us how 3ST creates an environment of empowered and energized teams for immediate and long-term results.
- I’m looking forward to firing up my iPad for the session,”iCan! Empowering Administrators with iPads,” with Brett Burney, J.D. This session, developed in collaboration with ILTA, will empower us on the integration of the iPads within our offices while balancing the ethical responsibilities in our firms. I’m sure there’s going to be a packed house for this session!
Tuesday, April 16
- We all are thick into keeping up with new technology at a much faster pace than we used to. I’m not sure about you, but I have a fear of cyber attacks. New to the ALA Annual Conference speaker circuit is Stephen G. Wilder, J.D., M.B.A., of M. G. Weibel & Associates. During his session, “Cyber Attacks: The Liability Risks to Your Firm,” he will not only focus on how a cyber attack can damage a firm’s network infrastructure, but will discuss cyber liability as it pertains to client files and information.
- Attorney Lynn Outwater, J.D., SPHR, of Jackson Lewis will present, “Human Resource Audits – Is My Firm Compliant?” I recently heard Lynn speak at the 2012 SHRM conference, and she understands that today’s employment laws are a moving target and what we, as HR professionals and administrators, need to know and sharpen our focus on to ensure our firm is compliant.
Wednesday, April 17
- We’re fortunate that David W. Brezina Memorial Session speaker Andrés Tapia will be remaining with us after his presentation to conduct the session, “Retaining Talent in a Multicultural, Diverse Workplace.” This is an important topic and I would think that this is a “must-attend” for all HR professionals and administrators alike.
These are just a few of the exceptional speakers and their sessions on the education program at the Annual Conference. I’m interested in hearing what sessions you’re most looking forward to attend and why. Check out the full educational listing and add your favorite(s) in a comment below.