News

Change Your View and Broaden Your Horizons

By Cindy Eichmuller

Wa-a-ay back at the PLAA’s 2017 Holiday Luncheon, I was fortunate enough to win a free registration to attend the 2018 PLAA Education Conference to be held at The Wisp Resort in Deep Creek MD. Fast forward to 2018, an early September morning, 4 colleagues driving to Deep Creek through very dense fog eventually into sunlight and blue skies to The Wisp. By the time we reached our destination, we were in full conference and networking mode that included a lot of stories and laughs along the way.

Steve Gilliand was the keynote speaker, and his leadership skills presentation “Follow Me” was riveting and very humorous. Steve is an outstanding teller of many of his everyday life experiences that we could all relate to in one way or another. The stories charted the “growth path” of his life and how he created positive changes along the way. Amanda Ellis Cuban – yes, Mark Cuban’s sister-in-law – and a former attorney was up next with “Leading With Social Media”. She stated that “80% of Millennial attorneys use social media and 90% use Instagram”. Amanda explained different types of social media formats such as Linkedin, Twitter, (how many raised their hands when asked “Who has a Twitter account?” – not many!), Instagram and the use of hashtags. You do not need to be on every social media venue as it is not a one size fits all but try to find one that fits you.

Jennifer Ramovs, Esq. with Affinity Consulting conducted two sessions, “How to Map and Fix Law Firm Processes” and “Moneyball”. The Processes session detailed how to identify a breakdown in a system. By mapping each step of the process, to locate the point(s) where it’s “broken”, you can come up with a fix. “Moneyball” (remember the baseball movie “Moneyball”?) focused on why it’s important to use statistics to run the firm and not simply getting by with a hunch or “gut instinct”. Understand the numbers!

Dinner, cocktails and networking held in a “yurt” (The Wisp has many sizes of yurts on the property) concluded the first day of the conference.

Our old friend, Pam Cochenouer, Esq., returned to start off Friday with a “What Would You Do” session regarding handling certain human resources situations. Medical marijuana is an up and coming workplace issue due to the recent legalization in Pennsylvania. Harassment issues loom large – sexual and otherwise – especially since the #MeToo Movement has formed. The last hot button topic was about transgender employees. Pam offered several real life cases on each topic. Alicia Slade and David Recker spoke about “Cybersecurity”. Alicia went over the basics on how to secure your network and work stations. Keep those patches on the network up to date! David spoke about the importance of having Cybersecurity insurance just in case your system would crash due to a virus, a hacker, etc. Alicia offered a real life scenario of a law firm’s files held for “ransom” until the firm made payment in virtual currency.
The firm could not even do billing until the files were released.

It was time to break for lunch and the mini Business Partner Show showcasing items for the “Law Firm of the Future”. The Show was held in a very large yurt. Standing desks, network security, a virtual receptionist and the flavor water machine were among some of the “future” offerings. It’s always fun to connect with the business partners, see what they have to offer and see what’s new! Thank you, Business Partners – we could not do what we do without YOU.

Mike Wasco, from Kinol Shari, presented information on the 2017 Tax Reform that was passed into law late 2017. There are a host of changes starting in 2018 that will affect us personally and also affect our firms’ tax status. Bill Acheson’s session “Nonverbal Communication: The Hidden Message” was all about body language. Body language accounts for more than half of the meaning in any face to face encounter. The adage “First impressions are important” is very true. Your body language can make you more powerful or can weaken what you say!

The reception dinner was held Friday evening which provided for lots of networking time with other members and business partners. Virtual reality gaming – the future! – was present along with some – old fashioned! – board games and a jigsaw puzzle. I took the opportunity to try out the virtual gaming and selected the “Gourmet Kitchen” module. After donning the headgear and receiving instructions on how to use the handhelds, I stepped into the “kitchen”. Let me just say that it is harder to master than it may look; I kept burning the bacon!

Before we knew it the conference was over and the four colleagues were back in the vehicle headed home. I have to say that a lot of the conversation was about the conference -the fantastic education we experienced, how good the speakers were, how valuable the networking was and how much fun we had. And already wondering where the next education conference will be held …. ?

Thank you to Tracy Pape, Chair, and the Education Conference Committee for a job well done!

Early Start Campaign: ALA Limited Special Offer

For a limited time, we are extending a special offer: Join now at the regular full-year dues rate, and ALA will activate your membership immediately ― and it will remain active through all of 2019! Members get access to exclusive benefits and resources, including the NEW ALA Job Description Toolkit — a $399 value but FREE to members only. The toolkit features more than 100 pages and 45 full position descriptions along with other must-have resources and information.

To access this special “early start” offer, please join online*: https://my.alanet.org/joinpromobcd

*To join by mail, print and complete the 2018 application, write ‘EARLY START’ across the top, and mail with your dues payment per application instructions.

Member Needs Assessment Survey

This biennial survey is an important yardstick to help determine member needs, experiences and program areas of focus. Deployed last in 2016, the survey is conducted to recognize, respect and reduce members’ time investment. Our goal is to have as many member voices heard as possible, and we ask you to appeal to your chapter members to participate prior to October 15. Members who complete the survey will be entered in a prize drawing if they provide optional contact information. This link is for members based in the United States. International members should click here.

Please also consider posting the following message on your chapter’s social media platforms:
“Time is running out to complete the ALA Member Needs Assessment! The survey, which only takes 25 minutes to complete, will help ALA increase member value. Take it today! https://bit.ly/2P94iDB

Stationery Evolution – 3 Ways to Progress

It’s no surprise to anyone that with the popularity and ease of electronic communication, the use of stationery has decreased. However, paper is not dead as was once predicted. And stationery isn’t either. It is simply evolving like other communication vehicles.

Stationery of Tomorrow

Stationery, in the broadest definition, includes letterhead, business cards, envelopes, note cards and other personalized materials. It is used to make an impression, to communicate. But did you know that it can also create a connection on a deep and meaningful level? Sensory marketing, or marketing that engages more than one sense affects perception, judgment and behavior. Simply put, giving a prospective client something that they can see, hold and interact with is more memorable than just sending an email.

There are many simple ways to join the stationery evolution and create the best impression. Below are just 3.

1. Stand Out with Great Business Cards

Many business leaders agree the practice of carrying and exchanging business cards is alive and well. When you hand your business card to someone, that person is now interacting with you on multiple levels. He or she is hearing you speak, maybe looking down at the card and back at you and possibly or just holding the card, flipping it over and playing with it. With so many different senses being triggered, your meeting is sure to leave a lasting memory.

With all the production options today, your card can truly be an ambassador for your brand. Creative designs, double-thick stocks, colored stocks, clipped or rounded corners, two-sided, vertical layouts…the list goes on and on for ways that you can make your business cards reflect your brand and still be professional. Cards that stand out are memorable and get shared with others continuing to elevate your brand.

Pay close attention to the tactile feel of your cards. Is the paper thin or does it have a nice heft to it? When you run your hand over it, does anything stand out or is the paper and print smooth and flat? The sensory impact of your card can create a lasting impression that will impact potential customers.

2. Make Letterhead More Versatile
Gone are the days of black ink on cream paper with every partner’s name listed. Firm names have shortened. Brands are now more colorful with over 85% of firms having 2+ color logos.
Take advantage of the more modern, simple branding and letterhead design and create “masthead” letterhead. This type of letterhead features just the firm logo and/or name. You can now use your letterhead to send traditional business communications and use it in other communication vehicles such as proposals as attorney bios and marketing packets as practice area sheets. By just featuring your logo, all the offices and all personnel can print using the same letterhead with different print templates with their specific information (phone, address and even name, title and email!). It becomes a multi-purpose sheet that ensures the consistency of your brand with the flexibility of on-demand print.

3. Send Snail Mail with Personalized Note Cards
Are you relying mostly on digital communication – online, email, social sites? If you are like most modern businesses, you are. And actually that’s great! Digital communication is “cheap” and easy. It also touches a mass of contacts at one time. However, it can be hard and expensive to really target specific prospective clients electronically. For those opportunities that require a more personal touch, sending a handwritten note card can send just the right message.

Be bold! Your note cards don’t have to be 3 x 5 folded cards with just your name. They can be configured in all shapes and sizes – flat or folded. You can “flood coat” the back with your firm color and engrave the your name on the front. Or even emboss your logo for an added touch of sophistication. All of these little touches will encourage the reader to touch and feel the card – making their interaction longer, more meaningful and more impactful.

Plus, what says “you are important” and “I value our relationship” more than someone taking the time to find a pen and write a sincere note?

Join the Stationery Evolution

Contact your account manager today to discuss the many ideas on how to join the stationery evolution and see live samples of law firm brands, stationery and marketing materials.

Author contact information:
Don Goodman
Senior Sales Representative
dgoodman@aslegal.com
216.496.0182
vizCard: http://aslegal.me/dgoodman

 

Thanksgiving Food Drive Flyer Available to Post

It’s time to post the Thanksgiving Food Drive Flyer in your offices! November 2nd will be here before we know it!

Click here to download the flyer.

Each year we try to donate as many boxes as possible containing items to prepare a Thanksgiving meal to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank .

The attached flyer shows the items that we would like each box to contain, but you can always add extra items. As in years past, please remember NOT to do these three things:

  1. No glass containers
  2. Do not put gift cards in the box. Please put them in a separate envelope.
  3. When decorating, please make sure that the lid can be removed and that all lid decorations are flat, so that the box can be stacked.

We are told from the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank that the families are so excited when they receive decorated boxes, so let’s try to get as many boxes decorated this year as possible.

Look for more e-mails from the Community Service Committee. We plan to still do pick-ups at various buildings who have donations of more than 10 boxes. More information will follow closer to the collection date.

Janet L. Isler

PLAA Education Conference Update by Carolyn Hinson

Attending the PLAA Education Conference
by Carolyn Hinson, Caroselli Beachler & Coleman

Having attended every PLAA Local Education Conference since I joined in 2001, I found this year’s conference to be one of the finest.  The education topics and speakers were absolutely “on target” and amazing.  Even the afternoon sessions when you start to “droop” and want to go “take a nap”… were uplifting – interesting and even humorous at times.    I was very lucky to win a Scholarship this year, but I would have attended any way.  The cost is so minimum and the drive to the Resort was painless.  It’s always great seeing my fellow members and networking every chance I get.   So, if you did attend the conference, no doubt you walked away with the same good feeling.  If not – I HIGHLY recommend attending the next Conference in 2020.  I know I will.

Certified Legal Manager Exam: Find Out All The Details

Summer is ending, fall is in the air and school is back in session. Often at this time of the year we determine upcoming projects in both our professional and personal lives. Why not include taking the CLM (Certified Legal Manager) exam as a professional goal? The CLM exam is a great way to review and expand your knowledge for your role in the legal profession.

There are many benefits to becoming certified. Studying for the exam is a great way to learn new techniques to help in your everyday work life, explore topics that are not part of your current job, reinforce information you use infrequently, learn current industry standards and techniques, or jump start out of the box thinking It’s also a great way to achieve a personal goal and further your education.

Once you become certified, benefits include recognition within your current organization, increased marketability in the job market, and recognition from your peers. Your employer benefits from your enhanced knowledge of the legal industry, new ideas for problem solving, a network of your peers and a more professional image for the firm.

Click here to visit  the Association of Legal Administrators to learn more about the requirements for the Certified Legal Manager (CLM) exam. There are numerous opportunities to acquire the educational requirements needed to qualify for the exam. Education credits can be earned by attending an educational session, reading articles, attending a webinar or e-learning courses. The Pittsburgh Chapter offers educational sessions throughout the year for free to our members. If there is interest, a study group can be organized in the Pittsburgh area.

Consider taking the CLM exam and explore the requirements needed to qualify for the test.

Please contact me (wood@dwgmlaw.com or 814-432-2181) if you are interested in more information on the CLM exam or forming a study group.

Terri Wood, MBA, CLM
CLM Chair

All New and Free to Members: ALA’s Job Description Toolkit

In an ever-changing legal market, creating accurate and descriptive job descriptions has been the bane of many legal managers’ workplace existence. ALA is excited to announce a solution: The Job Description Toolkit. This downloadable, free-to-members handbook is designed to help legal management professionals and their employers draft job descriptions that make it easier to find the best candidates and to manage their performance once they’re hired.
Here’s what it contains:
  • A guide to creating job descriptions that apply ALA’s Uniform Process Based Management System (UPBMS) taxonomy, which helps define and standardize legal operations duties
  • A list of resources and tools for writing job descriptions
  • More than 40 sample job descriptions that employ the UPBMS codes
The Job Description Toolkit covers the areas of administration, finance, human resources, intellectual property, legal support services, marketing and technology. And, once your organization has job descriptions down pat, it can use the 2018 Compensation and Benefits Survey to determine whether its pay and benefits are competitive compared to the rest of the industry.

Sock Collection Update

Update From Jan Isler

I got a chance to count the donation of socks this weekend and there were 180 pairs of men’s socks and 100 pairs that were either women’s or children’s socks!

WOW! That is incredible! You have made a difference to 280 people’s lives.

Thank you all very much! I will be dropping them off at Light of Life Mission this week.

 

 

Save the Date: Thanksgiving Food Drive

News

  • Change Your View and Broaden Your Horizons

    Wa-a-ay back at the PLAA’s 2017 Holiday Luncheon, I was fortunate enough to win a free registration to attend the 2018 PLAA Education Conference to be held at The Wisp Resort in Deep Creek MD. Fast forward to 2018, an early September morning, 4 colleagues driving to Deep Creek through very dense fog eventually into sunlight and blue skies to The Wisp.    View More
  • Early Start Campaign: ALA Limited Special Offer

    For a limited time, we are extending a special offer: Join now at the regular full-year dues rate, and ALA will activate your membership immediately ― and it will remain active through all of 2019! Members get access to exclusive benefits and resources, including the NEW ALA Job Description Toolkit — a $399 value but FREE to members only.   View More

View More

Events

Nov 07, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm • Pepper Hamilton LLP
Nov 14, 2018
11:45 am - 1:30 pm • The Rivers Club
Dec 05, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm • Pepper Hamilton LLP

View More